Stand Together Author Interview – Andrew P. Weston

Author name:

Andrew P. Weston

How did you become involved with this project?
I saw the project advertised on social media, and decided to offer a poem or two to help out.

Tell us a little about your work in this book?

I have two poems in the book: The Science of Communication, and Lodestone.

The Science of Communication highlights how volatile the world we live in is. Every day, we see tragedy after tragedy, many of them instigated by bigots who act without thought or consideration of consequence. It also stresses that change will never come, not until society as a whole adopts a different mindset and a willingness to see the good in others; instead of the colour of a person’s skin or the dialect they speak.

Lodestone addresses a similar theme, but this time from the perspective of the damage social media can inflict, especially when the moral compass of the world is set to ‘fit in’ and be popular, instead of doing and saying what’s right. As before, it highlights the need for change, before hatred runs rampant, like an out of control virus.

Please tell us about your other publications/work.

My poetry has appeared in the likes of Muse Pie Press, The Screech Owl, Penny Ante Feud, The Fib Review and The Shot Glass Journal . . . to name a few.

Do you think the written word (or art) brings power and freedom?

It certainly has the power to. Edward Bulwer-Lytton wasn’t kidding when he coined the infamous phrase in one of his plays:

“…Beneath the rule of men entirely great
The pen is mightier than the sword.”

The written word is a far more effective tool for communicating than mindless – or premeditated, come to that – acts of violence. And rightly so, for the power of words is eternal and can stand the test of time. I often recall certain passages or stories I’ve read, years – sometimes decades – ago. Something that moved me. Inspired me. Got me thinking. Its value can be just as precious now as it was when I read it. Now that’s power. And many have used such power, down through the centuries, to bring about change for the better.

If you could have dinner with any literary character or author who would you choose, and what would you eat.

That would be Edgar Allan Poe, a man whose mind – and imagination – worked on an entirely different level from those around him. And of course, the meal would centre around his works:
Starters would be Hop-Frog Legs washed down with Ligeia wine.
The main course would be built of a choice of The Purloined Steak Letter and Pit and the Pendulum Pie.
And for dessert, we’d round off with Tamerlane Tiramisu, complimented by his favourite cognac.

How influential is storytelling/poetry to our culture?

I don’t think storytelling or poetry will ever lose their influence, no matter how ‘instant meme fix’ society becomes. Stories have adapted to meet the modern ‘rushed off our feet’ culture by becoming shorter. Many publishers now want submissions which are half the length – or less – of what they used to be.

Poetry doesn’t have to do that. I’m not talking about ‘epic prose’ here, but those cleverly crafted shorter poems that can tell an entire story in just a few verses, or even lines. It’s just a question of adapting to need, and keeping what you produce current and popular.

If you could be any fantasy/mythical or legendary person/creature what would you be and why?

I’ve always wanted to be the Silver Surfer. I can’t imagine anything more profound than surfing the cosmos, and experiencing the majesty of the universe firsthand, up close and personal, for all eternity.

Which authors/books have influenced you the most?

That’s easy. Stephen R. Donaldson, Raymond E. Feist and Neil Gaiman. I’ve loved the sheer inventiveness of their stories for decades, and always will.

What’s your next writing adventure?

Believe it or not, I’m branching into horror. And so far, I’m rather enjoying it.

What is your greatest success?

Becoming an expert nuisance. It took years of dedication and application, but at last, I’ve done it! According to my wife, that is. . .

What’s your favourite quote, who said it and why?

That will always depend on my mood, as there are several I really like.
However, the one that has a definite edge is:

“Of all things, I liked books best.” ― Nikola Tesla.

As to why?

It sums me up perfectly. I could read before I went to school. I prefer books to films, video games and a lot of other pastimes. I always have my head in a book, even now, when I’m busy, busy, busy, writing.

Tell us a silly fact about yourself?

I love marmite! It is, without doubt, an exceedingly nomilicious food product that compliments just about anything.

What did you want to be when you ‘grew up’?
An astronaut. Something I began to actively pursue when I was younger –  (educationally and vocationally) – and then life got in the way. Bummer!

Into the Shattered Mirror – New Release #Poetry

Into the Shattered Mirror (Large Print Edition)

A dark poetry duology: war, politics, life, loss, nature and the vagaries of life feature in this special two-book collection.
Featuring – Shattered Mirror – A poetry collection & Beyond the Shattered Mirror

Only available on Amazon

Dirty Dozen Author Interview – A. L. Butcher – Remembering Warriors Bundle

Author Name: A. L. Butcher

Remembering Warriors is a commemorative Bundle – Why is it important to you to support these causes? My father fought in Aden (now Yemen) and was wounded in action – losing most of the sight in one eye. Friends of his did not come home from that conflict. Soldiers around the world – both past and present have given so much to secure liberty and the freedoms most of us take for granted. This is forgotten, often. The Armed Forces don’t just fight – they support, they save and they do what many of us can’t even comprehend.  War is started by politicians, well away from the front lines, but it is fought by men and women who face death or disablement every day, often for a cause they don’t understand.

