About Ralph Monday:
Ralph Monday is an Associate Professor of English at Roane State Community College in Harriman, TN., where he teaches composition, literature, and creative writing courses. He has had hundreds of poems published in over 50 journals including Agenda, The New Plains Review, New Liberties Review, Fiction Week Literary Review and many others. His poetry has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and Houghton Mifflin’s “Best of” Anthologies, as well as other awards. A book, Empty Houses and American Renditions was published in May 2015 by Aldrich Press. A chapbook, Narcissus the Sorcerer, was published in June, 2015.
When not gardening, painting, or writing he listens to the coyotes and owls calling in the woods behind his house.
What inspires you to write?
I have been writing since a very young age. I love the written word, and how the use of metaphor, imagery, connotation can be used to communicate universal human experience. The arts, especially poetry, are the highest expression of human achievement. I learned to read at a very young age on comic books, and then progressed, as I got older, to more sophisticated material. Reading allowed me to explore worlds that I could not possibly visit otherwise, and so I became hooked on creating those worlds for myself as I learned to write.
Tell us about your writing process.
I write every day. A writer does not wait for “inspiration.” A writer writes. I primarily work in poetry now, but I have written short stories and essays. I am also currently working on a vampire novel that is unique and not like any vampire novel yet written. For poetic inspiration, I look around every day and observe what is going on. Many ideas come from daily observations.
What advice would you give other writers?
Write each and every day, even if only a paragraph or a few lines, and read. Read widely.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I started submitting poems again to journals in late 2013. I received rejections, of course, every author does. However, since that time I have had hundreds of poems accepted in over 50 journals. Soon, I had enough to put together for a collection and did so. Then I started actively seeking a publisher and was fortunate to find one who accepted the work.
Publication decisions are up to you. Personally, I think that is better to have a publisher first and then self-publish after that if so desired. A publisher gives one credibility.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
It is changing. Amazon and Kindle have made amazing strides. Self-publication is becoming more prominent, and will continue to grow. However, I really don’t know the demographics for self-publication.
What genres do you write?: Essay, poetry, novel.
What formats are your books in?: eBook, Print
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