WATCH OUT: Wayne Tedder
SC: I want to welcome you all to another edition of Watch Out. This week I’m pleased to bring you writer and poet Wayne Tedder. Welcome to Watch Out, Wayne, it is so great to have you here.
Thank you Savannah. I’m honoured to be interviewed by you.
SC: For the readers out there who might not know about you or your work, can you please tell them a little about yourself.
WT: My writing began in the fall of 2009. While on a road trip to Chicago, I wrote a poem for a very dear friend of whom I had the great honour of traveling with. She liked the poem, and encouraged me to continue writing.
SC: What is your favourite poem?
WT: The one I’m currently working on! I’m kidding of course Savannah. While there are many poets who’s work I very much enjoy, such as Robert Frost’s – The Road Not Taken, I can’t say that a particular poem is my favourite.
SC:Which do you prefer eBooks or paperback?
WT:To me, there is nothing like the feel of holding an actual book. If it’s a new book, the paper is crisp and there’s the smell of fresh ink. If it’s an old book, the pages are a little dog eared, perhaps yellowed, and the paper has that classic musty smell. All that said, if I traveled more, I could certainly see the advantage of packing a Kobo or Kindle as opposed to trying to cram a dozen novels in a suitcase.
SC: What influences the topics, and genre’s that you pick to write in?
WT: In my relatively short time as a writer and poet Savannah, the only genre I’ve been interested in writing is romance. It was an amazing ‘bolt from the blue’ moment that inspired that first poem, and since writing that poem I’ve been absolutely hooked on writing romance. So much so, the thought of writing in any other genre just doesn’t interest me in the least.
SC: Would you want to be more known as a poet or an author?
WT: Oh…now we get to the tough questions! LOL
Savannah, I’ve given this a great deal of thought, and in all honesty, I would really love to be known for both! In the early stages of 2011, I wrote a fair bit of poetry, and was honoured for the opportunity to read a few of those poems at local coffee shops. Doing coffee shop readings is an amazing experience and I plan to take part in many more. But I still have a great passion for writing short stories, and I still plan on writing another novella. Well… here’s a story relevant to your question. Last year I wrote a (unpublished) novella “Seven Months Of Summer” and it contains a poem that the lead character ‘Summer’ writes for a friend ‘Claudia’ of whom he has accompanied on a trip to a mall. The Premise of “Seven Months” is a normal trip to the mall that turns out to be anything but. For as he follows ‘Claudia” from store to store and as the day goes on, ‘Summer’ must deal with, not only the pain he feels from a recently failed relationship, but with the fact that his feelings for ‘Claudia’ have gone beyond friendship. So in a burst of romantic spontaneity, ‘Summer’ detours into a flower shop and not only buys roses for ‘Claudia’ but also scratches out a quick poem and has it placed in the flowers so she will find it when she unwraps the flowers.
Writing the poem was one of my favourite parts of the story to write. I also enjoyed making it one of the focal points of the story.
SC: One thing readers might be surprised to know about you?
WT: Since the age of six, I have been a pinball fanatic! My wife and I have a small collection of machines in our home. And two of our very dear friends Michael and Christine, operate the ‘Church Of The Silverball’ pinball museum located in Mississauga Ont. I very much enjoy helping them maintain the many pinball machines in their collection. In addition to being fellow pinball fanatics they are first class people.
SC: What is the biggest misconception you think people have about writers and or poets?
WT: That writing is a hobby. That writing is this fun, whimsical little hobby one does in their spare time. For me, and I’m sure this is the case for many writers, writing is a compulsion. I really felt I had to write that first poem back in 2009,and it’s that need to write that fuels me to this day.
