Monday, April 4, 2016

Affinity CoLab's Featured Contributor: Joe Persch

Joe Perch, age 36, is Affinity Colab's Spring Edition Featured Contributor! His piece, The Day It Was Destroyed, reached over 500 readers! 

AF: Welcome, Joe! 
JP: Thanks! This is awesome. 
AF: Affinity CoLab is about nurturing creativity and supporting all mediums and creative outlets. What would you say is your creative outlet? 
JP: As far as my creativity, I absolutely love to write and I dabble a bit in model painting (as in collectible and gaming models). There's always so much in my head that I need to get it out in text somehow so I can clear my thoughts. Sometimes thoughts will just simmer in my head for a time. Other times they'll be ready for me to type and I fidget and become easily distracted if I can't write immediately. It doesn't always happen, but it's fairly frequent. As to the painting, I'm a gamer at heart. Not just video games, but also board games, card games, and table top games. I play one in particular, Warhammer 40,000 (abbreviated 40k usually). You buy the models to represent your army, assemble them, and paint them. I love painting them, but I don't always have time. I've been complimented regularly on my paint jobs which has only encouraged me to continue doing so.

AF: When did you first notice you enjoyed being creative? 
JP: I started doing creative things when I was a kid. I think I was maybe 8 or 9 when I went to my first creative writing class for kids at West Chester University. My mom encouraged me to get into it and I had no problem with it. I actually remember thriving in the class with all the prompts we had. I think it was only for a week or two in the summer, but it was such a blast I even remember some of the kids fondly. That's not something I can say for most kids I remember from my youth.
AF: What about now? 
JP: Now, I know I truly enjoy it. I can write about anything, even if it doesn't make sense. It's actually a freedom that you don't experience in many other places unless you're talking about something creative. It's also surprisingly theraputic. With my most recent piece about the house fire, I felt so much better after writing it that I have been able to deal with anything that needs done regarding it with minimum stress. It's a pleasant surprise.
AF: That was a powerful story, Joe. Who are the authors you would say contribute to your writing style?
JP: My major influences in my life for writing would be the late Robert Jordan, Terry Goodkind, Stephen King, JRR Tolkein, and George RR Martin. There are others, but these are the main influences. I love their writing and think I take something from each of them to kind of make it my own. I'm constantly reading and expanding my own experiences with regards to writing. There are some truly amazing worlds and stories out there.
AF: What would you like our readers know? Any words of encouragement for those starting out? 
JP: I think there's one other thing people should know about me. It's that I wasn't always good at writing. In fact, I really sucked for a long time. I couldn't spin a tale or even a book report until I got older and had more life experience, more knowledge of different styles of writing, and practice. The last I can't emphasize enough. Practice is key. Even just writing incident reports and employee evaluations at work is a major help. I say again, practice is key. If you want to evoke emotions in your readers, you need to practice. And even when people tell you you're good, you're going to think you're horrible. It's just the way we are as humans. We are our worst critics.
AF: Awesome. Thanks, Joe! Now, one last question. What would you say about your experience with Affinity CoLab?
JP: My experience with Affinity CoLab has been amazing. I have written more in the last two months than I have written in the last few years. I've written a novel that I'm working on editing currently and hope to look into publishing the novel soon. I've even linked it a LITTLE bit in my most recent entry into Affinity CoLab's weekly prompts. It's titled "Exploration". I may even make a mini-series out of it. I want to see where it goes. First I want to get feedback on it. Should be interesting. Other than this piece, I think my favorite is actually a piece I entered about an invisible friend. The idea for it just kind of came right to me as I read the prompt. Instead of writing about the friend, the point-of-view belongs to the invisible friend. It was a lot of fun to write and think about. Putting yourself into the shoes of and thinking from the perspective of an imaginary friend was an interesting exercise.
AF: That was one of our favorite prompts as well! The variety of the responses were incredible. Thanks Joe, and congratulations!

Writer Joe Persch with fiancee, Samantha 


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