Mutants by Norb Aikin

by | Jul 13, 2021 | Author | 0 comments

Hi! My name is Norb Aikin, and I’m the author of Mutants, which is my most recent collection. Not only does it contain poetry, but it also has interviews I’ve done and articles I’ve written for various websites. There is even a chapter for a few humorous (to me, at least) blog entries when I was strictly working on, which happens to be an excellent place for any writer to get started. Like a band or musician road-tests new material in concert, WDC is my launch pad for the newest items I’ve written.

Mutants came on the heels of my first book, 100. 100 was a challenge from a bunch of my WDC friends to “Give It 100!”, meaning do something once a day for 100 days. In this case, they wanted me to get back into writing poetry. While I didn’t quite finish 100 in 100, I was more than able to do so with Mutants. My creativity felt restored and my focus regained its form. I was boosted in part by a WDC activity where you’re given two images, and you write something about them. I was fortunate to be able to turn them inward and use them to my advantage; I could write about different things I was dealing with mentally and physically.

In the middle of the process of getting what was supposed to only be a poetry chapbook of about 35 pages or so published, my indie publisher closed up shop. At that point, I had to pull the book from Amazon because of layout errors and other issues. It took quite a few months, but I was finally able to flesh it out with additional content before I self-published it. While I miss having a publisher at my back, there’s a certain amount of freedom involved with self-publishing where it’s pretty much on your own terms. Unfortunately, the pandemic took a huge chunk out of my ability to self-promote it. Libraries were closed and there were strict limits on where you could go and why in regards to readings and other book-related stuff.

I didn’t initially set out with a specific audience in mind, but Mutants attracted attention in the Chronic Illness and Mental Health communities, especially on Twitter. Perhaps having the original chapbook version out there did me some good, in that I was able to get a blurb from a respected indie author for the back cover. Word of mouth promotion like that, and having that shared experience, has been great in terms of reach and sales. I would love to pay it forward someday and help boost another author who is trying to figure out the indie publishing scene.

Now that things are beginning to open up again, I’d love to be able to do a small book tour. With 100, I was able to visit Portland, OR; Seattle, WA; and Indianapolis. Doing readings and open mic nights became a bit addicting. I’m lucky in that I live a block over from my local library and can schedule things there (although attracting an audience there is very difficult), and I have a old friend as a contact at a library in the town I grew up in. Being able to self-promote is almost a hallmark of the indie author; we need that Do-It-Yourself attitude sometimes in order to get things done. And I’m looking forward to seeing people hearing my words again.

As for now, I’m currently shopping a manuscript for another chapbook and/or something else it can become, but I haven’t been lucky enough to find the right fit for it. I’m hoping to catch on someplace else with a tighter concept than my previous works, and World By Design explores the ideas of “Do we create the life we’re born into?” or “Does life create who we are?” As with Mutants, I may have to decide if I want to self-publish or not, and with that comes questions. How much do I want to add? Will it be strictly poetry, and will it feel cohesive? Editing is always one of the toughest roads to go down when it comes to writing what you hope will become a book. When anyone tells you “Writing a book is easy!” it should be legal to slap them in the face with your notebook, laptop, phone, and everything else you use to get through the entire process.

And as much of a struggle as the last year has been, I’m trying now to work on some pandemic-inspired poetry. The last year has sapped me of a lot of my energy, but I’m trying to get it back a little at a time. I’ve always been a little “strike when the iron’s hot” kind of guy when it comes to poetry, but the iron’s been cold for a bit. I have a ton of ideas but the motivation is in a standstill. I keep telling myself I’ll break out of it, and I know with the help of the #WritingCommunity on Twitter I eventually will.

That’s all I’ve got for you guys. You can find me on Twitter at @aikinnorb and ask me anything. I appreciate the Authors’ Lounge for giving me the opportunity to say what’s up. Remember to give your indie authors reviews on Amazon and Goodreads, as well as anywhere else you get your books…those are just as important as sales. Thanks and love!



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