Author Interview – Bill Friday – A Death on Skunk Street: A life in poems

Howdy folks.

Welcome to the place to be on a Wednesday, as we celebrate another hump day and that the weekend is clearly in our sights.

For today’s Author Interview guest, I have the honour of presenting to you a very talented author and poet who is going to knock your socks off (and he’s such a nice guy he will probably help you pull them back up again).

May I introduce Bill Friday to the stand and allow him to give the performance of his life, along with some sterling writerly advice.

 

Bill, thank you for partaking in this Author Interview, I am very excited to have you over here, so we can get to know more about your creative processes and writing endeavours.

Let’s start with the launch of your debut poetry book “A Death on Skunk Street”. This book has a rather unusual title. Please share with us how it came about and let us know more about why you decided to write this particular collection.

All of my poetry should come with the warning, “based on a true story”. Even the title of the book. The street I live on is a road that rolls past a couple of miles of parks and hillsides that are the home for particularly active skunks. Several times during the year, the smell is much stronger than others. I’ve lived here for years and took to calling it “Skunk Street”. The name is a tribute to life, my life, here.

deathskunkstreetpicnew

What draws you to the poetry genre when you could be writing in other genres? Are you primarily a poet who dabbles in other genres or is poetry your main passion? Spill the beans!

My back of the book bio reads, “Bill became a poet out of necessity”. I began writing for the screen, but that turned into online writing in the form of Citizen Journalism for two sites over the course of a decade. When circumstances continued to change my writing, circumstances like extreme writer’s block, the shorter forms of writing became a necessity. Eventually, that became poetry, which I began writing exclusively in 2013. Now, with one full-length book of poetry in print and one on the way, I’m giving myself over to writing a novel. It’s a completely different process, and challenging. But I believe that is the next necessary step in my progression as a writer.

For you what is the hardest thing about writing? And what do you feel is the easiest thing?

The hardest thing is the times in between inspirations. I say that about poetry, not other forms of writing. I believe there is a distinct separation between poetry…what I will call “inspired writing”…and longer forms of writing, for which I have no clever name, but in my mind include blogging, essays, and longer forms like short stories and novels. The reason for the distinction is this, I think poetry depends upon that spark of arbitrary inspiration that the other forms do not.

Yes, I think those writing novels or screen stories will always require that momentary flash of unscheduled inspiration that is common to all writers. But those forms are more closely related to a marathon than the sprint of poetry. When I write a poem, a really GOOD poem, I can be done in less than 15 minutes. But to write a novel, that is hard and disciplined endurance that a poet might never have to experience.

I’ve been asked what it’s like to write poetry. And my answer is something like this, “My best poems come out of me ‘whole’. Start to finish, they take, maybe fifteen minutes from spark of inspiration to final edit”. It’s almost like cheating, it can be so easy. But writing a novel is like enduring a voluntary hell of struggles and emotions, all the while never allowing yourself to give in to the desire to quit.

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Who are some of the authors in general that inspire you?

I’ve been inspired by some authors who you might not figure if you were to read me without asking first. Essentially, “pulp writers”. But not writers of pulp who you might expect. My inspirational “pulp writers” are Peter Benchley (Jaws), Stephen King, and Charles Bukowski. Each one’s minimalistic way of storytelling…and yeah, I know that Stephen King can never be accused of using a minimum of words, but, his stories are razor thin in their execution of story…has inspired me to tell a story in every poem, even when that story is less than 100 words from start to finish. My shortest being a poem that will be included in my second book, which is titled “Planet Oklahoma”. That poem is only 10 words long, but tells the story of my about half my life.

“I grew up on a moon
orbiting
the planet Oklahoma.”

Why do you write? What inspired you to become a writer?

Believe it or not, so people will cry. Because, see…I don’t cry. About anything. A tear. Maybe. The kind that gets caught in the corner of your eye, and never escapes. I write so others can feel what I can’t.

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Where do your ideas come from? Do you have a specific routine to help you to access/develop them?

