Interview with Grant J Venables

Describe your desk
Honestly, it's a fucking mess, but a mess I enjoy and can usually navigate my way around. Think about Les Nessman's workspace, with his invisible walls; mine's like that too, but I have these shitzy rolling bulletin boards for two walls.
When did you first start writing?
I used to write poems about girls in math class. I wrote in my room during grades 11 and 12, when I wasn't out hooliganing about. I used to listen to the radio (CBC) a lot (still do, much more than watch the festering television). You can listen and write, but you can't watch and write. I wrote some really bad poems that I thought were amazing.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in a Canadian Eden: Shuswap Lake, British Columbia: clean water, clean air, an outdoor paradise. I was a bush brat and I suppose that fed into my romantic adoration of nature. My town, Salmon Arm, works its way into a lot of my fiction. It too is a postcard, but I never realised that until I left and later came back. Then it was: shit, I grew up here? How could I ever have left?
What motivated you to become an indie author?
There was no other option. I sent more pieces to more sites and publishers and whatnot until I finally realised that I wasn't in great demand (shocking to me, believe me). Ok, then, either self-publish or don't publish. (indie author is kind of a shitzy euphemism, isn't it, it connotes choice, lifestyle bla, bla, bla.)
What do your fans mean to you?
I have sold a total of 40 books. I'd say my "fans" are pretty well non-existent. (wish my parents were still alive, that would have meant a few more books sold). Really, this is not about "fans" as there are none. It's about trying to get the words out there and have them read; that's the deal, that's the show.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
What a shitzy question. I work! I have kids to feed. I have a wife. I have students. Life gets me out of bed. The shite gets me out of bed. The meat grinder gets me out of bed.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I love spending time with my family. My two youngest lads (My Bulls) take up all of my extra energy. They demand my time and I oblige. I remember my dad typing away at the kitchen table day-after-day. He didn't stop for me. I do stop for my kids. They want to ride, we get on our bikes and ride. I won't have them remembering me as one who didn't give them the time they deserve.
What is your writing process?
I need to feel and smell ink on paper. I can't draft on a computer. Computers are cold technology, paper and pens are warm. I edit a lot. I must have given the meaning (title of a recently e published novel) 25 complete edits (maybe more). I like to edit. I'm no natural; I have to craft, have to feel words out and work with them.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
There were a couple. Tim Winton's Cloudstreet was simply amazing. Where the Red Fern Grows made me cry (I remember having one of my grade 9 classes read the last chapters in silence and then watching the small quivers of tears erupt). Conrad's Heart of Darkness still amazes me every time I read it (usually two times a year).
Published 2014-03-27.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Sleep, Sparrow, Sleep
Price: Free! Words: 15,160. Language: English. Published: March 27, 2014. Categories: Nonfiction » Health, wellbeing, & medicine » Diseases / Alzheimer’s & dementia, Nonfiction » Relationships and Family » Ethics & morals
Existentialism, Absurdity, Euthanasia--words Ma would never have used while fully functioning, were words she brought to life through her lingering death. This small book is my attempt to honor what was her death and to make some sense of her disease.
The Meaning
Price: $5.99 USD. Words: 102,480. Language: English. Published: December 9, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Coming of age, Fiction » Literature » Plays & Screenplays
A boy grows to be a man: a majestic lake is his childhood home, a small town his surrogate mother, a lonely girl his only true love. An odyssey, an education, a departure, the East, confusion, meaning...fathers and sons, friendship, fidelity, and the face of a woman he cannot shake, all these force him to try to find the meaning.
A Sense of Place
Series: Venables' Poetical Meanderings. Price: Free! Words: 9,710. Language: English. Published: September 23, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Poetry » Themes & motifs
"A Sense of Place" is a collection of short poems inspired by places around the world. The table of contents is arranged alphabetically by countries and cities that inspired the works, but often there is a certain intertextuality at play as a poem about Thailand might hold Canadian content, or a poem about the Dubai sand, recalls a woman’s skin from Bangkok.
A Few Lines on...
Series: Venables' Poetical Meanderings. Price: Free! Words: 5,600. Language: Canadian English. Published: June 11, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Poetry » Contemporary Poetry
A few lines on good love, bad love, music, modernity, loneliness, grey, existence, nature, transportation, words.
Bangkok--Just Under the Skin
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 69,160. Language: English. Published: May 9, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary, Fiction » Urban
Bangkok—Just Under the Skin: the single, expat man and his often-misguided search for love in Bangkok, The City of Angels. These 19 shorts are told from varying perspectives, in multiple genres, and all provide a true insider’s view. There are stories of heartache, heartbreak, true love found, laughter, and friendship. Bangkok is The City of Angels, but it also can be a devilishly lonely place.
Series: Venables' Poetical Meanderings. Price: Free! Words: 7,090. Language: English. Published: February 15, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Poetry » Themes & motifs
Bold is a collection of modern poetry that explores the human condition in its more shadowy forms, but it also offers hope and humor, all in good measure. The language is accessible, the forms are digestible, and the messages are comprehensible. It often takes a look from the outside, in.