A huge thank you to Arielle Guy for tagging me in The Next Big Thing Blog Hop. Here are my responses:
What is the working title of your book (or story)? The working title is Legion of Matriarchs.
Where did the idea come from for the book?
These poems have lived inside me for generations. They come from the voices of all the women who raised me, from their lives, their stories, their love, loss, shame, and pain. As a southern woman, I'm intimately familiar with the idea of a matriarch, so the poems in this book come from my experiences, the stories I grew up hearing, and the future I hope to see for the generation of women coming up behind me. They also come from the many conversations I've had with women over the years and their stories of how shame impacts their lives.
What genre does your book fall under? Poetic memoir
What songs would be in the soundtrack for your book?
“Closer to My Dreams” by Goapele
"Talk to Her" by India Aire
"Crazy" by Gnarls Barkley
"I Gotta Find Peace of Mind" by Lauryn Hill
"I'll be There For You" by Mary J. and Method Man
"Dead N* Blvd. Pt. 1" by Me'Shell Ndegeocello
"Hypnotic Love" by Maysa
"Southernplayalisticadilacmuzik" by Outkast
"Scandalous" and "Insatiable" and "I Wanna Be Your Lover" and "The Beautiful Ones" by Prince
"Pavane Pour Une Infante Defunte" by Regina Carter
"Angels" by Richard Smallwood
"Mary Jane" by Rick James
"Maybe Angels" and "If It Makes You Happy" by Sheryl Crow
"Functional" by Thelonious Monk
"I'll Take You There" by The Staples
Anything by Marvin Gaye, Al Green, The Commodores
And too many others to list...
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Six generations of women, with Shame" as their general, attempt to navigate life, love, and family politics as if it were a war and their lives depended on it.
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
I plan to submit the manuscript to contests, open readings, and prizes.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
It took about a year for the first draft. Now the revisions and such? That's another story.
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
Mostly, I was inspired by my niece, Khalia, and all the women in the generation behind me. I also took a lot of inspiration from my nephews, Treavor, Telvin, Cameron, and Connor. Watching them break, bend, and believe some of the cycles they men have been in, both breaks my heart and gives me hope. I write for them, their wives, and their daughters. Basically, many of the poems were inspired by my desire to break the cycles of shame and silence in my family and to give voice to other women who have experienced similar histories.
The poems are also informed a great deal by Sun Tzu's, The Art of War, Robert Greene's, The 48 Laws of Power, the Farmer's Almanac, and a ton of old wives' tales.
What else about your book might pique a reader’s interest?
Shame is an actual character in the narrative thread. She speaks, threatens, teaches, manipulates, and encourages.
My tagged writers are:
Cynthia Dewi Oka
Ebony Noelle Golden
Remica L. Bingham