Monday 31 December 2012

Writer - Ted Smith-Orr

I'd like to welcome you to my interview with writer, Ted Smith-Orr.  Enjoy.

Ted Smith-Orr

Hello Ted, can you please introduce yourself?
I'm Ted Smith-Orr, from London SE25.
How long have you been writing?
Since 1998. 
What first got you interested in writing?
I could convey pictures faster than paint and it involved less materials.
Do you attend a writing group?
I attend Poets Anonymous Croydon
Why do you attend a writing group?
To air the poems and share with similar minded people. 
What is the most valuable thing you've taken away from your writing group?
The privilege of sharing each other’s poems, ideas that can spring from them, and a few beers. 
What types of things do you write?
Have you ever had anything published?
Small poetry publications, anthologies, newspapers, regional and national radio. 

Have you sent your writing to agents/publishers?  Have you received any rejections?
No agents, many refusals.
Would you consider self-publishing/e-publishing?
Yes self publishing is a good idea as most bookshops could not care a fig about most of us as we are unknown.  Also much of what is written often appeals to our relations or locality.  Paper publishing is not old fashioned although e-books are fashionable. At the moment they run side by side.  Both are valuable ways of publishing. 

Who/what influences your writing?  Where do you get your inspiration from?
After the initial emotional explosion, I realised I could do this and wrote about things I like and that and those around me. 
How do you come up with your characters' names and personalities?
People poems are usually a tribute to the person. otherwise they are not named. 
Do you have a writing routine?
Routine? It used to be daily at any time. Often into the night, or waking up and making drafts at a bout 3 am
Do you start out with a complete idea, or do you just start writing and hope for the best?
Some are complete. I don't know that hoping for the best is relevant.Some times by writing the first line the hidden ones behind it freely follow. Other times they can be a jumble which are a jig saw which needs fitting together. 
Do you have an editing process?  Do you have someone else read over your work?  Do you read your work aloud to yourself in front of the mirror?
My work: CUT, rewrite, rephrase and cut some more.  My Anthologies: I send to three different people as most of us miss the blinding obvious.  Not often but I should. If it rhymes and you can sing it, it should be ok. 
What do you enjoy the most/least about writing?
The sheer relief and pleasure of having put it on paper. (A bit like going to the loo) 
Delightful!  What is the best piece of writing advice you've been given?
"Write it and put it away in a drawer", but I add "When you take it out all errors will shine out from the inspired masterpiece that it is not."
What advice could you give to a new writer?
WRITE, WRITE and WRITE SOME MORE .  Read, re-read, cut, rephrase and cut some more.  Keep a note book with you all the time and enjoy every minute of it. 
How important is it for you to share your writing?
To get a grunt. nod, smile or laugh in response to my efforts is like a Wembley roar.  That's about as much a poet can expect. 
Have you ever entered any writing competitions?  Have you ever won?
Yes. No. ( that was an easy one ) 
Have you ever attended an open mic event for spoken word performers, as either an audience member or a performer?
As both in different parts of the country. 
Apart from writing, what are your other hobbies/interests?
Painting illustration, family, smoking... too much and the usual.

What types of things do you read?  Do you think your writing reflects your book tastes?
Newspapers, poetry books, other non fiction books.Book tastes... No, unless a poem has sparked off an idea.
If you could have written anything, what do you wish that could have been?
"I am not yet born, Oh hear me" Louis McNeice. 
Do you have a website/blog/Facebook/Twitter dedicated to your writing?
Website being prepared devoted to illustration and poems -
What are you working on at the moment?
My Website.  A collection titled "At the Backs of Shops and Houses".  A local arts festival in Croydon.  Poets Anonymous radio programme on one Sunday a month for

Is there anything else you'd like to add?
I wish you every bit of success with you venture. Whatever you get is what it is. Enjoy it and congratulate yourself on making the effort to get it going. 
Thank you very much Ted.

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