Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I am a poet and artist and IT person living in Louisville these past five years. I have a black cat called Crowley and I meditate every day. I’m going back for one final semester of school (Today’s the first day!) and am scheduled to graduate in may, 11 years after I started my Bachelors. I have written six or seven manuscripts of which, I have published 2 via KDP, and entered in about 4 poetry contests.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
My new book is “Ziggomatic Keys: Synaptic Syntactic. I was in an ebullient state of mind when I picked it and “Ziggomatic” was the first (non)word that came into my head. I believe it’s from the title of an Aphex Twin or Autechre track. I like the concept of keys and how they can be used to free new spaces, be they metaphorical or real, reveal secrets, hide in plain sight, etc. As a person very experienced with computers but without any programming languages (although I do know HTML and CSS) I find myself fascinated of the language used around coding, as noted in the wonderful Jargon File, (http://www.catb.org/jargon/) such as ‘metasyntactic variable’ or ‘syntactic sugar’. As a person who has been very interested in the uses of herbs and drugs on the mind, and the small details of molecules and pharmacology, and the way the brain works in general, Synaptic flowed naturally, although I’m not sure I would have thought of it if not for the Synaptic Package Manager used on Linux systems (of which I have one, but on a Mac right now).. They fit together and seemed to me to go with the concept of esoteric keys as being just an extension of the description of what the writing might be like, and well, fantastic just rolled off naturally because it rhymed, too, and I don’t really think I’m flattering myself too much based on the one review I’ve had by email so far.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
For about six months earlier this year, I would get up and write eight pages of poetry longhand every day, beginning in the morning. For three of those months at a local coffee shop. I also occasionally do something described as ‘the Morning Pages’ in “The Artist’s Way,” (although not necessarily in the morning) where you write three pages longhand without stopping (exceptions made for sipping coffee) as a way to jog creativity. I believe it’s also called ‘automatic’ or ‘free’ writing.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
I have been heavily influenced by the ‘Schroedinger’s Cat Trilogy’ and other work by Robert Anton Wilson, such as ‘Coincidance,’ ‘Quantum Psychology,’ and ‘Illuminatus.’ I Also love Neil Gaiman, ‘House of Leaves,’ by Mark Z. Danielewski ‘The Fifth Sacred Thing,’ and other work by Starhawk. I have been influenced by some of the work on Deoxy.org and its (now hidden) forums. I love ‘Emergence,’ a science book by Steven Johnson, and ‘The Hidden Connections,’ by Fritjof Capra (also science), and I loved ‘The Tipping Point,’ by Malcolm Gladwell, although I have heard on NPR or somewhere that he has been somewhat discredited. I like Herman Hesse, and I grew up reading the science fiction of Larry Niven. I love Terry Pratchett’s ‘Discworld’ books. I feel like I’m leaving a lot of stuff out. I really like ‘Evolutionary Witchcraft,’ and her ‘Make Magic of Your Life’ is truly amazing. As for poetry, there have been times when I read my WordPress feed a lot (where I have 335 followers and I don’t know how many I follow but probably at least 150), and I have read a few books, all late contemporary, but have not studied too much outside of high school and general world literature college classes. I have read Catherine Barnett’s ‘The Game of Boxes,’ Juliana Spahr’s ‘Well Then There Now,’ a long time ago ‘Luck is Luck’ by Lucia Perillo. I was intrigued and fascinated by James Joyce’s ”Ulysses’ and ‘Finnegan’s Wake,’ although I never got into them enough to read them through. They are difficult. I am reading a book by a Huntsville, AL poet, Ian McLeod, who I have corresponded with by email and who is quoted in the description of my book on Amazon about it. That one is ‘Bilge Pump of a Turgid Mind’ I think, or maybe ‘Valve Cover Gasket of the Engine of Despair’ can’t recall which. I got Nick Flynn’s ‘My Feelings’ for Christmas and it’s a good read. And I liked the 2008 inaugural poem for Barack Obama a lot. I am drawing a blank on the rest.
What are you working on now?
