Another Lost Shark Publications has a big schedule planned for 2013, including the second release in the First Words series, Cindy Keong’s, Same Sky. The plan is to have the book ready to launch mid-year, so for now, here’s Cindy’s responses to The Next Big Thing interview to give you a taste of what’s to come.
What is the title of your book?
What genre does your book fall under?
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
A series of poems spanning the breadth of physical, cultural, emotional and familial landscapes linked by universal experiences that connect us all under the the ‘Same Sky’.
Where did the idea come from for the book?
The compilation of this series originated out of a small body of work written whilst working in Tanzania. My work there was largely of a practical nature, the giving of my time and skill rather than any search for enlightenment. Working in the third world often impacts westerners in the sense they have some epiphany about gratitude, waste, wealth or freedom. There is no denying you would be an emotional mutant not to be impacted by the profound differences, but what struck a cord with me more was something fairly unsophisticated; that human experience is indeed universal, regardless of personal circumstance or geographics. Put simply, it is all the same, life is what it is.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
The poems to be included in this collection have been written between 2009 to 2012.
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
This notion of ‘same, same but different’ spurred me on to develop a broader body of work that linked my experiences across three distinct landscapes, that loosely track my lifespan and hopefully ones that spark a connection to the human experiences of the reader.
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
I am very excited and privileged to have this body of work supported by Graham Nunn aka Another Lost Shark who will publish Same Sky as part of his First Words series in 2013.
What other works would you compare this book to within your genre?
As an emerging poet I am reluctant to compare my work but would rather comment on work that has had influence and impact on my writing. I am fascinated with work that encapsulates the everyday experience; poets who’s sparse language choices resonate and reveal a continuum of meaning ranging from the literal to the complex. Poems that when re-read, continue to offer another layer of meaning or provocation for thought. Poets that have taken up residency in my thoughts lately include Max Ryan, Robert Adamson, Nathan Curnow, Paul Summers, Aidan Coleman, Michelle Dicinoski, Janice Bostock…
What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
That is not easy, however, Tina Fey’s character of Liz Lemon parallels nicely if cast in poems that reveal insights into familial and relational dysfunction.
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
I look forward to launching these poems out into the world this year… here’s a poem from the book:
Some Things You Should Know
You’ll notice Dad hasn’t parted with the old
washing machine. He proudly claims it’s the first
automatic. There’s nothing automatic about it now.
So unless you’re packing enough clothes for the entire trip;
the gumboots and broom handle beside the tub must be used
to avoid electrocution. Make sure you visit the Bobby Dazzler,
there’s a 20ft statue of a fossicker crouching out front.
It’s worth the five dollars, just to wander the underground tunnels
and escape the blistering heat. I hope you like early mornings;
the bottlebrush is in bloom and the lorikeets flock in around 5 am,
for their all day bender. If this doesn’t wake you, Dad will.
Do you remember when were kids?
From our beds we would listen
to the blueprint of morning;
heavy footsteps making
a cup of tea; the scuff of brush
and polish on boot leather, followed
by the heady waft of his first cigarette.
It’s still the same, still in order.