Dienstag, 25. September 2012

The Taylor Street Gang files, part 10. George Polley

Number 10 and it all seems to be going swimmingly :-)

George Polley is our tenth prey. A man of infinite patience whose calm exterior and rational aura hides the soul of a lunatic.

George lives in Japan and is full of oriental wisdom like, (I quote)

" Do not argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you
   with experience."

... And, "The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on my list."

... And my fave, "To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism. To steal from many is research."

Seriously, you open his page on Taylor and there's a whole list of 'em. Anyway, you could be forgiven for thinking he's a tad cracked... and, well he is, but in a good way. 
Here's a blurb or two for a couple of George's more recent books on Amazon and then we'll see what he has to say.

Grandfather and the Raven
George Polley's 'Grandfather' stories are fables capable of teaching children - and not a few adults - about the value of appreciating all living creatures, of the wisdom of being open-minded enough to seek solutions in unlikely places, of the rewards of working systematically towards your dreams, of the futility of bullying and aggression, and of the reassurance of a loving and harmonious environment in a world which tips all too often towards the arbitrary destruction of war.

As ever, George Polley recounts these near-legends in a voice which lulls and beguiles, and above all nudges us towards a kinder and more spiritual approach to the world around us.

The Old Man & The Monkey
'The Old Man & The Monkey' is a stunningly beautiful story of a relationship which develops between an old man and a creature which is regarded as a dangerous pest in Japan, a snow monkey, in George Polley's moving allegory of dignity in the face of racism.

George Polley, THE PRICE IS RIGHT !!!

                       ... err, I mean, COME ON DOWN !!!

1.) Tell us about yourself. 

I’ve been writing fiction since the late 1960s and have done it off and on ever since, fitting it into a busy career. I began writing poetry in the early 1970s, and published quite a bit of it over the next nine years, mainly in Midwestern little poetry magazines. About 12 years ago I began writing seriously again, mostly short stories that I self-published. I’ve also written 4 or 5 novels over that period, none of which were finished.
I’ve been married to a wonderful lady named Aiko for the past 32 1/2 years, and we live in Sapporo, Japan, where we moved in late March 2008. Finally retired from my career, I now write full time. I’ve published two books, “The Old Man and The Monkey” and “Grandfather and The Raven”, both by Taylor Street Publishing, one ebook (“Grandfather Stories”), published by Abbott ePublishing (no longer available), plus several short stories, all since moving here.

2.) What genre do you specialize in? 

That’s a very interesting question, because I’d never thought in terms of genres until Tim published my two books. I guess you’d say that they’re both “literary fiction”, though both appeal to children, especially “The Old Man and the Monkey”. I have a children’s novel (“Bear -- The Story of a Boy and His Unusual Dog”) that TSP has accepted, and am writing its sequel. I also have a psychological thriller that I’ll have finished next year, plus a novel about Mexico City (“The City Has Many Faces”) and one about a Tokyo artist (“Seiji”) that I’ve been working on for a couple of years. Then more “Bear” books, and God knows what else, other than another thriller featuring my favorite husband and wife team, Sikká Årén and Magnus Verhoeven.

3.) What's your inspiration.

A 7th grade English teacher told me I was a very good writer after I wrote a sci-fi story as a class assignment. I ignored it for years until I couldn’t ignore it any longer, and began writing. I see it as a “calling”, as something that I am on this planet to do. I also have tremendous fun writing, sometimes very serious things, sometimes silly things, and sometimes funny things. I love poetry, which I came about quite literally by accident when my typewriter broke. Since I can’t write more than one legible line in longhand, I put my story aside, took my typewriter to the repair guy, and began writing poetry. And the darned stuff took off! I couldn’t believe it. I even had a poetry broadside published by an arts group, and two poetry chapbooks published before seriously getting back into fiction. Now I’m hooked on both.

4.) Who is your favourite author, why and did he/she inspire you to write in any way?

I think you’re asking about influences which, for me, are many. My early influences were Henry Miller and the great Cypriot novelist and poet Nikos Kazantzakis (I even remember his translator’s name; it was Kimon Friar). Miller showed me ways to expand and use my imagination. With Kazantzakis it was the power of his language and imagery and the strength of his characters. “Zorba the Greek is still one of my favorite novels and movies. Then I discovered the Latin Americans, and the whole new world of magic realism. Gabriel Garcia Marques, Jorge Amado (Brazilian), Carlos Fuentes, Jose Donoso, Mario Vargas Llosa, the list is endless. My head was spinning. More recently it’s been Haruki Murakami. His novels blow my mind. There are so many levels to each of them that they seem endless. And Stieg Larsson, the author of the Millennium Trio (“The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” and its two sequels), who made my hair stand on end. Endless, just endless. I learn from all you guys, too. I feel like a kid in a huge toy shop, and I don’t know which way to go first because it’s all so damn much fun!   

5.) How do you feel about Taylor?

I love it. I think Tim and Kathleen are taking it way beyond what the old NP was, and that Taylor Street has the real potential of being a really big player in the publishing field that’s rapidly emerging from the ruins of the old.

6.) What are your plans? 

To live another 20 years (that’d put me at 98) and publish a minimum of 4 books a year. Keeps my brain alive, mon ami. Yee-ha!

7.) Go for it, sell your work. (Links, reviews, what ever you want).

My website: http://www.geogepolleyauthor.com  There is a blog on it, so do drop by there.
My book blog. Inactive right now, but it’ll give you an idea of one of the things I’ve been doing:http://www.tostadaspeaks.blogspot.jp 

George, thank you very much matey, and don't forget, "A clear conscience is the sign of a fuzzy memory." (Another one from the list.)

Thanks for reading peeps.

Carry on.
Reggie :-D

5 Kommentare:

Anonym hat gesagt…

Excellent interview Reggie - I've learnt a lot about George - and I will now have to look up all of those authors which I do not know...

R.R.Jones hat gesagt…

Well, there's one more to come, though he isn't at Taylor Street anymore and that's the last one.
I've enjoyed doing it actually and I'm glad for the nice feedback, thank you very much.

Author T K Geering hat gesagt…

Another special interview honey. Such a lovely man and great to see his wife alongside him in his new avatar.

Mike Church hat gesagt…

Ah, he's wonderful, isn't he! I loved the lines at the beginning, Reggie ("The last thing I want to do is hurt you, but it's still on my list", etc.)

Yes, a huge George fan here and looking forward immensely to reading his stuff before I'm 98.

R.R.Jones hat gesagt…

I read and reviewed some of George's work and it's as good as you'd think it is.