Hey there everyone.
Welcome to another edition of the Author Interview series.
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Tonight, we have a poet who is releasing his debut poetry book in early January, which is currently available for pre-order and has themes about overcoming different obstacles. From survival, heartbreak, abuse, loss, and more, in this volume, life is anything but “BitterSweet”.
May I introduce to you all to Lior Gavra, as he chats to us about how he created his debut poetry book and his writing experiences producing it.
Thanks for reading and have a great evening 🙂
Hi there Lior, thank you for joining us to talk about your inspirations, writing style and your latest poetry book release.
Firstly, let’s start with your debut poetry book release, which is now available for pre-order on Amazon. Why is your book called “BitterSweet”, what is the relevance to the poems and collection itself?
My book’s journey has begun while commuting to work, and before I even thought of putting my stories into a book, I put them up publicly. I got some good feedback, which pushed me into writing more stories. Each story includes bits of my life, which includes a lot of bittersweet moments.
As I continued to write each character I realized that just like my life or anyone else’s, nothing ever comes easy. Everyone goes through some form of hardship, but when that sweetness comes it makes it all worth it. The moment where you can feel the excitement crawling through your skin, making you want to scream, makes all the bitter parts fade away.
Each story leaves a bittersweet taste, starting out with an obstacle, that turns into a sweet/positive message, but not always with the ending expected.
What are the themes that unite “BitterSweet” together and how did you approach preparing them for a collection? Did you have to remove any poems that did not fit into the core themes that you were exploring for this book?
The themes vary, but just like the title they all have this concept that “Life will always be BitterSweet.” Each character has some realization that can be relatable to every person. Some stories overlap on similar messages, but each represents it a bit differently, and play off the quotes that break up each “section.”
I had more poems I was thinking of including, but as each story written became a part of the book, none were removed.
How does a poem begin for you? Does it start with an image, a form or a particular theme?
The poems for this collection went through two major passes, the first pass was to get the story down, the feelings, without thinking too much about the word selection. It was about the character that could push the message that I have experienced with the obstacle and the “twist” that would take place, then I began to paint his story.
On the second pass, I did add some of my own stylistic touches, for example almost every story starts with four stanzas where the first letter spells my first name. Each story has some rhythm to it based on the feel I tried to convey, whether it had to include “masculine” words, lowercase letters, etc.
Are there any forms you haven’t tried yet but would like to?
I am always in search for new forms of writing, or ways to add creative artistic touches. I have some ideas that I would like to explore once this book is released.
How important is accessibility of the meaning of your poems? Should we have to work hard to “solve” the poems and discover their deeper meanings?
My poems were meant to be simple with a lot of buried meanings. Each has a simple message that can be derived by all types of readers, but then the word choices, rhythms, and characteristics create a richer and deeper character that can be explored by those who want to take it one step further. Also, each story has some hidden messages/experiences that can be connected to situations that have occurred in my life for those who know me.
What are your main sources of inspiration or research when it comes to crafting your poetry?
I did read a lot of poetry from my peers, and the great poetry community found throughout the internet. I truly get inspired by other people’s writings disregarding their professional level. There is some rawness to it that reveals their inner voices. The voices that are not otherwise shared with others are my greatest inspiration.
Has your own opinion or idea of what poetry is changed since you first started writing poetry?
Yes, originally, I felt that poetry had to be very personal, and abstract to those who do not surround themselves with it. After reading some work, going through some books, and just writing more, I realized it is more than that; it is your voice, and it is the closest thing to art, where every word becomes a powerful part to create this great masterpiece.
What would you choose as your own personal mascot or spirit animal when it comes to you and your style of writing?
I look to the lion, and the idea of a Leo can be found throughout my book. A strong animal, with leadership qualities to help motivate others and to strengthen himself/herself with the ability to take control of a bitter situation. I am biased as well, as I am a Leo myself.
What were the hardest parts of “BitterSweet” to write? And what were the easiest?
The idea of the book is that life is BitterSweet, and as I mentioned a lot of bits and pieces of my life were embedded into it, which made it that much harder for me to relive some of the tougher moments in my life when writing some of the stories. From losing my grandfather to being heartbroken and everything in between.
The easiest part, which is not to say that it was easy at all, would be the setup for self-publishing. A lot of people are under this impression that publishing is really hard, but with technology nowadays, it is easier than they think.
Who are some of your favourite authors, historical figures, poets and poems?
As I mentioned I appreciate new writers, and do not fall onto one specific person. My family, friends and community around me do inspire me so much. Also, all the great leaders that push towards inspiring others to achieve the “impossible.”