Well, it came to my attention that scientists from the University of Leicester had discovered a rise in ocean temperature of 6C would potentially kill off the phytoplankton that produce two thirds of our oxygen (possibly by 2100), and around that time I had also read ‘3 Reasons the Paris Climate Deal is a Fraud’ from ROAR Magazine, and I had this postcard design lying around from a few years ago that on the front has a network of diagrams or a diagram of networks and a haiku, “Organization / Web of Semantic Arrows / Fires Growth of Spirit” and I wanted to spread the word about the oxygen catastrophe, and get something in people’s hands that would remind them of that, promote my book and my work and perhaps bring in some donations to my Patreon site (patreon.com/lostinmist) which allows people to give ongoing support to creators they love. I got 1000 postcards (my Mom is financing this until money starts coming in (if) $458 for 1000 cards and stamps). So I’m about 165+ a few in to sending 1000 postcards of my design that have the two climate change links, some poetry two links to specific works (these are all shortened), andlinks to social media, my book and Patreon. Currently I’m mainly targeting Louisville and San Francisco (that based on an oracle card draw) and trying to raise awareness of that key issue until I start hearing people talk about it. As we near the catastrophe, one hopes efforts will accelerate and intensify to Transition to a post-carbon world. I’m going to have to slow it down though (had been doing about 35 cards a day) since school starts today. ‘Set a pace you can maintain for as long as needed’ is something I have on my whiteboard from those same oracle cards (Brian Froud and Jessica MacBeth’s ‘The Faerie’s Oracle.’ I also have tarot and I Ching cards). My approach has evolved as I’ve moved from card one to card 165, and I’m onto something pretty solid now. I can fit really a lot into them. I’m also working my way through a list of top literary journals around the country (http://www.everywritersresource.com/topliterarymagazines.html). Targets include independent bookstores and coffee shops and environmental organizations and churches and art galleries, and the occasional politician or radio person, professors, etc.
It’s exciting. It gives me a sense of purpose and happiness every day. I do hope we beat this climate change thing. [[Update other link includes info such as $5300 billion in fossil fuel subsidies a year globally, while only $100 billion (not annual) was ‘promised’ at Paris to help poor countries adapt… New site savetheoxygen.org]] [[324+ postcards so far and various email and social media]]
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
I’m not really sure. I haven’t been able to promote my books very well in terms of sales so far, despite good reviews. bookreviewdirectory.wordpress.com has a collection of bloggers who accept books submitted for review, but most of them don’t do poetry. I did manage to get two on my first book though. I try all free avenues, and I have done a bit of paid advertising, but it definitely didn’t pay for itself. That’s why I’m doing this. These free book promotion sites certainly help (2505 more given away) last time. As for sales, we’ll see this time (check my name in Amazon). But that is still very small potatoes, at least in the poetry genre. I am also using twitter and blog and have a facebook, but they do not seem to gain too much, considering the work.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Write a lot, every day you can. Write on paper if that’s what feels right for you and type it up later (culling stuff as you go of course). To write something great, you also have to write a lot of mediocre to crap stuff, but you have to keep on writing, so you can’t fear writing crap.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
I have no idea. If I were to give my younger self some advice, it might be “Do it and stop fearing and resisting,” but that’s so bogus… I mean you can’t just tell people who have anxiety or what have you not to anxious. It’s unhelpful. So I guess I really don’t know. Learn to meditate. I do most every day. That’s a good one. “You can’t worry about what other people think of you” , [if they are talking about you…] “That just makes them shittier than before they started”
What are you reading now?
I am supposed to be reading “Valve Cover Gasket of the Engine of Despair” by Ian McLeod, as well as “Twitter for Writers” by Rayne Hall to do reviews. I enjoyed McLeod’s other poetry book before it vanished and every time I dip into Hall’s I find something useful. But it will be a while before I can do proper reviews. I also have a lot of homework for Philosophical Foundations of US Constitution and sustainable Action Workshop. But I have been consumed by my own projects….
What’s next for you as a writer?
savetheoxygen.org just went up yesterday and my main site, psychicfuguestudio.net is recently much improved. I continue to blog at lostinmist.wordpress.com. But I need to get back to writing on paper a bit. I am up to 324 postcards in the central project (all handwritten, and of my own design)… See sites for details. And I need to graduate Bellarmine this semester and I just got a menial job at UPS. So catch as catch can… Find time to write where I can. See how this sale goes..
What is your favorite book of all time?
The Schroedinger’s Cat Trilogy by Robert Anton Wilson
The Fifth Sacred Thing by Starhawk is a more recent favorite
If you’re into personal growth, I recommend reading a few times “Make Magic of Your Life by T Thorn Coyle”
Science: Emergence, Steven Johnson, The Hidden Connections, Fritjof Capra, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, Thomas Kuhn
Author Websites and Profiles
Cooper Dozier Website