The Next Big Thing
Shannon Ward invited me to participate in The Next Big Thing–an interview with a set of questions that goes around from writer to writer. You can find more info on Shannon’s award-winning poetry at her website: www.shannoncamlinward.com
Where did the idea come from for the book?
I had been writing poems about Latinas and also about Cubans and Cuban Americans so I thought I’d put a few of them together and send out as a chapbook and wouldn’t you know, it won the 2010 Longleaf Chapbook Award.
What genre does your book fall under?
What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
For sure, Michelle Rodriguez would have to be in it because she is so great; Jersey girl tough and just beautiful and talented. Would love to see more talented latina actors get a shot at films–undiscovered young women.
What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?
A collection of free verse poems about the lives of latinas.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
Hard to say because some poems were written many years ago. But to put them all together in this order, a week.
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
I said recently that when I get mad, I often write a poem and that injustice was one of the things that made me mad. There are poems in the collection that was motivated by ignorant people. I’m also inspired by reading the work of other poets such as Judith Ortiz Cofer, Ana Castillo and also music motivates me.
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
It led to the release of a spoken word CD with all the poems from the collection, a short story, and other selected poems–all set to music, mostly Cuban folk and Puerto Rican music. It includes two original songs by Kevin Meehan and Jorge Milanés (yup, my husband); the musicians who accompanied me on this project.