Today’s interview is with Dirk D. Griffin, author of War and Pieces.
Please see below.
1) What is your author name and in what state do you live (or country if not in the US)?
I use my legal name on my work: Dirk D Griffin. I live in New Albany, Indiana which is, in many ways, a suburb of Louisville, Kentucky (just across the Ohio River).
2) What is the title of your newest book and what is the genre?
My newest work is a collection of poems titled “War & Pieces.”
3) What is the book about?
I’ll quote from the back jacket as it very succinctly gives the overall impression:
“Travel through lives touched by the every day sacred and profane. Be transported into the pain, hope, loss, gain and transcendence as you go.”
Poetry is mostly about journeys, and my collection is very much laid out like one.
4) Where did you come up with the idea?
I rather spontaneously write poetry, but I tend to be in a certain frame of mind when I do. I often will have a spark and from there it is a matter of shaping that thought until I have a complete idea. The collection was a series of poems that, with the help of my editor, Marian Allen – of Per Bastet Publishers, helped me shape the book into a coherent whole. As I was searching my creative mind, I stumbled on the title, which also helped in selecting sections and order of placement. It was very much a jigsaw puzzle without a picture of the what it should look like when done. As the picture took shape, it became easier and easier to determine what the final form should be.
5) How long did it take you to write it?
Well, the poems are a selection of what I consider my best work over the last decade of writing. I am, at best a slow writer, and poetry is especially difficult to nail down. While a majority of the work I pulled from was whole, it definitely benefited from the editorial process. So, from poem selection to final book was probably about 6-8 months of slow formation and editing.
6) Did you learn anything from the project?
I believe so. I am now tackling long form work in a novel, and while I’ve also done short stories (which are available in several different volumes of Southern Indiana Writers [SIW] collections). Those short stories may be collected into a single volume sometime in the future.
7) Do you have an author website and/or blog? How about a book video?
Per Bastet helped me set up a writer’s page on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Dirk-D-Griffin/e/B081VV66H1/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1 and a blog may show up there this year, though I’m not sure what form it will take.
8) Do you have any success tips to pass on to fellow authors? How about any great editors/cover artists? T. Lee Harris did the cover for War & Pieces as well as many of the SIW collections and the work is top notch. I also found Ms. Allen a truly great editor and easy to work with. Both Allen and Harris are authors who have an encouraging attitude and a fantastic eye for text.
9) What genres do you like to read? Are you open to reading new authors and reviewing their work?
Well, I like history and biography, and am quite partial to SF and Fantasy. I cut my reading teeth on Edgar Rice Burroughs, Ray Bradbury, Issac Asimov, and James Blish (in the form of Star Trek collections). As of late, I’ve been trying to get to some classics like Les Miserable, Jude the Obscure, Don Quixote, and such. But I’ve also been reading some obscure things like The Little Book of Stoicism, How to be a Hermit, The Seventeen Solutions, and The Search for Cosmic Justice. I’m sort of all over the place and am always up for a new reading experience.
10) What is your favorite book of all time and why?
It is a lot like asking my favorite restaurant; it often depends on mood. It usually comes down to a few books: Dandelion Wine by Bradbury, Watership Down by Adams, or American Gods by Gaiman.
11) Fun Question: Do you have any pets? If so, what kind?
Currently, I am sans pet, but do love them dearly. I have reached a point where losing them is so painful, that I can no longer take the loss. My housemates though have two dogs that are, by extension, in my care as well. A beautiful, sweet, Husky named Isis, and Mr. Quin, a feisty, little Shih Tzu who is quite a wacky little guy.
12) Fun Question 2: Do you own an electronic reading device? If so, what kind and how do you like it?
I currently have a Kindle Paperwhite and really love it. I have always read about three books at a time – I’m ADD and I’m a slow reader. I am encouraged by the completed percentage tally. My Kindle makes it very easy to keep my shifting between books. I haven’t tried anything else other than reading on my laptop or computer using the Kindle app, so I can’t make comparisons.
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