Author Morwenna Blackwood avers she doesn’t recall ever starting to write. ‘It’s just something I have always done,’ she begins, speaking to the Literary Express in an exclusive interaction. She goes on to state matter-of-factly that the first proper story she wrote was about a frog. ‘And that was when I was six years old,’ she tells us with a smile.
Talking about her only published book Unicorns Are Really Vampires, the thirty-seven-year-old, who holds a degree in veterinary nursing besides an MA in literature, says she decided to self-publish because she likes making all the decisions for her book on her own. She wrote Unicorns Are Really Vampires, a YA adventure/fantasy novel, so that her daughter could read and enjoy it and that it could be part of a series as well. ‘It actually started as a NANOWRIMO project in 2018 and just took off from there,’ she lets on, adding that her second novel is a YA novel too and the sequel to her first. ‘And my latest project is book three, which will be the end of the series, at least for now,’ she states with a smile.
The writer, who is also well-versed in Hindi and Punjabi, avers that she is grateful to the fans she has as followers on Twitter. ‘I’d thought Twitter was a boring app filled with rude people, but after having discovered the writing community, I have learnt very many useful things about writing and publishing. Beyond a shadow of a doubt, rude people continue to exist, but I have now learnt how to use Twitter in a way that uplifts me,’ she says with a smile.
Indie author Simran Munot is on cloud nine, for her first-ever solo book entitled ‘Cordially Yours’ is now published. Not only is the book receiving rave reviews from various quarters but is also challenging the beliefs of the twenty-two-year-young Mumbai-based writer, who had initially thought that books on letters don’t do well. Speaking to the Literary Express in an exclusive interaction, Simran, who has previously co-written two poetry books, says the plan to pen down her thoughts and come up with Cordially Yours came long ago, only she wasn’t that confident enough. ‘Cordially Yours is basically a collection of heartfelt open letters. I have seen and read various poetry books, different kinds of novels, and novella but hardly one or two books on letters. A book full of letters is rare and definitely a recent concept. So, I was very sceptical about publishing it,’ she shares.
What you must understand is that poetry is not simply expressing oneself – not for me. That would seem more suited to an essay. Rather, poetry is a way of being and of seeing as if it were another sense in the way of taste or touch. And with this sense, it becomes a way of relating to life at its smallest as well as its largest. For the poet, it is every day and everywhere. It is who and how you are. Poetry is, at its fullest, a relationship. And the words are the bi-product of that relationship, that way of being. They are the conversations that you, the reader, are allowed to overhear – but they are not in and of themselves the whole thing. Birds stroke distance through the air, spiders build webs, and in the same way, poets write. The significant fact, though, is that what they write; poems are not about, they are not faint reflections, but rather, poems are, are the thing itself – as is the distance, as is the web.
It was not until author-entrepreneur Christian Warren Freed was deployed to Afghanistan in 2002 that he wrote his debut novel Hammers in the Wind. Speaking to the Literary Express in an exclusive interaction, the fifty-year-old former soldier, who has been to war three times, says that he always wanted to do two things in life: join the army and become an author. Having written over twenty-five science fiction and military fantasy novels, combat memoirs, a pair of how-to books, a children’s book, and several short stories, Mr Freed lets us know that his latest series is a cross amongst Star Wars, Dune, and The Malazan Book of the Fallen. ‘Under Tattered Banners is book five of the Forgotten Gods Tales. It follows the heroes and villains in a universe of seven hundred worlds as they vie for control of it all,’ he tells us.