Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The Next Big Thing Series

{Anne Champion was kind enough to tag me for this awesome self-interview project, The Next Big Thing, so here goes..}

What is the working title of the book?

girl show

Where did the idea come from for the book?

The whole concept behind the book came from my peculiar little interest in sideshow and carnival women, particularly of the 1930’s and 1940’s, an interest that only increased when I discovered a great, great aunt on my mother’s side had been a bareback rider. I was also intrigued by the idea of these entities as being a transformative space, a place that existed beyond the typical circumscribed life of most women, a transgressive space that allowed a bit more freedom, yet was also filled with its own dangers and darknesses.

What genre does your book fall under?

What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
The book is a mix of voices, some fragmented, some straight forward persona monologues. The characters within include bareback riders, conjoined twins, mermaids, and magicians assistants. It would definitely be an Altmanesque ensemble piece.

What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?
Set in the 1930's midwest and adrift in the surreal world of bird girls and sideshow mermaids, girl show explores the boundaries between spectacle and domesticity, between beauty and grotesquerie.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
I wrote the first piece, actually the title piece, sometime in the summer of 2005, and after a lot of research and further delving, finished the entirety a couple years later. The process was not always linear, and a lot of other projects inserted themselves along the way, so the book tended to be written in short spurts whenever I turned back to it It wound up being my MFA manuscript, so I had some assistance with determining a final order on the part of my classmates. Once I had split the book into three sections, poems sort of naturally fell into one of those sections.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?
A lot of it was based on research. As I immersed myself more and more in the subject matter, so many pieces were sparked by things I’d read, actual sideshow performers, news clippings, performances. I also embellish quite a bit however.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
There is a lot of actual history in there among the embellishments. Also, a lot of magic and the supernatural.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency? girl show is set to be published in fall 2013 by Black Lawrence Press.

My tagged writers for next Wednesday are: a batch of most recent dgp-ers: Lauren Eggert Crowe, Katie Longofono, Kristin Lueke, Ashley Inguanta, & Nicole Borello