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Thursday, 7 February 2013

The Next Big Thing

1)What is the working title of your next book?  
The Ghost In The Lobby

2) Where did the idea come from for the book? 
It’s a line from one of the poems in the book, which seemed to in a sense fit some of the themes in the collection. I used to think that L.P. Hartley had it right when he wrote: “The past is foreign country: they do things differently there.” These days I tend to think William Faulkner was closer to the mark when he wrote: “The past isn’t dead. It isn’t even the past.” The world we live in is in so many ways defined by the ghosts that define us. We all have them.

3) What genre does your book fall under?  

4) What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition? 
It’s unlikely to happen, as it’s a poetry collection, but if I was pushed I’d have to say Richard Burton, even though he’s been dead for 29 years, which makes it all the more unlikely. Billie Whitelaw should have a part also and, finally, Roger the alien from American Dad. I know he’s not a real person. But I don’t like to be restricted by such realities. I think Richard and Billie and Roger could really do justice to these poems.  

5) What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
I don’t have one yet. But something like ‘Lung cancer, economic meltdown & socialist revolution: the funny side’

6) Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency? 
It is published by Salmon Poetry

7) How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript? 
About two years
8) What other books would you compare this story to within your genre? 
It’s the place 1984 meets Journey To The End of The Night

9) Who or what inspired you to write this book?
As one time British Prime Minister, Harold McMillan, once said: “Events, dear boy, events.”

10) What else about the book might pique the reader's interest?
One of the poems in it, Austerity Mantra, has already been criticised by a member of the European Parliament after it was translated into Greek and published in an online journal there. Paul Murphy Socialist Party MEP for Dublin, in a particularly devastating flash of Marxist literary criticism, had the following to say about the poem: “Haven’t the Greeks suffered enough without having this inflicted upon them.” I particularly like his rather nifty use of the word: ‘upon’. I consider it a great compliment and am thinking of asking him to launch the book when the time comes. 

Deirdre Cartmill has asked me to take part in this blog hop project, so any one offended by anything I say here, or who wishes to take legal proceedings should contact her.

Deirdre’s bio is below.

Below that I answer some questions about my next book. Later today I will be posting the names and details of some other writers who I’ll be asking to take part in the next stage of this project.

Deirdre Cartmill is a poet, writer and creative writing tutor ( Her debut poetry collection Midnight Solo ( is published by Lagan Press and her second collection The Return of the Buffalo will be published in 2013. She has written for film, television and radio as Deirdre Alexander and her short film Two Little Boys ( was produced in 2012. She won the Claddagh Films Script Award and the BBC Writersroom Undercover competition and has been shortlisted for several awards including the Hennessy Literary Award, the Scottish International Poetry Competition and the Red Planet Prize.