Interview with Ben Brinkburn

What's the story behind your latest book?
Well the first poetry book up is How To Be A Spaceman and it essentially is a collection of thoughts and imagery about real spacemen- and women of couse- of yore. You know, when space exploration was an adventure with proper looking rockets, laser guns and identifibly weird aliens.I've always loved science fiction, and have always had a soft spot for forties and fifties space pulp. much of the poetry in this collection is inspired by this gnere, although a darkness does creep into some of the works, which pick up on the zeitgeist of the postmodern uncertainty we seem to be weighed down with these days.

The second book Brinkverse is a more personal collection that charts a particular period in my life when I ended up living in a small apaprtment in a large town within the English M4 motorway corridor. it was a time of turmoil but also, hope and positive change- although admittedly it didn't particularly feel that way at the time!
What motivated you to become an indie author?
The time seemed right. In fact i feel my writing career has been building up to this point- the stars have aligned as it were and as I became aware of this, I felt The Time Is Now.

I had had some success in competitions for both fiction and poetry and good feedback from a growing body of work, but of course as with 99% of all other writers, i had suffered the unavoidable rites of passage of building up a folder of rejection slips. Indiee publishing though loks as if it will be a definite game changer. The genie is now well and truly out of the bottle and if you take care as much care over formatting your work as you do writing it, you can't go far wrong. It also helps if you are also something of a design geek and enjoy the technicalities of compiling books. I am such a geek.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I think similar to most writers, I would say release. This is particularly relevant to my poetry. Recording your ideas, emotions and experiences can be extremely cathartic but also, by sharing them, i hope in some way to make other people realise they are not alone in their own experiences and view of the world, and can themselves identify. As well as of course, gain some enjoyment in the process. Writing comes from the person writing, but that writer is also sharing, and my personal opinion is that a large part of that sharing should be aimed at providing enjoyment and emotional connection with the person taking the time to read what you write.
What do your fans mean to you?
Everything. They are angels, they are gods, I am but a humble servant. And of course without them, I would be a nobody.
What are you working on next?
There's another couple of poety collections in compilation mode at the moment, and a series of pulp thrillers is in advanced production and should be emerging later in 2014. Golden Mile gutter Smile, based in that great metropolis Blackpool, should be the first down the rails with champagne cracked heartily against its gleaming hull and a glint of pride in my moist eyes.
Who are your favorite authors?
What a question. Where to begin. Well in terms of influence and respect I'd say Jay Mcinerney, Brett Easton Ellis, Charles Bukowski, David Mitchell, Hubert Selby Jnr, Niall Griffiths, early Martin Amis, Doris Lessing, Margaret Atwood, Douglas Copeland, Russell Banks, Alistair Reynolds.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
My wife.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Barking at the moon.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yes it was a spy adventure story when i was about twelve. I remember pestering my grandad to read it which he dutifully did without complaint, all the way through. It's something I've always affectionately rememebred him for, because it must of been on hell of a chore.
What is your writing process?
One of the famous beat poets of the sixties whose name escapes me siad something that struck a chord with me- he said he played the typewriter for a couple of hours in the morning as soon as he got up like a musical instrument. He'd just jam away and see what came out. With poetry that is pretty much my own technique- I let a stream of consciousness dictate what I write most of the time, particularly in the case of poetry. I beleive everything we write is already there, out in the ether, and as a writer I am merely the conduit and device that realises it in the material world. so although mainstream prose for novels and the like needs tweeking and organising, more often than not my poetry is written in one take and only edited minimally afterwards. Now poetry purists will no doubt throw their hands up at that- I know poets who will spend all day deciding where to place a particular word and whehter to use a colon just there- but you can over-work things and literature is no exception. and I have never been one for over-working.
How do you approach cover design?
With a large stick.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
Not really. I've always read for as long as I can remember- I think one of Enid Blyton's Famous Five books is the first real proper novel I can remember reading. Some story about them all all going to an island in a boat. The tomboy character George always fascinated me. I've often wondered where she ended up later in life.

My early teens were the first really big 'grown-up' reading period in my life though, when I discovered the joys of Darlington Public Library's Science Fiction shelves and I can still smell those books and the excitement of picking one of those Gollancz yellow dustcover bound books of the shelf and glancing through it, excited by the prospect of what may lay within. If any reader were to feel the same way about my work, I'd know I'd arrived. So that's my aim.
Published 2014-04-08.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

How To Be A Spaceman
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 12,880. Language: English. Published: May 25, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Poetry » Contemporary Poetry, Fiction » Science fiction » Adventure
Inspired by the pulp sci-fi of a more innocent age when spaceships were dependably rocket shaped, aliens were proper tentacled monsters and laser guns solved most problems, this collection of poems takes you to the final frontier...and beyond. On your journey meet DANA the love-struck ship computer, spacewalk with Neil Armstrong and Elvis Presley and on planetfall, meet your true human nature.
Mythopoetic
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 12,280. Language: English. Published: May 25, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Poetry » Contemporary Poetry
Mythopoetic is a collection of poetry charting the antics of an adventurous young British actor, artist and wannabe fairground roustabout trying to make sense of life and love in North America, London, Paris and- strangely- Dalmatia. Along the way love, money and sense is lost in a maelstrom of desert heat, city rain, amateur drug dealing, dodgy designer goods and porn star egos.
Kitchen Conversations
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 12,620. Language: English. Published: May 17, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Poetry » Contemporary Poetry, Fiction » Humor & comedy » General
A collection of contemporary poetry charting the experiences of life on the seedier side of the street deep in the downtown of a fuzzy, industrious but out of place chunk of urban angst called Blingdon.