Authors aren’t salesmen – Craig Podmore on writing and publishing

Craig Podmore

Craig Podmore is an Oneiros Books writer, whose first two poetry collections I read and loved. They are clever and well-crafted, and at the same time sensitive, mighty, and brimming with hardcore, colourful imagery. A bit of Marilyn Monroe, a bit of taxi action, a bit of down and dirty drinking disasters on the streets, a bit of crime, a bit of hallucination, and a good dose of pop.

His new novel, *The Origin of Manias* is out now and I look forward to reading that as well. I asked about how and where he gets his flashy writing ideas, and how it all gets done…

ib: Your works are vivid, graphic, poetic, a constant crossover between classical traditions, pop art, and a hint of fetish and horror. How did your style get created?

My childhood consisted of the obsession of horror movies. I was an introvert. A dreamer. I guess, in an evolutionary way, I progressed into something less insular. Although, my teen years were somewhat reserved than that of the typical teenager. Whereas most of my friends went out and got inebriated and found girls, I felt more at home staying in and watching horror films. This obviously transformed into a more literary interest.

Despite the horror I was inducing myself into, I then experienced real horror, out on the streets. I was mugged real bad, hit with a metal bar, punched, kicked…I was surrounded by other youths, their breath stank of alcohol and their rage in their eyes still haunts me to this day. It was then, after the attack` that I started to look at the world differently. All of the zombies, vampires and werewolves were no longer of interest nor were they frightening. The act of raw violence is frightening. Humanity is significantly horrific. Because of this experience I started to gain interest in other authors that looked at life the same way I did; Hubert Selby JR, JG Ballard, Chuck Pallahniuk…this outlook transcended into philosophy too, especially Nietzsche, Machiavelli and Schopenhauer. Artists like George Grosz, Bosch, Goya, Gogh, Blake and Bacon hypnotised me with their capacity in capturing the insight of human violence and power.

ib: Your creative processes seem to be pretty high powered : a novel and two poetry collections, all within the short time I have known you. Does it make you happy? Or quite the opposite? How is life?

My creative process is quite mosaic. I sponge many ideas all at once like atoms in a nuclear reactor. It isn’t a linear process. It usually starts with an image then a line or a phrase, slowly it morphs into a bigger picture but most of the time I don’t know what that picture is. Yet it intrigues me and doesn’t leave me alone until a project is complete. More often than not I have many projects on the go and they evolve in the same steady timeframe, which is why some of my books come out close together.

So, I guess it’s not so high powered really, it’s just sporadic that somehow syncs together quite well. Right now I have a novella and a poetry collection on the go whilst I wait on the word from another publisher regarding a short poetry collection about my late father, which was a totally different form of writing for me.

It makes me feel fulfilled. Happy? Kind of, I mean, I can’t neglect the fact that being published is a beautiful thing because it is. Having your work in the flesh, a finished product is indeed a fine thing.

ib: You made a bold move and self-published. What would you say to an author who wants to self-publish? What are the DO’s and DON’T’s?

I did self-publish my novella (which evolved into my novel, The Origin of Manias) which was known as ‘The Symmetries of Pain”. At that time, I did not know of any other publisher who would actually publish it due to its content. I got lucky though, Oneiros Books published my novel and I’m very thankful for that. What’s beautiful about self-publishing is the freedom of it, you have that choice to do it and why the hell not? Many publishers out there are blind to decent writers or should I say, many publishers are only interested in the cash behind it all.

I say, fuck ‘em and get it done, the world’s waiting for your words!

ib: What would you say are the advantages of being an independent writer?

Being an independent writer gives you this unconquerable energy, this kind of vast creativity and freedom. No agents kicking you in the balls telling you what you should write, no corporate dimwits with contracts trying to get you to sell out fast and die, no shackles, no chains…just creativity.

ib: What do you want to do next?

Well, there are many projects on the horizon. I stated earlier that I had a full length poetry collection currently in progress, ‘Pornocopia’ will be its title, I’m pretty excited about that and a novella is also in the works although, it keeps growing, it may transform into a novel, who knows? On the other hand, I have a short collection about my late father who passed over a year ago now. I finished the collection on the anniversary of his death, which, was very endearing to me, it felt right.

Craig Podmore was interviewed by Polly Trope for indieberlin

Noel Maurice is one of the founders of indieberlin. Originally from the UK via a childhood in Johannesburg, he has been resident in Berlin since 1991. Describing himself as a 'recovering musician', he is the author of The Berlin Diaires, a trilogy detailing the East Berlin art and squat scene of the early 90s, available on Amazon and through this site.

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