Following the “based on a true story” idea, my ideas come from the life I’ve lived so far, with a nod to the life I feel like I’m going to live in the future. I take moments at times through my day, just to reflect on circumstances or feelings that are boiling over on the surface of what I’m living at that particular moment. I know I’m not the only one who has moments of reflection at random times of the day that go deeper into thoughts, or develop into reflections of things that have happened in the past. But for me, these become poems. Often, poems that come out all in one piece, fully formed, ready to be edited for publication. It’s crazy, I know. But that’s just how my poetic writing has found its routine, all on its own.

What keeps you motivated during creative slumps? How do you deal with Writers Block?

I do laundry. Seriously. Or other chores that have nothing to do with writing. My mind does not function when overloaded with the demands of the tasks at hand, particularly creative tasks. Getting as far away from those tasks as possible is what refreshes and motivates my mind to overcome the things that cause slumps and roadblocks for my creativity. I guess the simplest way to explain it is, keep and maintain a “normal“ life, the best that you can. Because out of that normal life, the abnormal…the creative…flows.

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How do you spend your free time when you are not writing?

I think we just circled right back to laundry. But really, I work. A regular job. 60 hours a week. The writing comes second. It has to, for now. Fortunately, I have a job that allows for time, smack dab in the middle of those 60 hours, to write. Whether in notes on my cell phone, or scratching phrases in a notebook that I keep with me at all times. And the overlap of free hours during the long hours of work are what will allow me the freedom to finally write my first novel.

Tell us more about your upcoming projects. Are you working on anything specific or have plans in the pipeline?

As I’ve hinted at in some of the other questions, there are three projects in the pipeline right now. The first is a second full-length book of poetry with the title, “A Hopeful Man”. That should be available for pre-order at billfriday.com by the first of November.

The second is a brand new podcast, called “AttaBlog”. AttaBlog will be an audio blog for the printed word…mine, and other authors’ too, with all the accompanying how-to for getting their books into the hands of the listener/reader. Each episode will have a subject theme, and the authors’ works will come from a lot of places, including posts by bloggers, published poets and storytellers, and even up-and-coming un-published writers with good things that need sharing. All voiced by…me.

The third and final one, for right now, is my very first novel. It’s a story that has been in my head for years. A story which, though hinted at in a bunch of my poetry, can only be fully told in a longer form. And even though I’m all kinds of excited about telling this story, it’s my first attempt at telling it THIS way. Still no official title for it yet, but the novel is expected to be available in June, 2017.

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Finally, are there any nuggets of wisdom that you can impart to other aspiring writers?

Write. Always write. And look for ways to share what you’ve written, every day. Ways for your words to be seen and heard appear before you every day. Five years ago, I was an unpublished blogger who didn’t have a plan or a clue. All I had were my words. Now, I’m a published author, founding a publishing and media company with incredibly talented people I couldn’t have imagined working with all those years ago.

And all that mostly because I just kept looking for ways to share my words.
So write. Share. Keep writing and sharing. That’s how good words find their pace in the world.

And that’s a wrap! Thank you for being our guest and for sharing all of your wonderful words of poetic wisdom, we really appreciate it.

Bio:-

billfridayprofilepic

William S. Friday is a bender of words, voice, and stuff. A one-time Citizen Journalist, Bill became a poet out of necessity. Previously published online and in print, A Death on Skunk Street is his first solo project. He lives near the Pacific Ocean in the town of Redondo Beach, California.

Bill’s first book, A Death on Skunk Street, and his next book, A Hopeful Man, are published by Hostile 17 Print.

You can connect with Bill on the following social media platforms:-

Facebook:- William S. Friday (FB)
Goodreads:- William S. Friday (Goodreads Author)
Instagram:- William S. Friday (Instagram)
Twitter:- Bill Friday (Twitter)
Website:- The blog and website of Bill Friday

You can buy his book here:-

Canada:- Buy Bill Friday’s books in Canada

UK/Europe:- Buy Bill Friday’s books in UK/Europe

US/Rest of the World:- Buy Bill Friday’s books in US/Rest of the World

Still want more? Well, Bill puts a lot of determination and drive into doing his writing, even with all of the driving around he does in his day job, which is very inspiring. For more articles on the theme of ‘Drive’, check out the links below:-

