Today, I’m thrilled to welcome back author, Scott Kaelen. His new collection of poetry, “DeadVerse” is on pre-order now comes out tomorrow, May 7th!
Let’s jump right in.You have several works out now, but the newest one is a collection of poems called “DeadVerse” which is currently on pre-order on Amazon. Tell us a little about this collection and how it was inspired?
DeadVerse contains 26 poems of varying lengths, the longest – Angerland – being a whopping 674 words. There are also afternotes for each of the poems at the end of the collection, explaining inspirations, emotions and interpretations. And as a small bonus there’s an essay right at the back, connected theme-wise to the poems, which hopefully will serve to inspire and strengthen certain people who have read through the collection and finished it with some new and scary thoughts and emotions towards their own life and the part they play amongst the stars.
DeadVerse will be released on Kindle from Amazon stores worldwide on the 7th of May, and can be pre-ordered right now at the price of US$2.99 (approximately £1.99). Here is a direct global link to my Amazon author page: Author.to/ScottKaelen (where no less than eight of my short stories are completely free to download.) And here’s the global link to the Amazon listing for DeadVerse: mybook.to/DVThe inspirations for the many poems are not so easy to sum up concisely, but they include warped teenage perspectives, lonely and jaded young adult ruminations over loss and wasted opportunities, and the approaching mid-life reactions to a number of personal life events, global issues, the distant past and the far future, the mysticism of beauty and a stark existentialist reality. This scarcely scratches the surface, but I’ll explain a little morer in a moment.
“DeadVerse” has some central themes such as death and religion. Did you set out to write about those things with the intention of bringing together this collection or did you just find yourself with several poems that carried those themes?
I suppose I write what’s at the forefront of my emotions at the time. Often that seems to be one or both of those two topics. I didn’t set out intentionally to write only about death and religion, but with those being the predominant driving forces that influence my view of the universe to be a cold and clinical environment, and my place within humanity as a sort of philosophical disenfranchisement thanks to the persistent and abundant faith in the existence of one god or another, to which I place no allegiance and in which, as an atheist, a secular humanist and a critical thinker, I have no belief.
Not all poems within DeadVerse concentrate on death or religion, though. Man y focus on other human experiences, such as the loss of a loved one by break-up, death or distance; physical and emotional needs and the seduction of the senses; social decline and ignorance; and a merging of themes that throw light onto the combined horrors and tragedies of the human creature.
And, of course, DeadVerse is a portmanteau of dead and universe, as well as literally meaning dead verse, pertaining to poetry and death.
Who are some poets that have inspired you?
Edgar Allan Poe, of course, since I use the first two stanzas of his poem Evening Star as an epigraph to DeadVerse, since it was so fitting as a tone-setter. Other inspirations include Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Mary Elizabeth Frye and William Blake. Much of my poetry inspiration doesn’t only come from famous poets, but also from authors such as HP Lovecraft, and songwriters such as Fish (ex-Marillion singer) and Ronan Harris (of VNV Nation.) Many of life’s poets come in the guise of other artistic mediums.
Do you have a particular kind of poem that you like or dislike?
Not strictly speaking. I do have a penchant for the rhyming poem, which has seen something of a decline. But I also like free-form poetry. The latter comes much easier, as for me it’s a stream of consciousness; I can write one poem from start to finish in just an hour (when the muse takes me,) and it needs very little tweaking, whereas a rhyming poem can take months to chisel into perfection (such as Angerland.) I do like a lot of early poetry, but for every poem that manages to touch me there’s another that utterly fails. Poetry is undoubtedly evolving as much as the art of writing stories is evolving, but unfortunately it’s also getting harder and harder to sift through and find the wheat amongst the chaff.
You write a variety of types of stories, from poetry to short stories to novels to series of novels. What is your favorite or do you have one?
My heart lies in epic fantasy, there’s no denying that. I’ve always loved to read epic fantasy. Some of my favourite authors are David Gemmell, RA Salvatore, Tracy Hickman & Margaret Weis, Joe Abercrombie and Raymond E Feist, among many others. I don’t yet have my first epic fantasy novel completed, but rest assured I’m working on it, and it’s shaping up to be a fine piece indeed, if you’ll forgive a moment of vanity! My short story Night of the Taking is the first minor release in my Verragos Tapestry series, to which my current work-in-progress also belongs. Night of the Taking is available for free download on Kindle (mybook.to/NOTT) and also as epub. I hope to have my first Verragos Tapestry novel – tentatively entitled The Blighted City – published before the end of the year.