In terms of books, I have always enjoyed Science Fiction novels, and the imagination they have brought to life. Also, Paulo Coelho’s “The Alchemist” was a great novel that has similar qualities to the protagonist’s obstacle’s that create a rollercoaster ride of BitterSweet situations. When it comes to poets, I have looked up to Shakespeare, Frost, Cummings, Poe and others in some way or another.
What keeps you motivated during creative slumps? How do you deal with Writers Block?
My number one source of getting rid of writer’s block is putting down the pen or phone, and just walking outside, the busier the area the better. I observe people and their reaction to their surroundings. Sometimes even animals, a leaf, or even just the way the wind feels against my skin. The little things that are forgotten or taken for granted from time to time.
Also, traveling, it helps open up my eyes to different cultures, and how they do things differently.
How do you spend your free time when you are not writing?
I work in tech and geek out on playing with the latest technology. Also, I have a deep passion for music, and try to play the piano/guitar daily. It is another way that I like to push out what cannot be put into words through musical notes.
Regarding your subsequent projects, will you be writing another poetry book or do you have other projects in the pipeline?
My next projects is still undecided, I already have a novel and another poetry book in the works, but after the book release, I will decide on my next work.
Finally, are there any nuggets of wisdom that you can impart to other aspiring poets?
I wrote a piece a few weeks ago or months at this point, called “Inspire On!” The idea behind that is to continue writing despite what people say, because as long as it impacts someone, and that someone can be yourself, then it is worth writing. Just like any craft, to get better at it, it just requires you to write more and more. Also, this is the sentence that I like to pass on to others, to hopefully push this idea of inspiration, to help make the world a more inspired place.
And that’s a wrap! Thank you Lior for sharing your experiences of writing poetry with us, we can’t wait to check out your poetry collection and be inspired by your passionate, thoughtful pieces 🙂
Lior Gavra, the author of BitterSweet, is a New York native, writer, poet, and global traveler. Lior’s stories and themes are drawn not only from his past experiences but from his raw, insightful observations of life and people. His characters might include different professions that are based on his current or past pursuits. He brings out the small yet significant bits and pieces of their lives and their very real worlds, inspiring his diverse audience of readers.
Lior has a Bachelor’s degree in business, finance, and marketing, but he left “numbers” for “words” in hopes of spreading a positive message and making a difference. Writing started out for him as a hobby, quickly writing down his ideas and thoughts. Then slowly became a passion and a lifestyle, a way for him to emote and pour out his imagination. Currently, he is working on more literary works while continually exploring the captivating world in which we live.
You can connect with Lior via the following Social Media channels:-
Facebook:- Lior Gavra – Author (FB)
Instagram:- @lgavra (Instagram)
Medium:- Lior Gavra (Medium)
Website:- BitterSweet – Inspire those around you, so inspiration surrounds you. – Poetry by Author Lior Gavra
You can buy his book here:-
Buy Lior Gavra’s books in the UK/Europe
Buy Lior Gavra’s books in the US/Rest of the World
If you too would like to be interviewed on my blog at TooFullToWrite and you have a book or a series of books that you would like us to chat about then fill out the Contact Me form here with your details and we can arrange a future interview slot.
Still want more? Well, Lior’s poetry book has a lot of themes that we can all relate to very easily on a personal level. For more articles on the theme of ‘Relate’ then check out these links below:-
1. Love Coach Laura Harju – Minding the pitfalls
2. Resident Alien — Being Dutch in America – American Eugenics and the Holocaust
3. Christmas Calling…….but – Revolving Around Life
4. How come.. – Life After Fifty
5. Relate – Some Things Just Need To Be Said
6. Laurel Grove loves… – Honestly, making a point?
7. INTROSPECTIVE – Relate
8. If You Can’t Relate; Don’t Debate” – Pearls Global Impact
9. Nonfiction – The Chaos Within
10. Tis the season to be fighting.. – Mum’s the Word Blog
11. Oh, dear, trails of a deer party – Quaint Revival
12. THE ICONOPHILE – A Sweet Little Nutcracker
13. Hey there, Sherlock! – SweetHandlettering!
14. Connection – THEGIRLVERSUSWORLD
15. theblackwallblog – Wednesday’s Wisdom 12/20/2017
16. Fat Chance – The Soulitary Reaper
17. Aches and Pains – Leigha Robbins
18. ~353 Of 365~ – ……….365 Days………..
