Interview – J.M. Preston, author of The Great Poem Book
Self-Publisher’s Showcase: Today we are joined by J.M. Preston, author of The Great Poem Book. Welcome to the Showcase Lounge, J.M.Preston
J.M. Preston: Hi, Thank You for Having Me It’s Quite an Honour to Be Here Today!
SPS: For any of our readers that haven’t come across your work previously, can you take a moment to tell us all a little about yourself?
JMP: My Name Is John Preston and I’m An Australian Poet. I’ve Been Writing for the Past 17 Years My Style… Free Verses Poetry. I Have Been Married For Nine Years and Have A 7 Year Old Son. Writing Isn’t Only a Passion for me but it’s Also A Lifetime Journey Which Has Walked Me down Many Roads.
SPS: What are your perfect writing conditions, and how often do you write?
JMP: Well… There Are No ‘Perfect’ Writing Conditions For Me. When The Inspiration Hits My Heart And Mind The Poems Take Their Formation. I Do Write At Least 3 or maybe 4 Poems a week, depends On How My Week Is Panning Out and What Inspirations Come to Me during That Week.
SPS: Can you put your finger on the moment where you decided that you wanted to publish your work?
JMP: When I Was In My Last Year Of High School, I Took To Poetry Recitals. People Who Listened To Them Had Encouraged Me To Write My Own Material But There Was One Problem; I Hadn’t Discovered My Ability. And While Reading another Famous Book of Poetry I Had To Stop Reading Their work In Order to Develop My Own Ability. After This Happened I Started Writing More And More And From This Point I Knew That I Wanted To Publish A Book.
SPS: Why do you think it is that you have found yourself writing in the style/genres that you do?
JMP: Poetry is The Inner Expression of Ones Feelings, Thoughts and Emotions Which Are Felt in a Strong Way. Poetry Had Grabbed Me By The Heart Strings From A Young Age. Someone Once Said To Me And I Quote ‘ You Can’t Be A Slave To Two Masters, Find What It Is You’re Good At And Run With It’ End Quote. After Failing Attempts To Write Novels, The Poetry Had Proven To Be My Genre.
SPS: Can you take a moment to tell us all about The Great Poem Book?
JMP: I’m Glad You Asked (Laughs) Yes The Great Poem Book… Boy Oh Boy! This Book Took Me So Long To Write, When I First Started Writing I Had Reached The Point Where I Had Been Writing For Two Or Three Years And Hadn’t Even Realized The Wealth Of Material Which I Had Collected. I Started Out The Book Was Hand Writing On Lined A4 Sheets Of Paper, We Actually Went Through 5 Or 6 Type Writers Trying To Make A Book. By The Time I Had Reached My 5th Or 6th Year of Writing I Was Giving up and Destroying My Work Because I Didn’t Think It Would Be Possible for me to make A Book. The Book Had Three Titles Originally. They Were
Take a Look into the Bush- Original Title
The Great Poem Book.
In a Nut Shell the Great Poem Book Is Based On My Own Personal Life Struggles But Its Written In A Way Where Anyone Can Relate To It And Draw Strength And Inspiration For Themselves.
SPS: You describe your style as ‘refreshingly non-conformist’. How so?
JMP: A nonconformist is a totally honest and transparent person who says what they think, does what they want in a refreshing way
SPS: Where did your draw inspiration from for your work?
JMP: Life, Struggles, Hardship Etc.
SPS: Do you have a favourite poem in the collection, and can you share it with us?
JMP: My Favourite Poem Is Nobody’s Child, It Goes like This.
I’m standing here down an empty street so
Lonely and Bare where the ends meet perfectly.
Somehow it doesn’t quite come to suit me. I see a Couple of
Street rats hiding in the corner digging
Through the trash. Because of you I’m living in scrap.
The letter of a street kid, I’m nobody’s child.
Thrown out of your lovely world, I hope you
Enjoy it; though just remember I’m here in the
Cold. If I were to get sick who would be here to
Care for me? No one! The letter of a street kid,
I’m Nobody’s child and never will be.
A sheet of paper for a blanket and cardboard box
For a pillow, it’s a long time since I saw you and forever
Will be as I write this final verse to the
Letter of a street kid, I used to be your child.
This Poem Is Most Peoples Favourite Poem in the Whole Book So We have Learnt.
SPS: Is there an underlying theme to the collection, or is an eclectic mix of topics?
JMP: The Book Has Many Topics Which Range from Life’s Struggles to Love And Succeeding In Life.
SPS: Do you see a ‘Part 2’ to the collection in the future?
JMP: No, My Next Book of Verses Is Called Born To Write Which Is Almost Due For Editing
SPS: How did the cover to the collection come about?
JMP: When the Book Was Running Under Remnant Verses We Wanted a Meaningful Cover Which Reflected The Title Of The Book And After Problem With Our First Cover And Title I Went Back To The Drawing Board To Reinvent The Book, Which Included: A New Cover, Title And New Poems.
SPS: What kind of responses have you received from people who have read your work?
JMP: A lot Of People Who Have Read the Book have Loved It, I Have Had A Lot Of Great Feedback.
SPS: What’s next on the self-publishing horizon for J.M. Preston?
JMP: As I Mentioned Before, My Second Book Born To Write Is In Production As We Speak.
SPS: Was the Self-Published/Indie-Published route always your preferred route for your work?
JMP: Well… Ideally it’s The Harder Way of Doing It, But as Mainstream Publishing Houses Refuse to Look at New Poets You Have No Other Choice.
SPS: Has the experience so far been all that you thought it would be?
JMP: Yes and No, Yes I Have Found Even More Possible In the Last 5 or 6 Years with Online Self-Publishing Companies like CreateSpace but On The Other Hand It Has Been A lot Of Hard Work Even with the Marketing You Really Have to Use every Ace Possible.
SPS: If you could give one piece of advice for someone looking to get into writing, what would it be?
JMP: Recognize The Ability, That’s Important First, If You Believe You’re Gifted Then Just Go for It!
SPS: Before we bring this interview to a close, it’s your chance to name-drop. Anyone who you feel is deserving of more recognition at present or someone whose writing you have recently enjoyed? Now is your chance to spread the word…
JMP: I Have Had Some Time To Read Some Work From An Inspiring Poetess From England. Her Name Is Teresa Joseph- Franklin We Have a Collaboration Poem In My Second Book.
SPS: Thank you for joining us today J.M.Preston and all the best for the future.
JMP: No Worries and Thank you for Having Me Today It’s Been Enjoyable.
SPS: For more information on J.M. Preston and his work, please do visit his Showcase Author page here.