You’re also an artist. Does your writing inspire your art, vice versa or do they both inspire each other?
Sometimes the inspirations do come from one another, yes. Not always, mind you. Some of my better sketches are of my favourite science fiction actresses (Gigi Edgley, Jeri Ryan, Tanya Allen); for me, the greatest beauty lies in the female form, from figure to face, from stance to expression. I’ve also done a number of concept sketches of characters in my epic fantasy world. My latest sketch, entitled Calm After the Storm, depicts a character from my upcoming novel in a between-chapters scene, and will be included as an interior illustration when The Blighted City is released.
Where can people see your art?
You can see all my book covers and a number of my sketches in my gallery on DeviantArt at scottkaelen.deviantart.com or go and visit me on Facebook and look in my photo albums. I also have a few pictures uploaded to Twitter, to my WordPress account, and to my personal website. (While you’re visiting any of those places, please do feel free to add me as a friend or whatever the relevant term is.)
My DeviantArt profile also has several of my sketches and covers available to purchase as art prints, canvasses, mugs, coasters, mouse mats and magnets, and some other options. Some are very affordable, while others admittedly are on the expensive side … but worth every cent!
What other hobbies do you have outside of writing?
Less hobbies as such, more avid interests and passions. I’m deeply interested in the etymology of words and languages, dating right back to the Proto Indo-European language. I’m also fascinated with the workings of the cosmos, from the formation of stars and galaxies to deep Earth history and the evolution of life. And let’s not forget psychology and philosophy; anyone who reads my poems and my stories surely couldn’t help but notice more than a sprinkling of both those lenses to life … and death, of course!
In our previous interview, you said, and I quote: “Next time I’ll bring Battenberg cake, and camphorwood for the fire.” So, did you?
(*gulps and wipes a crumb from his lip with a napkin*) Sorry, did I not offer you a slice? No problem, I brought a second Battenberg. That stuff is just moorish! Here, allow me. (*cuts a slice of cake, puts it on a plate and passes it to Vanessa*) And I completely forgot about adding wood to the fire! Let me stack the hearth with camphorwood now, while you go and pour a glass of merlot.
Thanks so much for your time. Good luck with “DeadVerse.”
And thank you, Vanessa. Once again it’s been a true pleasure. Now go crack open that bottle.
Scott Kaelen writes in the genres of epic fantasy, science fiction, horror, humour, spec-fic, contemporary fiction, poetry and non-fiction. His releases include the prose and poetry collection From Grains To Galaxies, the religious parody short story When Gods Awaken, the short epic fantasy story Night of the Taking, and the poetry collection DeadVerse. His current projects include a further novel in the Verragos Tapestry series. As well as the pen, Scott is also modestly adept with the pencil; his work includes character concepts and sketches of famous personalities. His interests include sci-fi, fantasy and horror, etymology, psychology, computer RPGs, deep Earth history, palaeontology, geology and cosmology. He’s also been known to flosculate. Though thankfully not too often.
You can find Scott’s many works at the following links:
Moses Garrett: mybook.to/MGA
Night of the Taking: mybook.to/NOTT
When Gods Awaken: mybook.to/WGA
Bleak ’93: mybook.to/B93
The Lingering Remains: mybook.to/TLR
Island In The Sands: mybook.to/TFS-IITS
The Hyperverse Accord: mybook.to/TFS-THA
Falling (The Forever Stranger)
Island in the Sands (The Forever Stranger)
The Hyperverse Accord (The Forever Stranger)
When Gods Awaken
Createspace (paperback): https://www.createspace.com/5185239
The Lingering Remains
Night of the Taking (Verragos Tapestry)
Createspace (paperback): https://www.createspace.com/5252986
From Grains To Galaxies
Createspace (paperback): https://www.createspace.com/5158506
German Tolino Sites