where the writers are
The Self Interview

Interview Questions for the Next Big Thing:


1) What is your working title of your book (or story, or project)? 

A is for Absence

2) Where did the idea come from for the book? 

I had a lot of prose poems, and I was trying to fit them together in a coherent form, and I read Carol Guess’ Index of Placebo Effects.  Her poems were in alphabetical order  (by title) and she had a really clear structure she was working with (actual placebo effects).  Somehow, that information went into the chaotic muddle of my brain and I got the idea to turn my series of poems into a messed up alphabet book.

3) What genre does your book fall under?  

Poetry:  prose poetry.

4) Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?  


Shelly Duval from the 70’s when she was still young and didn’t quite look like Olive Oyl.  Sissy Spacek  from Badlands.  The talking horse from Mr. Ed and the zombie dogs from Resident Evil.

5) What is a one-sentence synopsis of your book?   

“Why have you left me all alone in this lake with my toys?” said the skeleton or the stuffed dog.

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

I’m sending it out – to almost quote Whitman, I “launch forth filament, filament, filament, out of myself;   

Ever unreeling them—ever tirelessly speeding them.”

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

Some of the poems are many years old – some brand new.  I’m still tinkering and adding.

8) What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

The Marvelous Bones of Time, by Brenda Coultas – really a hybrid poetry/prose book for me, although it doesn’t quite stick so much with one “idea” or limitation like the alphabet.

9) Who or what inspired you to write this book?

See question 2, and I’m really inspired by the language of children’s textbooks, how their directions and ideas become quite bizarre when defamiliarized just a little bit.

10) What else about your book might pique the reader's interest?

It’s for people who enjoy bad dreams – that’s what I’ve been told.


I was tagged by the Phenomonal Poet Lynn Levin.  I was so honored to be included in her and Valerie Fox's fantastic writing prompt anthology, Poems for the Writing -- you can read about it here: http://poemsforthewriting.com/2013/06/19/valerie-fox-and-lynn-levins-nex...