The Next Big Thing



I’ve been tagged in this popular literary questionnaire meme by poet Claire Askew of One Night Stanzas (read her self-interview here). I’m not much for tagging, but this one had interesting questions, so diving in right now, on the topic of Dear Friends and Gentle Hearts, which I sort of want to call Girl Monster, even though the main character is 27. Titles come later, meanwhile:


Where did the idea come from for the book?
An image in my head circa 2010, of a greenhouse constructed of glass bottles, and a woman walking towards them across a neglected garden. The bottle greenhouse hasn’t made it into the latest draft, but the woman and the neglect most definitely has carried through.


What genre is the book?


Literary fiction, with some shorter chapters that resemble microfictions/ flash fiction. A legacy of my time at University of New South Wales, learning about interfictions and other interesting techniques.


What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
Beautiful unknowns and half-familiar faces.


What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
A girl commits a crime against her neglectful artist mother and the rest of her life is spent on the run: failing immigrant, art school dropout, violent fantasist.


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


I think a bit over a year? But the first draft is always awful. The edits are where the book is born.


Who or what inspired you to write this book?


At first, just that one image. Then my experiences of living and failing to live well in America as I wrote the novel, and my travels to New Mexico (as part of research into the characters) via Greyhound through the picturesque desolation of bus stations.


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


As you might know, it’s been excerpted here and here.  It’s dark and I think thrilling and America is a cool place to read about, so.


Will your book be self-published or represented by a publisher?


When I’m finished a good draft (sometime mid-year), my agent will be contacting publishers. My fingers will knot, while I embark on the next big thing after that.


So that’s it! I’m tagging, with no obligations:


Averil Dean

Michael Wuitchik

Justin L Daugherty



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3 responses to “The Next Big Thing

  1. I love the synopsis! Crimes against mother are always fascinating, but especially when there’s an artist involved.

    I’m going to write this on a sticky and put it where I can see it every day: “The first draft is always awful. The edits are where the book is born.” True, and comforting.

  2. Pingback: One Night Stanzas » Blog Archive » Procrastination Station #119

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