Wings (Author Interview)

Wings looks like a great debut collection of poems. Can you tell us a little about the four main sections of the book?

Thanks so much for those kind words! Wings is divided into four sections, each representing a different phase in life.

The Uninitiated covers themes such chasing dreams, seeking love and the high life, while the Maimed deals with grief, pain, and heartbreak. The Thinker captures reflections and rationalizations, and the Enlightened encapsulates finding true love and meaning in life. These phases are a chronological representation of what I experienced growing up as a young man drawn to the glittering offerings of the high life.

It was great fun in the beginning, however after burning the candle on both ends with work and partying, I got burnt out in the process. I also got to experience the darker side of corporate life with the politics and the endless games. On a personal level, I experienced numerous turmoils, all of which is covered in the Uninitiated part of the book.

This led to a low point in my life where everything around me that I had worked hard to build began to collapse, these feelings were very raw and is covered in the Maimed part of the book. After reaching perhaps the lowest part of my life, I began to seek understanding and rationalizing why these events and feelings were occurring. The Thinker embodies these reflections.

The Enlightened section of the book encapsulates the answers to what I was seeking and the general sense of emptiness that we feel when we truly don’t understand our sense of purpose and more importantly ourselves.

Why did you choose the title Wings and what can you tell us about all the illustrations?        

As the book is divided into four parts, it is very much based on the analogy of a butterfly’s life. The Uninitiated is illustrated as butterflies being drawn to a bright light, which represents the glittering wonders of the high life. The Maimed is based on analogy for getting too close to the flame and getting hurt and is illustrated as a butterfly with burnt wings. While the Thinker is the rationalization phase and is depicted as a cocoon. The final section is the Enlightened, this is illustrated as a butterfly in free flight after emerging from the cocoon.

Although, you could argue that Butterflies are diurnal creatures of the day and they would not be attracted to the flame, which would be a great observation on the reader’s part!

Butterflies are majestic creatures that represent so much beauty and calmness as the float seamlessly through the air. I chose the Butterfly to represent us as human beings with such unrealized beauty as we pass through our journey in this world, which is why I chose the title Wings!

Each of the poems in the book is illustrated to capture the essence of the prose and to bring the words to life.

What inspired you when writing Wings?   

I believe that when we write poetry, it is interpreted at different levels. Firstly, it’s about the poet’s experience and message, it is then what the reader interprets and gains from the readings. I hope by sharing my journey that my readers will trust in their own resilience and celebrate this time we have here in its entirety with its peaks and troughs.

My parents have had such a huge impact in my life! My Dad is an entomologist, so the Butterfly analogy is a tribute to him and his guidance in my life. My Mom was a English teacher, so the prose itself is dedicated to her as a gratitude for all the love she has given me!

How long did it take you to write Wings?

Wings is a reflection of thoughts and feelings that has taken me over thirty years of reflections and experience to pen into words.

Did anything stick out as particularly challenging when writing Wings?

It is quite challenging revisiting those moments that cause you the greatest pain and trying to rationalize and capture those feelings and lessons in words.

I am a trained Engineer with an MBA and a former Naval Officer, while I strongly identify as a creative soul through my writing and music. There are times when these two mindsets are in conflict as one is very analytical and structured, and the other quite emotional and raw. Finding the balance and utilizing this in my writing can be challenging at times but I believe they are both a very strong part of me and this flows into my writing.
What do you like to do when not writing?

After travelling extensively, I am still very much amazed at the beauty of New Zealand, which is where I reside, so I try and spend as time as possible exploring this beautiful country. I also find it very uplifting spending time with family and friends.
I quite enjoy jamming and performing with my band, nothing beats the feeling and energy you get from combined creativity that you experience and the connection with the audience. I am usually reading a book, currently reading the ‘Dark Tower’ series by Stephen King.

Where can readers find out more about your work?