The talented and brilliant Anne Champion tagged me for The Next Big Thing blog hop. Thank you, Anne! Be sure to check out Anne’s forthcoming title, Reluctant Mistress, forthcoming from Gold Wake Press. Here are responses for two of my chapbooks, Aching Buttons and Blink Finch. Aching Buttons has been released just this month by Dancing Girl Press and soon, Kattywompus Press will release Blink Finch.
What is the working title of the book?
Aching Buttons and Blink Finch.
Where did the idea come from for the book?
Aching Buttons came about simply after I realized that many of the poems I’d been working on at the time had a lot to do with female sexuality. I noticed that the speaker seemed the same in a number of poems, and she was exploring how particular intimate moments – good or bad – influenced her idea of herself.
Blink Finch was a little different. I wanted to write a number of poems with 50 words, and I wanted to write poems without titles – I was having an argument with titles at the time – and I wanted to create a narrative that didn’t necessarily move in chronological order. I was also interested in horoscopes at the time and wanted to include poems with two separate speakers – one who simply related the narrative and one who spoke directly to the characters involved.
What genre does your book fall under?
What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
In Aching Buttons, the speaker seems to be the same person, but the lovers are varied and changing. I’d have to pick a couple of my favorite actresses, like Natalie Portman or Anne Hatheway for female roles, and Jake Gyllenhaal, Edward Norton, Ryan Gosling, Shemar Moore for the male roles. But that’s only if I HAD to choose. I’ve never really thought of actors for poetry. In Blink Finch, I think Susan Sarandon would have the right kind of voice for the narrator (what a sexy voice), and Meryl Streep for the horoscope narration. Great voices, those two.
What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?
Um, a synopsis feels a bit excessive for these short books. Let’s keep it mysterious.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
Both took a few months to write. After I had a draft of Blink Finch, I worked directly with the editor at Kattywompus to revise it, which took about another month. So, total, I’d say both books together took about six months or so to complete. Honestly, though, this was a year during my MFA program where something changed drastically in my writing, and so I think some of the poems in Aching Buttons in particular had been trying to write themselves for many years.
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
Memories of past lovers and enemies, my husband, anger, my Catholic upbringing (shame and guilt are subtexts in both books). Wanting to understand how language can recreate erotic moments without necessarily being erotic in content. Needing to explore sensuality, intimacy, and various kinds of love. Being self-unsure in my own relationships. Needing something to look forward to.
Before Aching Buttons, I’d never put together a collection of poetry. It was a project inspired by the chapbook form, and especially by the chaps I’d read by Dancing Girl Press. This collection was written before my full-length collection was completed and I thought completing a chapbook would help me learn to focus my book, Mythology of Touch.
Blink Finch was inspired more by constraints in length and word count. I’d been reading Evie Shockley at the time and I think her work influenced that.
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
Both use sensual language and sexy subject matter. Both celebrate women, even while exposing negative truths about females the female psyche, particularly in regard to relationships. Both tend to move into the surreal in order to help understand the self or the world around.
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
A few of my favorite writers who will answer these questions next week:
And because she was already tagged, I’d like to remind you that Katie Longofono has her first chapbook out from Dancing Girl Press as well. She’ll post her answers next week. Check out The Angel of Sex.