Interview with Writer & Founder of: Paper & Ink Literary Zine, Martin Appleby


I have to admit I love the idea of an independent press creating their own merchandise with ingenuity, imagination and a high level of creativity.  There’s something about an indie publication I relish so much.  Like Paper & Ink Literary Zine for example they house many fascinating poets in their archive. The founder Martin Appleby ensures nothing but the best of literary exposure. For more information give Martin a follow on Instagram @paperandinkzine and also check out the website www.paperandinkzine.co.uk .

RMMW: Have you ever been creatively blocked? If yes, how did you over come it?

MA: Yes, absolutely. I think anyone who says they're never blocked creatively is either lying or the art that they make is boring pish. I find the best way to deal with it is to just forget about it. Forget about the project for a while. Go out and get drunk, dance, do something stupid, have a good time. The creative juices will soon start flowing again.

RMMW: We all must deal with our inner critic; how do you contend with yours?

MA: I think we're all wracked with self-doubt in one way or another. If we weren’t, we probably wouldn't feel the need to have to spew our guts in such a public forum anyway. You just have to tell that nagging voice in the back of your mind that is telling you you're not good enough and your art is shit to go fuck itself. If you don't have that nagging voice in the back of your mind, then your art probably IS shit.

RMMW: What do you feel is the writer’s role in today’s society?

MA: To entertain and distract from the bullshit of the reality. There is no better way to escape the insanity of life than in the pages of a good book.

RMMW: Tell us a little bit about Paper & Ink Literary Zine. (Great title by the way!)

MA: Thank you! I actually don't really like the title to be honest and if I could go back in time, I'd probably call it something else, ha-ha. Paper and Ink is a submission based literary zine featuring short stories, flash fiction, poetry, illustrations, photography and artwork by contributors from all over the world. Each issue has a different theme, and each piece in the zine has a different design/layout.

RMMW: What kind of writer’s work do you accept?

MA: I like work that is grounded in real life. Even if the story is sci-fi or surreal etc., it has to have heart and a human connection. And If the story/poem has some kind of connection to punk or booze, I'll probably dig it.

RMMW: Do you have any rituals before releasing the latest Paper & Ink Literary Zine?

MA: Not really? It is just about promo, promo, promo. Spamming social media and spreading the word!

RMMW: Why was it important for you to start Paper & Ink Literary Zine?

MA: The idea for Paper and Ink came about in around 2012 due to a combination of factors; I have always been a huge fan of Charles Bukowski and remember reading about how he used to appear in all of these underground journals and newspapers in the 60s and 70s and I realised that, to my knowledge, there was nothing really like that going on at the time. Lit mags had become glossy and middle class and ultimately bland as fuck. I am also very much into punk music and read a lot of punk zines, so I took my love of both of those things and created Paper and Ink. A literary zine with a punk attitude.

RMMW: When will you start to accept submissions again? What do writers need to know when they are submitting to you?

MA: Submissions will probably open again towards the end of the year, I have a little side project that I am working on at the moment so once that is out into the world, work will start on Issue 15. The best advice I can give to anyone wanting to submit would be to read a previous issue to gauge what kind of thing I am likely to accept.

RMMW: Who is your favourite poet?

MA: Aside from the aforementioned Charles Bukowski there are so many poets that I have come to love and picking one favourite would be impossible. Through Paper and Ink, I have discovered and met so many amazing poets and writers and many have become good friends. I had the honour of publishing a chapbook recently by John D Robinson, a poet from my hometown, and his work blows me away every time I read it. Along with Joseph Ridgwell, Arthur J Willhelm, Marc Bruseke, Patrick Moore, Tohm Bakelas, Dave Matthes, Katie Doherty... The list could go on and on. They're all my favourites! 

RMMW: Where do you see Paper & Ink Literary Zine 5 years from now?

MA: Still churning issues out. If people keep buying it, and artists keep submitting, I will keep making it.

RMMW: When have you been most satisfied with the Paper & Ink Literary Zine?

MA: There was a moment after the first issue came out. I wasn't sure if anyone would buy it, but people did. Slowly. Very slowly at first. But a few months after the first issue came out I got an email from a teenage girl in the US who had taken a chance on the zine and bought a copy, she said she had loved it so much that it had inspired her to start writing poetry. She sent me a couple of her poems and they were great, and I published one in the second issue. It was a very proud moment and I knew that what I was doing was worthwhile.

RMMW: If you had a superpower what would it be?

MA: Telekinesis. Because I am fucking lazy at heart and being able to move things/myself with the power of my mind would make life so much easier. I'd be a real-life Jedi.

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