Veronica's #WritersDiary, It's an #IndieApril Exclusive with Scottish, #Author/#Poet, Derek R. King!
What better way to start off the new month of #IndieApril than an interview with a writer whose works I've come to greatly admire! In today's post you'll meet the multi-talented, author/poet/musician/singer, Derek King. His poetry soothes the soul, his short stories evoke scary chills, and non-fiction works inspire us all. Ladies and Gents, Mr. Derek King:
Do you remember the first poem you wrote?
Ha! Yes, I do remember it. I was thirteen. I wrote it sitting on the grassy slope of a sea cliff looking out across the Firth of Forth towards Fife. It was a beautiful sunny day with gusty sea breezes. I scribbled it in a hard back journal with marble paper cover my father had given me for ‘homework’. I don’t remember much about the poem, other that it was very earnest and naïve. I didn’t think much of it at the time, even the seagulls laughed when I read it. But I do remember thinking, ‘Yes, I can do this and do it better.’
When did things start to gel for you in your poetry?
Things really began to click when I wrote and played in the band. I heard lyrics and poetry in my head more as a performance than just written words. I mean, the written words in rhythms and tempos, using the stop start of music to create and build suspense, using one or two words at a time to create dynamics and drama, like staccato. I also discovered art around that time, art nouveau, deco, surrealists, pop art. I wanted my poems and lyrics, in tandem with the music, to paint pictures with words and sounds, I know sounds nuts, right!
The Life and Times of Clyde Kennard non-fiction was a quite a change then?
Yes, it certainly wasn’t planned. I was between music projects looking for something to keep the grey cells going. I’d had an interest in civil rights struggles in deep south US for a while. I was reading book after book, and Clyde Kennard’s name kept popping up, but there wasn’t much information. This piqued my interest initially, then the more I researched and learned, the more impassioned and driven I became to tell his story. It demanded to be told, frankly. He was a remarkably talented young man, such a shame.
Toni Morrison once said, ‘If there’s a book you want to read that hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.’ I guess I did just that.
Then you returned to poetry?
Yes, with a little fiction short in between. The Clyde Kennard book was over ten years in the making and I wanted to get back to my roots. So yes, poetry guy returns. My first poetry book ‘Noir [or When the Night Comes]’ was released in October 2020. A collection of dark poetry I guess, coupled with some lighter moments, all wrapped in a nocturnal vibe.
My second, ‘Natyre Boy’ was released last month. It’s an altogether different affair. Described as ‘like taking a nature hike with a poet,’ which is fun and how I hoped it would be viewed. We had a great virtual book launch for it and it was lovely to see friends from across the globe pop in to say ‘Hi’.
I have to thank 8N Publication for making these two possible and of course, the third volume ‘Elegy’ which is planned for next year and of course artist Jane Cornwell.
So, what’s next for you?
Well, other than ‘Elegy,’ I have a little novel on the go, who knew that was going to happen. Started life as a 35k short, now grown by 50% and needs more TLC to be honest. It’s upbeat, little bit of action, romance, some twists and humour.
Derek, what an inspiring chat, and such a pleasure to get to know you! As a special treat for our readers--I am pleased to air a special, audio experience from Derek's Noir poetry collection. Here is the poem, Silent Riposte⏬, with rockin' music and vocals by Mr. King himself! #SoundUp!
Thanks so much, Derek! If you'd like to check out more of Derek's writings, check out his links here:
Clyde Kennard Website: The Life and Times of Clyde Kennard | Derek R. King (clydekennardlifeandtimesof.com)
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Derek-R-King/e/B07MPBQNCH
The Book Reviews are Coming In for Twins in the City!
My #AprilFoolsDay book launch for Twins is off and running! Thank you, thank you to everyone who has supported me in the release of this latest tale--I can't tell you how much it means to me! The Re-Tweets, shared Posts and #bookreviews absolutely warm my heart and is so appreciated. Today I'll continue a bit of #ShamelessSelfPromo (a duty every #writer must do!) and share one of the 5⭐ reviews for Twins, this one from the fabulous Bibiana Krall (submitted on Barnes & Noble and Goodreads)!
