Today I have the pleasure of interviewing Robert Zimmermann, poet, and author of short story BREAKFAST IN BED, and poetry works I WOULD, WINTER’S HOMECOMING AND OTHER POEMS, and FROM WHERE I STAND, and welcome him to my blog.
It’s good to get out of the house for a bit. Thanks for having me over 😉
Q: Have any life experiences inspired you to write your books?
A: That’s a great question, because most of my work (so far) has been greatly influenced by my real-life experiences. I think when writing poetry, it’s hard to separate life from what’s being written down. That’s not always the case, but with my style of poetry, it’s almost always an influence. You can see this in From Where I Stand, especially.
Though, for my erotica…well, I’ll just leave that unanswered, haha.
Q: For how long have you been writing?
A: I’ve been writing since the eleventh grade. That’d make it about *counts on his fingers* roughly 8 years. It wasn’t until the end of 2008, after I finished getting my A.A. degree, that I knew writing was the only thing I really wanted to do with my life. That’s when I took it a bit more seriously, and pursued my B.A. in Creative Writing.
Q: Each writer works in different ways with reference to writing. Do you have a writing program/schedule that works for you?
A: You’d think after writing for so long, that I’d have a method to my madness. Sadly I don’t. I’ve been trying to figure out a way to sit myself down and just write…to write ANYTHING. I get distracted easily, but at least it’s by book related things like reading and keeping my blog going.
Once I find what works for me, though, I know it’ll be worth the wait. Once I get going, I don’t stop easily.
Q: Do you have any favorite book genres which you love to read?
A: I try to stay away from getting a favourite genre. It’s not always easy, but I just don’t like getting set in one way for too long because I’ll be neglecting other genres. I’m like this with books, music, movies, really anything. But I do tend to get into small phases in my reading. Right now I’m in a sci-fi phase, with a focused interest in overpopulation. In a week or two, I might start reading children’s books exclusively. I like to keep things fresh.
Q: Are there any favorite books and authors who have been influential upon you and your writing?
A: One of my favorite authors is Ernest Hemingway, but since getting more into the Indie book world, I’ve come across many great authors that have topped my list. S.M. Boyce and her Grimoire Saga has just blown me away. And I’ve met some poets like Ben Ditmars and Amber Jerome~Norrgard along the way. Working with them and reading their work has helped me hone my writing in a bit more and made me try new things.
I’d also like to think that legendary poets like Plath, Whitman, and (should be legendary, my professor/mentor) James Allen Hall have influence in my poetry. I just wouldn’t try to compare myself to them. I’m not THAT good.
Q: From my experience reading your books, they teem with luxurious prose, and evoke an atmosphere of serenity and calm on the surface, but, underneath, possess layers of subtle meaning which can be unraveled through repeat readings of your works. What inspires you to write your books, which I find to be, as I often like to find literary parallels with cinema, the literary equivalent of art-house films?
A: Thank you for those kind words about my work. It’s always great to see that readers can get something deeper into the words on the page. To be honest, I’m not very good at reading that way myself, and as a writer, I don’t often try to make things too deep. I like to make my poetry fairly surface level and accessible to a variety of readers.
I’ve had a few reviews come in saying that even though the reader doesn’t normally care for poetry, that my book(s) didn’t read like most poetry out there. To see that I can reach out to those readers who are shy about poetry was one of my goals. I’m glad I accomplished it, but I’m also glad that even behind that, there was more to take away through multiple readings.
As I said earlier, a lot of my inspiration for my work comes from my real-life experiences and growing up. There’s A LOT of me in the words, behind the words, and everywhere else I can be. I just try to bring the reader into the scene of the poem or the emotion I was trying to bring out through whatever feels right at the time. I don’t try to overthink when writing, at least at first. Later on I can focus in on getting a little of an underlying meaning in there, or a hint at something bigger at least. Even though I would like poetry to be much more simple to read for myself and others, it’s the nature of the craft to have something lurking in the background.
Being that my collection From Where I Stand was a form of therapy for me to write and resisting in the editing process, I think it much of what readers get from a second or third reading was unavoidable. Once you tap into the deeper and darker parts of the human mind, things come out that you didn’t know where in there. I even discover new things when reading over my work now…and it’s been about 10 months since I finalized and published that collection.
Q: Do you have any favorite TV shows, either from the past, or still on the air?
A: I don’t watch much TV, but when it’s not the off-season, I tend to watch How I Met Your Mother and Two Broke Girls. I also watch the occasional Yankees game, but I only have very basic cable, so I don’t get most of the games.
My ALL-TIME favourite TV show, and I’m not ashamed to say this at all, is Gilmore Girls. I own all 7 seasons on DVD, and watch them straight through many times a year. For some reason it never gets old. I find there’s not much substance on TV in recent years, but Gilmore Girls has always stuck out for so many reasons. It’s even made its way into From Where I Stand. I always wanted to write a poem involving the show. It wasn’t easy, but I eventually found a connection.
Q: Are there any hobbies you like to participate in when you have spare time?
A: I’m a very active person, to the point where I don’t like sitting down for too long a period of time (unless I’m really engrossed in a book). Most of my time (spare time or not) is spent outside. Most of the time you can find me taking my bike out through the trails in the woods, going for a run, or swimming in the lake near my house. If I’m not doing that, I’m doing landscaping work around my property just so I have something to do. My winter’s are spent shovelling my ridiculously long driveway and snowboarding…activities people think I’m crazy for loving.
Q: Do you have any other writing projects that you would like to mention?
A: I’m currently “working” on my next project. It’s just a little slow-going right now. In the beginning of the year, I was writing a little more and that’s when I was writing some erotic flash fiction (this is after my story Breakfast in Bed was published. I got in the groove for a bit) for few friend’s blogs. My idea for this new project is to take those pieces, polish them up, and add in a few more pieces that I’ve been toying with. Then I’ll throw it out there to the public so it’s all in one place for them.
For those who have read Breakfast in Bed, and wanted more of Nick and Julie…there should be some more of that couple in the collection.
I planned to get that out by the end of the summer, but since that’s not going smoothly, I think I’m going to say by the end of the year. I hate making deadlines for myself, haha.
I am certain you will join me in thanking Robert today for his time, and that we look forward to reading more of his works in the future. If you wish to contact Robert, he is available on:
*Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Robert.Zimmermann.Writer
*Robert’s website is: http://robertzimmermannauthor.weebly.com
*Robert’s Blog: http://alifeamongthepages.wordpress.com/
– Robert’s books can be accessed by clicking on the book covers below. For an introduction to Robert’s books, I WOULD is free for readers: