Poet Robert Niswander Makes Us “See Our World”
Today we have writer and poet Robert Niswander with us. Check out our exclusive interview where we talk about his poetry collection, “See Our World”, the hardships he faced and overcame in life, and his upcoming works.
Please, introduce yourself.
I was born to a broken family. My father was in jail and my mother was a struggling to keep her family together. She got divorced and then remarried my step father who became the staple of my life. He was old school kind of man that valued hard work and responsibility. The furthest thing from what was in my biological sperm donor. Yet my father had his flaws too. He was a very smart man but not well educated and tended to learn things his way or no way at all. I was sarcastic from day one, so our relationship seemed to be at odds most of the time. It was only when I was older that I found out why my mother loved him so much or that I could ever see the softer side of him.
When did you realize your love for writing?
In a small town school you have two roads out. You are either accepted by your peers, or you deal with insults and snide comments all the time you are there. I was in the few that were insulted because of my small size, being a different nationality, and just having a different outlook on the world. I fought most of my four years in high school. I was often in detention for something I said or did to defend myself from others. As I grew up my escape into writing made me come to terms with myself and my work. All the horrid images of sorrow and hate spilled out on paper. Over time my work turned into something of a coping skill that lead to me writing SEE OUR WORLD and other books.
Are there other authors and/or poets who have inspired you?
My first introduction to poetry was from Poe. Dark and forbidding, it was my mother that opened the door to his work. She spoke of The Raven, Tell Tale Heart and so many others. At the time of my youth this seemed to go hand in hand with my dark mood and dealing with my peers. As I grew I found others like Robert Frost and Gothe. They seemed to stretch my imagination to places I have never explored.
Inspiration never really spurred me until my later years, but I think that title goes to my Mother. She put faith in me that I never had in myself. She pushed me when I doubted everything. It took me fifteen years to write SEE OUR WORLD and I would not have finished it if it were not for her. She died of cancer a year before I published my first book. Her death made it possible to be determined enough to carry out my dream. That is way I have dedicated this first book to her. Because no matter what I write she was the one that told me I could do it.
What can you tell us about ‘See Our World’. What kind of readers will it appeal to?
Because it is based solely on my opinion of the world it is very hard to say. I don’t preach about the good and the bad telling everyone what they should do. I just leave it open ended, something to ponder over. I feel the number of poems are a solid choice for the overall book. It still has some raw moments that try to make the reader think. This book gives three things to the reader: the work is solid, it tells a story, and every poem is a short story of life as a whole. It also is composed with variety. I think I have something in there for everyone. It makes the reader laugh, cry, or even be horrified by the cruelty of the world. Lastly I feel it is a thought provoking work that has to make someone really think about their life and mine and compare the two. Out of everything I want people to walk away from this stating that the book in its entirety is a sum of opinions, just one man’s insight on the world and I hope they can benefit from the thoughts I wrote down.
Any thoughts about self and traditional publishing?
This is a hard question, there is no doubt. Those that seem to want to enter this field need to have leather-like skin, and must love to take a beating. It is hard, to make a book, then market it, then make sure you get it out the way you want it, and then find places to sell it. So much time goes into it I barely have time to write. In the market of poetry, it is even harder if you are broke. You have vanity presses that promise you the world if you slap hundreds or thousands of dollars on the table. People say they will help you then end up making you do all the marketing yourself. They may get cover art for you, format your book, maybe edit it, but you have to do all the marketing. This is time consuming and taxing.
Those that don’t know the first thing about sales will get hit hard with the rejection and if their ego can’t take the damage, they will soon lose heart. To me, selling my work is a process. Gain a following with your eboooks then roll over that following to a paper back then hard back. You want to make true money you must start from the bottom and put your time in posting to sites. Find a person that likes your work and make a street team. When enough sales come in after the first year or two then turn your ebooks into traditional books and sell them with your John Handcock on them. In the end, you have to create the value of your work. No one will do it for you, and if you feel you are too good for that then you can just watch others go by you.
Are there any upcoming works we should know about?
Yes there are, four books coming out within the next month or two. Evil Within is a project I put together thinking of the scariest things I can think of. It is fifty poems that deal with life and the evil that man does to each other. It takes the reader on a walk through a world that has images of hate and torment and pain. No vampires or witches just cold, hard evil staring you back. Still, even with this book being so dark it has some chance of hope and a way out.
The next is Chronicles of Crime. This book explores crimes as a whole. What they do, how they try to get away with it, and why it’s painful to humanity as a whole. It tells you why breaking the law is something more to think about and the effect it has out on others as well as the one doing it.
The last book I am relaunching is The Many Facets of Love. It is another book that explores love and relationships between people. It’s more heartfelt and warm, it shows the softer side of me, and I feel it touches on so many different aspects of love that the title brings it all together.
Finally, I am working on a book that will be a two part series called God And Deities and Deities and Gods. Both will be out in three or four months. It includes over 75 gods from many different cultures, profiling them and breathing life in to their character once more. The research on this was very time consuming but I feel it will be a great read. That’s about it for now, I will see you at the book signing and take overs.
Have you read “See Our World” by Robert Niswander yet? Let us know!
Farid has a Masters in Psychology and an M.Phil in Molecular Genetics. He is the author of numerous books including Arousing the Legacy, Missing in Somerville, The Game Master of Somerville, and The Escaped Murderer of Somerville. He gives us insight on comics, books, TV shows, anime/manga, video games, and movies.
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