Author’s Bio: Charles Stokes is an avid writer and military veteran from Baltimore, MD who served as a paralegal in Iraq and Afghanistan. His time served at war and his interactions with others throughout his life have given him a deeper understanding of the human experience. In his free time, Stokes is a car enthusiast, appreciates sports, and target shooting. Love Pain and Poetry is his first book.
What inspired you to write your book?
CS: I don't know what inspired me. I was writing daily. I’d written 50 poems in ten days. It was the most productive thing I'd done in eight months. It eased the worries of depression and cleared my head. The thoughts of a book came after allowing my brother to hear it.
Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?
CS: No, honestly it was music if anything that got me writing. As far as writing poetry goes, there is Dr. Angelo, Tupac, and Langston Hughes. I really like their poetry however, I had been writing for years before actually reading any of their work.
Is this your first book? How long did it take to start and finish your book?
CS: This is my first book. It took me three weeks to write. I had no training in writing poetry, but I worked through it and I used some older poetry in this book.
Do you write with an outline, or just let it flow organically?
CS: Depends, I am currently working on eight books and two books have an outline.
Do you listen to music when you write? If yes, is there a theme song for this book?
CS: Yes I do listen to music, but there’s no theme. It ranges from Drake or similar artists playing in the background.
What are the keys to success in getting your book out to the public?
CS: I am too early in the game to comment on keys to success… but social media, book bloggers, radio, marketing and using a publicist is what I’d suggest. I tried everything to include Amazon and Goodreads reads giveaways. The most important thing is to have an organic following. You build that by starting your own Blog, FB page, Twitter, Instagram and word of mouth. Try to impact everyone you meet. Sell yourself not your product.
What advice would you give to new authors?
CS: Write it and worry about everything else later. Pay someone to format it. Start writing the second book.
How about sharing an excerpt from Love, Pain & Poetry?
CS: I love excerpts so, here are two:
a. Money can't buy me/I'm a cut above the rest/promise me with a diamond/show me in your last breath
b. Love did prevail/despite your disgusting attacks/cleverly veiled at destroying me/I still love us/still love you/and still love the idea of we.
What’s next for you?
CS: I have already selected the poetry and developed a theme for book two and three. Book two will be further thoughts and reflections. Book three will focus on situations in New York City with a heavy focus on Brooklyn.
Where can readers find out more about you and your book(s)?
· Website: www.lovepainandpoetry.com
· Facebook: @lovepainpoetry
· Twitter: @lovepainpoetry
It’s been a pleasure having you here with us today. I know my readers will enjoy getting to know you and your work.