1. What am I working on?
After a quiet spell, business as my good friend Jeff Dawson (aka Jeffarama!) says business is definitely picking up.
At the moment, I finished off recently and have just published a split book ‘Europa’ with Oldham based writer, Nick Armbrister who covers the effect war has on the ordinary man. My interest in this kind of war poetry came a few years during the writing of my last split book ‘A means to an End’ when I found out some information about a uncle of mine ‘Percy’ who was killed in the second world war, and in 2013 after watching a film with my good lady, Cathy called ‘An film unfinished’ which talked about the death camps during the second world war, my interest grew slowly on it and after talking to Nick about it at the open mike night I co run ‘Guitar and Verse’ (which is temporary on hold), it became apparent we both had similar interests and over the period of around 9 months, the structure of this book took hold.
Otherwise, straight after that, I am now writing ‘Ghost Story’, a internet based poetic story kind of thriller told over 30 days in the style of Napwrimo, where you have to write a poem a day over 30 days. I managed it for the last two years as a bit of fun to produce good drafts, but this year decided to take it further and attempt to do something I’d always want to do – write a long narrative split into short poems and invite other people to introduce their own chapters into it or provide their own ghost stories.
After that – I may well probably sleep, but my second full length book ‘The End of Summer’ is bubbling along slowly (hopeful for 2015 or 2016) and I have a sequence called ‘Mystery Stories’ is forthcoming from Orgami Press maybe for May or June and me and a young writer called P.R. Mcdowell are onto the third part of a play, and maybe if time some gigs for my band ‘A Means to an End’ at a few festivals.
2. How does my work differ from others in its genre?
Several ways I guess, possibly for the variety of the work I produce and the way I always strive to move in constant new directions.
When I first entered the poetry world be it for a better word in 2007 / 2008, all I wanted to do was write comedy and make people smile. As this developed into 2009 and 2010, I started slipping in more serious stuff, and by the time I got into 2011 when my spoken word band ‘A Means to an End’ were really rocking – it was generally more serious stuff, focusing on history in my local area and then currently ghost stories which then eventually to what I am writing now.
3. Why do I write what I do?
A lot of it has developed naturally I guess over the years from when I started very humble like when I was 10 or 11 (I still have those pieces too – they are terrible but I remember them well) into my late 20’s when I went to university (which didn’t do much favours at the time) where I tried to write two novels, but struggled because of dyspraxia which doesn’t really affect me with poetry and a play or two (Still working on this slowly) but writing poetry and to a degree songs is like fitting my hands into gloves – it’s a perfect fit.
4. How does my writing process work?
Usually when I am travelling if I am honest. Because I have never driven, when I am going to and from work more often than not if you see me on the bus or train, I often will be jamming around with some words in some form or the other and the ambience – listening to people always kinds of inspires me.
I rarely plan if I am honest. For example, ‘Europa’ was never really planned – it just came naturally over 9 months more often that not with the stories still buzzing in my head from books / films / radio programmes all buzzing in my head all the way to and from work.
‘Ghost Story’ is more of a challenge like trying to write a novel with only a thin guideline to follow over a series of poems, which does need planning out so it covers the full of April but that’s what I like about writing – the very fact that I keep wanting to explore other topics / other ways. In the future, for example I would love to write a children’s poetry book which is a totally different language and write a book about my hometown, Stretford. Without these challenges, I would probably pack it in and do something else.
‘Europa’ can be bought from http://www.lulu.com/shop/andy-n-and-nick-armbrister/europa-in-the-dark-valley-between-the-world-wars/paperback/product-21540773.html
‘Ghost Story’ can be read daily at http://napowrimo2014.blogspot.co.uk/
Mystery Stories will be available from Origami press in May or June at http://www.origamipoems.com/
My official website is http://www.andyn.org.uk
Next Poets to take us through their writing journeys will be Jeffarama!, P.R. McDowell and Nick Armbrister