What is the working title of your book?
The original working title is a line from a poem: if you want to hear music en route, you have to sing. Feedback deemed this title to be too long and too cliche, bringing me back to reality. Briefly I had a Letters to the Sky phase. I’ve not completely rejected that but currently The Butterfly Stroke is my favourite. The ridiculous and partly to be blamed on tipsy conversation with Roddy Lumsden and Amy Key range from And Your Hair Is Devastating to Kitten Lover, Kitten Killer.
Where did the idea for the book come from?
I’ve been writing poems since I was a kid and once embarrassingly ran out of my GCSE art exam to rescue my poems, having remembered suddenly that I had left them on top of the lockers rather than securely in my locker. I wasn’t thinking ‘book’ back then nor for many years afterwards but I knew poetry was at the heart of things for me.
What genre does your book fall under?
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
The entire cast of My So-Called Life should appear in a range of cameos especially Brian Krakow. Gwyneth Paltrow, strictly in the style of her Margot Tenenbaum portrayal from The Royal Tenenbaums and Kate Hudson strictly reprising her Almost Famous character, Penny Lane, will take centre stage. Beatrice Dalle as Betty Blue would fulfil elements of my darker moments. A young David Bowie could play the antique porcelain figurine in my poem Figure with Bindle beautifully.
What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?
A sentient tale accented with fashion, make up, skating, dancing, night-owling and bathing.
Tim Wells recently described my work to me as “all fairies and pretty, pretty but with a lot more to it than that.”
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
Salt Publishing is publishing it.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
Poems included in the manuscript stretch as far back as the late 1990s but the majority of the work is from the last five years.
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
I’d like to compare it to Emily Jane Brontë’s Collected Poems, a Penguin book I’ve had for many years, loved and love.
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
I’m inspired by art, friendship, London town, film, love and family. I have various muses, all close friends, who play an integral role in many poems. Through poetry, I’ve become friends with and been guided by wonderful people, Roddy Lumsden, Michael Donaghy, Annie Freud, Patrick Brandon, all of whom have inspired me to write more and to try to get better at it.
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
The book is an invitation into my private world.