Interview with Rod Drought

Who are your favorite authors?
Concerning poets I read Billy Collins, William Butler Yeats, Charles Bukowski and Robert Bly mostly but pick up collections of others frequently. When I was younger I was fascinated with Vonnegut, Bruatigan and still revisit their work but have also enjoyed Victor Hugo, Steinbeck, E. Annie Proulx and many others. I think the author that has had the greatest influence on me would be Jim Harrison both his novels and poems.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Every day has the potential to be different and unique even though they can be also boring and routine. I have set up my life these days where there isn't all that much routine because I had done that before and it was not conducive to creativity. I have family and a great wealth of friends that give my life meaning.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I go out with friends to movies, bars, restaurants, the usual things. I still manage to play softball in the town league although I think father time is telling me I should hang up my glove. I am a member of the band The Lower Crust Orchestra and play once a week in my house. We play out once in awhile for laughs. You can find us on Youtube so check us out!
What is your writing process?
Usually something I observe catches my interest and after ruminating about it for awhile I write a very sketchy first draft, just to get the general concept on paper. After that I might do a couple of more drafts handwritten and then put it down in the laptop. Then it becomes a process of playing with the words, getting rid of a lot of excess, reading it aloud until it sounds decent. I stop the rewrite when I run out of ideas to make it better and then decide if it is worth sending out into the world.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
The first story I ever read which I think I really enjoyed was some biography on Babe Ruth. I loved baseball and still do but I remember reading that book and not wanting to put it down because Ruth was an almost mythical figure come to life. I was a boy who for a long time hated school, would rather be rummaging in the woods or playing any kind of sport rather than reading or math so I think it took Babe Ruth to initially get me into reading!
What do you read for pleasure?
I read a little bit of everything. Novels, poetry, magazines. Most of all I like digging into novels because you can get lost for awhile. Mainstream fiction or classics draw most of my interest.
Describe your desk
I have a sort of base camp desk where the bulk of my material sits but with the advent of the laptop my desk can be somewhat nomadic. Lately I have things stacked on my dinning room table. This time of year the light from the slider is not so intense and I can get some air while I write. My base camp desk doesn't have any nearby windows unfortunately.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in South Salem, New York a little town in Westchester County. It was a beautiful place with woods, ponds, lakes and small mountains to climb, tall trees with vines to swing from. My father had a garden and on our property were apple trees, a grape vine and a quince tree which my mom would make jams and jellies in the fall. I came to appreciate nature, wild life and that crops up time and again in my poetry. I attempt to combine the natural world with human experience. Humanity seems to have for the most part detached from the natural world and we are paying the price for it.
When did you first start writing?
I was in seventh grade. My English teacher wrote on the first story I wrote for his class that I had a good writing style. I was shy, introverted and hated English up until that point. It was a small way to get noticed and feel good about myself. In the second semester my father passed away from cancer and writing also became a way to work through pain and loss because I was not verbally able to express myself for many years.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I have submitted my work on and off for many years to various journals. It is incredibly time consuming and also demoralizing. For a long time I have been writing my poems and then just e-mailing them to my list of poetry readers who are friends and relatives which was gratifying because I had an audience and would also get some good dialogue with them about the poem. People on the list started harassing me to put a book together so I did.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
When I write the rest of the world can fall away. It is a completely absorbing task which is also these days peaceful. When I was young I would become frustrated because I couldn't get to where I wanted to go in a piece but I think now that I am older, maybe slightly wiser, I don't feel the need to push anything. I can back off and revisit anything at anytime. It still is a great way to dump emotion. I can start on a subject shed tears while writing. Tears of joy, of grief or beauty. It can be humbling but also elevating. It still can surprise me.
Published 2015-03-21.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Wake of the Desert Belle
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 12,640. Language: English. Published: November 19, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Poetry » Themes & motifs
Walking the walk of human endeavour, always sharing, always touching our hearts. Never faulting in displaying a capacity to invoke empathy. Rich in emotion, wrapped around the human spirit and all laid bare in the Wake of the Desert Belle.
The Song We Left Behind
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 9,870. Language: English. Published: March 18, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Poetry » Themes & motifs
Rod Drought takes the reader on a travelogue to New England in the winter, a mule ride to the base camp at the Grand Canyon, Puerto Penasco, Mexico as well as stop overs in small towns, airport bars and other roadside attractions searching for the lost connection between humanity and the natural world. His poems are an exploration of our place in the world, the history of the land and its’ people.