Thank you to Caitlin Thomson for asking me to participate in this project called “The Next Big Thing.”
Originally, I was supposed to post this on March 13th, but busy life and busy schedule, I completely forgot. So, I apologize.
Below I will respond to a standard set of interview questions about my writing projects.
1. What is the title of your book? Is it a working title?
My chapbook is called Hummingbird Mind which is in the pre-order stage at the moment. It was picked up by Mouthfeel Press. The chapbook is actually a selection from my larger manuscript that has the working title: A Stranger Longing.
2. Where did the idea for your book come from?
While I was attending Sarah Lawrence College for my MFA back in 2008 to 2010, I started researching thought disorders, schizophrenia, mystics, physics. Somehow they all seemed to tie into one another. You can imagine what 8 hours in a library every day reading books on such topics will get you: many voices going on at once and strong ones at that with vivid imaginations and lots of energy. It was also a very big shift for me, living in New York and having nothing I had to do outside of create pieces of writing. I was in heaven, albeit a very frantic, overwhelmed heaven. Hummingbird Mind was a term I ran across one day in the library. It is a casual, non-scientific term for a scattered brain.
3. Who and/or what inspired you to write your book?
I think my book was just waiting to come out. It’s hard to say who or what inspired me. I have always been writing. From the earliest of ages, I carried a notebook around with me. In those early days I was writing to God to try to understand EVERYTHING. It’s funny how things always circle around. Now, I write to God and to myself and to the spirit in us all. I want to speak it out, speak to it, bring it alive. Even the dark, too. For it cannot be hidden or ignored, but wrestled with like an angel that will ultimately bless you.
And, as my mom always likes to point out: my whole life I have created “scripts” in my head and somehow seen reality through such scripts. Sometimes that can be extremely unhealthy, so I think my only outlet was to write things down. Get them on paper. Also, writing is quite powerful. Something called forth and brought to life. It is an exorcism of sorts. And possibly I have always felt the need to explain myself to others, or the world to myself.
4. How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
I have been working on the manuscript, the larger manuscript from where the chapbook emerged, since my Sarah Lawrence days. That would make it about 5 years now. I am always working on my manuscript. The chapbook itself is finished now and only that happened at the end of 2012. I get nervous just thinking about holding it in my hand when the book is ready to ship at the end of this month. I will more than likely want to continue changing it. I think every writer must feel this way with a finished project.
5. What genre does your book fall under?
I don’t like to put “genres” in the same space as “poetry.” Poetry encompasses everything, doesn’t it? Though certainly I play with form a lot. I am particularly proud of this chapbook collection as it has very many different forms. Very playful. Then again, the content is based on thought disorders and such…I am heavily based in imagery. But there is a lot of space for reflection and contemplation.
6. What books would you compare yours to in your chosen genre?
I do not know. There are so many different influences. But I will say this: I remember while attending Sarah Lawrence and working deep in the ditches of this manuscript, someone told me to read Liz Waldner. I chose her book “A Point is That Which Has No Part” and I remember thinking, WOW! I really relate to this work! And I did. I love how she plays with concepts and language. Her background in mathematics shows through. Again, very playful but highly contemplative work.
7. What is a one-sentence synopsis of your book?
There is no room here for order, but one must order the room in order to sense the beautiful way in which we fly out of our bodies into spirit and hover over a still point which we all meet.
8. Do you have a publisher, or will you self-publish your book or seek representation?
Maria Miranda Maloney at Mouthfeel Press is publishing this book. And my good friend, Goodloe Byron, stepped in to design the gorgeous cover art. He is simply talented and did some recent work for CA Conrad.
10. What else about your book might pique readers’ interest?
It has therapists, concert pianists, hospitals, doctors and more therapists.
9. What actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie or to read your work for a recording?
Gina Davis, Kathleen Turner and Sam Elliot! I think I have a theme here: all deep, sexy voices.
I have picked the following writers to respond to this blog next week:
Kallie Rose. Find her literary resource blog TELL TELL POETRY HERE
Hila Ratzabi. You can find her blog HERE
Jacey Blue Renner. You can find her blog HERE