Edward Val – Black Rose; Dying

What is your most recent book? Tell us a bit about it.

My most recent book is Black Rose; Dying which was published back in March of 2010. It’s a four-season spanning, tour-de-force collection of poems which range widely in forms and themes, from free to rhyming and off-rhyming verse to Haiku to several brief prose poems, rendered with terse wit, irony and probing clarity.

Tell us something about yourself.

I was born in Camden, NJ but was raised mostly in Florida. Though currently I’m stationed at Fort Campbell, Ky because I’m not only a writer but I’m also a Soldier. As far as writing goes, I’ve been writing since I was in the sixth grade and I’ve never stopped.

What inspired you to write this book?

I wrote Black Rose; Dying while on my third deployment to Iraq just as a way to express myself and release stress but it quickly developed into a book full of deep insight, hard truth and honest opinion.

How did you choose the title?

I choose the title I did and formatted the book the way I did because it leans toward my greatest strength when it comes to writing which is Dark Poetry. Not only did I use the title Black Rose; Dying but I also separated the book into four sections beginning with Spring and ending with Winter and thus the poetry in each sections gets darker as you read. Hence, Black Rose; Dying

What obstacles did you encounter in getting this book published? How did you overcome them?

I really haven’t had any obstacles when it comes to published my books but if I had to choose something I’d say: Time. An this of course is because I’m also in the active duty military.

How did you know you wanted to be a writer? How did you get started?

This is kind of funny but truth be told, I had always hated English as a child however in sixth grade English my teacher had each student write a poem and had it published in a book. It was at this moment in time once we received the published book that we got to read each others poem. I listened to the others kids read their poems about puppies, and butterflies and their favorite rapper. It was then that in dawned on me that I was already far more advanced then my peers when it came to writing because my poem was about life and death and the eternal life of stone. I know it may sound stupid but that was all I needed and I haven’t
stopped writing since.

Do you have any writing rituals?

I would really love to say I have some sort of ritual but unless you can call chaos a ritual, then I must reply no. This is due to my job in the Army and the other things life throws at you but I always find time to write one way or another. Even if it means having my wife take notes while I drive which happens often.

How do you come up with the names for your characters?

I would love to get into this about my forthcoming novel but this interview is about my latest book of poetry and inside those pages you will only find my thoughts in words.

Did you learn anything from writing and publishing this book? What?

I didn’t really learn any lessons while publishing this book because this is my second book and most of the mistakes I would have made on this one I made with my first but that’s a story for another day.

If you were doing it all over again, what would you do differently?

There’s nothing I would really do differently. I write mostly for myself but I love effecting people and changing the world with my words as well. This is often hard because how I write, but I’m not willing to give up my unique voice for the norm. I love writing the way I do and if that means I’m only gonna sell a thousands copies compared to five thousand then so be it.

What types of books do you like to read? Who are your favorite authors?

I read just about everything except romance and westerns. My Favorite types of books however are Poetry and Heroic Fantasy. Some of my favorite authors are David Gemmell, Alfred Lord Tennyson, Lord Byron, Russell Kirkpatrick, Gail Z. Martin, Dean Koontz and Pablo Coelho

Are you working on your next book? What can you tell us about it?

Currently I’m working on my third book of poetry to be titled: Etched in Sand and two novels. Of Tooth and Nail and Death’s Little Black Book. Of Tooth and Nail is the first book of a dark fantasy series and Death’s Little Black Book is a treat all it’s own.

What is the best advice you could give other writers about writing or publishing?

The best advice I can give is to never give up, the more you write the better you get. I’ve been writing for over ten years and I can still see improvement and lastly be yourself.

Who is the perfect reader for your book?

My book though poetry is far from commercial and therefore is not well received by some groups due to it’s dark nature. Those who like my books are college students, Soldiers, hard rock fans, the emo and punk followers, truth seekers and free thinkers.