An Interview with Avron Levine White

Avron Levine White
Avron White

Avron Levine White took his M.A.; and Ph.D. in Film, Music and Sociology at Keele University, Staffordshire, United Kingdom. After his appointment as a Film Officer for the Plymouth City Arts Council he launched his first
publication: Lost in Music:Culture Style and the Musical Event (Published by Routledge and Kegan Paul United Kingdom). Among his other talents, Avron is an accomplished Jazz musician, having played professionally
in the United Kingdom and Switzerland. His career path has led him to many projects of music and Latin American Dance, most notable of which Is his passion for Argentine Tango. He currently teaches Tango in Florida and continues to live Internationally in the United Kingdom, the United States, and Peru.

Where are you from?

I am from the United Kingdom and the USA and I hold a dual nationality.  Most of my adult life has been in the United Kingdom and whilst I am a transcontinental hybrid, I mostly feel British, and American when I am in the mood.

Why do you write? 

Everyone is looking for a voice.  I have tried many, at different times of my life, including music, dancing, academia, martial arts, sports and  writing.  An art form is a tool of communication.  Much can be said through different mediums.  Each medium enables a capacity for expression, and I suspect the written word remains the most globally accessible.

What do you write about? 

I write about life experiences that reflect transitions.  Transitions from one phase of life to another is what interests me.  We are all like butterflies that have metamorphosed from a previous state of being. Profound personal experience in the form of enlightenment, tragedy, circumstance, or interaction with significant others, all contribute to change. What interests me is the process of change and the reasons for it.

Do you have a specific writing style?

I have written Poetry and I am currently writing a Novel.  Prior to this I have written many academic publications, the most notable of which is “Lost In Music.”  But that was some time ago.  As for a specific style of writing, I am always looking for engagement with the Reader.  I want my Reader to be able to follow, and feel, the flow of my words.  I look for ways to connect and find common ground with the person experiencing my work.  This book of Poems, “Just The Word” also links with a piece of Music I have written and performed for the book. You can access the music on your smartphone by clicking on the QR code. For me, and the reader, it is hopefully another dimension of communication that will perhaps mediate the sentiment of the Poetry.

What are obstacles that come in the way of writing? 

The biggest obstacle, for me personally, is time.  Life is about balance with your method of survival and your family life, if you choose to have one. Finding the time to write has always been my biggest struggle.  It requires some degree of introspection and in that respect, it can be self-isolating in a way that disconnects you from a certain kind of sociable consciousness. Your friends and family will be an important source of support and understanding for this.

What’s the most memorable thing asked/said by a reader about your work?

The most memorable thing said, and the thing which meant the most to me is that the reader said they had recommended a friend or colleague to read my work.

Avron’s book on Amazon

How long have you been writing?

I published short stories in school magazines and wrote short essays that were read on the Radio.  I have continued writing ever since.  But the purpose of the written word has changed dramatically from one life cycle to another.  When I was in business, I wrote like a lawyer, when I was an academic, likewise.  Transitioning to being an artist brings a dramatically different perspective to my use of the written word.

When did you first realize you wanted to become a writer?

I was heavily encouraged to write in my earliest school years partially because my entire family were writers of some description.  During periods of my life when financial pressures were the greatest, I have put writing projects on hold and concentrated mainly on remaining financially solvent.

What is your work schedule like when you are writing?

I set a word count target to work to every day.  That is how I wrote everything in the past.  Write first, and then edit later.  I schedule a time to do this and try to stick to it on a daily basis.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

I often like to write my first drafts by hand rather than on a typewriter.  The process of manually writing the words on a page helps me to focus.

How long does it take to write a book? (if you’ve written one -published or non)

The decision to write the project is what takes the time.  Once decided, and committed, its possible to complete the project quickly.  Having said that, I have completed some manuscripts in months, whereas others have taken years; mainly because of my hesitation in my desire to complete the project.  Once you know that you want to complete the project in hand, it will flow.

Review

“A unique and quasi-iconoclastic scribe of transitional phases of everyday life. Flamboyant, provocative, poetic lifestyle parables of considerable signifiance”

“Modern Cosmopolitan Verse combined with images and intertwined with original music. Just the Word gives the reader an unusual opportunity to experience shades of meaning within poetry and explore a rich dimension of self-discovery whilst listening to original music composed by the author. Avron Levine White, playing piano and synthesiser, recorded the piece at The Blue in Green Studios in Cornwall, United Kingdom.


“Mr. White’s poems cast a bright light on the intricate and fragile desires, hope, and commitments that drive us toward and away from each other. Disappointment in both self and the other (“The Arrangement”), tenderness and ambiguity in loving (“The Love”), fear and revenge (“The Fight”), passion (“The Fcuk”), conditioned and thwarted violence (“The War”), and other human conditions, dreams, and longing come under the poet’s scrutiny in both free verse and rhymed poems. His theme is human nature—that which bonds us could just as easily separate us. We are vulnerable beings, but we do persist.”

Do you have suggestions on how to become a better writer?

The phrase my father always use to say to me whenever I said I was going to do something was this: “Don’t talk about it, just do it!

I suppose that is the best suggestion I can make.  Many people advise announcing their intention to all and sundry.  They recommend this because it makes you vulnerable to accountability.  People will constantly ask? “How is the writing going,” etc.  To me, that would put me off completely.  I prefer, to make the decision and get on with it.  The most important thing to do is to “schedule” when you are going to write and stick to it.  The other very obvious thing is to read, read, read everything in the genre you are writing in.  Think about the way the book is structured, how characters are developed, and most importantly how the “continuum of time and continuity” is presented.  Herein lies technique that you can learn from other authors.

Just The Word

What challenges do you come across when writing/creating your story?

Almost everything I write about is based upon some real-life experience of my own, or somebody else.  And some of that content is unnerving to say the least.  In the end, as an author, we want to connect with our readers and not alienate them.  Getting the right balance between the details and the narrative is, to my mind, the challenge.

What do you think makes a good story?

A good story, in my opinion, usually involves an unexpected event that presents a challenge.  A challenge that will push a protagonist and an antagonist to the limits of their capacity and ingenuity.

What does your family think of your writing? 

My family always wanted me to write and that support has been the most important source of stability and motivation.

Do you see writing as a career?

Yes, definitely.

Do you have anything specific you’d like to tell the readers?

Thank you.  I would be so interested to correspond with any of you who have anything to say or have any ideas to share about what I have written or anything else for that matter.  I would love to hear from you.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

When my first book “Lost in Music.” was published.  Then, yes, I took myself seriously as a writer.

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