The Next Big Thing

Sunday, 10th March, 2013

Orchid Tierney tagged me for this fun blog meme in which the blogger conducts a self-interview about their latest book project and then tags 5 more writers to continue the meme. You can read Orchid’s responses here. She was tagged by Emma Neale, whose responses you can read here and Emma in turn was tagged by Lesley Wheeler, whose post you can read here. I think I’ll stop there or we’ll end up in Borges’ labyrinth.

What is your working title of your book (or story, or project)?
It has a working title of: ‘Are Friends Electric’.

Where did the idea come from for the book?
The ideas are ones I’ve been tossing around for many years about how science and technology affects us physically and mentally. Maybe I’ve watched too many sci-fi movies and read too many cyber-punk novels? I also read lots of popular science writing.

What genre does your book fall under?
Poetry and essays

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
I’m aiming for a documentary-like quality so I guess the characters would play themselves but perhaps we could squeeze in 1982 versions of Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Daryl Hannah and Sean Young?

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
It’s more a series of questions: How are we changing with technology? Can we fall in love with robots? If we could download our brains into cyberspace should we? What is it to be in our bodies? I am also interested in thought experiments, how the Internet has compressed space and time and the interplay between intertexuality and hypertext.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
I’ll be showing the MS to the publisher of my first book – VUP.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
It will probably take about a year or so. I’ve only just begun but I hope to have a first draft this time next year.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
If anyone has heard of other poets writing lyric poems on this subject I would love to hear! Christian Bok is doing interesting things but I don't think I can compare this to his work.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?
Scientists have decoded the Genome, we can artificially inseminate, genetically and surgically alter our bodies and much more. All these aspects have reached critical mass, we can change and enhance the human body at all levels now. The human – electronic interface is where these things culminate and the big issue of our time. Digital culture was once apart from us and now we can see how it is becoming integrated with our lives and the boundaries are becoming blurred. Body/mind/technology is becoming a continuum.
Today we are converging with technology like no other time in history, at an incredibly fast rate. I find this a thrilling and fascinating time to be writing, a time that requires us to think carefully about what direction we want to head in, a time that requires us to filter increasingly larger amounts of information, a time when hyperlinks and 'cut and paste' alter our ways of reading and re-working language. Increasingly we expect impermanence and real-time interaction with electronic texts. These are all vital considerations, which poets can't afford to ignore.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
Although most of the poems will be lyric based I’m starting to conceive of a digital project that will sit alongside the traditional ‘book’ project.

I tag:

Helen Lehndorf

Helen Rickerby

Maria McMillan

Emma Barnes

And

Ashleigh Young

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