Contributor Interview with Dale Parnell

Everyone, welcome Dale Parnell to our Contributor Interview series, a routine blog feature that introduces you to the wonderful writers whose work will be featured in our upcoming anthology, Byline Legacies.

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“Dale’s poem was the first poem that actually moved me to tears. His words perfectly articulated all the reasons why the thoughts swirling in my brain and stirring in my soul only made sense in verse.”

— Lizzie Thornton, editor for Cardigan Press

[E] Welcome, Dale, to Cardigan Press! We’d love to know: what genres/age ranges do you typically gravitate toward in your writing?

I tend to think of myself as a short story writer first, and my writing has always tended towards fantasy, or at least having some fantasy element within it. It was through self-publishing and finding local author events that I was exposed to poetry. I made a lot of close friends within my local poetry circles and gradually began to write and perform at spoken word events. At the same time, I was inspired by a lot of the same people to write more science-fiction and horror especially, so now I suppose you could describe my stories as falling under the umbrella of speculative fiction. The poetry I write usually falls in the free verse camp. I’ve come to appreciate the more structured styles as a reader, but to be honest I struggle to write in any formal discipline. I don’t think I have ever consciously decided on an age range, but most of the stories and themes I write are geared more towards an adult audience. 

[E] You seem to fit well into many writing groups! In what way would you say your submission to Cardigan Press is similar and/or different from your usual tone?

In terms of the poetry I write, I think ‘The Poet’s Truth’ is quite close to my usual style, or at least, the poems I find that I am most happy with. I have found over the past couple of years that my favorite poetry comes from being honest about myself, my fears and occasionally my failings. I’m always in awe of poets who are willing to bare their souls, and often these are the most poignant. This poem was originally inspired by World Poetry Day, although I could never quite find what it was I wanted it to say. It suffered several failed starts, and it wasn’t until I had the first line, “What truth is there in poetry?” that the rest sort of wrote itself. What surprised me about that first draft was the feeling of anger that I got from it, especially since I couldn’t really tell you what I was angry about. Where the short stories I write are pure fiction, I think I do tend to use poetry to show pieces of myself, and in some instances, to confront parts of myself that I haven’t openly addressed.

[E] We, too, saw the emotion behind “The Poet’s Truth”, but we felt a very wide range of emotion, though not excluding anger. We are really thrilled to publish your poem in Byline Legacies. Until then: how can readers best support your writing career?

I’m really lucky that I have been featured in several fiction and poetry anthologies, and I’m always pleased when people pick those up, since it also supports a lot of other really talented authors and poets. And if anyone does want to read more of my own work, I have self-published two collections of short stories; “The Green Cathedral”, “Bramble”, and a short collection of poetry “If I Were Not Me”, all of which can be found on Amazon and Smashwords. 

If anyone would like to find out more about my writing, the anthologies and upcoming projects, then you can find me on Facebook and I have set up author pages on Amazon and Goodreads

[E] Thank you so much, Dale, for hanging out with us! We’re so excited for readers to explore your writing and get to know you!

Everyone, please show your support and at least give him a follow!

Do you know Dale? Comment below and let others know what Dale’s writing means to you. If this is your first time meeting him, say hello!

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