Interview with Gary R. Hess

What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
The greatest joy is simply being able to express myself. I've always been an introvert and haven't expressed my feelings openly in public. However, with writing, I think of it in a much more personal way. I get to express my real thoughts and opinions without hearing negativity (at least not immediately). I like that. I like to be able to sit down, write my peace and then move on.
What are you working on next?
I am currently working on another book of poems. This one, though, will be much more geared towards a single topic. In the past it has been difficult for me to stay focused on only one theme--and it still is at times--but I have been trying to be more focused in order to get it done and get it published.
Who are your favorite authors?
Oh there is such a long list! I am a huge fan of John Jakes, Mark Twain, and Walt Whitman. I couldn't give a good example of how they have influenced me, though. I suppose each have in some way or another become part of me. The more I read the better writer I become.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I am usually spending my time working as an English instructor, reading, or watching Supernatural. I love that show.
What do you read for pleasure?
I love to read poetry. I am not much of a fan of what people call "post modern", but I love reading contemporary imagery and the more classic stuff like Whitman, Poe, Shakespeare.

Other than poetry, I love historical fiction, autobiographies, history, comedy, and self-help. I am not so much into fantasy or sci-fi.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I usually use my android phone. I love that I can take it everywhere and be able to take it out and read something whenever I have down time.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in rural southeast Kansas. I suppose that is what has influenced my love of nature the most. I love to be able to take a breath, relax, and watch the sunrise or sunset go down Earth's crest. For my writing, it has allowed me to be patient and see the beauty in everything.
When did you first start writing?
I first started writing as a teenager. I found it difficult to express myself to my friends and family so I turned to my notebook and jotted down letters, notes, and poems. I guess it never really stopped. In some ways I am still that teenager writing down my thoughts and wants and hopes and dreams in my notebook; only now my notebook is electronic.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I use to own a website (PoemOfQuotes) but I sold it a while back. I have since then had people message me on Facebook or email me asking me about my poetry. I have had many high schoolers and even university students ask me about my poetry or wanting me to tell more about myself because they were using me as their contemporary poet in literature class. It is very motivating, you know?

It makes me feel like, in some little way, I have done some good in this world. I have touched someone's heart. I want to continue doing that, and I find that being an indie author is the easiest way to publish my work and advertise it myself.
What do your fans mean to you?
My fans mean everything to me. Having grown up with few friends and an emotionally distant family, it has made me want to help others and feel empathy for their needs because I know what it is like. If they are reading my poetry and my other writings, that means they connect with me. They understand me. And if they are like me, then they too need someone to be there for them when times get rough. Whether that someone is their pen and paper or that someone is a close friend or even person on the other side of the world it doesn't matter.
Published 2016-05-13.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

The Naughty List
Price: Free! Words: 850. Language: English. Published: December 10, 2016 by Bright Dreams Journal. Categories: Fiction » Holiday » Christmas, Fiction » Poetry » Contemporary Poetry
Santa Claus is getting ready for Christmas in this short poem.
Life in Kansas
Series: Bright Dreams Journal, Book 1. Price: Free! Words: 1,050. Language: English. Published: May 6, 2016 by Bright Dreams Journal. Categories: Fiction » Poetry » Contemporary Poetry, Fiction » Poetry » Themes & motifs
Life in Kansas brings readers to the land of Oz and the home of cornbread, BBQ, and small towns. Gary R. Hess uses his mastery of contemporary poetry to bring you 10 astounding poems written to make you feel like you are in his hometown and on his farm.