Today we have a guest speaker. Bob J Zehmer. As many of you know, we’ve been focusing on The New Year and preparing ourselves for the New Year in a literary way. Bob will be speaking about Enhancing your writing in the New Year.
Here’s a little about Bob as an author: “The first book was called Gist & Zest and it is a poem based on an inquiry of our societies (after travelling around the world) The second book is Blue Opera Rock, a novel recently out that deals with the power of rock and roll music to gather people and render a sense of awareness and freedom by exploring various issues: economy, political situation, terrorism, organised crime and some more trouble our world is trapped in.” Read his interview below:
Dominique Watson (DW): Thank you so much for contributing to The POV Lounge. Tell us what type of writer you are. What genre do you write?
Bob Zehmer (BZ): First of all let me tell you it’s a honor to me to be your guest at The POV Lounge. I think it’s a good and a powerful mean to diffuse culture and make writers known.
I started writing in my early teens, some poems and brief tales were my favorite subjects. My love for writing got born from the passion my mom was able to convey on me about literature and theater and because I began as a young boy to listen to rock and roll music. I was astonished by the energy you could get from those lyrics, especially those that would draw fairy-like scapes. Then I grew up and I fell in love with the French Symbolism Movement and my way to write commenced to give hints of it. Of course I knew and loved the Classics and – how could I have missed him – the Great William Shakespeare. Again I’d dare mention Arthur Rimbaud, P. B. Shelley, William Wordsworth, Oscar Wilde, Paul Èluard, Garcia Lorca, José de Espronceda and many others. Coming to our own days I love the late lamented Frank McCourt, for his freshness, his sincerity and profound humanity and the wild lizard king James Douglas Morrison, as a matter of fact he was a refined poet before he was a Rockstar. Well, paradoxically, I like to read thrillers but I am not particularly inclined to write that genre, I’d rather speak of social questions, ethics, encroachment, equality and freedom than fancy thrilling stories, even if I outlined, and maybe more than only outlined, some gripping crime history in the narration of my latest novel. Of course how could I have failed to write about rock and roll? That’s why my recent book is called Blue Opera Rock and, so as not to talk at cross purposes, it is a little bit of all I’ve just said.
DW: What advice would you have for a writer looking to get into your genre of writing?
BZ: I don’t even know what genre should be catalogued my sort of writing, I see some sellers locate my book in the contemporary fiction section, others in the political fiction and so on, even thriller as far as I could notice. Well I express literature, trying to do my best and speaking of all the good and bad I perceive in this world, no matter whether I use an immediate language or symbols or what else. What do I say to other writers that may love this genre? Well, everybody that wants to be called a writer should care about what happens before their eyes; environment is my home, so how on earth could I be careless when someone attempts to its wellbeing? Again, organized crime is against humankind, I dare not say it recks me not. To live estranged is a kind of crime a writer cannot afford.
DW: How do you incorporate writing into your daily life? Or are you a fulltime writer?
BZ: Well, I’d like to be a fulltime writer but I can’t. Anyway, I am a lucky man since my job allows me to stay in touch with phenomena like economy, law, sociology, history and more cultural resources that undoubtedly help you keep your alert status on and your mind trained, not to mention that I use to travel frequently. So, I get my subjects and characters from that breeding ground our churning societies are today. That’s why I’m always jotting down as I happen to get the chance.
DW: What are some tips that you can tell a writer to help them do a better job at their craft in 2010?
BZ: Look, we are living is such an epoch making change that the air is quite filled with hints and signs that you are not going to risk to go clueless. Climate change, economy change, wars and insurrections the world over, energy crisis, human rights infringement, rogue states, criminal associations of white collars and brutal gangsters, famine, children and women that are being vexed up to now and minorities that are being mistreated. None of us can say we’re hard pressed for subjects.
DW: What are your personal goals in enhancing your writing career in 2010?
BZ: One of the most important points it’s to reach the greatest number of people you can. Sure, the Internet is a good mean to get this fixed. But I don’t think I have to involve people to get them reading my books because I am such a guru they have to listen to. I’m far more interested into getting in touch with people so as to compare ideas and learn much more than I know by the time being. Improving your writing career should be like getting better your culture, having a chance to gain knowledge of different ways to think and live, being able to express your humanity to meet the other’s humanity. We have to redraw the borders of freedom in this world of abuse and I hope I would be able to contribute to it with my next novel.
DW: You are a published author. What do you plan to do differently to market your book in 2010?
BZ: My previous book was a poem and I knew from the start that writing poems doesn’t let you be sitting pretty, but I was far more eager to get published so as to see my verses printed and I didn’t care to push the business side. Now this book is a novel and I place confidence in it, because I recognize that if you want to keep writing you need to have some followers. So, unless you are a big shot, someone that makes publishers want to invest a lot of money to echo your work, you must be prepared to a lengthy process; now question is how to cut through endless, say, redtape? Well, increasing your presence in the web could be a viable walk to reach your goal. You may find my books in some bookstores but if they don’t take place in the eminent positions how come you get in and ask for buying one of them? To cut a long story short, the Internet is a valid new media to get yourself known by many people, then, let’s take advantage of it.
DW: Looking at the past year, how will 2010 be different for you on a literary aspect?
BZ: Well, what to say? I started another book, but I don’t want to speak about it seeing the huge job I have to do to make myself known at this very moment. I’ve said it, I don’t care to write a blockbuster, I am engaged into refining my art of writing, my aptitude of understanding and my audacity at picking the change. My best wishes for a Happy New Year 2010 to everybody and specially to emerging authors so that may find their own way.
Thanks Bob for stopping in to The POV Lounge. I hope that you all are making changes for the New Year!
Before we end today’s blog…
Be a guest speaker on the POV Lounge: http://thepovlounge.wordpress.com/be-a-guest-speaker/