LAZAR SARNA, Author of the NEW KID DICTIONARY, BOOK BIN BABY, and TALES OF THE SPICE MAKERS
1.Tell us a bit about yourself – something that we will not find in the official author’s bio?
I have always tried balancing my legal practice with creative writing. Of course, being a professional gives me access to characters, stories and situations which I would never have been able to accept or confront as true or credible.
2. Do you remember what was your first story (article, essay, or poem) about and when did you write it?
My first published poem appeared in the Canadian Forum when I was 16 years old. What a thrill that was: seeing my name in print in a solid independent journal.
3. What is the title of your latest book and what inspired it?
Book Bin Baby is a novel most recently published. It was written however over a period of five years, permitting me to accumulate color and texture for the text as time went on.
4. How long did it take you to write your latest work and how fast do you write (how many words daily)?
Writing exhausts me after 500 words at each session. The blank page or screen is daunting.
5. Do you have any unusual writing habits?
Whether unusual or not, I churn ideas and language in my head like a blender. When it comes to writing, the idea and language is usual there, like a smoothie.
6. Is writing the only form of artistic expression that you utilize, or is there more to your creativity than just writing?
Being a lecturer on professional topics at the university level, or pleading in court, public speaking is a creative endeavor. I have also written songs but I am thoroughly embarrassed to sing them in public except to my family.
7. Authors and books that have influenced your writings?
In the poetry enterprise, I value the book Crow by Ted Hughes.
8. What are you working on right now? Anything new cooking in the wordsmith’s kitchen?
I am working on a new book of poetry, Tales of the Spice Makers.
9. Did you ever think about the profile of your readers? What do you think – who reads and who should read your books?
Absolutely diverse. I have no mental image of my audience.
10. Do you have any advice for new writers/authors?
Writing is a form of expression that lasts, whether it lasts in an unpublished or published format. If a writer is prepared to accept that something he or she wrote years before will be scrutinized or remembered in the present, do it.
11. What is the best advice (about writing) you have ever heard?
From my wife and many children, blessed be they: “We don’t understand what you wrote.. Can you clarify.” On the other hand, they keep repeating a line in one poem that seems to have gained traction with them over the years: “The cane you walk on is my bone”.
12. How many books you read annually and what are you reading now? What is your favorite literary genre?
I read professional and spiritual literature.
13. What do you deem the most relevant about your writing? What is the most important to be remembered by readers?
The juxtaposition of words in an unexpected context.
14. What is your opinion about the publishing industry today and about the ways authors can best fit into the new trends?
It is no different than marketing, stocking and selling bananas.