I recently picked up Hypnosis Avis Jay’s debut book from ibooks on my iPad Pro and was pleasantly surprised how captivating it was. I have always been a fan of poetry but never been one to buy poetry books for my own collection. Having had a lot of time on my hands this week (post surgery) I decided throw on my favorite face mask, make myself a nice cup of tea, sit back and start reading. I soon rediscovered why I enjoy reading poetry so much. I love how there are hundreds of ways you can interpret a piece and as a reader you are able find a way you individually resonate with it. I find his style very unique and self defined. It isn’t like any other poetry I have read in the past. I think he’s already found niche in poetry and developed his identity as a now published poet.
Here is a little interview I was lucky enough to partake in with Avi.
Q + A
Q: I love that you included the tear sheets as a window into your unfiltered process. I’m curious then, what does the filtered process look like?
A (Avi Dixit): Well… to be quite honest, I don’t reread anything that I write because I feel like it would affect my creativity. I also write most of what I want to say in my mind first before writing it down, so I have almost all my writings memorized anyway. My dear friend – whom I have worked on numerous pieces with, does the filtering process, or editing process. She really understands my mindset and is an amazing writer herself.
Q: When did you first get interested in poetry and what inspired you to put together this anthology?
A (Avi Dixit): I’ve been writing since I was about 8 years old and my parents brought home a typewriter, that really did it for me… so when you’ve been writing for this long, it becomes almost like a sanctuary. I started writing poetry, or at least taking it more seriously about four years ago. Because of that it has blended into almost anything that I write now; whether I write it down or not.
I’m not entirely sure what inspired me to put together this collection of poetry. But, I called up my friend (who does the editing) and said let’s put a poetry book out. I think I sent her about 120-150 poems in 30 days – and she selected the ones that you read in Part One.
The thing about inspiration is that it happens really fast and can dissolve any faster. So if the energy is there, you really need to take advantage of that and turn the inspiration into motivation.
There’s a big difference between inspiration and motivation, but they go hand-in-hand.
Q:Is there anything that is off limits from being expressed in this medium? If so, what (if you’re comfortable briefly sharing), and why? Do you think that will ever change?
A (Avi Dixit): Yeah. There definitely is because I feel like when words are written down, they are often dissected differently than when you hear them read out loud. In other words, sometimes reading words, you can misinterpret what the author was actually trying to say – and I don’t like that. So, I really try to write in a mindful way that the reader will understand exactly what it is that I’m trying to say – almost as if I was reading it out loud.
So, it’s not like there are personal things that I don’t want to talk about… it’s more of if I can figure out an artistic way to word it – that won’t be taken out of context.
Q: Who have been your key influences in life, artistic or otherwise?
A (Avi Dixit): Any and all artists of the world are influential on me. I think to be an artist, a real artist, you have to be vulnerable to make your craft an actual piece of art – and it doesn’t matter what type of medium you choose. The underlying fabric of something being influential to me is respect. If you respect your craft, than you respect yourself and you’ll do the same for mine. At least that’s how I feel about it.
But to answer your question simply:
I like to listen to music and also read biographies. I’m a movie/film fan as well.
Q: How has your author’s voice evolved over time? Is poetry your creative medium of choice or do you enjoy creating multiple avenues of artistic expression?
A (Avi Dixit):I would say my skillset has drastically increased. I think my tone and feeling was always in everything I write – but it’s a lot different now. It’s difficult to explain.
At this point, the words kind of just write themselves, from memory – because I really do spend a lot of my time thinking and writing in my mind. It’s a comforting place for me to be. So really, my artistic expression, kind of unfolds as its being written. So I would never approach a project that I’m working on with what I want it to be. I kind of just start writing and then see where it needs to go, or wants to go rather.
Q: After reading through your work, I can tell how much of yourself you’ve left on these pages. So, I have to know, how does it feel to complete your first book and what are you plans for the next one?
A (Avi Dixit): It feels great. But being an independent, self-publishing author, it’s a little bit tough because I’m already thinking about what I want to write next, while also trying to focus on how to market the book. It’s a weird balance. I think if my fan base, or reader audience grows, the worry of having to figure out how to market it won’t occupy as much of my mental and I’ll definitely be able to churn out writing faster.
I’m currently working on Part Two. I actually just sent my editor 40,000 words or roughly 18 chapters of what Part Two will be; she is calling it a novella. This is definitely the most complex piece of writing, or project that I have sent to her, as it’s an actual story not just a collection of poems (short stories).
Now that I have sent that over to her, I’m already thinking about how to approach Part Three. I think Hypnosis will be a long series of books. This is the first time in my life that I have decided that I want to turn writing from a hobby into a lucrative career.