Tag Archives: Magical Realism

Author Interview: ‘Mr Either/Or’ by Aaron Poochigian

About the Book:

Aaron Poochigian’s Mr. Either/Or is an ingenious debut, a verse novel melding American mythology, noir thriller, and classical epic into gritty rhythms, foreboding overtones, and groovy jams surrounding the reader in a surreal atmosphere. Imagine Byron’s Don Juan on a high-stakes romp through a Raymond Chandler novel. Think Hamlet in Manhattan with a license to kill.

Aaron Poochigian earned a PhD in Classics from the University of Minnesota and an MFA in Poetry from Columbia University. His book of translations from Sappho, Stung With Love, was published in 2009. The Cosmic Purr, a book of original poetry, was published in 2012.

Add to Goodreads

Purchase Links:

Amazon – UK / US

Author Interview:


1: Tell us a little about yourself and what got you in to writing?

In high-school I was all about music—my band, musical theory, songwriting—but as soon as I took a poetry class in college, the rhythms and sounds of language re-focused my creative impulses. I had a sort of religious experience during my Freshman year. I was reading the opening lines of Vergil’s Aeneid in Latin—Arma virumqute cano. . . Though I didn’t know the language, I was so moved that the sky became brighter and everything became clear: I should learn the Classical Languages and spend the rest of my life writing poetry. That’s what I have done. No regrets. I guess I’m lucky in that I never had a phase when I didn’t know what I was going to do with my life.

2: Do you have a favourite time and place where you write?

I write best in the morning at my favorite coffee shop. My mind is at its loosest and most open. The sentences arise on their own without any effort on my part. Writing full-time, I often have to push through afternoon doldrums with lots of caffeine and sugar. Sometimes evenings are productive for me as well but, ah, what would I do without those fertile mornings?

Yes, the words come easy sometimes but, of course, they often do not. Here’s some advice for writers—if you are committed, make yourself do it, even if you aren’t in the mood. Treat writing as an obligation, like any other job. You have to put your hours in. Breakthroughs can happen at any time, even during the dull, slow afternoon hours—don’t lose your chance to have one.

3: Where do your ideas come from?

A good question. Where do my ideas come from? Out of my curious mind and out of all that I have read, yes, those and out of daily experiences—the doppler sound of traffic passing in front of my house, the sheen the barista’s mop leaves on the floor at the coffee shop, out of the crazy junk in my backyard and backlot, out of the many, many places I have lived. You’ve got these lines from Yeats’ “The Circus Animals’ Desertion” running through my head:

A mound of refuse or the sweepings of a street,
Old kettles, old bottles, and a broken can,
Old iron, old bones, old rags, that raving slut
Who keeps the till. Now that my ladder’s gone,
I must lie down where all the ladders start
In the foul rag-and-bone shop of the heart.

4: Do you have a plan in your head of where the story is going before you start writing or do you let it carry you along as you go?

When writing poetry, I usually let the poem crystallize around phrases and rhythms I have put in a word.doc. I just play around until something happens. “Mr. Either/Or,” however, is narrative, so I took the time to story-board the entire plot. I then created one word.doc for each plot event and allowed myself to go crazy creatively in each file, so long as I also narrated that one plot event. I then fitted all the files together into the whole narrative and polished the transitions. That way, I found I was able to get the story told while still giving myself freedom for creativity.

5: What genre are your books and what drew you to that genre?

“Mr. Either/Or” brings together all of my great loves—epic poetry, genre fiction (noir and thriller), action films and Americana. I really don’t know what to call it—sometimes I call it a thriller, sometimes urban fantasy, sometimes an epic poem. I guess I see “Mr. Either/Or” as reviving the genre of the verse adventure-story (à la Homer’s Odyssey and Byron’s Don Juan). It alternates between free-rhymed iambic pentameter and the pounding alliterative verse of Beowulf, so that the poetic rhythms cue the action like the soundtrack to a film. Yes, the book has its own soundtrack built in.

6: What dream cast would you like to see playing the characters in your latest book?

For the hero, “you,” Zach Berzinski superspy, Chris Pratt, who plays Star-Lord in the “Guardians of the Galaxy” movies, would be perfect. I would love to see Lynn Chen from “Saving Face” playing the heroine Li-ling Levine. And, oh, for the old spy “handler,” Zero Zero One, please, please give me Jonathan Lithgow.

7: Do you read much and if so who are your favourite authors?

I do spend more time writing than reading nowadays. I’m trying to break myself of my habit of simply re-reading my favorite poets and writers—W.B. Yeats, W.H. Auden, Raymond Chandler, P.G. Wodehouse. I find myself returning to their books as if they were so many Bibles to guide my career.

8: What book/s are you reading at present?

