SHAWN, THANK YOU FOR DOING AN INTERVIEW FOR MY READERS.
I KNOW YOU NOT ONLY WRITE, YOU EDIT AND DRAW.
BUT, WHEN DID YOU KNOW YOU WERE A WRITER? WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST STORY OR CREATIVE WRITING WORK ABOUT?
My first, juvenile attempt at prose was a one-page, science-fiction story. It described an astronomer gazing up into the stars while wondering about life on other planets. The story concluded with the astronomer “crossing a couple of legs”, revealing that he, himself, was not an earthling.
WHEN DID YOU KNOW YOU WERE AN ARTIST?
My artistic talents emerged quite young, so that it was even a matter of jealous pride in kindergarten. I gained confidence from consistent praise by parents and siblings first, then teachers and classmates. That’s why shifting focus from art to writing was a major decision for me.
I HAVE READ HUNGRY THING, WHICH IS JUST GORGEOUS. DID YOU DRAW ANY OF THOSE? IF NOT, DID YOU CHOOSE THE IMAGES TO ACCOMPANY THE WORKS?
Because I sidelined my practice of art decades ago, my skills have atrophied accordingly. Illustrating Hungry Thing myself to a professional level of quality would therefore have taken me a long time and imposed a lot of frustration.
Since I could not bear to pair my poems with shoddy artwork, I scouted for an independent artist whose work I admired. All of the illustrations are by Romanian surrealist, Norbert Somosi. But Norbert proved to be more than an illustrator. He visualized further poems, and it was he who proposed the book.
I THINK MOST WRITERS ARE CURIOUS ABOUT WHAT GOES THROUGH A WRITER’S HEAD WHEN HE/SHE/THEY ILLUSTRATES THEIR WORK. HOW DO YOU CHOOSE THE ILLUSTRATORS YOU WORK WITH?
I joined a handful of FB groups for illustrators and browsed the artwork they shared until I found one that inspired me. The task was not just to find someone good, but someone whose style was compatible with mine. And finally, someone both inspired by my poetry and willing to work with me.
IS THERE SOMETHING YOU WOULD LIKE TO DO BETTER, AS A WRITER AND/OR ARTIST?
Yes, both as an artist and a writer. I need to revive my art skills, mainly with disciplined practice, so that they can be relied on for future projects. And I need to improve as a writer, becoming competent at stories of greater length and emotional impact.
PLEASE, TELL US ABOUT YOUR UPCOMING WRITING PROJECTS.
I’m continuing to write and submit for anthologies, as inspiration strikes, but becoming increasingly choosy. I am prioritizing science-fiction calls most often because I plan to compile these into my own collection for independent publication.
ONE LAST FANTASY QUESTION: DO YOU THINK WRITING CAN TRANSFORM THE WORLD? IF SO HOW?
Writing already transforms the world continually, most often for the better. Writing is communication itself—something central to civilization and essential to humanity. We are nothing without sharing. But art, in particular—including fiction writing, can inspire people to new ideas and renew hope, or by providing entertainment and escape, rejuvenate their brains and therefore, their bodies.
WHERE CAN READERS FIND YOU ONLINE AND/OR ON SOCIAL MEDIA?
My Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/shawnmklimekauthor
My creative writing blog. http://blog.jotinthedark.com/
My amazon page: www.amazon.com/author/shawnmklimekauthor.
My Twitter account: https://twitter.com/shawnmklimek
THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR TAKING TIME OUT OF YOUR BUSY SCHEDULE. SHAWN, I DON’T SAY THIS ENOUGH, BUT I LOVE YOUR WRITING AND REALLY VALUE YOU AS A HUMAN BEING. I WISH YOU THE UTMOST SUCCESS.