My friend, Rose Auslander tagged me to take part in this heady exercise begun by the poet Elizabeth Scanlon. It’s an ongoing network of self-interviews (see the Mother Ship [The Next Big Thing Blog Hop] here: Nate Tower) in which each writer with a book coming out tags another set of writers, so that we might all know what everyone’s up to lately. This is mine . . .
What is the working title of the book?
Diddy-Wah-Diddy: A Beale Street Suite.
Where did the idea come from for the book?
From a numinous dustbin full of knickknacks, gewgaws, stivers, lodestones, bones and hair, and ephemera at Schwab’s Dry Good’s Store.
Seriously, the whole book came alive to me after I typed the first line of what I thought was a short story, which, instead, turned into a cataract of parable and storytelling.
What genre does your book fall under?
What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
Samuel Jackson, Hope Davis, Jennifer Connelly, Jessica Chastain, Elizabeth Olsen, John Hawkes, Ashley Judd, Don Cheadle, Emily Mortimer, Halle Berry, Rebecca Hall, Molly Parker, Denzel Washington, Amy Lavere, Chris Ellis, and, as me, Montgomery Clift.
What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?
Diddy-Wah-Diddy: A Beale Street Suite is an a-historic, crazy-quilt mosaic about a near mythical place located, concretely, in Memphis, Tennessee, and abstractly somewhere on the road between Rapture and Perdition.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
About four years.
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
My friend and mentor Steve Stern, who used the simple stuff of our hometown, Memphis, Tennessee, to conjure apologues and legends, breathing life into the Mississippi mud as if he were making a golem. And he was.
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
It has equal amounts music and sex.
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
It will be published by Ampersand Books.