what is your name?
I go by the nom de plume of Gabriel Gadfly — a combination of my real middle name and the concept of the Socratic gadfly.
how would you describe what you do?
What I do? I conquer people in the tiniest of ways. I tell them stories. I ask them questions. I am chiefly concerned with impregnating the human mind with inescapable ideas. I am a writer, but more specifically, I am a weblit writer — a writer voluntarily publishing my writing on the Internet instead of pursuing traditional publishing routes.
what are you currently working on?
At any given moment, I have a half dozen different projects in the works. I’m about halfway done with Spiral, a poetry book about growth that follows a Fibonacci progression (i.e., first poem is one line long; second is two lines; third is three lines; fourth is five lines; fifth is eight lines and so on).
I’ve also completed about 25,000 words of a novel tentatively titled Ars Poetica. It’s a complex book — sort of an allegory of the Christ story told through the eyes of Quill, a personification of God’s ability to write the universe into existence.
what has had the greatest influence on your work?
Successful and talented weblit writers like Alexandra Erin, MeiLin Miranda, Samuel Peralta, Irk & Char, and many more. Also, traditionally published writers like Frank Herbert, Neil Gaiman, Khalil Gibran, Pablo Neruda, Nizar Qabbani, and Yusef Komunyakaa, but to a larger extent: life and the people that inhabit it. I’ve met a lot of fascinating individuals in my life and their insights and the thoughts they’ve led me to hold a lot of weight in my writing.
what is the greatest misconception about you or your work?
Probably the current stigma against weblit writers. We’re often perceived as amateurs or writers who “couldn’t hack it” in the real publishing world. I think a lot of people don’t realize that this is a conscious choice: I publish my stuff on the web because I feel it allows me to reach more readers more quickly and with more financial stability than pursuing traditional print opportunities would. In two months, my most popular poem, How To Greet Death, has been seen by almost 37,000 readers. Not many traditionally published poets can claim that.
what do you see as the main strengths and weaknesses of the medium you work in?
Plenty of other writers have talked about the strengths and weaknesses of writing itself, so I won’t go into that; but as far as writing for the web, there’s a lot of strengths. It’s cheap, it’s easy to do, it has phenomenal reach — I have readers as far away as Belgium, Japan, and India — and my reader base grows day by day. I’ve reached over 21,000 people in December alone, and my only financial investment has been roughly $100 for a year of web hosting.
On the other hand, it does require a lot more multitasking. I’m not allowed to just be a writer. I’m my own web designer, my own marketer, my own editor, agent, and publisher. Of course, that’s five other people I’m not having to pay, so I get to keep a lot more of every $100 I earn than the traditional author does — aside from hosting costs and Uncle Sam’s cut, everything I earn is pure profit.
how has technology impacted upon the work you do?
Well, technology directly enables my work. I wouldn’t have the reader base that I do without the internet. Technology has changed the way I deliver my writing, transforming it into more of a multimedia endeavor — I can couple written text with streaming audio recordings, or post video clips of my performances at poetry slams. It also changes the way my readers find my writing. They’re reading my poems on their iPhone on the daily train commute, downloading recordings to play through their mp3 players, sharing my writing through Facebook and Twitter and StumbleUpon.
what’s the greatest piece of advice you would like to pass on?
There is always time to stop, breathe, and think.
where can we find you online?
The bulk of my work can be found at my website, http://www.gabrielgadfly.com.
what are you reading at the moment?
I just picked up Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s Memories of My Melancholy Whores.
what are you listening to at the moment?
Lately, a fair amount of Cartel and Mayday Parade.
anything else we should know?
For more about the weblit movement, check out http://www.weblit.us.