Twins in the City: Playtime at Castlewood Manor (#6) by Veronica Cline Barton is pure escapism with so much to offer a cozy mystery or women’s fiction reader.
It opens in Bermuda with Gemma, a fictional character I’ve come to consider a friend. She adores her family and friends and lives a fairy-tale life surrounded by glamour, domestic happiness and intrigue.
As the natural beauty of one of my favorite places unfolds, a mystery arrives when a shady someone comes up missing.
Are there nefarious acts occurring or is this just a coincidence?
Between the beautiful moments many hope to enjoy in our own lives, a crime is revealed and more connections are made as we return to London with Gemma to house hunt with a fortunate family looking for the perfect abode to raise their beloved children and fall in love all over again.
A Scottish nanny with some extremely unusual skills helps an amateur sleuth discover the secrets to a mansion with a sketchy past.
There are so many great characters in this series, Gemma, Kyle, Chef Karl, Figgy, Rhikke, Max, Ma Ma, a famous actress with the opportunity to wow in a new play in the West End.
Hobnobbing with royals, talented playwrights and dishing with the A-list is all part of the fun.
When the truth is revealed, there is room for the future and perhaps a little redemption.
If you are a cozy reader, you will adore this book and appreciate the ease in which you “travel” through a glittering, society world that the majority of us will never have the chance to enjoy.
Highly recommended reading for fans of Rhys Bowen and the TV series Agatha Raisin, elevated with a splash of French champagne and a dollop of the finest caviar.
💖👑Thanks so much, Bibiana--such an awesome way to launch a book! 💖👑
A poem for every season this week from the writers of Twitter...
Poet Derek King, Natyre Boy, 5⭐
It’s a fabulous moment for a reader when you’re swept away in the emotions of a verse—experiencing the words of the occasion in their vividest form. Bitter and sweet, innocence, passion, warmth, laughter, joy and aches revealed in each season take you on a path of discovery of both new and long, forgotten memories.
Busy bees, summer breezes, moon-lit nights tug at your heart as the verse unfolds. Playful romps, close your eyes, deep breath—snowy chills, gusty cliffs, sandy beaches—savor the surroundings and enjoy. Holiday mischief sprinkled with mirth bring a twinkle or two to your reader eye. Smiles, giggles and the joy of celebration emanate a warm delight. Romance swirls with the soft touch and breaths of souls that unite for a moment or a lifetime.
This is literary rhapsody at its poetic best as an epiphany of the seasons unfold in this collection. The sights and scenery of the land are revealed, filling this mind traveler with awe. With each beginning and end, they lend their beauty and mysteries to be whispered, cherished and delighted within.
Author/Poet King has once again delivered an entrancing bounty of verse that will whisk you away on a poetic journey to the shores of a beautiful land. Experience the moment and the pure bliss that unleashes---Natyre Boy, a highly recommended read to be savored in every season!
Next up in the reading queue:
Our Fav Cherrywood Hall Ghost is Back!
Dear Auntie Pippa: I have several offspring and offspring of offspring and off-off-spring-spring, well, it is all rather confusing. The point is, a few of the ducks, swans and goose-eggs, I mean geese, want to come back to the tower for boons but not do the paddling required to get a ration from the kitty. What do you suggest? NeverComplainNeverExplain
Dear NeverComplainNeverExplain: We'll keep the answer this week short and to the point. Shut the moat door! 💖👑
Join us later today on the #BOOKEM YouTube Channel!
Amy Reade's on deck today with a writer's chat about learning as a writer to master story structure and understand better how to best compose your novel to excite and connect the reader to your plot.
She also discusses the yearning many of us have (Spring has sprung!) for renewal in our homes and outside in our gardens. Have you been a bit grumpy or moody lately and feeling like you don't laugh enough? Stay tuned for a great suggestion to use as your wild card on a day you need a boost. See you later!
Crowns and Kisses,
P.S. Heading up north for a bit of #InspirationResearch--stay tuned for some great pics! Gemma and Rikkhe approve! 💖👑