Today, I am happy to introduce you to a poet and a man who is surely going to make you laugh once or twice throughout the interview: Owain Glyn. He is a Wattpad ambassador and is (hopefully) going to share some writing secrets along with the workings of such a massively popular website.
First, I just wanted to say that you have a gift with words. I read some of your poetry and it is light-hearted and carefree, almost like the summer’s wind.
Owain: I am delighted to be asked to share my thoughts with your readers. When they have finished reading they may need access to a good counsellor, I would love to help here but mine is currently undergoing treatment.
May: *Laughs* Oh gosh, I may need to book an appointment as well then after we’re done.
1. Business before pleasure today. What is it like being a Wattpad ambassador and how did you become one?
Owain: I guess I had been a Wattpad contributor for about eighteen months when I was approached by Wattpad Head Office to become an Ambassador. I naturally assumed that this meant I would be invited to lots of parties and be able to wear a tux, eat Ferrero Rocher, and drink vast quantities of expensive wine. I was sadly mistaken! As an Ambassador, I spend a lot of my time mentoring other younger writers, a job I very much enjoy. It gives me the opportunity to give back to a community that has given me so much.
May: I don’t think I’d be able to keep up with so many people. I can barely contain the characters in my head. But, helping other writers is something we all have to do. After all, being an inspiration or a mentor to someone always makes you glow on the inside. I do feel sorry about the fact there is no Ferrero Rocher. That should be in the contract as a must.
2. A lot of writers seem to be better at a particular genre or a style which they hone over the years. This leads me to our next question: why did you choose poetry?
Owain: I guess I was drawn to writing through my love of language, and poetry allows me to use language in a variety of ways that prose does not. I love the lyricism of poetry.
May: I think every writer out there should try a bit of poetry now and again. There is a lot we can learn from it. It summarises and portrays so much in short sentences. Usage of powerful words can always be noted in good examples.
3. As always, I like to ask an abstract question here and there. This is it! If you were selected to be part of the colonisation mission to Mars, what would be the lucky charm that you’d bring along with you?
Owain: Wow! After much deep and philosophical thought, I think I would take a plastic Tortoise. The lack of gravity would mean I was certain of winning every single race, and I would remain physically more attractive, at least for a while.
May: *bends over laughing* I seriously didn’t know what you were going to say but this is hilarious. I’m still laughing at this point. *tries for serious face* Right. Right. I’m okay. I’m serious.
Er … I would probably take a notebook. I know. Super boring. A writer taking a notebook? Who would have thought?! *gasps* I can hear eye rolls already.
4. Wattpad has brought a lot of writers together in one large community. What did it bring you? Feel free to share some stories with us.
Owain: The community is probably the very best element of Wattpad; the interaction between writers is invaluable. Not all feedback is complimentary, but if we listen to what others say about our work, it can help us improve. I have undertaken a number of collaborative exercises with other writers, and have learned, and benefited from each of them. Where else would those opportunities exist?
May: I think a major plus is that people are not forced into one room on Wattpad. We can log in at any time we like and interact with our readers with ease. Feedback-wise, I agree. I have received a lot of good, useful comments from Wattpad users. Although I must say, some of it was pretty purposeless (even when I re-read it a few months down the line). I can understand a criticism which is backed up by fact or by a reader’s emotion from reading a story, but when it is a line of “this needs to be fixed” without stating what ‘it’ actually is. Yep, had a few of those, too.
5. Do you have any advice in regard to poetry or writing in general for the readers?
Owain: I guess my advice is not unique, to be a top class tennis player, you have to practice. Writing is no different, read to learn, and practice, practice, practice. Write every single day, even if it is just a few lines, it will soon become a habit.
May: That’s a perfectly fine advice. After a while, with these interviews, people can see that the advice writers give tend to be very similar. You can’t get out of practicing and reading no matter how hard you want to. And if you do want to, you’re probably in the wrong profession.
6. Easter or Christmas?
Owain: Easter every time, most people do not know when it is, and relatives rarely visit!!
May: I pick Easter mainly because chocolate prices drop, not as packed in the shops as it is during Christmas, and chocolate cakes. Nom nom nom.
7. Writing lets our souls explore the worlds beyond our imagination, so what is your routine of getting there?
Owain: I am lucky, I can find inspiration everywhere. I am an avid people watcher and I have a very broad set of interests. A walk into town, a walk in the country, ten minutes listening to the news, will always give me food for thought.
May: I tend to try and block out the world while moving. My mind likes to use that time to create things instead of focusing on the people around me. But, when I am stationary and have nothing to do then I become a creepy people watcher. I do hope I don’t freak too many people out by staring. Have to master those ninja skills sometime.
8. When you come to a dead-end in writing, what do you do to take a break from it?
Owain: I, like most writers, do have barren times, thankfully very few, but I have a plan for these times. First, I panic, then I blame the government, then I pop to the pub. It usually works.
May: *snorts* Blame the government? I’m up for that one. I guess what mediates my bad moods or dry spells between writing bursts is … tea. Yes. Tea and cake – this combo in particular – can save the world.
9. If you had an opportunity to drive to anywhere in the world and scream out your frustration, where would you go?
Owain: That is a difficult one. My first reaction would be to drive to the centre of government and let the politicians have it both barrels! However, on reflection, they would be too busy talking to listen. So, I think I would go to a Zoo, a perfect captive audience and little chance of an argument.
May: Humm, if you do that, they may accept you as one of their own. You’ll be the new Tarzan!
I would most likely head to Niagara Falls. The scenery is so beautiful there and I feel that with the flow of water, my frustration would seep out of me also. See! So pretty!!!
10. Please go ahead and share the current projects you’re working on or any future ones you want the readers to know about.
Owain: I continue to add to my poetry collections on Wattpad, but in the background I have started my first novel about a fairly dysfunctional family living just after the second World War. My first published collection of poetry, ‘Windswept’ is available both as an ebook, and a hard copy book from the following:
OuterbanksPublishingGroup.com, Amazon.com, Amazon.UK, and Barnes and Noble.
May: Thank you very much for joining me here, Owain. It was a great pleasure having you here. I’m going to miss your humorous and positive outlook on life.
Now, Owain has provided me with a poem called ‘Gems’ from his ‘Windswept’ collection. I’m sure you will enjoy it as much as I have.
To what should I compare thee?
Hewn from God’s earth
Translucent giver of light
Friend of maidens?
Depths of the oceans
A crown of jealousy?
Beauty of the night sky
By Royal command
The view of evening mountains
Or, the sadness within?
The colour of blood
The bringer of fire and flame
Piercer of the heart
Vision of the setting sun?
For the most beautiful
The most precious
The most desirable