My friend Marty McConnell recently tagged me for The Next Big Thing, a self-interview series for authors who just released a book or who are about to. This works like a game of tag– a writer does the self-interview and tags three more writers to participate, they each tag three people, and so on. The questions are the same for everyone. And now, here we go:
What is the working title of the book?
The title will be Running for Trap Doors. Other possible titles included Trap Door and Emoticon-English Dictionary.
Where did the idea come from for the book?
This is my first full-length book, so a lot of these poems have been edited and re-edited until I felt like they were ready for the outside world. The idea for the title came from one of my poems, Trap Door, which is about learning to navigate around my own self-sabotage.
What genre does your book fall under?
What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
I’d like to be played by Lucy Lawless, as Xena. Grandma: Ellen Burstyn. Mom: Meryl Streep. Dad: Nick Offerman from Parks and Recreation. Bad idea love interests: Michelle Rodriguez, Kristen Stewart, Jennifer Lawrence. Good idea love interest: Olivia Wilde. Miriam: Ellen Page.
What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?
An unflinching exploration of learning how to get out of one’s own way and see the world in a new light.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
Well, I submitted some of these poems to Write Bloody Press in Summer 2011, most of which I had written that year. I made it to the final round but didn’t get a book deal. I then spent the next year reading poems obsessively, writing new ones, and editing the ones I thought had promise. When Summer 2012 rolled around, I had a manuscript I was proud of—one I felt was representative of me and of the journeys I’ve had.
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
In the past few years, I’ve confronted some of the ugly truths standing in the way of my happiness—namely relationship patterns, mental health issues, and a lot of escapism. For years, I tried to distract myself from myself by focusing on any shiny object or person I could find. Once I was forced to stop doing that, I found that the process of actually allowing myself to be happy meant a whole lot of digging. This book holds a lot of what I unearthed.
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
This book features lesbian bars, scorpions, Chinese food, waitresses, Moses, and this emotion :/.
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
I’m very honored and excited for my book to be published by Sibling Rivalry Press in August 2013.