Alice headshotIf you’re an author, it’s quite common to be asked about your next project. And if you’re an author, you’ve always have homework to do! This is the reasoning behind this spring mini blog tour where authors answer four questions about their upcoming work. I’m honored to be tagged by Megan Cutter, co-author with her husband Barton Cutter, on Ink in the Wheels: Stories to Make Love Roll. Megan and I go way back to seven years ago when we got to know each other through poetry, memoir, writing/community events and many, many shared interests. She’s unbelievably awesome!

Here I go:

What am I working on? 

I’m currently writing poems for my first full-length poetry collection, Heroes Without Capes. Featuring dramatic monologues, I spotlight flawed heroes, villains and outsiders. Boba Fett, Benedict Arnold, Ser Jorah (from Game of Thrones), Predator, Darth Vader, Bruce the Shark (from Finding Nemo), the Devil, Hamburger Helper, Captain Bligh, LBJ, Dick Cheney, Ellen Ripley, the Virgin Mary and several others. My characters reflect on their issues in these poems usually after a stressful episode in their lives. We’ll also meet Nolan, the Split Foyer house who has insecurity issues and Dina the Jet who is a snarky fashionista.

How does my work differ from others of its genre? 

I love dissecting ironies and exploring socio-economic class issues through my poems and I’ve been told my poetry is for folks who normally don’t like poetry. At first glance my poetry may not look that serious in subject matter, but believe me, it is once you peel back the layers. Yes, I’m proud of anthropomorphizing my subjects. Plus, how many poets do you know who write about Predator shopping at the Super Walmart or Boba Fett experiencing a spiritual moment at the Chick-fil-A in Hickory, NC?

Why do I write what I do

Much of my poetry derives from my fascination with death. And I’m not talking physical death all of the time. There’s death of a relationship, a career or of an idea. Take my death fascination and pair it up with my love of the characters of pop culture. What are they thinking about when they are facing a deep moment of personal crisis? When they are facing a death? Remember, death is life’s change agent and an important part of an author’s tool kit. Death makes the plot much more exciting!

(and finally) How does my writing process work? 

It’s all about making an appointment with yourself on the calendar and giving your own work top priority. I choose Mondays and Fridays to get my own work done and this further trains my brain to get into the creative spirit. I’ve also found that contests and open mics help me get motivated to produce new work. You may make the mistake of sharing work that’s not yet ready, but I see contests/open mics as low pressure avenues to get you to fail faster so you can write better stuff. I also recommend writing down your deadlines in your daily planner or on your smart phone. Be specific. How many markets do you want to submit to in a month? When you do you want your first draft of your book ready? Writing your goals down will make them real and measurable and will fuel your desire.

There you go! I want to keep this blog tour going, so please either connect with me in the comments below or on Facebook.