The Next Big Thing
|Juan Luna's Revolver|
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. Luisa's instructions were for me to post by or before Wednesday, 12 December.
Rather daringly, I've re-arranged the order of the questions from how it appears on Luisa's post.
What is the title of your book?
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Disturbance is about a man who kills his wife, son and then himself, leaving a daughter as the sole survivor.
What genre does your book fall under?
Poetry / verse novel / narrative-in-verse / what-have-you
Where did the idea come from for the book?
This kind of violent crime, of the complete annihilation of a family is, sadly, an all-too-common phenomenon. A friend once pointed out it has also only become more visible because of newspapers and the media.
For this book, I had a cast of characters affected by the crime: everybody from estate agents and the police, to relatives of the criminal and his victims. The tragedy touches everyone in its path.
I was obsessed with the idea of writing about this crime from multiple perspectives. You know that line from the film Amadeus? "With music, you can have twenty individuals all talking at the same time, and it's not noise, it's a perfect harmony!" I wanted to know if I could do the same with poetry.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
I first got the idea in 2004 and thought, "This is going to take me about five years to write." An underestimation. I finished writing it in early 2011. The book comes out in late 2013.
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
A lot of silence surrounds this kind of crime. Victims are silenced. Those who are traumatised are busy trying to survive it. Those who have to deal with the aftermath are busy trying to fix it. But I desperately wanted to hear what they had to say. So I let them speak.
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
Disturbance will be published by Seren Books in 2013.
What other works would you compare this book to within your genre?
These works were my touchstones:
- Dorothy Porter's The Monkey's Mask
- Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales
- Sylvia Plath's "The Detective"
- Ai's "The Good Shepherd"
What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
This is such a good question. Apart from the main characters, there would be quite a few other roles to fill, too. There's a mistress, a priest, a police surgeon and several police officers, friends, grandparents and neighbours, a journalist... It'd be fantastic to have an international cast.
Still, I'm not sure who would play which character. Maybe once the book is out, readers would have more of an idea.
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
As part of my independent research for writing sections of the book, I read up on ballistics and homicide investigation procedures, and enrolled in a short taster course for Forensic Science at the local university.
For more of The Next Big Thing, these shining stars will give their answers by 19 December 2012:
- Jeannine Hall Gailey, with a third collection, Unexplained Fevers, forthcoming from New Binary Press.
- Collin Kelley, with his latest collection, Render, soon to be released by Sibling Rivalry Press.
- Emma Bolden, whose first collection, Maleficae, is coming soon from Gen Pop Books.
- Rebecca Mabanglo-Mayor, author of Pause Mid-Flight (Arkipelago Books).
- Ashley Capes, with his latest collection Between Giants (Ginninderra Press) out now.
- David Prater, author of We Will Disappear (Papertiger Media), gives his answers.
*Should you wish to participate, answer the questions on your blog and leave your link in a comment.