What is the title of the book?
A Neon Tryst
Where did the idea come from for the book?
It’s a collection of ekphrastic poems featuring the films L’Eclisse (director Michelangelo Antonioni); Seconds (director John Frankenheimer); and Wild Strawberries (director Ingmar Bergman). Though divided in three separate sections by film, the collection stands as one, cohesive piece, as all main characters share an internal conflict—losing identity with the passage of time. One flees an unhappy marriage and throws herself into fleeting, cold relationships against a rigid and futuristic atomic backdrop—all of her apocalyptic decisions revealing the “time bomb” within. One alters his identity completely by committing pseudocide, then undergoing an intense surgical transformation, only to return to his “old” life. The last, a retired professor in his golden years, takes a journey to his alma mater to be honored for lifetime achievement, only to discover along the way that his life has been anti-climactic at best. The three pieces as a whole illustrate that human tendency is to erase before evolving—as Daumal said, “I become conscious of myself by denying my existence”—and that this is dangerous, liberating, and necessary.
What genre does your book fall under?
What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
These films already feature extraordinary actors—Monica Vitti, Rock Hudson, & Victor Sjöström.
What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?
You are not who you think you are.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
This took 4 years to take shape. Each section was written separately at different times (from 2008—2012). And thankfully, Tony Frazer from Shearsman saw something in them as a collection.
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
Film has always been a great inspiration to me/my writing—I began watching all of Antonioni’s films again and Scorsese’s thoughts about his work reinforced my judgement about how they were truly image-driven poems.
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
At the time this was written, I was going through a painful/confusing time (divorce) and drinking heavily. These poems organically came out as a “score” to my experience.
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?