The Next Big Thing

The talented and brilliant Mary Stone Dockery tagged me for The Next Big Thing blog hop. Thanks Mary! Be sure to check out her chapbook Aching Buttons out this month from Dancing Girl Press!

What is the working title of the book?
Independent City

Where did the idea come from for the book?
I moved to St. Louis in 2005 and the city started right in on me. The way its layers wear thin and poke through, the buried past resurfacing, various states of decay and renewal coexisting next to each other – it’s a great way to explore how the past informs the present and how place is never just a place but also a time. It’s everywhere you look: sometimes just a few inches of an old streetcar track poking through the blacktop, sometimes a 20th century house built on a prehistoric burial mound. And I live in the midst of it; I affect this place just as I’m affected by it.

What genre does your book fall under?
Poetry, mostly of the short lyric variety.

What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
Alas, James Mason has passed away and can’t reprise his role as Captain Nemo. I’d love to see him wandering around, waiting for a sinkhole to open and swallow him up! Albert Pujols would play himself, as would Brigit Kelly. After that, I’d only ask that the film be shot entirely on location. I’d want the texture to be authentic.

What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?
I’ll quote G.K. Chesterton: There is no stone in the street and no brick in the wall that is not actually a deliberate symbol – a message from some man, as much as if it were a telegram or a post card.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
I’ve lived here for seven years, and while I didn’t realize I was writing this book when I first arrived, that’s how long it has taken.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?
The City of St. Louis swallows its tail every day. It falls apart, glues itself back together willy-nilly, argues about everything, and wears its Arch like a crown. Even its ugly bits have a strange beauty.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
It’s not all bricks and I-beams. There’s a lot of biology, too, because the places we make are a reflection of how we change and grow and die.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
Hopefully this manuscript will find a home with an indie poetry press.

One of my favorite writers who will answer these questions next week:
Emily Grise