Friday, 21 December 2012


I'm taking part in The Next Big Thing this month. It's a kind of rolling interview thing. I get the questions and you, dear reader, get the answers...and then I pass it on to some other writers and the same thing happens. 

It's supposed to be about work in progress, but I've only JUST launched my new collection, so it seems a bit premature to talk about the next collection! 

What is the working title of your book?
Kissing Bones. 

Where did the idea come from for the book?
For me, a collection of poetry doesn't come from a single idea. It's a reflection of series of preoccupations. I think poems can be looked at as symptoms, in a way. So, my underlying dis-ease includes a long-term study of Grimm's tales, how society deals with violence and how victims have an innate drive for survival. I'm also interested in how we tell the world to ourselves. We make stories of everything.There is a sequence of poems about birds, too. I'm a keen bird-watcher. And another section is about sayings and stories and myths. The final part of the book is about love - how it tears us apart, how we flounder and fail, how we survive (that word again) and how we learn to love ourselves.

What genre does your book fall under?

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Well, I suppose I'd have to be in every movie since the poems are about the inside of my head as much as anything else. But really, this is an impossible question. There's a cast of thousands in this collection.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
I am not afraid of death.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
About four years.
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
I'm not sure that I'm like any other poet. I'd be interested to know if anyone thinks it's like something else they've read. I would learn something valuable from that, I think.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?
My family, my ancestors, things in the newspapers, people I work with, neighbours, myths, the Grimm brothers, my German speaking friends, history books and news reels, the sparrow I was watching one morning, some jackdaws, people I went to school with,Catherine Earnshaw and Heathcliffe, the Avengers, nearly drowning when I was a kid...

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
There are lots of bones in it.

When and how will it be published?
Kissing Bones is available from Templar Poetry

If you want me to come to a reading group or a pub or a bookshop near you, I'm more than happy to oblige with a reading and/or a talk...I'll bring a few copies and sign them too, of course...

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