This month we have another star from Big White Shed! I first met Neal at Crosswords Open Mic night at the Malt Cross in Nottingham. We both shared a love of Studio Ghibli and poetry, and if that isn’t the foundation for a friendship then I don’t know what is. Neal’s poetry never stops amazing me, and I will never tire of seeing and hearing him perform. He’s brilliant in too many ways for me to list, so I’ll let you find out for yourself.
About the author
Describe your ideal writing atmosphere.
I find it very hard to write at home, so maybe in a café with music quietly in the background or in a Murukami-esque writing cave.
How long have you been writing and what inspired you to start?
Iv’e always been interested in writing but my friend Jim Hall told me to go Mouthy Poets so I did I started writing in November 2014.
Describe your writing style.
An accidental on purpose trip back into the past with added scenes that may or may not have happened.
“If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” – Toni Morrison
What kind of story that hasn’t been written yet do you want to read?
A platonic YA book about male and female relationships.
Name any authors or books that have had an impact on your writing.
High Fidelity Nick Hornby
Describe the moment you truly felt like an author.
I don’t know maybe around 2014.
What book by another author do you wish you’d written?
Suitcase by Roger Robinson probably my favourite poetry collection of all time.
What’s the best thing about writing/being a writer?
The ability to experiment.
What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
Write as much as you can if you can write every day then do it, but it’s really bloody hard to do so.
Tell the story behind your latest book, why did you write it?
I only have one book out at the moment but it’s Identity Bike Ride a poetry collection about places both metaphorical and literal also its about music. I wrote it because I wanted to do so.
Most inspiring quote?
This is a weird one. I’m not sure why I find it as inspirational as I do but I do like this Douglas Adams one: “I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.”
Which author (living or dead) would you like to have dinner with?
This is too hard. I’m going with Terry Pratchett as I would love to talk about death and monkeys.
If you could bring any fictional character to life, who would you choose?
Gah this is
How do you beat writers block?
I find that reading books I don’t like slows my writing down.
Give yourself some writing advice.
Read better books and write more oddly but not too odd.
What are your plans for the future? What writing projects are you currently working on?
I’m currently working on a show called Five Years and my second book of poetry which at the moment is called nealpike2.
These poems are poems about running away from boxes.
How music is the greatest thing in the world but it sometimes bites you in the arse.
These poems are about places, places everyone knows, but some haven’t been to for a while, or never, but everyone knows these places.