My mother served in Princess Alexandra’s nursing corps.

The Royal British Legion supports service personnel and their families in a variety of ways. My father lives in a British Legion care home and is well supported by them.

Do you have anyone you remember who was wounded or fought in war (either past or present)? My father, obviously but also my grandmother’s brother William who died in 1916 in the Somme. We only found out what happened to him about 20 or so years ago.

Please tell us about your publications. I have a dark fantasy series – The Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles. Currently, there are three books but I am working on book IV. You can check the blog for details.

My companion series of short stories set in the same world are the Tales of Erana – currently two novellas, and a short story collection.

In the Remembering Warriors Bundle I have Outside the Walls –  a fantasy/historical fiction short written with Diana L. Wicker. It has just won a reader award!

Outside the Walls by Diana L Wicker

Are you a ‘pantser’ or a ‘plotter’? Panster! Definitely! I don’t stick to plots – the stories go where they are going to – or not.

If you could have dinner with any literary character who would you choose, and what would you eat? I’d throw a dinner party for The Count of Monte Cristo, The Phantom of the Opera, Tempus, and the Discworld’s Death. I’d say bring one course of your choice. They’d definitely be cake.

What are your views on authors commenting on reviews? Don’t. Really don’t.

What’s the best advice you’ve received about writing/publishing? Write what you want to read. Don’t worry about what is popular now – it might not be popular next week. If you write a story you yourself want to read then the chances are other people will want to read it too.

What’s the worst piece of advice you’ve received about writing/publishing? There’s a lot of it about! Worst advice – No one reads self-published books. That simply isn’t the case. For a start, I read them, and I know many others who do now.  It is true that there are some bad quality and poorly written SP books but the same can be said of traditionally published books. I have read plenty of them! Attitudes are changing, fortunately. Of course, there needs to be quality, well-written work but many authors use professional editors, great cover artist and produce professional books.

If you could be any fantasy/mythical or legendary person/creature what would you be and why? I’m going to be predictable and say a dragon. I mean who wouldn’t want to be a flying firebreather that’s practically unkillable?

Other than that probably Circe from Greek myth

What is the last book you’ve read? Star Trek the New Voyages 2. Yeah, yeah I am a nerd.

Is this the age of the e-book? Are bricks and mortar bookshops in decline? Yes. Books are far more accessible now than ever before. E-books tend to be cheaper, take up much less room and can be bought in a bigger range of locations. I haven’t been in an actual bookshop for ages, although I do love wandering around them. On the other hand, I know plenty of people who much prefer reading printed books and abhor e-books. For me it is far easier to order online and have the e-book, or the paperback sent to me than to get into the centre of the city to go to Waterstones. I have a disability and travelling is stressful, and difficult. Why would I do that when I can just order online? That said I will visit a bookshop if I am out and about.

There is something a bit more tangible about a printed book, I supposed. It all depends whether one sees a book as the physical object where the words live, or the words themselves.

How important is writing to you? I find it a great release. I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t making up stories, so storytelling has been part of my life for a long time. I’m creative, and imaginative, all those stories and people would probably drive me out of my mind if I didn’t let them play. Creativity – be it music, art, literature, architecture, etc. is what makes us human. And free. To make something from nothing is supreme freedom.

Bio

British-born Alexandra Butcher (a/k/a A. L. Butcher) is an avid reader and creator of worlds, a poet, and a dreamer, a lover of science, natural history, history, and monkeys. Her prose has been described as ‘dark and gritty’ and her poetry as evocative. She writes with a sure and sometimes erotic sensibility of things that might have been, never were, but could be.

Alex is the author of the Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles and the Tales of Erana lyrical fantasy series. She also has several short stories in the fantasy, fantasy romance genres with occasional forays into gothic style horror. With a background in politics, classical studies, ancient history and myth, her affinities bring an eclectic and unique flavour in her work, mixing reality and dream in alchemical proportions that bring her characters and worlds to life.

Social Media links
Amazon author page
Facebook author page
Twitter
Goodreads
Blog

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Remembering Warriors Bundle

In commemoration of the World War One Centenary

One hundred years ago, in 1918, the Great War ended after four terrible years. Never had the world seen such a conflict. All touched by its scythe hoped we would never be thusly reaped again. Their hopes were but desperate dreams. Since that first armistice, there have been many more battles, and thousands have given their lives or their health to preserve freedom and escape from tyranny.

A hundred years after the first armistice we still remember and honour those brave souls. But still, the soldiers fall, for the War to End All Wars did not.

