Happy 18th birthday, Ask an Author! After today, our little feature can vote but is still unable to drink legally in the United States. I think someone has been slipping it beers behind my back, though. I found it passed out in my computer complaining of a hangover.
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@AC Benus, GA’s poetry guru and the author who gets the most questions will kick off the party.
When you're not writing your own stories and poems, you seem to spend a lot of your time commenting and reviewing other stories on the site, particularly those from fairly new or unknown authors. This can be difficult because those stories are often a little unpolished but have you ever come across a hidden gem or a great story from a source that you wouldn’t have expected?
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Thank you for saying this. I often feel I don’t do enough reading and reviewing on GA. But I’ve committed to doing more. As for hidden gems, there are quite a few, however, maybe I will limit myself to one prose and one poetic recommendation.
Even in its partial form, Denn’s Mobile Circus is one of the finest novels on GA. A shifter story with several differences, it’s at times funny, thrilling, sexy, touching, horrifying – you name the experience, it’s in there – and above all, consummately written by @Twisted_Dreemz. As far as I’m concerned, it should be on everyone’s read-right-now list. (The more love we show him, hopefully the sooner he’ll get back to providing us with chapters ).
For poetry, it’s much more difficult to single out just one, as all of us poets on GA post what we love and feel. I’m pleased to say we have a growing and supportive community here for one another. However, anyone who loves good prose-storytelling will instantly respond to @MythOfHappiness' collection of poetry. He can paint a scene in a few words, and grip your heart while doing it. And, if enough of us get at him with comments, hopefully we’ll force him to actually reply to them ).
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From the San Francisco area, we travel east to the mountains. My limited interactions with @MacGreg have left me with the impression of a thoughtful man who has a good sense of humor. I really do need to read more of his work
Many of your stories and longer poems seem to deal with “broken” men. How central do you see the healing process to the characters and journeys you create for them?
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This is a good question. I suppose I write about "broken" people often, because so many of us have been faced with circumstances that test our strength and resolve. Writing imperfect characters feels true and honest to me. No one is immune to the burdens of sadness, disappointment, frustration, hopelessness, etc. that pass through our lives. Dealing with the fallout is all a part of the journey, and my characters' pursuit of refuge and healing acts as a mirror to reflect our own personal determinations. I'm not one to sugarcoat circumstances when writing my characters. And, as with life, not every broken person can be made whole again. But the processes of healing and learning how to cope are definitely central points to my stories and poetry.
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Since Florida is flatter than an eight-year-old’s chest, I decide to stick to the mountains and head north. When I hit the Trans-Canada Highway, I turn east until reaching the Toronto area for a visit with @Mikiesboy.
You put a great deal of feeling and emotion into your work, which you have stated is down to your own personal background, but does it sometimes also get in the way and work against you? In other words, are there subjects which you feel you cannot write about?
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The simple answer is no. If something appeals, or comes to me and I feel it would make a good story, I'll write it.
My past still haunts me, you just do not ever get over that stuff, not really. You learn to deal with it. I put things into boxes and stack them in the corner. These days mostly it stays there.
Pretending it didn't happen is no way to deal with it, so I'd write about it - have written about it in Levko, in Street Words and My Life in Pieces.
I don't know if I'd write more about that life, I mean there is only so much you can say. Maybe but there'd have to be a very compelling reason to do it again.
These days I'd rather write about other things, not necessarily happy ones just different I guess. I love writing comedy, prompts are a lot of fun and make you think. Poetry of course, is my one true love.
I think you should try everything... every genre. I'd love to write a good mystery or horror. It's something I think about a lot. I may have even done some planning ... possibly.
Thanks again for the question.
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@Nephylim is in Wales. Since my superpowers do not extend to riding my Harley over the pond, I catch a plane to visit her. I made sure it was not a Boeing 737 Max!
What’s the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?
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I don't mind answering questions about anything. Any interaction is welcome.
To be honest, I haven't thought about this. Given that I've been non binary all my life (although I haven't actually "named" this until fairly recently) and that my inner dialogue has always been entirely male, I think, to be honest, that writing a female character is more difficult. It's almost that female is the opposite sex if that makes sense.
As I am autistic I find understanding all people, whether male or female, quite difficult and to some extent I rely on television, films, books etc to give me basic understanding of how people interact with each other. Having been a solicitor for many years in the field of family law, I have also had the opportunity to gain more insight into what motivates people on a deeper level. Sometimes it's difficult to separate the real from pure fiction, but I hope I manage it well enough.
I hope that's enough to answer the question. I tend to wander off topic sometimes. If the person who asked the question would like more information or to discuss it directly, I'm more than happy to do so.
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Back home in Florida, it’s a skip and a jump to Tampa Bay and @BHopper2. We get the final answer to a set of questions we asked at the end of last year.
What would you like to be?
A successful businessman, and a professional writer. With a great husband that understands me and two adopted teens that we both love. Living in a high-rise condo in the middle of downtown Tampa, and living comfortable lives until we grow old, retire, and pass-away.
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If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?
Welcome home, and well done. The party district is this way, it's been a lot livelier since you gays started running it.
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That is it for this month, my friends. My inventory of questions and answers is severely depleted. If you have questions for any author on the site, send them to me instead of them. I’ll chase them down, get a response, and share it on AAA for everyone to enjoy. Happy 420!
ps - @Myr who do I send all my travel expense receipts for reimbursement?