Interview with the Author/Poet Matt Banks
Interview with Matt Banks, Author of “The Lonely Heart Wanders”
Banks is a modern poet, who has been writing since the age of 15. "The Lonely Heart Wanders" is currently his only collection of poetry. Matt holds a Bachelors Degree in Sports Science and currently works in education. Matt has Cerebral Palsy and is an advocate for children with special needs. He currently resides in Memphis, TN with his wife Sylvia, and their newborn son Dominic.
What inspired you to write your book?
I was inspired to write my book after setting the goal about five years ago. I had a few goals as a matter of fact. I wanted to coach high school basketball and I did. I wanted to coach college basketball and I did. I wanted to get married and I did. I wanted to have a child and I did. So, I guess writing this book was just making another dream come true.
Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult? Some people find this a little odd when I tell them, but my first inspiration was Tupac. Yes, he was a rapper, but he was a poet first as he admitted numerous times. I think reading “The Rose That Grew From Concrete” really influenced me to put my words into a book. As an adult, I think K.Y. Robinson, the author of “The Chaos of Longing” and Gretchen Gomez the author of “Love, and You” have inspired me. Their work is amazing, but they inspired me with constant encouragement and we're very helpful with tips on how to publish and reach others. It may have seemed like a small thing to them, but they made a big impact on me. I am forever grateful!
Is this your first book? How long did it take to start and finish your manuscript?
Yes, and no. I released a book earlier this year called “Unspoken Words.” This was a shorter collection of my work over the years. I think I rushed it and it was up to the standard I wanted. I stopped selling it. I was still very inspired after finishing it and that's when I created “The Lonely Heart Wanders.” I actually pulled several poems from the first book and added them to the new collection. I didn't want to lose them.
Do you write with an outline, or just let it flow organically?
I just go with the flow. Poems hit me when I drive into work and when I lay down for the night. I may see a tweet or post that inspires me. I just grab my phone and start jotting notes.
Do you listen to music when you write? If yes, what genre?
I do. I'm an R&B and old school rap kind of guy. So I could be listening to Tupac or Ice Cube and then follow it up with some Anthony Hamilton, Boyz II Men or Maxwell. I don't really think there is a theme. The book covers a wide range of emotions from lust to anger and happiness to mourning. I feel it connects with a lot of people and I guess it would also be suitable for many genres of music.
What are the keys to success in getting your book out to the public?
Just being active on social media in my opinion. Constantly creating new work, opening up in conversation and creating relationships with readers and other writers. That's how people find you and promote your work.
What advice would you give to new or aspiring authors?
Take your time and don't rush your book. The excitement of getting things out there is almost too much, but have patience. You want your work to represent you and a rushed book will look sloppy and people want take you seriously. Believe me I know!
How about sharing an excerpt from Insert “The Lonely Heart Wanders”? (Please keep this PG)
Here's the poem that kicks the book off and sets the tone
The Lonely Heart Wanders
The Lonely heart wanders
in search of guidance.
How will it ever love,
if nobody teaches it how?
Will it wither,
Will it somehow
find its way back?
What’s next for you?
I plan on writing more books. Collaborating with other poets or artists on a another book. I think writing a book with another writer like a duet would be cool. I also think working with an artist and putting words to them pictures, paintings, or drawings would be a nice twist.
Where can readers find out more about you and your book(s)?
Twitter: @xTheRealBanksx same on Instagram
Book buy Links:
It’s been a pleasure having you here with us today. I know my readers will enjoy getting to know you and your work. We seem to have a lot in common as I intend to read Gretchen's book and The Chaos of Longing is on my nightstand along with your title. We have to talk more about this Tupac influence we both have. I hope to have you on again soon. Thank you.