Bundle Rabbit https://bundlerabbit.com/b/remembering-warriors

Kobo http://bit.ly/2k26wGv

Amazon.com http://amzn.to/2BGnSQB

Amazon UK http://amzn.to/2AdOEmT

Barnes and Noble http://bit.ly/2zWnKMt

I books http://apple.co/2BFldqf

Book #1:

Comrades in Arms by Kevin J Anderson https://bundlerabbit.com/products/detail/comrades-arms

 

Book #2:

Outside the Walls by A.L. Butcher and Diana L. Wicker https://bundlerabbit.com/products/detail/outside-walls

 

Book #3:

Norman Blood by Barbara G. Tarn https://bundlerabbit.com/products/detail/norman-blood

 

Book #4:

The Rise of a Warrior by Harvey Stanbrough https://bundlerabbit.com/products/detail/rise-warrior

 

Book #5:

Total War by Russ Crossley https://bundlerabbit.com/products/detail/total-war

 

Book #6:

Resonant Bronze by J.M, Ney-Grimm https://bundlerabbit.com/products/detail/resonant-bronze

 

Book #7:

Siren by Blaze Ward https://bundlerabbit.com/products/detail/siren

 

Book #8:

The Museum of Modern Warfare by Kristine Kathryn Rusch https://bundlerabbit.com/products/detail/museum-modern-warfare

 

Book #9:

Nothing for Nothing by Harvey Stanbrough https://bundlerabbit.com/products/detail/nothing-for-nothing

 

Book #10:

The Rescue by Blaze Ward https://bundlerabbit.com/products/detail/nothing-for-nothing

 

Book #11:

Soldier, Storyteller by Linda Maye Adams https://bundlerabbit.com/products/detail/soldier-storyteller

 

Book #12:

Heroes of Old by Russ Crossley https://bundlerabbit.com/products/detail/heroes-old

 

Book #13:

With a Broken Sword by Stefon Mears https://bundlerabbit.com/products/detail/with-broken-sword

 

10% of the royalties from the Remembering Warriors bundle will go to the http://www.britishlegion.org.uk/ plus another 10% to https://www.helpforheroes.org.uk/ two charities that support wounded and ex-service personnel and their families, in commemoration of the World War I centenary.

 

Shattered Mirror: A Poetry Collection – New Release!

I’ve diverged a little from fantasy for my latest release. Shattered Mirror is a collection dark poems covering themes such as war, politics, nature, fantasy, and the vagaries of life.  These have been written over a good number of years and some do feature in other anthologies but, for the most part, they have not been published together before.

Poetry, I think, is one of the deepest and most personal mediums, and often shows a good deal about the writer. For me, it helps me deal with the darkness and idiocy of the world in general, a way of trying to make order of the chaos you might say. Poetry tends to be a marmite genre – either you love it or hate it. I wonder why that is. Perhaps poetry is akin to music – something which resonates in our souls (or not). The epic storytellers of old, the bards and the minstrels used it to recount the great deeds, and the soldier poets of the First World War told used it to recount the great dead.

One of the favourite books from my childhood was an old book of poetry, which my father would read to me. Kipling, Masefield, Wilfred Owen, and so many more. Inspiration from history, from soul and heart were they as I heard those words, then later, read them for myself.

Anyway I digress!  Currently the book is only on Amazon but will find it’s way to the other stores shortly.

Shattered Mirror: A Poetry Collection

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01IL6L8FK

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01IL6L8FK

(cover art image via fotolia (c)Bonezboyz)

Shattered Mirror1

D-Day – remembered

I don’t often post my poetry up but having spent the weekend with some military veterans I’ve been reminded of the sacrifice many paid, and still pay so that I may live in a country which is free.  Both my parents served in the military, and my father was wounded in action and still carries the scars (physical and otherwise). Admittedly this was not from the WWII but there are few lives in Europe that weren’t touched in some manner by that war.  The Normandy Landings were a masterstroke of planning and strategy but it’s hard to imagine, at least for most of us, what went in then and the price paid on those beaches.

There were nearly 20000 casualties (from both sides), including very many dead. Many argue this was the turning point of World War II.

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2014/06/06/d-day-landing-sites-pictures_n_5458026.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Normandy_landings

Originally written in 2004 for the 60th anniversary of D-Day – it’s now 12 years on and still rings true.  To those who fell, and those who survived – this is for you.

 

 

D-Day Remembered

They stand abreast, so proud, so sombre.

Old men now, some blind, some lame,

Upon chests of valour medals gleam.

 

They reflect upon the past,

Comrades buried beneath the serenity.

They ran on that day, they fell. They died. For our future.

 

They charged into the mouth of hell,

Upon that summer day.

Numbers dwindling then as now.

 

Men of such honour,

Heroes of our time.

All time.

Then, now and forever.

(c) A.L Butcher, 2004, 2016.