The Next Big Thing

I’ve been asked to give this interview for an expanding blog project called The Next Big Thing, by the poet Sophie Mayer. You can read her brilliant interview here.

The idea is I post mine and tag other writers to do the same on the 26th December.

…..

Where did the idea come from for the book?

The poems accumulated over a three year period of intense writing, yet intense in a very different way to writing my first collection. I wrote with more constraint, more routine. I wrote nearly every day, about whatever struck me in the moment, and I think it simply got to a point where it felt coherent and I said to myself, I might have a collection here. Once I had my title it was a case of carefully piecing it together, which has taken the best part of a year.

What genre does your book fall under?

Poetry

What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?

Vicky McClure might play the part of the object of some of the love poems. I don’t know who would play the part of my husband, frankly, no-one’s up to scratch. I think the people I write about are so unusual and interesting in their own way that actors could never do them justice. A movie rendition of a poetry collection is certainly a very interesting concept.

What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?

When I was a little girl I read a book, a very unusual and rare illustrated book in which the a creature with a big heart dies at the end and goes to heaven and because I could never shake this beautiful story and because I once worked in an abattoir and once wanted to die I wrote this book in fits of semi-eloquent heartache from a room in a house in a town where all the skeletons come out to greet me and I bow to them and everything else I can make out in the dark, waiting for me with open arms.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

Three years. I had one year where I wrote very little, or very little of what I wrote was any good, and I felt as though I’d never write again, but this coincided with beginning treatment for what I regard as an illness, whether forward-thinkers like it to be called ‘illness’ or not. The past year has been especially fruitful and I’ve managed to knock a manuscript into shape, with plenty of work to choose from. This was an experience I’d describe as beyond satisfying.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

I was inspired by the place where I live now, which is the place I grew up, where I unleashed all kinds of Hell a decade and a half ago. I was inspired by the memory of someone I loved (love) who passed away. I think she deserves someone to write sad poems about her to the end of their days. Part of the book is devoted to my estranged father, his death and my unearthing of the past as a way of moving forward. Or you could muse that it is about lives almost lived, and the discovery that at every turn someone who you loved and who loved you in their way, who was absent for one reason or another, were themselves living a life clouded by absence. It is also about whether these kinds of thoughts are mere romanticism and a desperate search for resolution where there’s no closure.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

This book is not for the faint-hearted. You need to be ready for sex and death, suicide, mental illness…but in there is big, big love, in swathes.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

It is my hope that this book is published by an agency. I have sent it out to a publisher and am waiting to hear news.

My poets to tag are:

Leo Cookman

Jeremy Gluck

Kirsten Irving

Michael Egan

Make sure you check them out on the 26th!

4 thoughts on “The Next Big Thing

  1. I think that might be one of the longest sentences, without semi-colons, I have ever read!
    I particularly like the image of the skeletons waiting in the dark with an open armed greeting.
    What’s the name of the book by the way?

  2. You’ve got me thinking about a movie rendition of poetry collections. Some collections could be powerful “shorts”. Others could be highly impressionistic, with lots of shifting landscapes. . .I do like the filmic approach that some poets take with their work. I personally prefer this kind of poem to poems that are static.

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