1. When did you first begin writing poetry?
I wrote my first poem maybe in 2005, but wasn’t serious about poetry until 2008 when I was confident enough to perform at Open Mic venues. After that, poetry became natural and I amassed a nice collection of poems over a 1 year period.
2. Who are you inspirations?
As a writer and music enthusiast, I enjoy the lyrics of Donny Hathaway, Stevie Wonder, KEM and Michael Franks. I also admire the lyrics of deep soulful house music tracks which speak about love, peace and joy. My favorite poets in Detroit are Marsha Carter and Stephen “Sparrow” O’Neal and globally, Talaam Acey and CoCo Brown. What I admire most about these talented artists is how the depth of their lyrics are powerful enough to transform lives, influence behavior, change a culture and define concepts to shape attitudes. Pretty deep, I know, but that’s how I think and what I value in the writing of others.
3. What are your writing habits? Do you write a certain amount of pages per day? Do you write at a certain time of day?
Most of my poems come to me in the middle of the night while I’m sleeping (or trying to sleep) at hotels while travelling for business. I often wake up in the middle of the night to get the words out of my head on onto my laptop. Airplane rides are also great opportunities for me to write. When I’m home with my wife and kids, my creative energy is surprisingly nonexistent so I rarely do any writing in Michigan.
4. You were given the name –The Storyteller – can you explain to our readers how that came about?
Wherever I travel for business, I seek out the local Open Mic venues for Spoken Word. Hartford, Connecticut has a very nice weekly poetry event called The Love Jones Experience. I would perform there every week and the host of this event began introducing me as Ron the Storyteller because of my style. Most of my poems have a well structured beginning, middle and climax…essentially telling a story to educate and enlighten others.
5. Who are your favorite authors and what are you reading now?
I don’t have favorite authors, but really enjoy reading about African History, Physics & Consciousness, Spirituality and Personal Development. I was really impressed with Tony Browder (The Browder Files) and how he was able to take so many subjects and synthesize it in a way that anyone can absorb the knowledge and relate it to their outlook on the world. Currently, I’m reading books on writing and marketing to sharpen my skills and best position the commercialization of my writing gifts.
6. What are your goals as a writer, mentor?
My goals right now are very simply…to enlighten and empower people through my creative gifts and, eventually, devote myself full time to writing, performing and running The Knowledge Group.
7. Through The Knowledge Group, an educational consulting firm, you help people develop mentoring programs. Do you use poetry to help educate as well?
One thing I’ve learned about teaching children is that they have very short attention spans when it comes to communicating messages about our history and empowerment. The beauty of poetry is that, when done correctly, it is brief and powerful. You can also add music and picture / video images to reinforce the message engaging multiple senses. Our archaic way of teaching does not penetrate the multi-sensory, multi-media and multi-faceted learning styles young people respond to these days. Through the Knowledge Group, I plan to package products and services that will enlighten young people in a way they can relate to.
8. If you had one wish for your writing career what would it be?
Public recognition and awards would be nice and I will certain appreciate such achievements, but my wish is primarily to touch people’s lives through my writing. I live for the day when people let me know that one of my poems changed their perspective about a challenge they were going through or blessed them during a difficult time.
9. What advice would you give other aspiring writers?
Never underestimate the importance of hard work and your success will not be limited to the brilliance of your writing alone. Focus on living a life of integrity and righteousness, because your success will require meeting the right people at the right time with the right information to help propel your work to the next level. It’s hard to depend on luck because we can’t control that. What we can control is how we live our lives and let the creator make the connections on our behalf.
10. You have traveled the globe extensively, including visiting Africa five times. Have your travels changed you, or influenced your writing?
My travels have greatly influenced my perspective and exposure to worldly wisdom and I wouldn’t trade that experience for anything. However, the primary influence of my writing has come from conversations with people throughout my life more so than any places they may hail from. No matter where I travel, people are dealing with love, relationships, conflict and looking for empowerment either through God, music, their work or their significant other.
11. Can you tell us about your Debut Spoken Word CD RISE UP?
Rise Up is a collection of the love, temptation and empowerment poems I often perform at Spoken Word Open Mic venues. The deeply passionate and thought-provoking lyrics in all 14 tracks on this CD will generate dialogue and debates about relationships and self-reflection. This is a studio quality project with all tracks professionally mixed and mastered. The music was provided by DJ Delano Smith and Jerald Daemyon and is equally as entertaining as the spoken word lyrics. I was also blessed to do a duet on one track with Marsha Carter.
12. Your book, Poems in the Key of Life, features a father and son discussing life over a bottle of cognac. Is this “poetic memoir” autobiographical?
My novel is not an account of my life, but rather a perspective I have gained in recent years about spirituality, love, temptation, commitment, empowerment and life purpose. By definition, this is poetic memoir as it is focused on these specific themes revealed to me during a journey to finding my purpose in life. I have been blessed with a wonderful life so far, but haven’t achieved anything worthy of an autobiography. The journey I went through in recent years is certainly something that many others can relate to, finding strength and encouragement to address a similar conflict in their own lives. My decision to package this book as a novel also relates to definition – it has characters, a conflict, a resolution to the conflict and a climax. The poetic memoirs are simply the method of resolution to the conflict within the novel. I hope that answers your question. LOL.
13. Have you ever won any awards for your writing? If so please elaborate.
Not at this time. I have not submitted any of my writing to any contests, nor have I ever competed in any poetry slams where such awards are possible. My focus right now will be getting my CD and novel reviewed as a necessary step of the marketing and commercialization process. I have received feedback on my poems and novel which provided me with tons of encouragement and validation that I have a gift that will certainly leave a footprint on people’s lives. Right now, that’s a great start and appropriate awards will come once exposure to my work increases.
14. Where can someone purchase your books?
All of my creative works are available on my website www.RonSpearsPoetry.com
15. How do you promote your books?
I haven’t really started to promote my book yet, because successful books seem to be follow a trend of buzz around the author more than quality of content. My belief is that my Rise Up CD has a greater chance of generating widespread buzz around my thought provoking lyrics and empowering messages. This buzz will cause people to want to know more about me and where the inspiration came from…that will be the best timing to publish and invest in hard copies to actively promote my novel. Until then, my novel will remain an eBook to minimize investment costs and flexibility for revisions.
16. What are you working on now?
My primary focus is on developing a marketing plan for the Rise Up CD. I look forward to going into the studio soon to record a digital audio book version of my novel to add to my website. In my “spare time,” I am writing greeting cards that will integrate my poetry with pictures from all my travels with timely and empowering messages for people to share with friends, family and loved ones.