Stephen J. Dodds|
Publisher: 1st World Publishing
Interviewed By: Heather Froeschl
This is your first attempt at poetry? I can't believe it.
Believe it.....surprised me too.
Did you ever, in your life, try it before? Maybe on a paper napkin, or in a secret journal? Did you take any classes in poetry?
No, no and no. My only real experience, if any, was writing business plans, marketing plans and copy/text for packaging. Other then that I have zero formal experience where writing is concerned. That said, I have always had a good grasp of the English language, thanks to my momwho started me reading at a very early age. She was a stickler on grammar, likely because she didn't want me to grow up speaking "Geordie" slang.
What has been your greatest influence to write?
I'm an avid reader of everything from history books and autobiographies to mainstream fiction where I am a huge fan of Tom Clancy. With each book he writes I am forever amazed at the way he can bring his characters to life, not only as fictional characters but as truly believable characters. This a result of his tremendous research. While my writing style is far from Clancy's he is a big influence, nonetheless. I am also a huge fan of cleverly written TV sitcoms such as Seinfeld and All in the Family. Both carefully andskillfully marry words and phrases with perfect visuals (actors) to deliver their messages - some hidden and some straight on. Add Bill Maher to the list. While I disagree with him as often as I agree I think he uses the English language brilliantly to get his point across. I hope this makes sense.
Tell me about the book cover.
The title "Life, and everything in between" is described with the globe, and withthe oyster shell represents the old phrase....the world is your oyster.
Will there be more collections of poetry from Doddsy?
There will be more of something I suppose but maybe or maybe not poetry. It may sound odd but I really don't see myself as a poet. Rather, I see what I wrote as a kind of inspirational writing of sorts. I simply tried to convey to the reader my thoughts on topics thatinterested me or on topics that are close to me, somehow my style came across as poetry. Regardless, if in doing so I somehow caught the reader’s attention, good, bad or indifferent then I totally accomplished my task. In this regard if the mood strikes again, then I will certainly write more "poetry," if not then a short story islikely my next attempt.
What is the hardest thing about creating your work?
Definitely finding the perfect words to fit what I wanted to say. On occasion I changed the same word over and over and over again until I got it right. Even at that there's always a word or two that I might still rewrite if given the chance. It all depends on my mood.
What gave you the idea to pair your poems up with famous quotations?
Understanding that I am a total unknown when it comes to writing I tried to think of ways to marry my messages/writings with the thoughts and/or writings of others. I thought that by doing so I just might catch the interest of the reader to read on. Some of the quotes came obvious to me, such as John Lennon's "imagine." It tied perfectly towhat I wrote about my travels, and the feelings that my travels evoked in me. Another great quote was from my dad. The night he died he left me a telephone message which said, "Stevie, son, I gave it my best shot." I am forever grateful for the life he gave me and I wanted to honor him. My piece "respect" does just that.
It is rare for a poet to reveal what he was really thinking about when he was inspired to write a particular piece. You've openly shared some of your intentions. Did you plan to do that in the book or was it something your fans insisted upon?
Actually it was my intention all along. In fact if I have a criticism of my book it's that I didn't expand on this section even more. Actually I get a lot of questions about this.......wow, do I have fans?
Have you been back to visit England?
Many many many times, though as I write in my piece "respect" the best return of all was the first one back with my parents. Wecame to Canada on a boat with nothing and returned to the UK via British Airways - first class......my parents thanking me for the tickets......ironically perfect. Need I say more.
I like to know what a poet sounds like when reading their work, so I can "hear" their voice in my head. Do you have an English accent or are you sounding more like a Canadian these days? Or perhaps you've picked up the Californian dialect?
It depends on how many pints I have had. All kidding aside I'm a crazy mix of Canadian and US. Not so many "ehs' any more and way too many "hey dudes." Oddly enough, however, the Geordie always returns 3 or 4 days into a trip back to Newcastle – maybe on purpose...who knows.
What has been the best part of being a published author?
Certainly not the money. In truth, the pride of accomplishing a goal and most definitely the pride of pleasing my mom with my efforts. She was thrilled with the book in all regards. Last, the fact that people actually seem to like what I have to say. I pinch myself a lot.
Tell us something that we might be surprised to learn about you.
Wow, that's a
tough one. I guess the fact that I really have an
"oxi-moron" kind of personality. I like hockey fights yet I
write poetry, my dad was a millwright yet I can't change a
tire, my mom is introverted while I am type "A" extrovert
personified, I listen to AndreBoccelli, Johnny Cash and Led
Zeppelin.....kind of sums me up best.