Walsall poet and writer Paul Morris has released a charity poetry anthology entitled “Within Darkness and Light.” With the book generating a lot of interest I took the opportunity to chat with Paul via email to get some details on the book and more.
Q1 – congratulations on publishing Within Darkness and Light, tell me a little more about the book, why you decided to put together an anthology and why that particular theme?
Thank you Richard. Within Darkness & Light is a collection of poetry that focuses on the psychological, emotional darkness and light aspects of life. The poetry included is very real, honest and quite beautiful.
As someone who has spent an entire life living with mental health issues, the contradiction of dark and light emotions is very relevant in my life. I wanted to produce a collection of work that conveys this. The poets who have contributed to the book, which I’m delighted includes your good self, have realised this vision and have shared some of their innermost in quite an open and personal way.
Why this subject? Well, I’ve always wanted to do ‘my bit’ and help raise more awareness of mental health issues. I’m hoping that this book helps people to relate to issues they might be experiencing in a positive way. It’s a way of reaching out I guess.
It’s important to me that proceeds from the sale of this book go to the charity Mind. They do amazing work for the souls in need and I want to give something back to them.
Q2. How long have you been writing stories and poetry and what made you pick up the pen and start?
I started writing poems, songs and stories when I was 15, nearly 30 years ago. Despite having quite a collection of work, nothing became of it, as I ended up discarding it all because I felt it was worthless. Something which I greatly regret and never will repeat.
I restarted writing late 2015 because the passion was always there within me and I wanted to follow my dream, which was to have my own published book sitting between other books on my book-shelf. Thanks to the love and support from my Wife and children, I began to thrive and believe in myself. I’ve now reached a position where I have connected with some fantastic people, learnt so much and have had my work published in a few books. It’s this kind of support that’s inspired me to focus on an anthology.
Q3. If you could only do one out of writing stories or poetry which would you choose and why?
Poetry! It allows me to be free in a way that writing stories doesn’t. My stories require me to go deep within, living the characters and their experiences. When I write a poem, it’s a real emotion and an escape from whatever, or expressing love.
I find writing poetry an escape from reality and it aids my mind, allowing it to ‘breathe’ a little easier. It’s great therapy. Most of the time.
Q4. Never a man to rest on your laurels I see you have your own book of short stories and poetry entitled “Hopeful Dreams and Damaged Nightmares,” out soon, tell me a little about what readers can expect from the book and the inspiration behind that scary cover?
The book is a collection of my own poetry and very short stories, that I’ve produced over the last 18 months. It’s fair to say that most of the work is quite emotionally dark, but I’m hoping that folks may find something relevant in the pieces. At times, darkness can be quite beautiful.
Richard note – the cover is done by the excellent Darkslide photography who did the brilliant cover for my book Poems on the Bus.
Q5. Self publishing is growing more and more popular these days, so with two books under your belt what advice would you give anyone looking to publish a book?
Okay, tough call. I’ve learnt so much from experienced self-published authors, but, I still have so much to learn. I guess the most important piece of advice I could give is, take your time and make sure that your piece of work is ready for publishing. Before you hit ‘the button’ to share it via Amazon or Lulu or whatever, make sure that you’ve proof read it over and over. In fact, that’s my advice, buy a proof copy and read it through before you publish. Don’t rush the process.
Q6 If people want to read more of your work where can they find you online.
I’d be delighted if people would care to check me out via https://paulbmorrismedia.wordpress.com/ They can then jump on board my other social media sites.
A big thanks to Paul for taking the time to answer my questions, Within Darkness and Light is now ready to buy and can be found by clicking here.