Wombwell Rainbow Interviews
I am honoured and privileged that the following writers local, national and international have agreed to be interviewed by me. I gave the writers two options: an emailed list of questions or a more fluid interview via messenger.
The usual ground is covered about motivation, daily routines and work ethic, but some surprises too. Some of these poets you may know, others may be new to you. I hope you enjoy the experience as much as I do.
Carol Fenwick who publishes as Geraldine Ward
Geraldine Ward is a mother, poet and author from Kent. She has had work published in magazines including The Blue Nib, Writers Café Magazine and I am not a silent poet. She is currently learning to play ukulele. You will find more of her writing on http://www.geraldineward.wordpress.com Her twitter account is @GWardAuthor and facebook page is http://www.facebook.com/geraldine.ward.uk
What inspired you to write poetry?
When I was a teenager I went through a difficult time with being bullied. It came to a head when I was eighteen and suddenly though I had only really written stories as a child and a teenager lots of poetry came out. I have barely stopped writing it since.
I have always enjoyed reading and writing too which is a big motivator and passion.
What do you enjoy about reading and writing?
I enjoy getting into imaginary worlds. I have been told I have a really good imagination. Though the more I have developed as a reader and writer I have increasingly made social and realistic observations which adds visceralness. This was helped when I studied my MA in Creative Writing at Teesside in 2009 where I learnt much more about going beyond the abstract to the concrete.
And I love playing with language and the sound and music of words.
It’s a long time ago so it’s hard to recall but I remember being introduced to Rosemary Sutcliff and the Eagle of the Ninth I really loved the historical fiction.
Is history an important theme in your poetry?
Sometimes but I cover a wide range of subjects and feelings in my poetry. Humour, serious, history, what’s happening now. I recently visited The Lakes on holiday so history came in when I visited where John Ruskin had his memorial stone and Dove Cottage where Wordsworth lived and I wrote a couple of poems about it.
History was a big passion growing up. I also am interested in current affairs although no expert I like to touch on current affairs at times and make points about anything I feel is unjust.
How aware are you of the dominating presence of older poets, historical and contemporary?
I have a lot of respect for poets who have come before me whether older, historical or contemporary. I enjoy the work of the romantic poets for example as much as I like and read today’s famous and not yet famous writers. Some of my favourite poets are Sylvia Plath, Frank O Hara and William Wordsworth. But I also enjoy today’s writers too. Like the comedy poems of Pam Ayres, have a collection by Kate Fox which is similarly humorous and I regularly purchase books off friends who are poets such as Deborah Alma, Sarah L Dixon, Gill Lambert and just today Jess Mookherjee to name a few.
What is your daily writing routine?
I find I can only write after I have got everything I need doing done in the house. So once housework is out of the way and odds and ends then I am able to write. If I try doing it any other way I come a cropper.
What motivates you to write?
The need to express a feeling of otherness and anguish in a way as a way of dealing with the world. Also I believe that I have a valid voice that needs to be heard and a skill that I should not hide.
What is your work ethic?
I think it’s important to work hard, when you don’t you get unstuck if you do too much that’s not good either. I have been guilty of both sins. A good balance which is where I am now between work and pleasure I think is important.
How do the writers you read when you were young influence you today?
I think they inspired a lot of imagination in me. Roald Dahl and Enid Blyton were big favourites of mine as a child. They made me want to read and write more and allowed me to be dreamy and enabled me to be influenced positively in terms of creating imaginative language.
They also encouraged me to believe what was possible if you put your mind and skills and imagination together with everything else, senses viscerality, etc that you can come up with magic.
Magic on paper that is!
Who of today’s writers do you admire the most and why?
Phillip Pullman probably. He doesn’t have the same level of success that JK Rowling has had but he is a brilliant fantasy writer for children and adults. I would argue in some ways better but that is my personal taste.
And I love his rich use of language.
Rich use of language?
Yes I like the way he writes.
How does he make his language rich?
Oh my goodness, I like his descriptions. His fantasy texts are more detailed and richer than I think his adult texts of what I have read which are more immediate.
Why do you write?
Mainly because I enjoy it, for myself and to share with others.
What would you say to someone who asked you “How do you become a writer?”
I would say read a lot, write a lot and live and enjoy your experiences of life.
Tell me about the writing projects you have on at the moment.
I have been writing a poetry book called Bouncing Back with a Bang which has just recently come out on Amazon. It is due to have a blog tour in November run by Anne Cater and reviewed by other bloggers. I regularly read poetry at open mics as well as sing in folk clubs, play ukulele and piano. I will be performing a slot of writing and music at a local garden party in Kent on Saturday. Other than that I fairly regularly submit poetry to journals and magazines. I have a young adult novel I have been working on for a while but have put on the back burner as working on a research proposal for a PHD so I am very busy.
I write under a pseudonym Geraldine Ward.