We offer our first and exclusive Q&A Interview with Brad Osborne, a writer whose literary works have been featured on our Spillwords pages as well as being Author of the Month of March 2021.
What does it mean to be selected as Author of The Month?
This recognition has meant a great deal to me. I have always been well supported by friends and family in my writing endeavors, but being voted on by readers and peers for this accolade is certainly something special. It renews my hope that my efforts are worthwhile and that there indeed may be some modicum of talent in what I do. I will readily admit that feels really good!
How have your friends and/or family influenced your writing?
My mother, an English teacher with a side-hustle of proofreading for Doubleday, birthed my love of language and I grew up in a home that looked more like a library than a house. In that setting, my youth found me engrossed by everything I read and I feel in love with the written word. It is my sister, the great empath of the family, that led me to share my writing to the general public. Without her influence, my words would still be just scribbles in a note book or files on a drive somewhere, read by no one but myself.
What inspires you to write?
It doesn’t take much to get my writing juices flowing. A simple observation, a beautiful turn of phrase, or any heart-felt emotion can send me into a writing spree that may produce any number of pieces. Sometimes changing perspective of that single idea or even moving tangentially into things the idea or subject provokes upon greater reflection.
What was your writing catalyst?
As I mentioned, I grew up around books and I was allowed to read anything regardless of how “adult” the subject matter. Reading the works of great novelists, I had travelled a million miles before I ever left my neighborhood. The ability to become transposed into these other places, times, and lives through my imagination and their words was magical for me. I quickly found a burning desire to move and affect people in the same way.
Tell us a little bit about your writing process?
With poetry, the process can vary greatly from one piece to another. Sometimes I only have a great opening or closing and must craft the rest from sheer determination. Other times an entire completed work just pours out on its own. I may finish it in one sitting or return to it many times over many months until I consider it done. So my process is highly variable. However, the one constant is dedicating the time and energy to the craft. I sit to write almost ever day. Sometimes my muse shows up, and sometimes she does not. I only know that if I am not there, nothing gets written.
What would you say is most fulfilling about writing?
It is oddly a sense of release. I have not always been able to express myself so easily. Now, when I write, I feel like I can release any feelings or emotions that have built up inside of me and clean the slate for what life has for me to experience next. My writing unburdens my mind and spirit making me more open to feel other things more deeply and to witness the world with a much clearer perspective.
Does the addition of imagery help to tell your story?
Imagery in poetry? Imagery is poetry. Imagery is vital in poetic works. The poet does not have five-hundred pages to craft the world they imagine. In the brevity that is verse, imagery quickly fashions the scene for the reader. It can set the tone and mood for an entire piece. It is one of the hallmarks of great poetry.
What is your favorite reading genre?
Well, if you could not guess, it is classical poetry. All the great masters of the craft, Whitman, Longfellow, Wadsworth, Tennyson, Thomas, et. al. But I also make sure that I read works from new artists and writers, as it is here that we see what poetry can become as we push verse into the next generation.
What human being has inspired you the most?
That is a tough question. I think our lives are touched and inspired by many people along our path. But with some considered thought, I would have to say my sister has been my greatest inspiration. She feels everything deeply and has no hesitation in voicing how she feels. After spending a good part of my life repressing all feelings, she taught me that it is okay to feel things and cathartic to write about them. She, in no small way, was responsible in me finding my voice.
What message would you have for the Spillwords Press community that voted for you?
Other than my most humble and sincere thanks, I would want them all to know that their small act of voting was not so small to me. The acknowledgement and recognition by such a talented group of peers has been uplifting. More so than I thought any award could be. They have made me feel like I am doing what I was meant to do. How do you ever thank someone for that?
What would you like your legacy as a writer to be?
I am sure I share some common fantasy of being recognized as a great poet of our generation, but that is a dream not a legacy. I want my legacy to be that my words and works have inspired others to find their voice. To write and express themselves in whatever format they may find. I want to be the reason the next great poet or writer started writing or, at least, found the strength to continue their pursuits.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Just a couple final thoughts. First, a huge thank you to all the staff and editors at Spillwords Press for all their hard work and efforts in creating and sustaining such a wonderful community of writers. And my thanks to all the readers and members who took the time to vote for me. Lastly, just a reminder to all those who struggle at times. Writing will not always be easy, nor will it always be hard, but it will always be rewarding. Thank you all again for such a great honor! Now, get out there and write something!
The author is American-born but world-travelled. His writings cover fiction and non-fiction, and cross most genres. Although his experiences and shared thoughts are not always unique, it is his hope that his words will bring comfort, joy, or insight to his readers.