A Ten Question Interview With The Artist… Wayne Russell

Why do you write?

I write as a form of therapy, growing up in a broken home had significant ramifications upon my life as a child and still affects me to this day. For me, writing is better than any antidepressant medication.

What books do you read?

I love biographies of writers, artist, and mad people in general. I have read bios on Anne Sexton, Sylvia Plath, John Berryman, and so many more. I have a soft spot for fucked up individuals. Pain makes for intriguing musings, that’s why I devour poetry books by the handful composed by the insane loners’ of the world.

Any works by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Franz Kafka, Friedrich Nietzsche, I have even read The Primal Scream by the psychologist/ psychotherapist Arthur Janov. Kerouac’s On the Road, Dylan Thomas’s Under Milk Wood, anything he writes is always brilliant! I could listen to Thomas read his works for hours, and have done so on many occasions; he had the roaring voice of a god.

What inspires you?

Painful and tragic life events lead the charge in my inspiration for writing material. I can remember events from my life as far back a two years of age, very vague blurry images; but writing material non the less. Happy events sometimes rear their heads, so I write about those buggers too, separately.

How did you know you wanted to be a writer and when?

When I was five years old, I just knew that I would either be an artist or writer of some sort. The artist in me died some time ago, just got burned out on it and never picked it up again, until sometime later when I was in University completing my associates in graphic design, when school was over, no more art, I swore it off indefinitely.

How do you deal with rejection?

When I first started mailing my poetry and fiction out to potential publishers back in the late 80’s and waited for months on end only to receive a rejection notice, I took it rough; sometimes I sulked for days. In hind sight I realized that the editors knew a piece of rubbish when they read it.

Back in the late 80’s I really wanted to be the next Robert Burns, true story; I was only seventeen, eighteen at the time. I would read Burns for hours and hours methodically studying his form, determined to write like him so I could woo the ladies and maybe even get lucky.

These days rejection is something that slides right off my back; I set the bar low so that those rejection letters don’t sting like they did back in 2005 when I started emailing my work out via the God send of social media magic.

Who are some writers you admire?

So many great writers that I could rattle off about, some well-known and others so very obscure. My top ten in no particular order would have to be Nietzsche, Dostoyevsky, Kerouac, Plath, Sexton, Berryman, W.D. Snodgrass, John Steinbeck, Ernest Hemmingway, and Thomas.

Is writing the only artistic medium you do?

Due to being on the autism spectrum, I have always been a person of few interests; however photography, landscaping, and singing would definitely be right up there at the top of the heap. Over the years I attempted to learn the guitar and keyboards so that I could compose music to song lyrics that I wrote. That being said, the instrument’s ended up gathering dust more than anything, damned procrastination monster!

What would be some advice you would give to your younger self?

Advice: Stay away from the Army and Navy, (go to University) between the two armed forces I was in for five years, detested both, but managed to survive and get out with an honorable discharge.

More advice: Wayne you nutter! Do not marry that lady, you will regret it! I was married for two years to a beautiful and intelligent poetess; alas we were way to young and blah, blah, blah.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Don’t quit your day time job just yet, wait until the money from your royalty checks start rolling in, if they ever do; sadly for most of us that will never be the case. Use your spell check, don’t do crack, and never write under the influence.

What is your writing process?

Writing at least a few sheets in the wind? A few pints and a few more? No really, absolute solitude; I really envy writers that can spell and do proper punctuation and grammar; but most of all I envy a writer that can work with lots of noise.
I don’t really have a process so to speak, a few beers to loosen the fingers up, some good music to get the musings flowing. However, once the lines are going; I pause the music, or shut it off completely due to becoming over simulated by all the noise, thanks autism lol!

Wayne Russell

Wayne Russell is a creative writer from Tampa, Florida, but he has seen most of the world. At different points in Wayne’s life, he has had the privilege to reside in Dunoon, Scotland and Wellington, New Zealand. Wayne has recently founded his first online writing magazine known as Degenerates Literature, it can be found at the link below. https://www.facebook.com/DehenerateLiterature/




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