How to Pack Without Overpacking, though that really does feel like a working title. I'm looking forward to elaborating the final title...
Where did the idea for the book come from?
This manuscript is more-or-less conceited. More by virtue of being mostly how-to poems, less by not being the manuscript I was supposed to publish next. I wrote these poems as palate cleansers when not working on my 'main' manuscript, which eventually stopped cooperating. Eventually, I realized that I had a manuscript's worth of palate cleansers and that, reading them together, they were all very closely linked, thematically speaking.
I started writing how-to poems - that is, poems that give step by step instructions on how to do something - while I was finishing my debut, Hump. That book was primarily pregnancy and mothering poems and I think the how-to poem appealed because it's incredibly open-ended and yet suggests a particular structure. A beginning-middle-end.
Also, I think I was mocking the "Mommy voice" that I found myself using with my daughter...
As I kept working on the manuscript, of course, I allowed myself to use whatever form the individual poem seemed to require.
Which is to say that sometimes the title is just a hanger for the poem and that sometimes it's the rickety spine...
What genre does your book fall under?
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Hugh Jackman and Tilda Swinton. For obvious reasons.
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Hmm. I don't have one yet, but I DO have this description of the chapbook of poems I published in 2011 with Saskatoon's JackPine Press:
"How to Prepare for Flooding is a collection of poems modeled on the how-to manuals and survival guides that rattle around your toolbox and clog up your glove compartment. Chock-a-block with illustrations and useful tips, these poems will prepare readers for a raft of natural and personal disasters such as "How to Survive a Plane Crash" and "How to Sew a Button." But more than that, How to Prepare for Flooding asks, over and over, what's the difference between wild and tame? Natural and unnatural? Also, is this REALLY where we find ourselves?"
(The poems from this chapbook will likely find themselves in How to Pack Without Overpacking, as will the poems in my upcoming Kalamalka Press chapbook, How to Make a Collage.)
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
I've just signed a contract to publish How to Pack Without Overpacking with Palimpsest Press in spring 2014. They published my first book, Hump, back in 2010.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
Some of these poems date back to 2007 but the great majority were written over the past year...
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Poems that work with humour. Poems that incorporate myth and fable in contemporary settings. Poems with faintly apocalyptic inklings: there are poems here about plane crashes, being lost in the woods, and surviving floods as well as how you'd go about ailments like boils and leprosy.
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
The idea of being a working writer. The idea that I'd always be working on a piece of writing, that I'd always be pushing at the edges of what I was capable of.
Beyond that, I was interested in what was a worthy subject for a poem. Can you write a poem about anything? What would that poem look like?
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
That I'm hoping to convince my publisher to use artworks by Darryl Joel Berger for the cover and maybe also the interiors. Mostly because he's hatefully talented but also because some of the poems came out of an image/text collaboration with him.
* * *
Rules of the Next Big Thing
- Use this format for your post
- Answer the ten questions about your current WIP (work in progress)
- Tag five other writers/bloggers and add their links so we can hop over and meet them.
Ten Interview Questions for the Next Big Thing:
- What is the working title of your book?
- Where did the idea for the book come from?
- What genre does your book fall under?
- Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
- What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
- Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
- How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
- What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
- Who or what inspired you to write this book?
- What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
I'm not usually super interested in blog memes, which are just tricked-up chain letters, but when I was tagged by Pearl Pirie / pesbo, I decided I'd stop being such a poop.
And use the opportunity to tag in my turn people whose work I was interested in hearing about.
Which is to say, people I don't know exceptionally well but whose work I find interesting...which includes Saleema Nawaz / Metaphysical Conceit, David Jon Fuller / As You Were, Darryl Joel Berger / red-handed.