I attended a “meet the author” session yesterday (03-10-2019) in a nearby city. Theo Czuk is clearly an entertainer, having been a musician, songwriter, and poet for the past thirty plus years. He has one book published à self-published that is and a second in the works. He stated that it had won a literary award but did not name that award. I take it the event was more about selling books than an attempt to help other writers. That’s okay this was not billed as a writer’s workshop.
Czuk’s program had been rife with repetitious statements. I’m not sure if he was merely nervous because he was not used to being in front of an audience speaking or if he wasn’t comfortable with the ideas he was trying to convey. Please understand; I do not intend this statement to be demeaning. I have experienced the difficulties of getting up and talking to a group of people. Often everything I planned to say goes sailing off into the wind, and I end up having to wing it, but I usually know enough about my subject to be able to do this.
He explains a poem is an immediate and focused expression about an emotion, a person, or an object. That a song is 3 minutes with a poem put to background music. Czuk showed an excellent command for both these two arts. As much as he was nervous speaking, when it came to singing, he slipped into relaxation and became the music. He showed that music can add much to the emotional impact of a poem.
The man performed a few of his songs, and while they were not a style I normally listen to, each had an interesting sound and worked well even though I recognized licks (small bits) lifted from other well-known songs. (Unfortunately, those brought me out of his song mentally searching for the song they came from.)
Granted had I read his book, I might have a much better feel for what he was trying to convey, since I had not, his message became muddled for me when he tried to tie in his prose work. Czuk explains that his novel is a macro look at something (home in this instance), versus a micro look as a poem would necessitate. I did not see the connection he tried to make. What I believe is that he has used his prose to showcase his music, 32 of 33 chapter titles were in fact song titles from his own portfolio. (I have no issue with that.) Some chapters were supposedly written as an expansion into the macro idea of the micro-message from the song or vice versa.
Overall, while entertaining, and for selling books, he did okay. There were maybe ten or twelve attending the meeting, and he sold at least two books. Is that a good percentage? I honestly don’t know. He might have sold more music CD’s too had the Library Piano been properly tuned.
His advice for writers?
- Read Read Read
- Never Forget that we are writers and trust in ourself and trust in our characters
- Read Read Read