Thom Young is a writer who genuinely doesn't care what others think of him or his writing. A trait I completely envy -- one of many facts that you will learn about Thom as you read my interview below. Thom gives his honest perspective about life and writing through out this dialogue. If you'd like, feel free to follow Thom on social media via Twitter & Instagram.
Oh, and if his name looks familiar to you -- he only has like a gazillion books on Amazon which have consistently made the number one ranking. I would recommend staring with his most recent publication A Little Black Dress Called Madness: Volume II then making your way throughout his collection. It is certainly worth the spelunking time.
RMMW: What do you feel most poorly written poems have in common?
TY: Rhyming. I honestly don't know I never read much poetry maybe Bukowsk or Dan Fante. The poet should decide what works best I guess. I think most IG poetry is awful and based on popularity and the more dumbed down the better. People like universal themes like love that make them feel better or they relate to, they don't want to think or be challenged. You see it with the most popular IG publishers nothing wrong with them but they aren't publishing poetry in my opinion. They publish strictly on mass appeal and popularity because it sells which is smart on their part but if their poets tried to get in a literary journal with a true submission process they never could get in anything requiring talent. I get sick of writers belittling things like literary publications because they have a bestseller in Barnes n' Noble. Milli Vanilli won a Grammy too so shut up about something you know nothing about.
RMMW: What are you reading right now?
TY: So many things, as a writer you need to read so I am an avid reader. One of the best things I read lately is 'The Waiting Seed' by Anthony Burgress such a revolutionary book written in the early sixties it predicted our 2017 society. A dysptopian novel it is very much a funny book and satire of a government out of control and the nature of man. Burgress was genius and challenges you to think and I like that. There so many other books I could mention but I read Scott Laudati's Play the Devil in a day and thought this is the novel I wish I had written. It's that good so go buy it. I see it as a book about a generation the ones born in the late 80s or 90s with no future and nothing to look forward to but lost dreams.
RMMW: Has your idea of what poetry is changed since you began writing poems?
TY: I don't know. I think anything can be poetry the waitress at the Waffle House etc. I think you get in trouble when you try to box poetry into something. I will say most don't write poetry today it's trite quotes. We live in a society where everyone can be famous like Warhol said but the fifteen minutes has been changed to fifteen seconds. I write whatever comes in my head so I have no reference point. I may write anti-poetry maybe who knows?
RMMW: How do you feel the internet and social media shapes the well being of poetry on a whole?
TY: I think anyone that follows me on social media knows how I feel about it. It sucks. We live in the everybody is poet era where poets are proclaimed genius thanks to mainly unread followers. It's a double edged sword great for promotion but it has watered down real writing. We have glancers that want a certain formula and most IG poets give it to them. All you need is a Kardashian repost and you're set for life. Do you think most of the IG she poets could ever get published in anything? No. Never. We just live in a time where technology has allowed mediocrity to be proclaimed genius. What I did is satire them and went from 9k to over 30k followers in over a month. What does that tell you? They are just wanting to get popular that's it and think about how dumbed down our society is and you got the perfect formula for Instapoet success which is like winning a polished turd.
RMMW: Being a self publishing poet, what was the catalyst for you to start writing & self publishing in the first place?
TY: Well I have used a few publishers but I like to write whatever the hell I want. I think it's important to be established as a writer before you publish like my many publications in literary things before the technology to publish anything instantly. Being older I know what it's like to get your writing rejected and scrutinized by editors. It makes you better as a writer. I am at the point now where I can write a poetry book in a few hours then publish it and it hits #1 on Amazon the next day. It's good to know people want to read it. I think self publishing is great. I have no catalyst for writing it's just a necessity after having a stroke at 13 my brain is completely different, it takes no effort for me write anything. I know I am different it's hard to explain unless it happens to you. I don't relate to people and it's not because I don't want to it's just how my brain is. I have no interest in anything most would consider norm or social. I just want to write all the time. It's how I feel comfortable. If that makes sense.
RMMW: Do you have a favourite book that you've written and why?
TY: Yes my favorite is Bloodsouth my novel. It's where I thought my writing was at its best. It's disturbing and not for everyone. I wrote it in a dark time in my life basically drinking myself to death and out of a relationship with a woman I loved very much. It's all there and although not my best selling one it's my favorite I can never write anything like it again.
RMMW: Have you ever read a bad review of your work? if yes, how did you handle the rejection? .
TY: Great. I don't care. You can't if you want to be a real writer. I have had many bad reviews most are funny. I consider it an honor. It means I'm doing something right. It makes you appreciate the good reviews even more. Honestly people don't review shit they want everything free so that's the nature of humanity the old Pelagius versus Augustin debate.
RMMW: All artists have to contend with their inner critic -- how do you contend with yours?
TY: I don't. I never think about it. I hate the thought of it. I don't have one. I am just different due my traumatic brain injury that's all I can say. I have no goals in life or anything. I just do whatever. A rebel without a cause? Sure. Sure.
RMMW: What advice do you have for emerging poets looking to self-publish on line?
TY: I help writers all the time but the best thing I can say is just write. Don't be afraid to get your work out there realize you're not that good that's the key. Keep at it but don't tell me about it. I have plenty of writing issues except writing.
RMMW: If you had a superpower what would it be?
TY: Probably to wipe this waste of human flesh of human flesh off the planet. The experiment failed. Seriously, probably X- ray vision in the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders locker room what more could want?