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What inspires you? A dialogue with author Colin Waterman

ASEI Arts is pleased to feature a series of inspiring Q&A interviews with the authors and producers featured in our Anthology House book. All profits from the sale of the book will benefit Habitat for Humanity’s "Habitat Hammers Back" initiative. This week, we feature Colin Waterman who contributed the novel excerpt entitled The Hesperian Dilemma to Anthology House.

ASEI: What inspires you each day?

Sometimes inspiration lies beneath the surface of the mind. I need to start writing for it to appear. Freewriting is highly recommended. I just write anything, even swear words, until I find a gold nugget amongst all the compost. For poems I usually need a prompt. Sometimes one word is enough, or a picture, or a flashback to a memory. Fiction is easier, provided I have an outline plot. But I can only write in detail about what I can see ahead, like a dark road illuminated by headlights. If I’m lucky, when I get to the end of that stretch, the beam of creativity shows me the route ahead.

ASEI: How has your creativity helped you to navigate a change in your circumstances for the better? This can be a feeling or an intangible effect, or it can be a physical change.

I believe in writing as therapy. Art has the ability to heal the psyche. We cannot go through life without experiencing suffering, either directly or through compassion for others. But by acknowledging our human condition and expressing it through art, our sorrow for this world can be transcended. The process is a transformation of pain and confusion into acceptance.

ASEI: What advice would you give to another person seeking to improve their circumstances through finding satisfaction in their creative journey?

My advice would be to fantasize. To give free reign to the imagination and to express it fearlessly though a chosen art form. We all bury painful feelings in our subconscious. We need to uncover them and recognize them for what they are. We cannot be a whole person unless we embark on this task, and one way of doing this is through fantasy. Without wholeness we cannot have peace. It’s a paradox, but fantasy can make sense of reality.

ASEI: Thank you Colin! To read Colin Waterman's novel excerpt The Hesperian Dilemma you can purchase Anthology House by requesting it from your local bookseller or by purchasing here:

All profits from this anthology will be donated to Habitat for Humanity's Habitat Hammers Back initiative to rebuild hurricane-hit areas in the Southern United States and Caribbean.

To read more interviews in our "Inspiration" series, please click through the ASEI Arts blog.

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