Here is my self-interview in the Next Big Thing meme. Mary Biddinger, author of Prairie FeverSt. Monica, and O Holy Insurgency, has started a self-interview series called The Next Big Thing. I’ve been tagged by T.J. Jarrett (a wonderful poet and friend) to participate. Here’s my response based on my first collection of poems, A Hymn That Meanders which was published by Wising Up Press in June 2011.

What is the working title of the book:  


 A Hymn That Meanders.


 
Where did the idea come from for the book? 
 

Where didn't my ideas for the book come from? I derived a lot of my inspiration from the physical landscapes of Cuba, Provincetown, and Joliet, Illinois. Then, of course, those people in my life at the time played a major (perhaps in some cases too big) of a role, from the whale watch crew whom I worked with at the time, to my family, to my then-lovers.

Where did the idea come from for the book?

Mainly my own coming-age-passage from my late 20's into my 30's. I was also grappling with a lot of my past, including my familial issues including my own turpitude involving my blue-collar Illinois hometown, then my subsequent travels to Provincetown, MA and Cuba. Essentially this book was an interrogation of my former self from puberty into early adulthood.
 

What genre does your book fall under?

Poetry.

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

Oh boy. A young Jennifer Beals circa Flashdance could play me. The extras from Waterworld (or any other rejected B-movie involving an ocean) could play the whale watch crew. Marissa Tomei could be my mom. 

 What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?

A young woman on the brink of thirty looks behind, ahead, and finally, in front of her very own reflection in her search of self, love, and self-love. 
 

How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?  Who or what inspired you to write this book?

Roughly three years to write, revise, and publish. I was inspired to write this book because I felt that not only having written a book by thirty was a lifelong landmark and dream, but I also felt the urge to make sense of that very endeavor through the actual writing of the book itself. Heather Tosteson, the founder of Wising Up Press was a major inspiration in ways that have forever and continuously honed my poetic skills. 
 
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

Anyone facing exile, family drama, addiction, or nihilism either within themselves or their surrounding world would resonate with this book. 
 

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

My book was published by Wising Up Press in June 2011. 
 

The next poets to be tagged are Jeannette de Beauvoir and Lori Desrosiers Stay tuned.