19. Relative truths – I seek the peace that evades me
20. It’s a dog-eat-dog world – Stuff and Nonsense
21. Walk With Me – Not Guilty
22. An Escape – Girl In Red Scarf
23. Connections – It’s Only Rebecca
24. Momentum of Jo – It’s Beginning to Feel a Lot Like Tuesday – Can You Relate?
25. The Archives of Wisdom: Pop Culture Kings – Hotel Windows
26. Easy Going – Jeanny Ituralde
27. The Diligent Dilettante – Six Word Story: Relate
28. Relate – The Bag Lady
29. Horcruxes: The muggle way – Just me musing
30. R like Relate… A to Z Challenge – Cyranny’s cove
31. Relate – wordsareallihavesite
32. Relate Rather than Rage – Blissfully Bianca
33. I Helped A Blind Person And I’m Still Alive – Sketches By Nitesh
34. Only A Shadow – authoranonblog
35. SAND DOLLAR SEASON – Relate via Heavenly Realm
36. The Home Of DJ Sung Mo Koo – “Under Pressure Jingle Bells” by DAVID BOWIE & QUEEN Vs. SMOKEY ROBINSON & THE MIRACLES
37. The Hockey Mom Fit Life – Holiday Stress
38. The Parentally Challenged – Gifts For Women Who Have Everything
39. Life On The Skinny Branches – Social Graces
40. Scott Andrew Bailey – The Scarlet Mountain
41. Hot Mess Memoir – Relate- Who Hates the Elf on the Shelf? Me Too
42. Walk with God – Don’t Just Wait to Relate
43. My Anxiety Matters – Today, this is me. Who can relate?
44. Good or Bad? Right or Wrong? – Autism in Our Nest
45. Getting a handle on Xmas stress – Your Nibbled News – 2017 YNN
46. Advice from Daddy – Alter Ego
47. Po’ Girl Shines – Relate to This
48. I’m So Sorry…Here, Eat This…. – Beauty Mirrors Beast
49. The Seminary of Praying Mantis – Last Autumn Magic poem 8~ not doing either !
50. Friends – Sgeoil
51. Relate – Image & Word
52. logicaldreams – Short Story: Relatable
53. Christmas Haiku #3 – Dream Desire Achieve
54. ALL CAPS: Can you relate to this? – Word Play … Work in Progress.
55. Can You Relate – Beauty Mirrors Beast
56. Lead Astray – Writer’s block
57. This American Carnage – Ben East Books
58. y – at the window, toy
59. yi-ching lin photography – terrain
60. The world is your oyster they say .. – IdeasBecomeWords
61. Advent calendar Box 19 – In my world
62. Heart Starts – Scribbled to Paper
63. Relate – binneyblog
64. Bedgasm! – The Soulful Writings
65. B*_ live – In Ones Eye
66. The Scarlet Mountain – thehouseofbailey
67. Relate – Megha’s World
68. related – Seventeen Syllable Poetry
69. Letter to Santa – A Unique Title For Me
70. The Examined Life – A Week Before Christmas
71. Frank Prem – duck chocolate and Tapas
72. Frank Prem – Poetry On Saturdays
73. Wind Against Current – Relate
74. Womanhood in all its Wonder – bambubbled
75. Blase’ – [Rampant! ;-)]
76. The psychological abuser under scrutiny… – Conscious Erudition
77. Six-word story: Relate – writingiswonderful
78. Writing To Find Myself – Bre-nana
79. Dismissed Suffering – Unpredictable Affairs
80. One Step Back, Two Steps Forward – The Sheepwrecked
81. Sascha Darlington’s Microcosm Explored – Hope Eternal, Pt III The Heart of Christmas, #amwriting
82. Relate – Pippakin Talks Cats, Dogs, Teeth and Claws
83. Angelystor – Mistyroads
84. Memos from a Retired Hippie Chick – What Will Become of Us?
85. A Bad Job Interview By Trump’s Judicial Pick Went #Viral (Leading to Him to Write a Withdrawal Letter) – Jerome Danner