1. Saint P. Blogging – Prompt for the Day: “Drive”
2. Devil Doll Musings – Rolling Stoned
3. Vivid Dreamer – Cruising Forever
4. Frank Prem – a stubborn piece of mind
5. Theresa Barker – Lab Notes – Landscape, Dense With Trees
6. My Mixed Blog – Drive Much
7. Passion & Hustle – Nadira Shirlonna
8. Taxing Drivers Not Gasoline – The Mono-Economy of the New Millennium
9. Write Now – Three’s a Crowd
10. Drive – Introverted n’ Proud
11. Fluffy Pool – The Big-Vu
12. Penne 4 Your Thoughts – Cheap eats: Crunchy fried rice @ Lao Village
13. Bitter Sweet – thecuriouspeopleblog
14. Driving and trusting – olessial
15. Chasing Destino – Not driving
16. Daily Post One Word Prompt – Drive – A Writer’s Life
17. Quote of the Day… – Mind, Body & Soul
18. “Drive” – A Pre-Published Indie Author
19. Life Out of Tunes… – Drive
20. Driving on Parallel Lines – StrangeLander2015
21. A Texan’s View of Upstate New York – Beauty & the Beast Cross-Stitch
22. this is cruserbladezz – Out and about 
23. Do You Drive? – soulfullyblack
24. Things to Do This Summer! – ONE MORE SHOT PLEASE
25. artifiswords – DRIVE
26. Rantings Of A Third Kind – Drive for The Daily Post
27. Guadiana drive – Spanish Berry
28. Laurel Grove loves… – San Francisco: tough place to live?
29. Mainline_Matter – Sweeney Drive
30. Copper Cranes – Half Nelson
31. Miss Pelican’s Perch – Magnum Opus
32. Reason – Anzjuli Venter
33. the Plaid & Rose blog – Personal Umph
34. Mesteerean Winds – Unrevised Thoughts 18/07/2016
35. Petra Omoregie Caroline – Day 3 Caroline’s sunrise photo and health challenge: Don’t let the bad weather to drive you crazy
36. A Drive – The World As I See It
37. Yellow Goals – Drive a Ferrari
38. Magnanimous Word – Self-Driven
39. Wife and Mother – Go mummy, go!
40. babble2015 – Unpredictable Life musings
41. bukkypraizblog – Drive Yourself!
42. Life-A Reflection of thoughts – Daily Prompt- Drive
43. THE TOUGH DRIVE – thepunkpenblog
44. Travel Much? – Ordrup Strand, Denmark
45. Drive – Image & Word
46. Mitigating Circumstances – Wreck
47. Start your engines – Mistakes and Adventures
48. We Extraordinary Women – Why Women Don’t Need Driver’s Licences
49. theroadbackhomeblog – Drive and shout
50. witchlike – In America We Love to Drive
51. Drive – Inside The Writer’s Closet
52. Purposive Writer – What Drives You?
53. Texting Pharaohs  – A lot from Lydia
54. Another Hike – Driven To The Outdoors
55. What “Drives” you? – YOLOcruz
56. Midnight Drive – Karuchan
57. Driving in a movie – floatingstories
58. Indira’s Blog – Drive- The Daily Post
59. Positively Un-broken – Driving with Teens
60. Love Endures Always – Breed Love Not Hate
61. helen meikle’s scribblefest – Daily prompt: What drives America?
62. I Can’t Drive…Yet. – Doodle 052
63. another quiet muse – Drive…
64. inspiration in progress – drive, a haiku
65. Let me Drive Away – Capital Blogs
66. Driven – Thoughts from the Night Watch
67. Driving With Your Brights/Emergency Lights On – law abiding brunette
68. Cryptic Clandestine – Spontaneous
69. Viper Pit Memoirs – Go on…
70. The Hidden Chalkboard (The HC) – Driving the Message Home
71. recovery to wellness – One Example of Telling your Mental Illness to Fuck Off
72. Finding Hope Ness – Tears on Mount Rushmore
73. Drive – blackcattwriting
74. Let’s Take a Drive – Sascha Darlington’s Microcosm Explored
75. A Day In The Life – Drive
76. Power, Sister, Love – write where I belong
77. The Well-Informed Namer – Babies Named after Cars in 2015
78. HarlemATL Inner City Blues – When The Cars Drive by
79. Belinda O – Reality, Thou Art a Factor
