Dane Cobain (High Wycombe, UK) is a published author, freelance writer and (occasional) poet and musician with a passion for language and learning. When he’s not working on his next release, he can be found reading and reviewing books while trying not to be distracted by Wikipedia.
In Conversation With: Dane Cobain
Today I have the pleasure of sitting down with author/poet Dane Cobain. Before we start—although I suppose we already have—let’s get the required question about your last name out of the way.
No relation, right?
Right! There’s a story there. When I was fourteen or so, Dane Cobain became my nickname because my first name was Dane and my favourite band was Nirvana. I used it as my screenname on forums and instant messaging sites, because that was back before Facebook and even MySpace and Bebo.
Before long, it had become my nickname, and then when I needed a pen name for my books, it was only natural for me to do it. When I turned sixteen, I changed it by deed poll, and the rest is history.
Second required question: How often are you asked that?
Not as often as you might think! Probably a couple of times a month or so.
Thanks for clearing that up. Can I offer you anything to drink?
Sure! I’ve got a ton of stuff to do and so I’d probably better keep a clear head. I’ll take a flat white coffee with oat milk, or any vegan milk you’ve got going. And if you don’t have any vegan milk, I’ll take it black.
You’re getting’ it black.
I didn’t know that the Goodreads author profile page had a character limit in the bio section. Did you?
Good spot! I suppose most sites have a character limit, I just didn’t realise that I’d reached it.
Apparently, it is 638 words or 3978 characters.
I’ve fixed it. It was only missing half a line anyway!
I just didn’t want you to leave anyone hanging.
There are a few parallels between us. We both are multi-genre authors and musicians, although I consider myself more of a composer. Let’s talk about your poetry. What made you want to release a poetry book?
I used to write a poem and a piece of flash fiction on my cigarette breaks back when I worked in an office. I don’t smoke anymore and I no longer work in an office, so poetry has taken a back seat, although I do have two more poetry books that are ready to go. I’m not sure if I’m going to publish them though, as a lot of my readers aren’t into poetry so much.
I decided to release Eyes Like Lighthouses When the Boats Come Home because I was hosting spoken word nights at the time and I’d memorized all of the poems inside the book to perform them. So it just made sense!
Is one of your books your favorite?
I’d say that Meat is probably my favourite, just because I put so much thought and work into it. It’s also the book that’s made the biggest difference on my life, because the research for it turned me vegan.
I can see how that can happen. I worked in a restaurant one summer and didn’t eat in one for a long time after that.
Are you and avid reader?
Yeah, I read an average of 20-30 books per month. I also review all of the books that I read on my website, and I review on YouTube and TikTok, too. I used to have a book review site too, but I eventually absorbed that into my writing site.
Wow, I can barely get though one. Not for lack of trying, though.
Do you have a favorite book?
I usually say that it’s Northern Lights by Philip Pullman, because that’s the book that made me fall in love with reading.
I don’t recognize the name—let me look him up.
[a few moments of silence]
Oh, that guy.
So we need to talk music. Any favorite artists you wish to mention?
I can give you my top ten from Last.Fm, which has recorded all of my listening since about 2006:
- Bright Eyes: 13,044 plays
- The Beatles: 11,403 plays
- Simon Joyner: 4,391 plays
- Nirvana: 3,647 plays
- Johnny Cash: 3,103 plays
- The Streets: 2,902 plays
- Bill Holt: 2,737 plays
- The Mountain Goats: 2,609 plays
- Malcolm Middleton: 2,509 plays
- Bob Dylan: 2,457 plays
I do a Music Monday feature on my blog. I’ll have to check a few of those out. Are you ready for the lightning round?
Let’s do it!
Craziest mode of transportation you have ever taken?
I can’t think of anything particularly exciting, so it’s probably just a canoe!
Might make you an honourary Canadian for that.
Ricky Gervais or Stephen Merchant?
Ricky Gervais, I love what he does for animal rights.
I don’t really have one, so Loch Ness by default!
Amsterdam for sure, although it’s been a while since I went.
Record, cassette, CD, or MP3?
I love listening to records, but MP3s are more practical, especially for things like my radio show. I usually listen to music on Spotify while I’m on the move.
Do you enjoy math?
Yes! I’m not as good at it as I once was, but I still remember pi to about 40 decimal places.
When has that been useful to you?
Only in those super awkward situations where you’re being introduced to a group and asked to name a “fun fact” about yourself.
This has been a pleasure. Thanks for chatting. Any links you want to share?
Sure! Well you can find everything at www.danecobain.com, and you can get shortcuts to Amazon at www.danecobain.com/amazon and Goodreads at www.danecobain.com/goodreads. Plus, here are my socials: Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Goodreads, Twitter, LinkedIn and TikTok.
The story behind Free Book Friday:
I’ve met many authors and readers during my time marketing, cross-promoting, and blogging. I think writers have a responsibility to inform readers about all the indie authors out there in the very crowded world of book publishing. You can’t do it alone, and why would you when you have a supportive group available?
Readers don’t just read one author – they stick with their favorite genres. There lies the power in cross-promotion. If one of my readers buys a book from an author I promote, then chances are there will be a reciprocal effect, or so is the hope. Do I want to boost sales? Of course I do. Do I want to boost other’s sales? Why not. It’s called karma.
Featured Author: Dane Cobain
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Leon Stevens is a multi-genre author, composer, guitarist, songwriter, and an artist, with a Bachelor of Music and Education. He published his first book of poetry, Lines by Leon: Poems, Prose, and Pictures in January 2020, followed by a book of original classical guitar compositions, Journeys, and a short story collection of science fiction/post-apocalyptic tales called The Knot at the End of the Rope and Other Short Stories. His newest publications are the novella, The View from Here, which is a continuation of one of his short stories, and a new collection of poetry titled, A Wonder of Words.
Book Two the The View from Here trilogy is now available: The Second View
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