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!