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The Next Big Thing

I was tagged to take part in The Next Big Thing, a literary blog interview. In The Next Big Thing writers answer ten questions about their work-in-progress, then tag five of their writer friends to do the same.

Gillian Wallace tagged me and also links to Sandra Nicholls and Ben Stephenson.

So far, two responses from here: Ariel Gordon and rob mclennan.

For my part,
What is the working title of your book?
Lost in a Very Small Maze

Where did the idea come from for the book?
The poems started to gel into a unit once there was that phrase pop up in conversation and I thought that as a title would fit the spirit of a number of poems.

What genre does your book fall under?
It’s poetry, largely. Some flash fiction might crash the party. Some surreal, some I’m calling “Squirrels and Other Anecdotes” (also a working section title). They are more narrative than what I’m known for with romance, grief and humour to counter those. They are softer poems in the sense of not being anti-semantic in the same way as some previously.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
They pieces span the late 90s to present so it’s something of an accumulation cherry picking what chimes together. The oldest poems are reaching back 17 years. The newest poems will probably be 2 years old by the time it sees paper. Some have already been published or won contests but I can see now ways to do them tighter and better. The poems have good bones but could use a few workouts of editing.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
How shall I flatter myself. Let me count the ways. I’d hope elements would be as odd and delightful as Venright’s Floors of Enduring Beauty or Heroux’ Emergency Hallelujah or Memoirs of an Alias. It won’t be.

Some of it falls more towards Anne le Dressay, Michele Desbarats or Barry Dempster’s anecdotes or Monty Reid’s pithy and simple.

Who or What inspired you to write this book?
I write. The realization that Snare might disappear and my newest book might vaporize put a fire under my butt, but in the 11th hour, Snare was taken up as an imprint of Invisible Publishing. The effect remains tho.

It was also provoked by wanting to prove I could write things that lean more towards story and formalism without being baggy or “not my voice” as the charges levelled often go. It is a good break from the main work of this more language-centred project that eats my time and leaves poem dirt as a thanks. Frustrated? A change is as good as a solution.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Since the probability of a movie version is about the same odds as getting these actors, how about a duet of Seth Godin and Robert Donner reading the more surreal poems, Sylvia Plath for the voice of a poem Orchards in the Mind, a piece about past wars. Monty Reid reading with his measured deep fabulous voice the section of poems of grief. Lorine Niedecker raised from the dead can read whatever she wants. The phone book if she likes. Heck, if she comes for a reading, I’ll add a phone book to the manuscript. For a village to keep printing costs down.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
I expect to be taking it to a publisher since a group has the infrastructure to distribute and postage rates and travel costs are high. It makes sense to work together.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Motifs of grief and the absurdities of life, a critical compassionate look at a Canada in the day and the personal in the night.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
I think the book’s flavour is somewhere between this:
we're like this

and this:
interbang

And now, five writers I have asked to participate in return.

I’m tagging

Ariel Gordon
rob mclennan
Jonathan Ball
with a couple others (probably Shawna Lemay and Alice Burdick) coming along in time.

Message for tagged authors: 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:

  1. What is the working title of your book?
  2. Where did the idea for the book come from?
  3. What genre does your book fall under?
  4. Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
  5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
  6. Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
  7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
  8. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
  9. Who or what inspired you to write this book?
  10. What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

Include the link of who tagged you and this explanation for the people you have tagged.
Be sure to line up five people in advance.

I got a nod from Rosemary Nissen-Wade asked me as well but I was too slow on the draw. (That variation reduced down to 6 somewhat different questions).

So, optional bonus question:
In what ways do you think ‘writer you’ differs from or has similarities to the everyday you?
Well, I’m told both have an odd and large vocabulary. Hubby once said that if I had a stroke and could only access the unusual words, even tho I’d be speaking English, he’d need a thesaurus for us to talk.

Poetry-I and civilian-I, if we could separate the two without the death of both, move in parallel. As my brain untangles and speaks in less of an omnidirectional brain-dump, my poetry moves more comfortably within the idea of a set up and payoff sort of narrative, speaking to make a point.

Writer-I spends more time on politics than is likely to happen in common conversations. Writer-I gets more airtime for the Id and for play. The censor paces around the conversational civilian-I more sternly.

The meme started in fiction, with the likes of Ayelet Tsabari. Gary Barwin did it while back. Jennifer Lovegrove has done it as an open call if you want to opt yourself in.

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Continuing the Discussion

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