Guest post by George Polley

George must be a good name for an author, because today I welcome another to my blog!

1.) Tell us about yourself. I’ve been writing fiction since the late 1960s and have done it off and on ever since, fitting it into a busy career. I began writing poetry in the early 1970s, and published quite a bit of it over the next nine years, mainly in Midwestern little poetry magazines. About 12 years ago I began writing seriously again, mostly short stories that I self-published. I’ve also written 4 or 5 novels over that period, none of which were finished.
I’ve been married to a wonderful lady named Aiko for the past 32 1/2 years. We live in Sapporo, Japan, where we moved in late March 2008. Retired from my career, I now write full time, and love it!
I’ve published two books, “The Old Man and The Monkey” and “Grandfather and The Raven”, both by Taylor Street Publishing. One ebook (“Grandfather Stories”), was published by Abbott ePublishing (no longer available), plus several short stories, all since moving here.

2.) What genre do you specialize in? That’s a very interesting question, because I’d never thought in terms of genres until Tim published my two books. I guess you’d say that they’re both “literary fiction”, though both appeal to children, especially “The Old Man and the Monkey”. I have a children’s novel (“Bear — The Story of a Boy and His Unusual Dog”) that TSP has accepted. I am now writing its sequel, titled “Bear in Trouble”. I also have a psychological thriller that I’ll have finished next year, plus a novel about Mexico City (“The City Has Many Faces”), and one about a Tokyo artist (“Seiji”) that I’ve been working on for a couple of years. Then more “Bear” books, and God knows what else, other than another thriller featuring my favorite husband and wife team, Sikká Årén and Magnus Verhoeven.

3.) What’s your inspiration. People; they’re so interesting to me, so varied yet so similar. I also love stories. Scottish poet Kenneth White calls poetry the shortest form of short story, and I agree. I see writing as a “calling”, something I’m on this planet to do. I also have tremendous fun writing, sometimes very serious things, sometimes silly things, and sometimes funny things. I love poetry, which I came about quite literally by accident when my typewriter broke. Since I can’t write more than one legible line in longhand, I put my story aside, took my typewriter to the repair guy, and began writing poetry. And the darned stuff took off! I couldn’t believe it. I even had a poetry broadside published by an arts group, and two poetry chapbooks published before seriously getting back into fiction. Now I’m hooked on both.

4.) Who is your favourite author, why and did he/she inspire you to write in any way?I think you’re asking about influences which, for me, are many. My early influences were Henry Miller and the great Cypriot novelist and poet Nikos Kazantzakis (I even remember his translator’s name; it was Kimon Friar). Miller showed me ways to expand and use my imagination. With Kazantzakis it was the power of his language and imagery and the strength of his characters. “Zorba the Greek is still one of my favorite novels and movies. Then I discovered the Latin Americans, and the whole new world of magic realism. Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Jorge Amado (Brazilian), Carlos Fuentes, Jose Donoso, Mario Vargas Llosa, the list is endless. My head was spinning. More recently it’s been Haruki Murakami. His novels blow my mind. There are so many levels to each of them that they seem endless. And Stieg Larsson, the author of the Millennium Trio (“The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” and its two sequels), who makes my hair stand on end. So sad that we’ve lost him, and at such an early age. Endless, just endless. I learn from each of the Taylor Street authors I’ve had the pleasure of reading, too. I feel like a kid in a huge toy shop. Sometimes I don’t know which way to go first because it’s all so much fun! I usually have a half dozen books in my mind that I’m working on, making notes and saying: “Let’s see … where’ll I put this in the queue?”

5.) How do you feel about Taylor? I love it. I think Tim and Kathleen are taking it way beyond what the old NP was, and that Taylor Street has the real potential of being a really big player in the publishing field that’s rapidly emerging from the ruins of the old. It’s a bit slower than, as an impatient writer, sometimes likes, but it’s a new company, and that takes a ton of work and time to get off the ground and at the same time put a solid foundation under. I think what they’re doing so far with ebooks and the Espresso printing machine is fabulous.

6.) What are your plans? To live another 20 years (that’d put me at 98) and publish a minimum of 4 books a year. Naturally, I may not be able to keep up that pace, but the idea has great appeal to me. So does living, and living productively, another 20 years have great appeal. As an elderly Scottish woman told me on her hundred and first birthday:”Och, George, it’s all all gone by SO FAST!”

My website:  There is a blog on it, so do drop by there. I also have an Author Page on Amazon, so drop by there, too. I recently updated it, and will again.
I also have the following website, where I used to review books. Drop by for a sample of what I’ve been up to over the past couple of years. I also post writer interviews there. The monicker “Tostada” was given to me by the owner of a Mexican restaurant close to my offices when we lived in Seattle. Since I almost always ordered a tostada, he took to calling me Jorge Tostada, and I decided to keep it. My full name is Jorge Luis Tostada, the proprietor of Tostada Speaks.

4 thoughts on “Guest post by George Polley

  1. Pingback: Guest post by George Polley « Lily Byrne Writes

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