Thank you very much and good luck to Lucy Lepchani for tagging me last week http://lucylepchani.blogspot.co.uk/2013/01/the-next-big-thing-or-two.html in this ‘The Next Big Thing’ blog which is for artists to blog about their next project. I shall answer the set questions about my ‘Next Big Thing’ project which is called A Handful of Water, before I tag four others. Details of those people at the end of this blog…
so, here goes…
Where did the idea for the book come from?
A Handful of Water is my second collection of poems. It must have been growing slowly over time. As happens, it was only small ideas or single phrases or feelings that sparked each poem in the book. I just wrote about what presented itself to my mind. At some point, years down the line, I must have figured that this bundle of poems had become a sort of closely-packed forest and that there were all sorts of interconnections between the poems’ roots, twigs and branches. I hadn’t been able to see this till I entered the job of trying to make them into a collection: couldn’t see the wood for the trees perhaps? I approached this particular task as though I were taking a walk over terrain where there was no visible path between the trees and I could only make progress by putting one foot in front of the other and hoping the next foothold would present itself – looking for something, (image, atmosphere, the underlying feeling) that linked one poem to another. A Handful of Water thus made, emerged as a rather different creature – more edgey, and nerved – than when it was in separate pieces of paper.
What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
The film would be shot in different locations; Italy, Ireland, Wales, France, Cornwall. There’d be windswept coastlines, storm-wracked islands and mountains from where the people have vanished. It would need cut-ins and time shifts. I’d need a hare, some deer and an owl oh, and a badger on a moonlit night, some spooky wind effects and a squelchy bog, with the light failing. It would include some Great War soldiers, a shipwrecked Irish sailor and a Scots king on the run from the British army as well as some prisoners (but probably not Ronny Barker). Oh, I can see it could make a great series… maybe a tense Danish thriller with dark passageways and torch beams lighting people’s faces … and viewers wondering how different bits of the story fit together until they get to the end and find the mermaid.
What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?
impossible to distinguish
between what is
and what might have been
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
Lots of things – curiosity, beauty, resurrecting voices from the past, giving a voice to what is forgotten, guessing what happened, my unconscious, the feeling that we live on a knife-edge. I wrote about anything that caught my imagination: the stories I uncovered and the people that I met in the last few years. Some others were on my doorstep while some were from the past. You should see the size of the bin I use!
How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
Years. And so did the second.
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
The cover. I knew I wanted this image called Godrevy Lighthouse from the outset and I thank the artist Lydia Corbett from the bottom of my heart. http://www.lydiacorbettart.com/
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
It is to be published by Cinnamon Press within the next couple of months.
It can be previewed already http://www.cinnamonpress.com/a-handful-of-water/
I see that Amazon are also offering it already.
The launch of A Handful of Water is going to be on the evening of Thurs, May 30th at Lydia Corbett’s fantabulous studio in Rattery, near South Brent so if you want to come along just let me know! You will be most welcome. Music, paintings and poetry and wine!
And the wonderful writers I am now tagging, for their blogs to appear hopefully by January 23rd, are:
1. Abegail Morley; an award-winning poet and editor. She has a fantastic site to do with all things poetical called The Poetry Shed.
2. Graham Burchell; a multi-award-winning poet and tutor. He was recently selected as Canterbury Poet of the Year.
3. Maria McCann; well-known novelist and writer and tutor and editor among many other things. http://www.mariarosemccann.com/
4. Sharon Black; award-winning poet and performance poet living in France but hailing from Scotland. www.sharonblack.co.uk/