So my friend and colleague Chas Hoppe has tagged me in the Next Big Thing interview series, wherein writers answer a few questions about current projects, ring the bell, sound the gong, and pass the torch.
What is the working title of the book?
Filthy Jerry's Guide to Parking Lots.
Where did the idea come from for the book?
Well I had this character Filthy Jerry popping up in various poems and flash fictions. Not sure where that came from; it wasn't an intentional reference to a popular brand of Spiced Rum, though some people have suggested that. It's also fun to make up kinda silly names for things. That's the Filthy Jerry bit. The parking lots thing came from writing pieces about three of the parking lots I lived across from for a year in Rainier Beach.
What genre does your book fall under?
The first half is flash fiction or prose poetry, the second half would be more straight up poems. For whatever the difference is worth. There's not a lot of form engaged, but there are a couple of Haibun.
What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
When is the movie coming out? Is it coming out NOW? Ryan Gosling. Think of the royalty check. In a few years? Maybe still Ryan Gosling? Someone famous. If they're making your book of poems into a movie, you might as well take it to the bank. Your real fans aren't gonna like the film anyway.
What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?
First, narrative of Filthy Jerry's life through snapshots and second, a bunch of poems about places and bad jobs.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
Five months? The idea came about around the corresponding themes (parking lots, jerry, filthiness) so a few of the pieces were written prior to the book. I wrangled in a couple of older pieces as well, but had to sand them down to make them fit.
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
This is a lot like the idea question, self, were you not listening the first time? Here's another thing-- I really like the idea of patchwork narrative, bringing back recurring themes and trying to create a sense of a cohesive whole within a series of poems. The format allows for selective omission and plot-holes, while still feeling satisfying, or standing alone as a collection individual pieces. Assuming you do it right, which is for other people to decide. I fully admit there's a cake-eat-it-too element going on here but refuse to apologize.
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
Other themes and references include dinosaurs (real or metaphorical? you decide!), God (ditto), bus travel (both), Dale Crover's drumming style (definitely real), chili (metaphor), "Place" (blah blah blah), fond memories of sexual encounters (probably metaphor), fried food (realer than real), fish (you decide), and fake irish accents (real/fake/real.)
If any of those things interest you, you may like this book. If none of them do, well, there's other stuff in there as well.
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?