This week I am reading “Portnoy’s Complaint” by Philip Roth and a poetry collection by Adrianne Rich. I would be reading the new Jack Reacher novel by Lee Child (love that series) but I am cheap and thus waiting for it to come out in paperback.

9: What is your favourite book and why?

My favorite novel is Thomas Pynchon’s “The Crying of Lot 49.” It was another major model for “Mr. Either/Or.” It taught me that the needs of the plot need not restrict wild creativity. The writer should never be merely telling the story—he/she should do that, of course, and do it well but always at the same time be enjoying him/herself creatively. Pynchon’s novel is a mad whirlwind of a thing, a boundless conspiracy theory. I highly recommend it.

10: What advice would you give for someone thinking about becoming a writer?

I’m afraid that I won’t be able to give anything more than boilerplate advice: craft, craft, craft. Work, work, work. Force yourself to know boring subjects like grammar backwards and forwards, so well, in fact, that you don’t have to think about them any longer. The time you spend early on studying grammar, for example, will pay off down the line, I promise, by making you a clearer and more efficient writer. Preachy, boring advice, I know, but it’s sincere as Hell.

11: What are the best Social Media Sites for people to find out about you and your work?  

I’m big on Facebook—I have 5,000 friends and quite a few people following me. Facebook has been very good at fostering literary communities at the local and national levels. It’s also a good place to learn about events such as readings and giveaways. I have even gotten in the habit of posting my most topical new poems on Facebook—my profile page has become its own literary venue.

Facebook: www.facebook.com/aaron.poochigian

Website: www.mreitheror.com

About the Author:

Aaron Poochigian earned a Ph.D. in Classics from the University of Minnesota in 2006 and an M.F.A. in Poetry from Columbia University in 2016. His book of translations from Sappho, Stung With Love, was published by Penguin Classics in 2009, and a translation of Apollonius’ Jason and the Argonauts was released October 2014. For this work in translation he was awarded a 2010-2011 grant by the National Endowment for the Arts. The Cosmic Purr, (Able Muse Press), a book of original poetry was published in 2012, and many of the poems in it collectively won the New England Poetry Club’s Daniel Varoujan Prize. Poochigian’s work has appeared in such journals as The GuardianPoems Out Loud and POETRY.

Leave a comment

Filed under Author Interview, Reading Nook Blog Posts

Author Interview: ‘Only: The Alex Conner Chronicles Book Three’ by Parker Sinclair

About the Book:

One would think the sassy, sexy hybrid Earthen Protector and Healer Alex Conner deserves some downtime after all she’s been through. But no. Instead, she finds herself trapped by the king of the Fae, and he’s not letting her go until he gets what he wants.As alternate realities tangle her in confusion and bring her close to forgetting who she is and everyone she loves, will she unwittingly give the king what he craves?

If she does escape, will she ever pick up where she left off with her sexy Adonis Ryan? And can she control the new power she never knew she could wield—one over life and death itself—or will she be entangled in a realm whose ruler is hell-bent on entrapping her and someone she holds dear, forever?

Only is the third book in the Alex Conner Chronicles, an Urban Adult Fantasy/Magical Realism Series with magic, heart, sensuality, & mystery

Add to Goodreads

Purchase Links:

Amazon – UK / US

Author Interview:

1: Tell us a little about yourself and what got you into writing?

My name is Parker Sinclair, and I have woven a fascinating web in my life so far. I’ll never trade my childhood full of backpacking and hiking around the United States; my love and pursuit of science and psychology where I studied marine mammals; a stint in party planning, my master’s in counseling; and now I’m a published author.

I’ve always been a writer, and I have stories from grade school still hidden away in my plastic bin (aka treasure chest) along with research papers, short stories, poetry, and a variety of book ideas. I think the summers camping, meeting new people, creating our fun through games, plays, reading countless books, and telling stories around campfires have aged like a fine wine in my memory. The stories are now pouring out of me!

2: Do you have a favorite time and place where you write?

I used to write at night after the kiddos fell asleep and just late enough to get a good 4-5 hours of sleep before I had to be at my counseling job at a local high school. I’ve been a night owl most of my life, but that was becoming dangerous for my mental health. Now that I’ve taken the leap to focus on my dream, I have slowly adjusted to daytime writing. My word count and imagination are usually at their best with a Marvel movie in the background or outside on my porch listening to nothing but the wind, birds, and the occasional dog barking.

3: Where do your ideas come from?

I’ve always loved reading, writing, and movies. The genres I am most drawn to are fantasy and Sci-fi. I spent a lot of time, and false starts, coming up with the Alex Conner series. I wanted a heroine who was both a powerful yet who also had her weaknesses and those moments when you just get frustrated with her. That’s life, that’s real, and it’s what I love about one of my favorite shows ever, Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Now my YA novel, Eve of the Exceptionals (epic fantasy) came about with my hope to write a book to read to my kiddos, to bring around to the schools, and from my love for the classic fairy tales and fantasy quests like The Princess Bride.

