Interview with Casey Quinn

Jen: Today we welcome Casey Quinn to Book Talk. Casey, will you please share a short bio with us?
Casey: Sure, I sort of wear a few hats in the writing world splitting my time as editor of the online magazine Short Story Library and the publishing company ReadMe Publishing as well as writing my own prose and poetry. I also write a good deal of nonfiction and do some freelance writing on the side. I have had about 1,000 pieces of writing published in print or online journals. My first poetry collection was published in 2009 by Salvatore Publishing called Snapshots of Life.

Jen: Tell us about Snapshots of Life and where it’s available.
Casey: The collection of poems was written over a five year period and really are just what the title says, a snapshot of normal everyday life. I think normal life is much more interesting than fiction and I think there are very subtle poetic moments that exist daily which make life worth living. My goal as a writer has always been to try and jot them down and share it with others. The collection is available at the publishers website located: in addition to the normal online stores.

Jen: At what age did you discover writing and when were you first published? Tell us your call story.
Casey: I always loved reading and covered a good deal of short fiction, novels and poetry but it wasn’t until the last five or ten years that I really took my writing serious. I tend to just write down notes or ideas for things but never knew what to do with them. Here and there an idea would spread slowly into more and then just like that I had a poem or a short prose piece. Like most writers it took me awhile to get my confidence before I really started to submit out stuff. I wrote and shared mostly on writing forums to get feedback until I felt my writing had quality.

Jen: Are there any other writers, published or not, in your family?
Casey: My wife is a full time freelance writer so trying to cut out a part of the day to spend writing comes with little resistance around the house which is nice.

Jen: Describe your writing in three words.
Casey: normal poetic life

Jen: Do you have a specific time or place that you write?
Casey: Not really, ideas tend to come randomly for a poem. Maybe crossing the street I see something or overhear a conversation and something stands out to me that was said. I sort of take a mental note and eventually write it down as a thought. Later when time allows I try to develop it into more.

Jen: How do you shut out disruptions?
Casey: For me disruptions are really just more fuel for other poems! If I am working on something and my dog is barking and my wife is yelling and I am about to open a bottle of wine, something in there is funny and poetic and normal day life. Who knows as the night progresses the distraction becomes a note which could be worked on for later. No distractions, just notes or ideas. That is the wonderful thing when you write about normal life!

Jen: What did you do to celebrate the sale of your first book?
Casey: We definitely had some champagne and more champagne. I think more so I could sleep though now knowing my work is out there and strangers are reading it, deciding if they think my work has any quality. Sort of stressful, but good to see reviews come in and getting emails from those that have read it. So far, everything has been pretty positive including a positive comment about my collection from the former Poet Laureate of North Carolina, Kathryn Stripling Byer on her blog. The whole process has been very rewarding –

Jen: Where do you draw your inspiration?
Casey: Waking up. Going to work, going to play tennis, talking a walk in the park and just living the average working class life.

Jen: Most people only dream of becoming a published writer. Now that you’ve accomplished that goal, is there anything else you dream of doing?
Casey: Yea, publish a second book. Maybe a third, and fourth. Okay, okay, maybe a fifth. To be honest my goal is to write one good poem that people will remember. Tons of people get books published and only a handful are remembered. It only takes one great thing to be remembered and I just pray that in my writing career that I am able to produce one great poem.

Jen: Who are some of your favorite authors and books? What are you reading now?
Casey: Right now I am reading John Yamrus and his latest poetry book which is a collection of his best work and a few new poems. A great collection and one that I would highly recommend. Some of my favorite writers include Raymond Carver, ee cummings, Bukowski, and Whitman.

Jen: What do you do in your free time?
Casey: I garden a good amount of the time and sit out on the back porch and enjoy watching my dog chase fireflies while my wife and I drink a glass of wine on our swinging bench.

Jen: What’s next for you?
Casey: Ideally to keep doing what I am doing. My magazine has been growing constantly in readership, the books from ReadMe Publishing have been selling pretty consistently, my poetry book has been selling very well and I have been having some good luck with getting poems accepted in some places I had as a goal for the year. So I think what comes next is hard work and consistently trying to make a name for myself out there.

Jen: Where can you be found on the web?
Casey: I am on a few writing forums like AbsoluteWrite and MyWritersCircle, I am of course on the writing forum attached to our magazine Short Story Library as well.

Jen: Is there anything you’d like to ask our readers?
Casey: What is it that you look for in a poetry collection? The form? The content? How do you decide if you are going to try out a new poet?

Jen: Today, Casey would like to hold a slightly different contest. We’re going to have a poetry contest, with the winning poet winning a copy of Snapshots of Life. Your entry poem should be about something that happened to you today and we want it under under 10 lines long. Please include your email address (modified if need be) to complete your entry. On Sunday, July 19, Casey will pick the winning entry.