CPW: I dawdled with writing in my elementary and junior high school years. I had two successes with writings that were plain silly. One in elementary school yielded me an A while my junior high school story won me a T-shirt. My writing increased greatly when I joined a band in high school and became the lyricist.
LG: Do you consider yourself a poet first?
CPW: In the literary field, I'd say I do now. My body of work is almost entirely poetry. What do you consider to be the main function of a poet? To do with words what music does with sound.
LG: Tell us a little bit about the inspiration for "Netherworld Befalls?"
CPW: Because of the dark nature of lyricism from my band years, I had a cache of works that was entirely marginalized to the genre of black or death metal lyricism. Coupled with my being a Halloweenie, it motivated me to do a solo project different from the band, composing songs fit for Halloween listening. The musical end of that project never launched but the literary contribution flourished. When I pursued poetry, I thought to combine those works into a book that replaced the failed solo project. To thicken the composition, I researched subject matter befitting the book but providing it material that would not make it seem redundant in subject matter like my band lyricism did. "The Halloween Encyclopedia" by Lisa Morton helped fill the tank so my 50 works quota could be met.
LG: You've been called the 21st Century Edgar Allen Poe. What do you think about that and how do you think your style is similar or different from his?
CPW: Poe was more a short story writer than a poet. He and I use a classical approach in our works but I alterate styles to appease different listening tastes (a mixed metaphor). Poe had a far more dismal existence so he had a closer bond to the morose than I but I also have that streak in me to express dark thoughts Poe utilized. Our reflection of contemporary gloom is reflected from the same mirror but from different centuries and differently evolved cultures. Poe and I have tried our hands outside the macabre and delved into humor, though Poe was unsuccessful due to high demands for what he wanted to deviate from. I put a bit of humor into specific works in "Netherworld Befalls" as part of those alternate styles.
LG: How do you think a poet’s job has changed for better or worse in 21st century?
CPW: A job involves making money and poetry is not lucrative enough to sustain an existence, except in extremely rare instances by long established literary figures and even they have a career that is significant to their existence. Prospects for poets are greater now because of the Internet and the advent of slam poetry (music-less rap) but demand is still limited.
LG: Can you tell us a little bit about your writing process?
CPW: It's definitely inspiration-based. At times, I start with the titles first and then molding a composition from it. Sometimes, a title is formed during or after words are penned. Research helps in the writing process. Sometimes you find you may need to reshape your flow and find it sounds better or unorthodox in an eclectic way you find appealing.
LG: What are your writing goals for the future?
CPW: Hopefully, to have more success and find a special avenue where my books and I can flourish. I have a performance play idea on the back burner for "Netherworld Befalls." I have yet made CDs or videos to promote my works. Whatever opportunities arise, I'll have to see if I have a chance that rises with it.
LG: Do you have any advice for aspiring writers out there?
CPW: There are broken hearts and sold souls for every book at Barnes & Noble. Know that the world is as unfair as it is your oyster. Know that if what you write sells, sell it right.