The Next Big Thing

Poet Ivy Alvarez, whose most recent book is Mortal, invited me to participate in this self-interview blog meme called The Next Big Thing, where I get to share a little more about my next big thing – between giants.

Writers participating get to answer 8-10 questions (about their book/blog/their writing), and then tag 5 other writer friends to post their own “next big thing” the following Wednesday. Ivy’s instructions were for me to post by or before Wednesday, 19 December.

I’ve maintained the re-arranged order of the questions as they appear here on Ivy’s post.Thanks again to Ivy for calling me up, and stay tuned for a list of poet’s I’ve invited!

What is the title of your book?

between giants – which actually comes from the title of a poem that didn’t end up making it into the collection!

What genre does your book fall under?

poetry, free verse

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

I’ll have to use a quote from Graham Nunn for this one: Capes walks a breathtaking tightrope between geographical locations and everyday miracles.

Where did the idea come from for the book?

I was working on collecting poetry I’d written over the last couple of years and found myself writing and including more on the idea of travel, more about a trip to Italy my wife and I took in 2011. While the whole collection isn’t focused on travel, there are a fair few that are based on experiences we had in cities like Florence and Rome.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

If I looked at the oldest poem in the collection, which might be windstorm it was written around late 2008, though the vast majority of poems were written in the last couple of years and the MS underwent a lot of drafts before I had a group of poems I was happy with.

To actually compile the group that I then worked on in terms of copy-editing, was probably a good six months.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

Definitely my wife inspired me, she always does. And certainly the natural world was an inspiration, along with the idea of home and travel – specifically our trip to Italy.

It features throughout the collection – parts of Venice, the Amalfi Coast, Rome and Florence all make an appearance and in addition to the buildings and the food, the people and the landscapes, there’s also a conflicted view of tourists in the book – so the tensions between touring and seeing vs wanting to be respectful are also an inspiration.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

between giants is available right now through Ginninderra Press and was first published in December 2012.

What other works would you compare this book to within your genre?

Incredibly difficult question – I hope something of William Carlos Williams comes through in my attempts to use natural language rhythms but otherwise I’m stumped!

What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?

I’d love to have James Earl Jones narrate something like stillness from the collection, and Clint Eastwood would have to play himself in stubble. If I could arrange for Christopher Walken to act out a short based on stamped flat stamped that would be cool. And if anything in the collection comes remotely close to being amusing, I’d have Jennifer Coolidge play in it because she’s hilarious.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

People who enjoy haiku might see its influence on between giants and so if you like brevity and a strong sense of the visual, there ought to be enough of that in the pages to satisfy.

[Coming Soon – Two More Responses from great poets]

Graham Nunn on I, Land

Andrew Phillips on That Zero Year

Jane Williams on Days like these