4: Do you have a plan in your head of where the story is going before you start writing or do you let it carry you along as you go?

My first two books, Trust and Truth, had the most planning. Trust had a full outline, but it also took on a life of its own at times. Truth had an immediate plot, but the side stories and twist that came to be were off the cuff and organic. Forbidden was purely on the go as well as Eve of the Exceptionals. Only was lightly planned out, but I went off script and new chapters and ideas found their way into the novel.

5: What genre are your books and what drew you to that genre?

My books cross over into many genres such as: Urban Adult Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, Magical Realism, Suspense, & Epic Fantasy. My dad mainly read fantasy/sci-fi so our library was full of covers with dragons, glowing blue swords, and scantily clad women with pointy ears. At that time, the books I read were mainly by men, but now my own bookshelf is full of excellent female writers as well.

6: What dream cast would you like to see playing the characters in your latest book?

This is such a fun question, and I’ve enlisted the help of some of my biggest fans to help answer it.

Alex: I’m thinking the lead in Ex Machina who is now in the new Tomb Raider movie, Alicia Vikander.

Sandra: Scarlett Johansson without a doubt! She’s a bombshell and plays both funny and compelling characters at the same time.

Ryan: Jason Momoa: Tall, dark, and handsome. Need I say more?

Logan: If I could have Tom Hardy as Logan I would be in awe! He’s a stellar actor, and nice to look at 😉

Justin: Ryan Gosling. He’d be great as the “safe” boyfriend who goes dark.

Valant: This one is tricky. Who to play the Demon? Bill Skarsgard perhaps or Taron Egerton.

7: Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors.

I used to binge read constantly, but then my own stories were churning in my head, which made it hard to read for a while. I have slowly been jumping back in for enjoyment and research. I want to continue to get better and reading helps me do just that.

When I was young, my first favorite author was Terry Brooks. I love the Harry Potter Novels and Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials series. As I got older and got my hands on adult urban fantasy novels, they truly sparked my interest. Those books helped to solidify my idea for my main character, Alex, and that my story was acceptable—more than acceptable. My faves are Kim Harrison, Jeaniene Frost, Kelley Armstrong, & Cecy Robson. I’m also enjoying beta reading for other indie authors, and I’ve found such joy in helping my fellow writers in this capacity.

8: What book/s are you reading at present?

I am reading Kim Harrison’s The Turn & Across the Veil by Lisa Kessler.

9: What is your favorite book and why?

Running with the Demon by Terry Brooks. It was one of his first with a female lead, she was a young runner as I was, she did the impossible, and I felt I could as well. I have to also toss in The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss. It’s a large book and full of science and magic, and while I was trying to create my book, I didn’t seem to realize at the time that, duh, I could put my science and psychology education into each book. I thanked him for that over Facebook. It meant that much to my artistic craft.

10: What advice would you give to someone thinking about becoming a writer?

I’ve been volunteering quite a bit in my local schools and I have met some remarkable students in middle and high school for the last few months. There truly are some talented, budding authors in those schools. I told them just to write, free flow it, and not to worry about the perfect word or the perfect description at first. They just get the bones of the story down. That’s good advice for writers of all ages!

11: What are the best Social Media Sites for people to find out about you and your work?

I have a bunch of them! Thank you for giving me an opportunity to interview!

Webpage: www.parkersinclair.net

Blog: www.parkersinclair.net/blog

Purchase my books: www.parkersinclair.net/buy-a-good-book

Newsletter: www.parkersinclair.net/contact

FB group page: www.facebook.com/groups/236408996753314

Facebook Fan Page: www.facebook.com/ParkerSinclairbooks

Amazon Author Page: www.amazon.com/Parker-Sinclair/e/B00Q33GTQM

Instagram: @ParkerSinclairauthor

Twitter: @Parker_Sinclair

Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/author/show/9860680.Parker_Sinclair

Youtube: www.youtube.com/channel/UCWQE3qvMyB5DEZ9wwdz8rOQ


About the Author:

Parker Sinclair gives credit to the development of her imagination and passion for writing to multiple childhood destinations lacking indoor plumbing. While attending college, Ms. Sinclair studied biological sciences and psychology, specifically animal behavior, but her love has forever been to write. Since 2007, Ms. Sinclair has called Virginia Beach home where she is a licensed professional school counselor and a full-time writer, and finds time to write late into the night after her kiddos and in many cases, her husband are fast asleep.

Previous Books from Parker Sinclair:

Trust: The Alex Conner Chronicles Book One

Truth: The Alex Conner Chronicles Book Two

Forbidden: An Alex Conner Chronicles Novella

Eve of the Exceptionals

Leave a comment

Filed under Author Interview, Reading Nook Blog Posts