Recently, I had the pleasure of chatting with Charles Timm, author of Sonnets.
Charles, please tell us a little about yourself.
I started out as a happy child. But something was wrong. It couldn't be that I was destined for such self-expression as art—writing and acting—because nobody in my family did such things and, maybe, wouldn't allow such things. I had to be an athlete, a businessman, a medical man, a priest. So, for years, I forced myself into roles like those, taking the relevant courses of study, taking on the entry-level jobs and volunteer positions that would get me closer to working in those fields, all the while struggling to master things for which I had no passion, my confusion growing to frustration, and my attitude towards those subjects turning all the way from comfortable interest to near-contempt. Finally, I realized that my approach wasn't working. I simply wasn't able to ever be that athlete, that businessman, that doctor, that priest. I was going to have to give myself to the artist's life that I was here to live. Since then, I have been studying writing and acting, pursuing them professionally and with great passion and joy, all the while making the ironic discovery of my family's encouragement.
What's your book's genres?
Sonnets is what's known as a sonnet sequence or sonnet cycle, a book of sonnets where each one stands alone but, when taken together, tells a story. Sonnets is a book of poems in English in the sonnet form, very traditional in that each poem has fourteen lines and—almost always—the English-traditional iambic pentameter rhythm in each line. Each poem also consists of a recognizable rhyme scheme, except that here I combined the English and the Italian forms by taking the English scheme (abab, cdcd, efef, gg) and rearranging the first three stanzas to reflect more of the Italian octave pattern (abba, abba), coming up with abba, cddc, effe, gg. I did this for two reasons: I once read where the Italian pattern of abba was described as "lines holding hands," which I thought romantic, and doing so gave me more rhyming options—very helpful in a rhyme-poor language like English.
I loved reading Sonnets. It was interesting. What made you decide to write a story like that?
The idea for Sonnets came out of a desire to tell a story based on some personal experience: falling in love with someone I didn't dare tell—for reasons that, I believe, come out clearly in the poems themselves.
Was it hard writing the sonnets?
From a personal point of view, it was very easy work, because I loved doing it. But it was hard from a technical point of view, because I wanted the work to be a meaningful accomplishment, not only for myself but for literature as well; wanted to show how deeply and how seriously I felt what I felt, through a work that would not only make me forever-proud but also make something of value for the public. So, I subjected the sonnets to rigorous writing and rewriting that included the input of three different editors and lasted for seventeen months, thereby making it a physical challenge as well, as I wrote even during the hottest days of summer, the coldest of winter. This desire to do an outstanding job was also helped by the fact that I had previously published three books of fiction, two of which were received with lukewarm or, in some cases, brutal reviews over quality, and I didn't want to make the mistake ever again of publishing something beneath what I was able to achieve at my best.
What other books have you written? What are you working on?
I have previously published three works of fiction—The Asking and Other Stories, Assumptions and The Ohnegott. I am currently working on more sonnets, intended as a two-book series. I might also go back and revise Assumptions and The Ohnegott, now that I've learned my lesson about quality, my skills have improved and technology makes uploading revisions to E-books (the only format in which I've published my work so far) relatively easy once they're completed.
Thanks for allowing me to interview you!
It has been my pleasure to grant you this interview. I hope that, in some small way, I have been able to add to the value of the learning you are providing and to the happiness of those who read your postings.
Buy Sonnets at Amazon
About the Author
Charles Gerard Timm is an American creative writer from New Jersey. His writing has been called "inspirational," "classic," "poetic," and "vivid." He also acts and draws and hopes you find your time with his work well-spent.Website * Twitter
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