A simple, sober, passionate, emotional and Oh Yes!, a handsome author I came across this time is Mr.Warren Stribling. Staying far away in the beautiful land of Mexico Mr Warren gracefully accepted my proposal for a chit chat session when I approached him. He shared so many things about his life, writing and plans he had ahead. Want to know… Continue reading the awesome session with one and only “author Warren Stribling”.
1) Welcome, Mr Warren Stribling. It’s a pleasure to have you on this platform of Indiacafe24.com. Our readers would surely want to have a sneak peek about you and wish to know about you apart from a writer. Kindly share a brief about you, your education and your family.
Not much to say really. I’m a pretty simple guy that considers himself self-educated and blessed to have found a challenging, intelligent, and beautiful person to share my life with and the dogs that keep us sane and together.
2) Which authors and their work inspired you the most?
The authors that have inspired me most are Albert Camus, Sylvia Plath, Charles Bukowski, and John Fante.
Besides ‘Le Petit Prince’, Camus is the only French writing I have read and truly enjoyed without getting frustrated by my level of French. It shows that he writes in a way that is approachable by anybody. Yet, he has a very subtle, and sometimes not so subtle, way of bleeding his philosophy into his story. I love philosophy and agree with a lot of Camus’s Absurdism. More than that though, he tells a good story, even if you don’t necessarily see all the subtle hints of his philosophy. He kind of teaches without it being obvious, something I try to do with my own writing.
Slyvia Plath’s ‘Bell Jar’ spoke to me in a way I never thought possible from a female writer. It even made me accept how ‘feminine’ my own nature is in many ways, but also that despite how different the sexes may be, the essence of a man and a woman is very much the same. I would love to write a novel from a woman’s perspective, just out of a tribute to her. I started to, but then cut it down to a lengthy short story. I may still write a full novel from a woman’s perspective, but not any time soon. Whether or not, ‘Butterfly’ compares at all to Slyvia Plath is beyond the point. She wrote a story that I connected with in so many ways that it was scary. I hope Butterfly, or any of my other writings, will help young women, or anybody for that matter, find a connection that will help them not feel alone and strive to carry on a little bit longer to fight the good fight in this world.
I discovered Fante in a regressive way through Bukowski. Fante was Bukowski’s inspiration. In fact, the way Bukowski found Fante and was inspired by him, I found Bukowski and was likewise inspired. Reading Fante after Bukowski, I can see how he was influenced, and I fell very much in love with his story-telling much like Bukowski did. Yet I found Bukowski first and give him credit for my deepest inspiration.
Charles Bukowski gave me a new respect for writing. Every writer I enjoyed before him was ‘good’ writing, but it felt far away. I, myself, had enjoyed writing, but it never felt like ‘real’ writing. I saw myself as fake. Imagine watching your favourite movie, when you finish, you think, ‘that was a great movie’. But you don’t feel like it was a movie you could have written yourself, it doesn’t feel like ‘you’ no matter how much you connected with it. Bukowski was different because it felt like my own thoughts being pulled out of my mind and put on the page in front of me. What makes this so powerful is I never did the things he did. It truly was magical. When I first started writing, I almost wanted to imitate him. And I probably did at first in my moments of low self-esteem and self-doubt. But the more I wrote, the more I started to hear my own voice and not his. The more I realized I had my own voice. Maybe it isn’t as good as his, but it was because of him I got to find my own voice and had the courage to share it.
With all these writers, I feel that we all see and think about the world the same way. We may have our disagreements about how the world is and how people are, and though we may have our differences with it, we don’t try to scream in an angry voice about it. We are affected by it, even disappointed. We hope to shine a light on those areas, but we don’t get overly attached to the idea of people or the world actually changing. It’s more of observation with the hopes we will help our readers see a different side of the world, if only for the length of the story.
3) Can you recall that moment when you first realized that there is an author within you? Or it was someone else you discovered the author in you?
My mother discovered it before I did. I enjoyed writing but never thought of myself as a potential author. My mother saw it when I was growing up. It took me much longer to realize it. Honestly, it almost felt like I tried everything else before accepting it. Now that I have, I’m all-in.
4) The conflict between the publishers and authors is very common. Have you faced such a problem while finding a publisher for your books?
I have had a few interesting stories with publishers, but not so much conflict. One of the stories may even be worth turning into a story one day, but it is much too long to tell here and do it any justice. I’ll let you know if I share it one day.
In the end, I decided self-publishing was the best way to go. I started with only publishing in the Amazon Kindle program. Starting with the next novel though, I’m going to maintain a more widespread presence and publish it in all major bookstores. ‘Sin and Zen’ will also be ending its exclusivity with Amazon one week before the release of ‘Anger and Hope’.
As of now, I will probably stick to self-publishing. Having said that, I carry an open mind and would be willing to consider a publisher or agent if we can see eye to eye and maintain a transparent honesty.
5) Share something with us about the feedback you received so far for your book Sin and Zen? We heard that the sequel of this book is also about to get published, please share a few words about it.
The feedback has been what I expected in a positive sense, and not as bad as I thought it might be in a negative sense. Even people that don’t like the type of writing I do, either by genre or story, still say it is ‘easy to read’ and ‘well written’. As a writer, that’s a great compliment. ‘If it is easy to read, it was hard to write,’ as they say. The greatest victories come from people that would never normally read something like my novel and absolutely love it.
