Next on the interview schedule is Richard Cody, a poet and master of short, dark and generally cross-genre fiction who is also the author of The Jewel In The Moment, Darker Corners and This Is Not My Heart.
E.S.: First of all, tell us a little about yourself.
R.C.: The basic facts about me are simple. All are true, and yet none describe me:
I’m white, of French descent on my father’s side. A very typical Pisces, for the astrologically minded. 40 something already! Politically, leaning so far to the left that I’ve fallen over and rolled off the chart. Music and books, more than I can ever read or hear, are important to me. I am happily married, for many years now. Though sometimes nearly consumed by cynicism, I do believe in Love. I write poetry and fiction, and have been writing, or drawing, something for most of my life. I take pictures, too, these days! Horror movies and comic books remain a couple of my favorite things. Poetry, too, of course. On certain occasions, I might say that few things are better than a good ghost story. I know there is only one person here. Chocolate chip cookies, fudge Pop-Tarts, and M&Ms are, perhaps, weaknesses. I want to tell you a story.
E.S.: And we're all about stories! Very nice. So tell us about your books, Darker Corners, The Jewel in the Moment and This Is Not My Heart.
R.C.: I’ve been published, off and on, in the small press field for some 20 years now. I’d long considered compiling my work into a book. Staying away from professional publishing houses and eschewing even the suggestion of a vanity press kept any book I’d considered solely in the realm of thought. I realized, with the advent of Print on Demand sites like Lulu.com, that I could publish my books without the interference of editors and without the stigma of the vanity press. So, I like to say that my three current books are the results of the “Print on Demand Revolution”! The books themselves are composed of older and newer material.
The Jewel in the Moment is a modest collection of 80 or so of my best experiments with the Haiku and Tanka forms. I refer to my efforts with this Japanese form as Haikuish, since it is my belief that any Haiku not written in Japanese is, strictly speaking, not Haiku.
Darker Corners, my second book, is a collection of stories I consider dark fiction as opposed to horror; funnily enough, though, I think the stories tend to alter, transcend and transmute such genre definitions! I believe on the back cover of the book, I refer to the stories as “strange”, and that’s as good a description as any.
This is Not My Heart, my third book, is a collection of poetry. I can only say about this book that those who enjoy modern poetry in its many forms, and those who think they don’t like poetry, will enjoy this collection of poems, which span a number of years in my life and a number of styles!
E.S.: I see. Where do you think the future of the written word is going?
R.C.: That could be a tricky question. And one with many answers. Certainly the written word will evolve, or devolve as some might say, along with e-mail and texting technologies. I mentioned the “Print on Demand Revolution” above, and that is a term I use seriously. The Print on Demand model of publishing is changing the publishing landscape right now. Of course, certain crafty, literate people will always enjoy making books. And that’s good because the technologies of the present, and the social structures which support them, may well not make it into the future. In any case, wherever there are people there will be stories. I can tell you that.
E.S.: What advice do you have for other writers, especially those who are just getting started?
R.C.: I don’t think I have any advice that hasn’t already been given to aspiring writers to the point of cliché. Nonetheless, the advice I have to offer is true. First, write it down. Everything. Anything. Write it down. Also, read - this may be a given as I believe that all writers are readers, but it should be said that writing and reading go very much hand in hand. And, for the sake of your deity of choice, don’t try to imitate other writers. Find your voice and say what you mean.
E.S.: Where can our readers find more of your work?
R.C.: My work is scattered across the web in various virtual journals, ‘zines, and literary sites. Also throughout various print publications in the 80’s, 90s and now! My books, mentioned above, are easily available at Lulu and Amazon, urls below:
You may also join me at my Facebook page, Richard Cody – Poetry and Fiction. Here’s the url:
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