Honor The Poet Within Me

Roger Darnell Author Interview

Arc of the Poet tells your story from adolescence into adulthood documenting the moments that impacted your creative journey. Why was this an important book for you to write?

Words have always been magical for me. In this book, I’ve written about how my mom challenged me to use my knack for wordplay to make my mark on the world. I have been aiming to make words count ever since.

Building on my achievements in business and as an author, I have been very fortunate to be able to help a lot of rising entrepreneurs and luminaries set themselves apart and succeed. Still, along the way, I have not done much to honor the poet within me who has been hard at it for decades. Arriving at a place where life had gotten especially sweet, I finally figured out how I could tell my story and highlight my poetry in a way that might make it interesting for others to read.

I appreciated the candid nature with which you told your story. What was the hardest thing for you to write about?

While I have experienced some challenges in life, they pale compared to what many others face every day. That said, together with my family, we all experienced a real-life nightmare back in 1991 when my larger-than-life big brother Scott experienced a spinal cord injury. This is obviously something very heavy, and over the years, I have seen how this subject tends to turn most people away. The day-to-day reality of paralysis is undoubtedly harrowing. Nonetheless, facing those difficulties has brought out the absolute best in my brother, my mom, my wife, and an army of others. Every day, my brother is an amazing inspiration to all who know him. In this book, it was essential for me to tell my version of his story. Our fates have been intertwined throughout my life, and they always will be.

What is one piece of advice someone gave you that changed your life?

As it relates to the experiences of writing and publishing this book, this and your other questions have me thinking about one of the amazing people we only met because of Scott’s injury. Named Gaye Henderson, she was a mother with an adult son who also was a quadriplegic. As I wrote in the book, she and my mother formed a very close friendship and had prolific intercontinental correspondence over many years. There is an experimental piece of mine entitled ‘Wordworth’ published in this book, which I submitted to literary publications far and wide, with zero luck. My mom shared it with Gaye at one point, and Gaye responded by writing me a wonderful letter (also shared in the book) making a very big deal over it, and encouraging me to persevere in sharing it with others. Going back to your first question, her encouragement gave my inner poet new life. Without it, this book probably would not exist.

What do you hope is one thing readers take away from your story?

To me, every person is an entire universe. When I was thinking about who might be willing to spend time with my manuscript before it was published and provide an endorsement, I dug deep and reached out to quite a few people who have brightened my life at key times over the years. Their words appearing in the books are among the most meaningful gifts I have ever received. With this in mind, I hope readers will be inspired to write, to share those efforts with others, and to experience similar gifts through these activities. Also, despite not being in close contact with my high school drama teacher Leslie “Jinx” Caulfield in recent times, his impact on my life has always felt very special. When I asked him to write the book’s foreword, he came through magnificently. He deftly called out a very important takeaway for me, and it’s my great honor to share his words here.

“There is even a wonderful exercise for budding and advanced poets and writers,” he writes. “Roger calls it Ramble. Kerouac talks about life on the road and leaving friends behind for new adventures. He describes this experience as looking in the rear view mirror as he pulls away and everyone getting smaller and smaller until they disappear and it’s time to look forward again. Ramble is a bit like that and Roger’s writings remind me that life is temporary as are all things – and details become more beautiful and profound when viewed through the eyes of a poet.”

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

With these words, Lila Ridings-Darnell moved her second kid to pursue his life’s calling: “I write, and Dad wrote, but I think you’re the one who’s going to do something with it.” After taking aim as an adolescent, at age 44, the author began compiling this poetic memoir to document his progress creatively. Connecting with global legends of entertainment, business, and literature on his journey in the film and TV trades, Roger’s focus intensifies as his setbacks, near-misses, and moonshots add up. His illuminating existential payoffs are sure to inspire everyone who dares to dream big.

About Literary Titan

The Literary Titan is an organization of professional editors, writers, and professors that have a passion for the written word. We review fiction and non-fiction books in many different genres, as well as conduct author interviews, and recognize talented authors with our Literary Book Award. We are privileged to work with so many creative authors around the globe.

Posted on December 11, 2022, in Interviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.


Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: