Amy Key tagged me in a book blog relay called The Next Big Thing which asks authors to answer questions about their books. Here are Amy’s answers; you can click back and back and back to read the answers of an entire team of writers.
I’m having a pre-Christmas editing binge on the new book which is going to be called (I’m almost positively sure) Twenty-four Seven Blossom.
Where did the idea come from for the book?
I wrote one book, and then after that, the idea that I might write another seemed fair enough. I’m five years older, better read, more easily amused and more stoical since the last one, so hopefully it’s a different book. Related to the first one, certainly, but a cousin rather than a clone.
What genre does your book fall under?
What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
I expect all the people in the book are me in a variety of disguises and costumes, but as I’m not Eddie Murphy, I couldn’t carry a film by myself. I’d have to cast a bit more widely. There’s a poem that’s about a monkey wrestling a lizard in there, so both of those could be played by CGI Andy Serkis. Harrison Ford would have to play Indiana Jones in the Indiana Jones poem, I don’t want any second rate remakes. There’s also a strange little textual version of the opening credits to an imaginary James Bond film which is full of different sorts of gold and one small flash of blue. The thought process went: I need to have something that’s Bond-related and blue in this poem … what’s blue and Bond-related … hmm … Daniel Craig /eyes /swimmies. Let’s drop a line to his agent. And I wrote one poem inspired by a Lana Del Rey video, so she can have a cameo somewhere too.
What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?
Sometimes we all go out in a borrowed dress.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
My last book came out in 2008, so the oldest poem dates from just after that. The youngest one will no doubt be having smuts washed from its face with a spitty hanky even on its way to the printers.
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
I admire people who make life difficult for themselves in pursuit of an ideal, both the sort who practise for 10,000 hours to become a table tennis Olympian, and those who party all night in uncomfortable but very beautiful shoes. My life is no sort of difficult, but the one thing I can do to complicate it, to get close to those conditions of discipline, creativity and pose-striking I value is to write poetry. It’s all I can make. Inspiration for writing poems though is not quite the same thing as inspiration for writing poetry. Individual poems come from a desire to make jam from my ideas and interests. Fruit is sweet enough, but jam is denser, blacker and lasts longer.
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
If you like adventurous Victorian butterfly collectors, there’s a sequence of poems about Margaret Fountaine in the book. If you are interested in the practice of Nyotaimori, you can read about a version involving the full English breakfast.
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
It will be published by Salt Publishing in July(ish) 2013. Salt make a handsome book. Hannah and the Monk had a gorgeous green cover with illustrations of eighteenth century flying machines on, so I’m hoping for something complementary.