Below is our interview with the esteemed Darwin. We hope you enjoy finding out more about this witty and charming poet.
Shall we call you Darwin or Mr. Blake?
I prefer Darwin; only one woman gets to call me Mr. Blake. And I don’t mean my PA.
1. What writers or poets have most influenced you?
The literary classics Keats, Shelly and The Bard but more recent authors too Pratchett, Bateman, James and, of course, Reynard.
2. What is your favorite genre to read and why?
Difficult to pin me on that one, fantasy, romance, science fiction, crime, and comedy. I’m happy to give anything a try.
3. What books did you read as a lad? Follow up, which one of those books was your favorite?
The first book I read was lent to me by my friend, Dale. He never got it back. It was the Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett. I remember how it made me laugh and how he made Death a relatable character. He loves cats you know…..Death that is.
4. When did you discover you had talent for writing poetry? Your poems seem so effortless and relatable to readers. It’s as if you’ve been doing this forever and selfishly hiding your work from us. When did you begin writing?
I’ve always been apt at rhyming and also have been blessed with a good imagination, but I only started writing in the last year after penning a handwritten letter. I found how easily words flowed from my hand.
5. Your poems reveal little things about your personality, such as your love of the cinema and dislike of spiders. You also write heartfelt poems of love. Some have called them displays of fervent love. Are you comfortable with exposing yourself to so many people?
Yes, I work with a diverse team and have to liaise with lots of people every day; I am comfortable talking publicly and enjoy being part of a debate.
6. Since you are the almost famous writer, how long have you been writing, none poetry?
I had never put pen to paper until now unless it was for legal reasons or work. I was recently spurred on to sit down and write something.
7. What are you writing now? What themes are you exploring in your writings?
Well, as you have seen, I’ve written several pieces of poetry and my blog. I’m working on something that will grow, slowly, into something larger over time.
8. What inspires you to write?
I’m inspired by the world around me, people, music, social media, and anything that sticks in my head: love, hate, light, darkness, emotions, and feelings.
9. When and where do you write?
Anytime I have a pen or my phone in my hand, I doodle and try things out, and I could be in transit, at work, or home.
10. What do you want people to take away from your poems after reading them?
People only take what they bring. If they read my work with an open mind, they will take from it whatever their minds will allow them to. But come with a closed mind, and you take nothing but yourself.
11.Which is your favorite poem that you’ve posted and why?
That’s difficult really, probably between Smile and My love, two of my first poems, I wrote them around the time of The Moment. When I read them, I do smile, mainly at how I managed to be so fluid. It’s funny because Smile, The Moment, and My Love have had the least views. Maybe my audience doesn’t feel the same way.
12. What’s the last book you read that made an impression on you?
There have been two. Snuff by Terry Pratchett. It involves the murder of a young girl and the slavery of her family and friends. The fact that they are goblins is beside the point.
The second one is the wonderful Gabriel’s Inferno by Sylvain Reynard. I doubt I have to explain the plot to anybody. But any book that makes me feel deep inside is worth the time of any reader. It’s magnificent.
13. Can you name one of your other talents?
Ha-ha. I make a lovely espresso and a delicious Bruschetta, nor am I a bad dancer. So I’m told.
14. What is your favorite word to say?
Smile. Though there are a few words I should keep to myself.
15. Your least favorite word?
Hate. I dislike this word immensely. Such an awful and final word. Yes, I have used it. But I really do hate spiders.
16. What is your favorite time of the day?
Morning. I wake to lovely words from across oceans, and it’s the start of something new. Also, it is the best time to enjoy an espresso.
17. Could you please describe what you’d consider to be a perfect day?
A warm day with a gentle breeze, family and friends, music and dancing, the sun brushing my face with its rays, smiles and laughter, great food and drink, and the sound of summer.
We have all had a day like that.
18. How do you think a writer can best use social networking sites? Do you like the instant feedback you receive from your audience?
Interaction. To talk to your audience and let them into your life a little, to appreciate their time, the time they take to talk to you, and they give up supporting the blog. I have great respect and adoration for all and would like to say thank you to all who have favorited or retweeted me.
19. A little birdie told us you read Sylvain Reynard books, how did you come to find his writings?
Hmmm…. I have friends who have supported him since the very beginning. They have tirelessly publicized his work; and until I read him, they would not leave me alone. Though I am so very glad I did.
20. You’re quite flirty on Twitter, and the ladies love it. We do believe that many hope that you’ll respond directly to them with one of your saucy messages as they seem to be a battle of wits. It must be incredibly dangerous to be in a room with you, Mr. Blake. Have you penned a man manual yet?
What happens on the timeline stays there, but you never know. One day I might just do that. In the right circumstances I should think yes. Very dangerous. And no Man Manual yet, one day if I get time. Maybe.
21. Are you working on something that we can read for hours at a time? If so, when can we have it; all of it?
Now where is the fun in putting all my eggs in one basket? One day at a time I think. One day you might be able to read something, but not for a very long time.
(blatantly stolen idea from Amanda from a previous interview she did)
Well bravo Amanda. (Interviewers note this was added by Darwin Blake)
1. Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy? Which one most describes you?
Can I have all four?
2. Boxers or briefs or nothing at all? The women of twitter want to know.
Boxers though I do love a breeze.
3. Favorite flavor of Ice Cream?
4. Half full or half empty glass?
Half empty. There are always refills.
5. Rugby or football (not American)?
Football. Though rugby is much more physical….undecided.
6. Favorite alcoholic drink?
Dark Rum with Coke over ice.
7. Blonds, brunettes, or redheads? So the women on twitter know what shade to dye their hair.
Brunette with auburn tones. Though I do love a redhead, something mysterious and full of fire there.
8. Favorite movie, book, TV program?
Film. Difficult choice, genre related I could go on for hours. But for this round I’ll say Vanilla Sky because I actually got it.
Book. There are so many to choose from, but I will always pick up The Princess Bride. The perfect kiss.
TV program. Again hard. Old-Monkey. New-Dexter.
9. Cats or dogs?
Cats. Always cats. “When we are cats”
I hope my answers inspire, and I have had fun replying. Thank you for your wonderful questions.
Until the dawn.
Follow Darwin Blake on Twitter @DarwinBlake