Brian “Keith” Forsythe, originally from the United States of America, now lives in the beautiful city of Calgary, Alberta, Canada with his amazing wife and handsome cat. He served his country in the US Navy, as a submariner after which he lived an eventful life of considerably poor choices. Writing poetry has become a very cathartic practice for him. He loves riding motorcycles, playing videogames, reading, and of course writing.
Interview – Book: Affection After Affliction
Creative Talents Unleashed: Hi Keith, thank you for agreeing to this interview.
Keith: It is my pleasure.
Creative Talents Unleashed: Tell us a little about yourself and your background?
Keith: Over the years I have lived a full life. I spent my childhood moving around a lot. My Dad served in the Air Force and I followed his example and served 5 years in the U.S. Navy on a submarine in the cold war. Before that, I was a member of a motorcycle club. I guess I was always looking for a place I felt I belonged. Of course, both these choices led to times where I literally had to fight for my life. From my first “very failed” marriage, I have 2 children who I’m very proud of. I always say my son is my hero because he lifted a car off of me that had fallen during some repair work. Things were hard for a while but it took a second car related incident to shake me out of my apathy and look at living instead of surviving. I divorced my wife, made new friends, changed careers and moved to Canada. Oh, and I married someone who supports me and doesn’t mind hearing all my old stories over and over again.
Creative Talents Unleashed: So when did you fall in love with poetry or writing in general, when did you decide this life was for you? Tell us a bit about that discovery process.
Keith: As a youngster I fell in love with books and the stories they gift us. I started writing in 3rd grade and then on and off until I was in high school. That was when I wrote my first real poetry. Although it was dark and gothic, I sold my first poems to a local magazine, and shortly thereafter I wrote some short stories and one of them was published. I sure surprised a lot of people since I was definitely a troublesome student. Talk about vindication. But as we all know life happens. Years progressed to decades of drudgery with no end in sight. Late one night I put pen to paper not really knowing why and my forgotten love poured out haltingly.
Creative Talents Unleashed: Why do you write, what is it that you’re trying to communicate through your work?
Keith: I write to create a record of how I’m feeling. A sort of autobiography of my life but deeper. Sharing my pain, my glories, and even my calm and quiet moments. While I write for myself, I share it because I hope to encourage others when they are struggling. I want them to know they aren’t alone and even though things may be dark for a long time, there is always hope of a brighter tomorrow.
Creative Talents Unleashed: Where does your inspiration come from, what might inspire you at any moment to write a story or poem?
Keith: Much of my work has been written sharing years of pain kept deep where no one can see it. However, I have seen pictures that strike a resonance or while walking I’ll see a breathtaking view, a glorious sunset. It can be as simple as seeing my wife with sunlit hair smiling at me. She is my muse and soulmate. It’s both hard and easy to write for my “White Rose”.
Creative Talents Unleashed: What was the hardest thing about writing your book?
Keith: The first truly difficult part was selecting which of my poems were the best reflection of my style and finding a balance of hopeful and anguished works. Additionally, this being my first book, it was a steep learning curve of how much work goes in to the publication process. I am so grateful for the help of my wife and editor.
Creative Talents Unleashed: What was the easiest thing about writing your book?
Keith: The actual writing. I didn’t start writing again with the idea of publishing. As I said before, I started writing for me. At a certain point I looked at my amassed works and thought “hey, let’s put this in a book and see what happens.”
Creative Talents Unleashed: There are many authors who say that in the process of writing a book you learn things about yourself. Did you learn anything in your book writing process about yourself, if so what?
Keith: I learned how broken my soul was and relatedly how incredibly effective love can be at putting it back together.
Creative Talents Unleashed: What in your view is the role or responsibility of a writer or poet, if there is any?
Keith: An author has two jobs. The first is to share the truth. This is an easy enough concept in factual works but it becomes a bit harder to explain when the writing in question is fiction. While in fiction the story is made up of a large number of untruths, the deeper truths of what it is to be human and to not be alone should remain untarnished. The lessons we learn from reading should not be misrepresented. The second responsibility and author has is to keep writing and improving upon their message as they continue to grow and learn.
Creative Talents Unleashed: What are your ambitions as a writer, where do you hope to see yourself in say 5 years?
Keith: While ideally, I’d like to become a household name, realistically, I would like to have my third book out by then. I would also hope that perhaps my work would be the focus of a university creative writing class.
Creative Talents Unleashed: Who is your favorite writer or poet? Perhaps you have a favorite quote from them that you would like to share.
Keith: I don’t know that I actually have a favorite author but there are several that have inspired me to write. Among these are: Isaac Asimov, Robert Heinlein, Anne McCaffery, and Andre Norton (Alice Mary North.) Their style and storytelling called to me and inspired my writing. “The Green Hills of Earth” by Robert Heinlein was likely what pulled me to poetry and the following quote by him has recently been a kind of mantra for me.
“Don’t ever become a pessimist… a pessimist is correct oftener than an optimist, but an optimist has more fun, and neither can stop the march of events.”
Creative Talents Unleashed: What advice would you give to aspiring writers who have dreams of publishing or making writing a career choice?
Keith: Write from your heart and soul. Yes, I know it sounds trite and cliché but never the less, there it is. Also, read. Expand your vocabulary. Cultivate relationships with other authors. Established authors who can act as mentors. Most importantly, invest in an editor.
About the Book
Through his self-proclaimed love of writing, poet, Keith Forsythe, debuts a vast collection of his works in “Affection After Affliction.”
The author writes in a beautifully classical poetic style, heady with masculinity, spanning the various themes of Norse Mythology, Greek Mythology and Jewish Folklore. Keith Forsythe pens a series of love poems dedicated to his ‘White Rose,’ with immense depth of love and abiding passion. He writes of the anguish of a woman, of wasted days and of battles fought. The expanse of his work is an invitation to all lovers of poetry, both men and women.
“Deaths icy talons around my soul
Agonizing spasms assail ragged flesh
Will you bathe my body with your tears?”
(Will You ~ Keith Forsythe)
Keith is very well read, which is evident in the various subject matter and styles in which he writes. A wonderful compilation of traditional prose which has a comforting quality all readers will enjoy!
Brenda-Lee Ranta, author of Heart Sounds
Affection After Affliction
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