The other misconception I often encounter is that writing is a solitary, almost lonely activity where one sits at their writing or computer desk keeping to themselves, for the most part, isolated from the world. For me, nothing could be further from the truth. I’ve written many poems and short stories in coffee shops and my favourite neighbourhood pub. As for the majority of the time when I’m writing from my den it’s far from a solitary or lonely activity because 99% of the time, the poem I am writing is for, or the character that I’m writing about, is based on a dear friend. And when I’m writing that poem or writing about the character who is based on that dear friend it’s like they are in the room with me. Especially in the case of a poem where words are so very heartfelt.
SC: Your favourite part about being a writer?
WT: Expressing what’s in my heart. That’s another reason why I have no interest in writing anything other than romance. Going back to the previous question, and the fact that I use very dear female friends as characters in my stories. When I penned my first short story, I thought using a friend as a character would make the story easy to write because I wouldn’t have to go to the trouble of creating a character from scratch, which turned out to be true. I was able to focus almost entirely on the storyline without having to think about what characteristics to give the female character. But, what I didn’t envision at the time was that some very real feelings would come to the surface. Nothing wild or outrageous, but creating characters based on female friends forced me to focus on the attributes of those friends. In doing that, I realized just how extraordinary these women are and how very much I admire them! As friends I love them dearly but it was only as I began writing about them as characters that I realized how very much I admire, respect, and cherish them. Those very intense feelings not only inspire my poetry and story writing, but it has greatly influenced the way I interact with these phenomenal women.
SC: What are you currently reading?
WT: I currently have two books on the go. A few weeks ago I purchased ‘The Best Poems Of The English Language’ by Harold Bloom and a couple of weeks ago I was given a copy of Hemmingway’s ‘The Old Man And The Sea’.
SC: Currently listening to?
WT: My taste in music could most certainly be described as eclectic! For the gym, I have my MP3 loaded with 80’s ‘hair metal’ from groups like Scorpions, Ratt, Cinderella, Poison. But I also enjoy jazz, big band, classical, and 60’s era psychedelic rock.
When I’m writing, I very often will head over to You Tube and pick out a song that helps set the mood for the line or scene that I’m writing at the time.
SC: Describe your poetry/writing in 3 words.
WT: Passionate, Heartfelt, Honest
SC: If you could step into the shoes of another author who would you pick? Why?
WT: I would choose Hemmingway because of his connection to Cuba. I had the good fortune to spend a week in Cuba with a friend (the same friend that presented me with the copy of ‘The Old Man And The Sea), we rented a house just outside of Havana. Renting a house meant going grocery shopping which afforded us the opportunity to interact with the people of Cuba. I was so taken by the warmth and hospitality of the Cubans. It certainly didn’t take long for me to feel right at home.
SC: What do you think sets your work apart from other writers?
WT: Well, I enjoyed inserting a poem into my ‘Seven Months of Summer’ novella and working it into the storyline. I think that was a rather unique idea and I plan to incorporate poetry into my short stories. I also plan to continue incorporating the amazing women in my life as characters in my short stories.
SC: Is there anything you’re currently working on that you can give us a taste of?
WT: Right now, I’m working on a short story that I plan to enter in the John Kenneth Gabraith Literary Award short story contest. The story is in its infancy, so there really isn’t much to share.
SC: What is the best advice you ever got with regards to writing?
WT: A little over a year ago, I took my first writing course with Brian Henry (for the record, I’ve taken three of Brian’s courses and attended four of his writing workshops). Brian has over 25 years’ experience as a writer, editor, and as a creative writing instructor. He really knows his stuff! I’ve really learned a lot from Brian’s courses and workshops, but the one thing that really stuck with me is an exercise he put the class through. Towards the end of each class, he would have us write for about 20 minutes. But with a catch, he didn’t want us to edit as we go! Just keep writing and do the editing later. Whenever I find myself getting ‘bogged down’ with something I’m writing, I employ that technique and it works every time. Brian is an outstanding instructor. I really learned a lot from him.
SC: Where can readers find out more about you and your work?
WT: I have a website in the works, but for now, I can be found on Facebook. Just search out ‘Wayne Tedder’ and you will find me.