Bray McDonald

Ramingo Unknown Author's Immage

Bray McDonald comes from Chattanooga, Tennessee

How long have you been writing? Too long, and yet not long enough.

What do you consider to be your greatest accomplishment as a writer? The fact that I am a much better writer today than I was twenty-five years ago. The realization that I seem to improve each year.

What projects of yours have been recently published? I have begun a collection of Odes to other writers and six of them were published in two different magazines this past year in London, England. Three in ‘Gold Dust Magazine’ and three in the anthology ‘Between These Shores’.

What are you currently working on and what inspired this work? A book of poems about philosophy and philosophers that I began after reading ‘Masterpieces in World Philosophy’ and ‘Key Ideas in Human Thought’.

Where can we find your work? A few of the mags and journals from the last couple of years: ‘POEM’, ‘Oasis Journal’, ‘Lalitamba’, ‘Westward Quarterly’, ‘The Storyteller’, ‘The Opiate’, ‘The Aurorean’, ‘Black Scat Review, ‘Old Red Kimono’, ‘Third Wednesday’, ‘Blue Collar Review’, ‘Clackamas Lit. Review’, ‘Light’, etc. I also have poetry upcoming in ‘I-70 Review’, ‘The Laurel Review’ and ‘Chiron Review’.

How do you react to rejections? Like missing a jump-shot in basketball. I just try to get the ball back and give it another shot.

How do you react when one of your submissions is accepted for publication? As if I had just made a three-point shot and put us ahead in the game.

What is your best piece of advice on how to stay sane as a writer? Don’t take yourself too seriously. In a hundred years there will only be a handful of us still being read.

What is your favorite book? I have poetry, history, religion, philosophy, sci-fi and mystery collections and it would be difficult to name a favorite in any of these genres. But the two books that influenced my life and way of thinking were ‘The Great Quotations’ by George Seldes and ‘The Power of Myth’ by Joseph Campbell.

Who is your favorite author? Once again I would be harried to name by favorite poet (it often changes) or preferred sci-fi author, but I think James Lee Burke is one of the best American writers I have ever read. His characters have heroic flaws and his descriptions are pure poetry.

If you could have dinner with one fictional character, who would it be and why? Tyrion Lannister from the Game of Thrones for the wit we could banter and liquor that we would swig. (Two others that were runners up: Hannibal Lecter just to see what he would be eating and the Hound from Games of Thrones just to hear him tell me to ‘Fuck off.”

What makes you laugh? A long lead into a joke where the answer is witty and completely unexpected. {Also fingers goosing my ribs.}

What makes you cry? Loss of something or someone loved; seeing someone or something I care for in pain.

What is your preferred drink while you write? Water if I’m smoking and Tennessee Bourbon when I’m not. (Beer is for wimps.)

What is your favorite food? Steak and Potatoes w/Chef Salad and Blackberry Cobbler for dessert.

Shakespeare or Bukowski? Shakespeare (But I have six of Bukowski’s collections and he certainly had his moments.)

Personal website/blog:

Profile: I was born on a bluff above the Tennessee River in Florence, Alabama and now reside at the foot of Lookout Mountain about a half mile from the same stream. I am a 2000 Graduate of the University of South Alabama with a degree in Environmental Issues where I studied poetry under Sue Brannon Walker and Walt Darring. Today I am an Environmental Educator and Information Specialist and dwell in a one-hundred year old house in the quaint little community of St. Elmo where I trap ancient Muses and practice modern language on them.

Books for sale, or press: I wish.