Gothic Horror Poetry Collection THIRTEEN NOCTURNES+ Interview with author Oliver Sheppard!
Q: How long did Thirteen Nocturnes take to create and publish? Were there difficulties along the way?
Q: Writing each night like that takes some hardcore dedication! Did you ever struggle with writer’s block? If so how did you work through it?
Q: Were there a lot of poems that didn’t make the final cut?
Q: What is your writing process like? What’s your favorite part about creating such imagery-rich poetry?
Q: Were you a voracious reader as a child? Did you have a favorite book or series growing up?
A: I have taken a few. The best one I took was by a professor from SMU, Tom Stone, who was himself a student of John Hawkes at Brown University. He actually really turned me onto Hawkes, whom I quote at one point in THIRTEEN NOCTURNES. I took a writer’s retreat once that lasted a few days, also related to college. And I was awarded a two week residency at a writer’s colony in the late 1990s but I was unable to afford the trip up to the colony! Being poor sucks. The classes I’ve taken — I’m unsure how greatly they really have helped me. I wonder if I simply read and practiced and wrote anyway, without the feedback, if I’d have progressed the same. The jury is still out!
Yes, I’ve taken classes in Philosophy before, and enjoy it immensely. I’ve mentioned some of my favorite modern philosophers — John Gray and Peter Sloterdijk. And I like Thomas Ligotti’s THE CONSPIRACY AGAINST THE HUMAN RACE. About metaphysics and the occult, I'[ve not taken any classes; that’s more of a self-study topic for me. I do find occult and mystical traditions to be rich with inspiration, and in fact many incantations and the language of conjuring or of some “spells” are in fact excellent poems in and of themselves. I really enjoy reading that stuff.