80. Drive – z a y n e e a . n e t
81. kStan(ly) kSays – now that wooper drives
82. Alexia Jones – Drive
83. The Daunting Deception of Drive – Teething in Technicolor
84. Mr. Johnson’s Blog – Bad Asian Drivers
85. coldhandswarmheartsblog – With drive
86. Nothin’ to Prove – tnkerr-Writing Prompts and Practice
87. Drive – practicalideasfromahorsegirl
88. Water of Rain – IN THE EVENT OF AN EMERGENCY
89. Drive and Determination| Daily Prompt – Catherine’s Blog
90. Forgetful RV’ers – A Pre-Published Indie Author
91. Drive – disue
92. The Light Breaks Through – What to Do When Your Priorities are Mixed Up?
93. Le Drake Noir – Hello and goodbye
94. Flowers and Breezes – Drive
95. Three White Chicks and a Hen – The Great Escape
96. HarlemATL Inner City Blues – Designated Driver
97. Your Nibbled News (c) 2016 – A short drive to theft and destruction
98. 83 Unsung Heroes – Driving Should Be Fun
99. quiet time journal – Don’t let Fear drive
100. Word Prompt Response: D.R.I.V.E – KimKnight_Author
101. drive to craft weird stuff ⋆ Obsolete Childhood
102. Zombie Flamingos – New Hair Day!!
103. The Drives of ’89 – Where’s the Windmill?
104. The Dog That Bites – Unebelle’s Musings
105. Travel Much? – Retro summerhome
106. Travel Much? – The Cursed Forest
107. Travel Much? – Beautiful Sejero, Denmark
108. Travel Much? – Havnso, Denmark
109. Travel Much? – Kalundborg and a church inspired by the Crusades
110. Summer days – Painted in words
111. Drive. Telemedicine and Virtual Doctors, a green approach – Come in, sit down
112. Daily Prompt:Drive – wordsareallihavesite
113. ativ schuberg – Paper soldiers
114. #Blogging #Goals Post 7/17/2016 – Damien at the Speed of Life WP
115. Evening Drive to the Cottage – bdwoodswrites
116. Writing Web – Daily Prompt – July 17, 2016
117. The promise – Words in verse…..
118. winding roads. – lemonadeletter
119. Let your senses and intuition DRIVE your decisions – Author Tony Damian, RMT, CMT on Self-Healing
120. Manejar – apserranoblog
121. The Poisonous Cure – I Rhyme Without Reason
122. Prompt for the Day: “Drive” – Saint P. Blogging
123. ‘Too fast & too furious’ – The Last Blog Available
124. RAH’S MIRROR – What Makes You Keep On Keeping On?
125. Being Driven in Life – Meg’s Magical Musings
126. Eden of Knowledge – Sharm El Sheikh
127. SelfSelf love Sunday – elbowsandtongue
128. Do not let the expression of hatred Drive your response! – simplycathrynblog
129. Serendipitousbloom.com – Be Happy, It Drives People Crazy (a post about the hopefully happy future)
130. Memoirs of a Time Here-After – The Long Road
131. Living Out Loud – DRIVE
132. Mutual – Realize
133. Peaceful Journey – The Drive
134. Live the moment – DRIVE AWAY
135. Lakeland Musings by Irwin – What Drives You?
136. Your Nibbled News (c) 2016 – The inner drive to explore your world
137. Little Things – The Corporate Fawn
138. Ahmeli – Drive…Drive Far Away
139. Spirit Drive – Daniel Amatiello
140. You give me road rage – Geek Ergo Sum
141. Drivers and Strivers – rupalislale
142. Eleven-hundred Miles, Pacifico (Drive Prompt) – The Wet Brain Washtub
143. And I Let HIM Drive….. – atrangizindagieksafar
144. Sacrificial Chain Breaker – DRIVE
145. The Hatch. – PROSPERMIND
146. Drive – Awordseeker
147. Musings of a Random Mind – She Looked Deep Inside And Believed
148. University Library – somerberry
149. DaDaEntry23 – Drive
150. Drive to San Francisco – variouslemon
151. kristinakoti – Never ending competition
152. outofthebackground – Drive: Daily Prompt
153. Defeat the Darkness – Fantasy Raconteur
154. Lori A. E Barney’s Blog – Drive