Quite honestly, I have yet to find my readers. People that read transgressive fiction are a hard audience to find and are generally sure that nobody today could write something that will get their attention the way previous works have. So, I’m in a tough profession and a very tough field, but knowing the writing is good, I’m sure it will one day find its audience. Hopefully, it will happen soon so that I can witness it.
I’m happy that my fears of being a ‘bad’ writer have been dispelled by the feedback so far. That is a major triumph for me, but now I can only hope that my writing gets in front of more people. The next great accomplishment would be to know that my story has affected or helped people in the world.
The sequel to ‘Sin and Zen’, entitled ‘Anger and Hope’, is out on preorder now and will be officially released on July 24, 2020. The one year anniversary of ‘Sin and Zen’. ‘Sin and Zen’ faces the struggles of a young man when it comes to romantic love. He is on the constant search of finding meaning in life, but also finds himself entangled with the ideas of trust, friendship, and lust when dealing with what he hopes is love.
‘Anger and Hope’ goes into a different form of love. There isn’t much romance happening in ‘Anger and Hope’. It’s almost as if Will has given up on it, and in a sense, tries to find love through his more or less estranged family. It talks a lot about family, but it also dives into the ideas of pride, shame, anger, hope, and what home truly means for Will.
6) The cover page of your book is very interesting and designed so well. How you conceptualize the design and who designs it?
The design was done by a young lady named Emily, or more specifically, ‘Emily’s World of Design’. She is very receptive and intuitive when it comes to understanding what an author needs. More than that, she doesn’t mind working closely with the author to make sure it comes out the way the author intended or to show him something he never thought about but fits quite nicely in the end. I highly recommend her if anybody is looking.
7) What about poetry- It attracts you or not? If yes, plz share a few lines of your poetry work.
I do enjoy poetry, but I don’t feel so great about it to call myself a poet in any sort of serious way. I have a few poems in the next novel, I do enjoy writing them, but usually just for personal pleasure or insightfulness.
But sure, I’ll share a stanza here I wrote in frustration and new love within the first few weeks of meeting my wife.
But that smile
That smile you have
Is like a smirk
With a smile
The way it curves up
Right there at the end.
Uncontrollable to not want.
You’ve taken on the world
And you figured it out because of it
That smile shows a girl
An innocent girl
That still believes
in fairy tales.
8) What are your other passions in life?
I used to do lots of things, have a lot of interests. They are still of interest, but there is not much I could say I’m passionate about beyond words and my family.
9) What are your future plans- A full-time author or something else?
The full-time author sounds nice. I would never want it to define me, just like I don’t want any other job I’ve had to define me. Yet, it is a nice thought to be able to do this full-time and make a living off of it.
10) What next book in the pipeline( after sequel of Sin and Zen ) and of what genre?
There will be a third book to make a trilogy of ‘Sin and Zen’. It will be called ‘Fear and Love’ and will find Will coming to an ultimate climax on the complexity of love. It will involve both romantic love and family love as the first two did, but use those as stones to achieve and realize a divine love. It will be a type of love that is hinted at in the debut novel, hence taking our hero full circle through the hero’s journey using everything he learned from all three books to come to a new place with himself and in life.
I also have started building a world for dystopian fiction that is more action-oriented. It will still be loaded with lots of psychology and philosophy, but it will be told from the third-person rather than the more intimate Will Strief first-person point of view. It will be told primarily through the experiences of one special forces soldier slowly learning the world isn’t as simple as he thought it was when it comes to ‘good’ and ‘bad’. Think of a 1984 story with futuristic military action and Jungian archetypes for a touch of mysticism. It’s a huge world and undertaking as a writer that I started years ago, but always get so distracted by the research and world-building I’ve only written a few actual chapters.
The funny part is I never intended Sin and Zen to be a published novel. I wanted to write my dystopian story as a writer if anything, but Sin and Zen just had to be written. It was a fire I had to release. When I finished, I thought, ‘well, that’s good enough.’ But people read it and wanted more, so I thought, ‘Why not?’ I can live in that world and share more of Will’s story for a couple more books.
11) Share some tips for young authors who wish to make a mark in the industry with their work?
First of all, I personally would get rid of the idea of ‘making a mark’ on the industry. That feels like the wrong motivation for me. So is money or fame or sex. I’m not a fan of people that ‘write to market’ or turn writing into a factory of just pumping out words to clutter the libraries of the world.
I’m very Taoist in my philosophy of life, so I, therefore, believe in just allowing the work to happen of itself. Wei Wu Wei or ‘Doing not doing’. If you have to force it, maybe it isn’t your thing. Everybody is literate in this world and everybody wants to be heard, therefore everybody wants to be a writer. I wrote an article about this called, ‘Why does everybody want to be a writer?’ if you’d like to hear more about that.
Quite honestly, if you could be anything else but a writer, I would probably do that. Yet, I will say this as just a piece of general life advice that can be applied to being a writer.
Follow your gut.
Trust your heart.
Use your brain.
Your gut will guide you to your bliss, listen to it. Your heart will let you know who and what to trust along the way. Your brain will try to out-reason your gut and heart, but just remember that your brain is a tool. It is the most powerful tool known to man, but it is still a tool, not a master, not you.
Listen to your gut about what to do with your life and then allow your brain to do its job to figure out how to make it happen.
Whatever it is you decide to do, do it with a passion, if the passion dies, do something else. You only live once and you are never under any obligation to be tomorrow who you are today.
12) Define Warren Stribling the author in One line?
‘Warren Stribling is relentless, shameless, insightful, and hilarious when it comes to showing the ugly and beauty of the human condition.’