Monday, April 01, 2013

The Next Small-to-Medium Things

Thanks to Marcia Aldrich at Back Hand Blog and Dr. Write for tagging me to participate in this blog-tagging thing called “The Next Big Thing.” All of the participating writers agree to answer a set of questions in common and then tag five other writers to put forward as the “Next Big Thing.” It’s a way to bring attention to writers in a friendly chain of tags.

I like the idea of this mob blog push. Everywhere I look, there's a next big thing.  There are many things. There are many books. If the books were smaller instead of bigger, more books would fit. My book comes in at 136 pages. That seems small. Maybe medium.

What is the title of your book? 
Quench Your Thirst with Salt. The small title is "Quench." Or maybe "Death and Water in Salt Lake" or possibly, "How to leave Salt Lake and come back" but that one gets big again. 

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Granite is hard, bodies are soft; water is soft, bodies are hard; the dominant culture presses down, the subculture pushes up; boys are everywhere, fathers are missing--no wonder the Wasatch Fault is so earthquake prone.

What genre does your book fall under? Essays. 

Where did the idea come from for the book? 
Growing up in a place where subduing the landscape is as practiced as subduing the people who live there is a hard thing. A person is shaped by that hardness. Is a person as malleable as a mountain? Is she as well-defined as cracks in the granite? Is she as useful as a valley of water pipes? Shaped by the dominant culture and by parents fighting against that subculture, taking the subculture to an extreme, escaping the whole thing, this book is about how I try to stand some ground in a shaky family situation on the dry edge of the Wasatch Fault. 

How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
Four years. Or maybe twenty.

Who or what inspired you to write this book? 
My dad who died and my mom who lived.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
The book is available now for pre-order at Zone 3 and will be available soon through Small Press Distribution and Amazon.

What other works would you compare this book to within your genre?
I am reading Amy Leach's The Things That Are. It's not much like that but maybe a little. Gretel Ehrlich The Solace of Open Spaces. Steve Almond's Candyfreak--my book is not about candy but is about concrete things that transport youTerry Tempest Williams. Paul Auster. Nabakov's Speak, Memory. Jeannette Winterson. All her books. Yes. She's the first inspiration. Kathy Acker. Joni Tevis's The Wet Collection. The Orchid Thief by Susan Orlean. Nick Flynn's Another Bullshit Night in Suck City. Ander Monson's Neck Deep and Other Predicaments. Pam Houston's Cowboys Are My Weakness. Steve Fellner's All Screwed Up. 

What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition? 
Should James Gandolfini play my dad? Faye Dunaway my mom? I'd have my daughter Zoe play me as a kid but that is too much metaphor even for me. Charlize Theron can play adult me and my sisters to flatter us each, obviate sibling rivalry, and to complete the whole Adaptation/all people are one metaphor. Or maybe sandstone. Sandstone could play me--it is rock but it is  pretty malleable, for a  rock.

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

Utah's liquor laws, erotic fantasies, how to decide to have kids, sex offender databases, man-made lakes, oil, fish, Portland, Oregon, Salt Lake City, Utah, Bear River Bird Refuge, the Great Salt Lake, Chardonnay, red wine, vodka, Public Image Limited, VW Fastback, Jetta, Karman Ghia, flamingos, Mormons, Las Vegas, water rights, irrigation, wolves, cows, ranchers, snow, Hawaii. 

Tagged:  Tammy Stewart Greenwood. Lisa B. Steve Fellner,  Ander Monson,  Pam Houston, Steve Almond, Patrick Madden, Margot Singer, Steve Tuttle. Amy Wright,  Matthew Batt and Mary Anne Mohanraj because I want to know what these people are working on. 

1 comment:

Valerie said...

Your inspiration. Breathless.