155. A Vibrant Palette – The Drive and the Result
156. Razan Masri – What Drives You?
157. Drive – Daily Prompt – ladyleemanila
158. SERENDIPITY – SLOW DRIVING
159. Jacki Kellum Juxtapositions: Read My Mind – We Become the Things That Drive Us
160. Driving Me Krayzie 😉 – “Live Free & Love On Purpose!!”
161. Drive away the summer heat – Jane Dougherty Writes
162. Michael J. Fite – When Will You Start Driving To Your Success?
163. Western roadtrip part 1: Grand Tetons and Yellowstone Leaves from the big apple – Savory, Spicy, Sweet
164. Charron’s Chatter – Par 3
165. Inertia – Making Sense of Complications
166. Drive to Achieve – I don’t think I’m looking for too much in a man
167. devildollmusings – Rolling Stoned
168. Hound Dog Nose – dogsviewoftheworld.com
169. Here I am !! – Drive
170. Like the Lamp – No More Rail to Run
171. Columbian Drive – thealcoholicpoet
172. The Gad About Town – Just Drive
173. The Sleeping Reading Beauty – Reality Mingles With Dream
174. Awl and Scribe – Muse
175. Determination; Vehicular Propulsion; Irritant! – Chronicles of an Orange-Haired Woman!
176. Our spectacle – zorazebic
177. devildollmusings – Shotgun Rider
178. strange days – themanbehindtheglass
179. What my Drive is? – littleflamesblog
180. slideaways – Untitled (please suggest one)
181. Joy Write – The Road.
182. Florida Postcard – Catherine Hamrick
183. Musings and My Two Cents – Just Enough Drive
184. Martha L Shaw – BE THANKFUL!
185. Driving – lilydoadeer
186. My soul will probably arrive earlier than our car – Out to pet dogs
187. The Drive – Daily Prompt – A Book Nerd
188. rhymeagination – DRIVING THROUGH LIFE
189. Daily Prompt – Drives – My Garden Bio-Diversity
190. lifelessons – a blog by Judy Dykstra-Brown – Drive
191. Drive post prompt – tripstosaturn
192. Driven to Awakening – Steve Grundy Photography
193. The Antlers (Short Story) – lovelyricism
194. Beautiful skies – Oh, border!
195. B_ up to date – Working on projects
196. Drives me nuts – nutfish
197. Driver’s Ed – Martha’s Daily Writing
198. Drive, guy, drive – lucarna
199. Lost Property Repository – Drive: A lesson in patience.
200. The Daily Post – Progressing into Solitude – Unpredictable Drive
201. mySestina now is YourSestina – mySestina
202. Wood Canvas Artist – Drive
203. Drive – calliemm
204. Le Happyone – Self-disrespect is closer than we think
205. kStan(ly) kSays – deliverance
206. thelonerose – Going home
207. The Drive To Succeed – danasavonblog
208. Frank Prem – driven bunny-anas
209. ….on pets and prisoners….. – daily prompt: drive
210. Drive – alkasharmablog
211. A Drive Without Destination – Desertedroad
212. domestic diva – A Walk on the beach
213. Drive – scratchinginthemud
214. Designer Sophisticate – On an open road….
215. Walking A Peaceful Path – whippetwisdom.com
216. Passion through Poetry – Drive
217. Lantern Words – My Drive

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6 thoughts on “Author Interview – Bill Friday – A Death on Skunk Street: A life in poems

    • Since I read this review and wrote a reply the first time I have read the book. It is every bit as good as I thought it would be. I really like Bill’s style of writing. It is profound, dark, but yet appealing.

    • Lol that was my creative choice, although Bill is more than welcome to instruct me to alter it if that is his wish 😉 I was tempted to use the one of him reading his book in the men’s room but felt that for artistic reasons that would not be that good an idea 🙂

  1. Pingback: The Interview | billfriday.com

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