Larry Yoke’s been writing short stories and poems since a child. Now his writing entertains and contains current social messages taken from the pages of today’s headlines. His poetry and books have won national awards in 2018–2020 and his writings have found their way into several anthologies: three for poetry and one for writers. He has proven his mettle as an established author worthy of reading. Coming soon: a new crime novel Insentient and his first novella Music Across The Waters.
Now he’s not only a motivated author and poet, but a great guy to get to know. He is all about uplifting others, including his fellow writers and always has a positive thing to say on social media. He’s written and published several books, in a variety of genres and many writers turn to him for coaching and support. How lucky to have your entire day focused on the craft. So, if you are a budding author, or a reader who likes to get to know the author behind the book you’re reading, here’s your chance to meet Larry and hear his story and words of inspiration.
You’re an author, but is it your day job? I write full time either on poetry, short stories, novels, or postings for social media. Writing definitely keeps my days humming along!
Did you always want to be an author? I’ve written since I was nine by writing a poem for a certain little girl. We became best friends after that! I used to tell stories, verbally, then I thought of writing them down. After gathering a small collection, I laid them out and tied them together to form my first book titled Second Chances about 12 years ago. I’ve since rewritten, it, added a new butterfly cover and had it re-published last year. I’ve since written or been involved with ten books with more to come this and next year.
What is your most recent book and what inspired you to write it? My most recent book is a poetry collaboration titled Word Paintings with Charlotte Nystrom. We’re both avid poets who love the written word and how we can bend and shape those words anyway we like. So, it was a natural progression for a book to eventually come about.
How do you hope your book uplifts those who read it? Word Paintings: Vivid word impressions thru poetry. As writers we like to get the last word in. The visual artist begins, and the writer picks up where the paintings stop. We create visceral visual word art that encompasses all daily streams of life. Come along for the scenic ride of our life art. Open your imagination and see what we can illustrate in ours. The book is full of motivation, inspiration, humor and romance that cover many topics and should uplift all who read thru it.
What are you most excited about with this book? I’m known for writing crime, thrillers, mysteries, family sagas and adult fiction, as well as poems and short stories. I’ve been writing poetry far longer than I have been writing novels and stories. This is the first poetry book for me! I’m also honored to be collaborating with another very fine poet in the form of Charlotte Nystrom. Our poetry styles differ offering readers a wide variety. Poetry is such a different genre than say a long novel. One can say so much in so little words!
How did writing a book help your career take off? I’ve written several books and have been involved in several anthologies. One book does not a career make! It takes building a brand, name recognition and putting yourself and your work out there. It’s a daunting process to create your place in the book world.
What advice would you give to someone wanting to succeed in your professional industry? Start small and get a thick skin right away! Rejection is a badge of honor we all must endure. Be patient! Keep writing, no matter what. Like a fine wine, you’ll get better with age.
How do you handle setbacks and criticism? It used to really get under my skin. I took rejection very personally. Not everyone will like my stories, ideas, or poems and that is a simple fact of a writer’s life. I plug on, learn from my mistakes and continually practice the art of getting better and not step on too many toes along the way.
How do you hold yourself accountable and achieve the goals that you set forth? I make the time to get things done, that’s important! Get it done and move on! So many projects, so little time! I’m a morning person and take full advantage of my clear mindedness and motivations. I used to have a sign on my desk: Lead, Follow, Or get out of the way!
How do you structure your day and make time for writing? I have no set structure. I’m not that disciplined! I’m a morning person, as I’ve stated and get after it until I tire and make myself go do other things, like eat and shower. Sometimes after my wife’s insistence!
What do you find most fulfilling in the career that you’ve chosen? I love sharing my art. I’ve been blessed with an overactive imagination, which I use dearly. When I get glowing reviews or responses from people I don’t even know, that makes my day and my efforts worthwhile!
What book uplifts you? Any book that draws me in like a sponge with water! That’s one of my superpowers—Disappearing into a good book! (Hey, Larry. Mine too!)
Anything else you’d like to share with your readers? To writers: Keep your head down, focus on the page/screen in front of you and write your story! Don’t stop until it’s done! To readers: The highest compliment we can receive is a review from the reader. Then, and only then, can we know if we have done our job to entertain or make you think!
You can connect with Larry via his website.
Images courtesy of author