Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Next Big Thing: Interview Series

I was invited by Alexander J. Allison to participate in the "Next Big Thing" writing web. Basically, each person answers ten questions about his or her book and then passes the torch to ten writers they admire.

1) What is the title of your latest book?

He Do the Gay Man in Different Voices

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

The book came about after I realized how many of my poems dealt with the lines between violence and sex. Suddenly, I started to see interesting connections between poems I'd written at different times and a manuscript began to take shape. A big driving force of the book was always the central section, which is a long poem about the serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer. 

3) What genre does your book fall under?

The book is poetry. Within poetry, I write mostly narrative work.

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

Since my book is poetry, it might be rather difficult to adapt to film, but I'll play along. I'd love to see these actors performing my work: Jon Hamm, Meryl Streep, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Brad Pitt, and Maggie Smith.

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

I'm pretty fond of this sentence from Jeremy Halinen's blurb: "If you're someone who's ever gone home with a stranger, after reading this book, you'll feel lucky to be alive: unraped, unmurdered, uneaten." 

6) Who published your book?

Sibling Rivalry Press (March, 2012)

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

This is a hard question because I didn't sit down to write this exact manuscript. It came in pieces and then I spent time putting it together. I would say the experience took a bit over a year (though a few of the poems were written before that). 

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

Here are four poetry books that handle similar themes or write about real-life tragic events:

I Have to Go Back to 1994 and Kill a Girl by Karyna McGlynn
Ohio Violence by Alison Stine
Ka-Ching! by Denise Duhamel
The First Risk by Charles Jensen

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

My inspiration comes from so many places. Each poem in the book was inspired by something different. I'm very open to ideas and I believe the best poems come from rather unusual places. I'm also greatly inspired by other writers. This book pays tribute to T.S. Eliot and Reginald Shepherd in very direct ways.

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

My book attempts to play to multiple crowds. If you are a big literary person, you will see a lot of connections to other works and references to pieces that have inspired me. If you are not a big reader of poetry, you will probably enjoy the book for different reasons. One thing I can say for sure, the book isn't boring. 

-Stephen (Answering) 

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