86. Insach – That is relatable.
87. copypower – Relate Yourself
88. Retaliate or relate – Sometimes I wonder
89. Stim the Line – Can You Relate?
90. Lost – indisputably inconclusive
91. Haiku: Nature’s Rhythm – whippetwisdom.com
92. Creaking barns – KerDoodle Village
93. Related to fire and water
94. Survival – I am a paradox.
95. Soul mates do more than relate – Live an Untethered Life
96. Relate – Ej’s Dreams
97. SERENDIPITY – DON’T RELATE TO HATE: TWITTER SUSPENDS BRITISH HATE GROUP
98. Word Play … Work in Progress. – Daily prompt: Relate
99. Writers Share The Joy and Challenges of Writing… – Success Strategies
100. The Daily Prompt for today is Relate – Lezlie’s Scratch Pad
101. mylocalweb – the reward
102. Racing For Women’s Empowerment – Curious Cat
103. Musings of a Random Mind – It’s A Feeling
104. A brief encounter with depression – Some epiphanies
105. Code Of Freedom – Wings Of Poetry
106. No Doubt You Can Relate To This… – Success Strategies
107. Oby Akhigbe – One Sensational Blog Post That Will Change The Way You Write
108. Relate – UNVGW
109. Loving Vincent – Rantings of a nihilist fool
110. Muse of the Day – Everyday Strange
111. Israel From Judaism to Zionism – Islamic Methodologies Made Easy
112. Alone Together – This, That, and The Other
113. Realate – Stuff and Nonsense
114. Because I’m a mom – Relate….
115. DCMontreal: Blowing the Whistle on Society – Twitter Suspends Racist Account
116. As I See It – West Coast Morning
117. The genesis of an author. Or not. – Z for short.
118. Solace in Confinement
119. Relate – Covert Novelist
120. Relate! – I’m a Writer, Yes, I Am!
121. Directionally Challenged Cohorts – Wind Kisses
122. Power of poetry – A Ray of Sunshine
123. CHRISTMAS CHAOS – lovenlosses
124. The Cat Chronicles – Daily Feline Prompt: Relating Feline
125. Thank You for The Fandom – A Bunch of Rants
126. Writer Sanctuary – Winding Down the Year: What Do You Need to Work On?
127. Kimberlee K. – Stop Trying to Be Relatable
128. Relate to thy neighbouring neuron (human) – Neuronal Chaos
129. ‘The real world is an escape from the internet.’ – Wells Baum
130. When ugly is beautiful – Wells Baum
131. Newsletter: When computers looked like refrigerators – Wells Baum
132. Merry California Christmas
133. Worn Infrastructure – The Passwo** is: “Password”
134. Nineteen Ways To Be A Better You – Specscladeyes
135. Relate To Me – Jurassic Soul, Millenial Touch
136. Live Out Loud – Kurilane
137. Associative thinking – Oh, border!
138. Chronicles of an Anglo Swiss – The price of Health
139. It’s Been a Hell of a Ride – Fox Fresh
140. Light Motifs II – Promptsoup
141. Out of My Write Mind – What’s Your Forecast?
142. MY OWN PRIVATE IDAHO – Relate
143. Sad Reality – emotionsoflife2016
144. sonja benskin mesher – . clearing the jungle .
145. Trains – cocoa2
146. How the Republican Tax Plan Relates to You – dave . ology
147. My First Car Accident – Zeckrombryan
148. The GOP Christmas Gift Exchange – A lot from Lydia
149. KO Rural Mad As Hell Blog – Tictoc
150. Write Here: Write Now – Relate
151. Relate To Me – Pitch Black Poesy
152. lifelessons – a blog by Judy Dykstra-Brown – Relating Old Stories
153. Dronstad – What is Slava?
154. Relate – Curious Steph
155. Ups, Downs & Deviations – (r)Evolution
156. Can You Relate? – sixty, single and surviving
157. You & Me – Forever written on leaf
158. Relax – Shelter
159. The Travelling Horse – HorseAddict
160. Christmas Just Ain’t What It Used To Be – Paul Cox Writer
161. 3 Reasons You Need a B-Team – Stew Rd.
162. Here’s an Ice Cream Lock to Help You Avoid the Temptation – Odd Lots and Ends
163. Thousand Pillar Temple! – My Life.. My Thoughts..!
164. Brilliant Disguise – Live Like It Matters
165. Too Much Ignorance – Off My Rocker
166. I Feel Her Pain – Armed With A Keyboard
167. Burgundy for Nondrinkers – Journeys of Len
168. Why am I having trouble losing the last 10 pounds? – Bird Flight
169. Keeping the spirit of Christmas! – Elaine’s Blog
170. What kind of weather are you? – The Story Addict
171. Santa Theory 4 – writemebad
172. Just Another Example – Poetry By Jeremy
173. One-Liners that You can RELATE to!! – Wellness is your birthright
174. Can I Relate? – Vox Humbug
175. Can’t Always Relate – Just Writing!
176. How to Go Freeballing – This and That 404
177. Karen Lynne Beads – Relate
178. Why – This Girl’s Got Curves
179. Relate – Project21Words
180. Designer Sophisticate – Too wide a divide?
181. Sean Hogan – Angels Pop Pills Too
One thought on “Author Interview – Lior Gavra – “BitterSweet” (Contemporary Poetry)”
That quote on the back of the book!!! Genius. Wish I had thought of it. Damn it! :))