RSS

The Next Big Thing

31 Oct

Last week Roy Gill asked me if I would like to be tagged in his blog as part of ‘The Next Big Thing’. I said yes. It works like this:

A writer answers ten questions about an upcoming publication and they tag five more writers. Each of these writers answers the ten questions by the following week and they recommend five more writers. It grows, week by week.

Before I get to my post I’d like to point out that Roy Gill is ace. He’s an inspiring and talented writer and the best person I’ve found at any literary event to talk to about Doctor Who. I recommend his new young adult book The Deamon Parallel. You can read all about it on his post here.

Now, onward. I’ll answer ten questions about Banana Me Beautiful. The e-book came out last year through Chipmunka Press but the paperback is due out for Christmas so it still counts as new.

What is the title of your new book?

Banana Me Beautiful

Where did the idea come from for the book?

I sent three children’s stories to mental health publisher, Chipmunka. The stories were going down well in schools and I wanted to get them published to help children and teachers to promote dialogue around positive mental health through story.

Chipmunka asked me about my experience with mental health and I explained a bit about my past and sent them a few poems as part of that explanation. They liked them and asked for 50. I said I didn’t have 50 good ones and so they asked for 30. I hadn’t really planned to write a poetry book so I was a bit taken aback!

Then I remembered a conversation I’d had with a close friend a year or so before where I told her I wanted to put together a collection of poetry I’d written as a child, teenager and adult. I realised this was my chance.

I was first published when I was 10 so I’d kept all the poems I wrote back then. I was so bad at spelling though – I’d given up the dream of being a writer by the time I’d got to secondary school. I ended up focusing on art and science instead. I still wrote but in secret. I wrote lots. I also painted depressed bananas – they’re in the book too. The one above is Van Gogh’s Bedroom at Arles with a depressed banana on the chair. The one below is a depressed banana in prison (imagine a person sat on the floor, sideways on and with their knees bent).

Banana me beautiful

What genre does your book fall under?

It’s poetry with added stories, songs, artwork and photographs.

What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?

Hmm. I’m not sure anyone would want to make ‘My Life In Poetry’ the movie.

But if they did… me as a child would be Lucy from the Narnia films (Georgie Henley).

Me as a teenager, Aimee Pond from Doctor Who (Karen Gillan).

*I might just be choosing people I like rather than people who would be like me*

Feeling a bit embarrassed about this question, was just getting carried away and wondering if Maggie Smith could play me as a Granny!

What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?

A journey of poetry, art and photography.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

It’s published by Chipmunka Press, the world’s leading mental health publisher. I’ve been working with a couple of agents but not on this.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

I started when I was 10, I finished at 28 so that’s 18 years.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

I don’t know of any other poetry collection that contains work from the same author as a child, teenager and adult but Peggy Hughes compared me to Edward Lear, Dr Seuss and A. A. Milne when I appeared at the West Port Book Festival.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

I think it was always in me. But more recently I wanted to share something of my struggles as a teenager to help others not to feel alone and to talk about difficult things. The things I’ve written as an adult are a celebration. They’re about self acceptance and they highlight the wonder I see in the world around me.

People who’ve seen me perform have said some lovely things – that my work is life-affirming and an expression of joy. It makes them feel good about themselves. If I can do that even a tiny bit then I’m happy.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

The book tells a story of so many journeys; progression of themes in writing, growing up, insecurity, self acceptance and much more. The book forward describes it as this:

It’s a journey by poetry, art and photography.
It’s a journey of ages and stages.
Of fascination and fun,
Of hope and despair,
Death and life.

It’s a journey from Banana Slug to Beautiful Bug.

So the combination of media. Also the art science cross over. There are poems about puffins and the physics behind starlings. There are energy saving lightbulbs, a comedy horse songs and a story of a little oak becoming a mighty tree.

Hopefully there’s something for everyone. Find out more on the Banana Me Beautiful facebook page here.

The Writers I’m Tagging

I’m super excited to introduce you to these writers. They will tell you about their new projects on their blogs next week (drum roll please)….

David Bishop is writing a Swedish comic (super-exciting!). I know him as a fellow CBeebies screenwriter, and he’s also a screenwriter for Doctors and a lecturer and many other things.

Marianne Paget keeps winning competitions and her latest triumph was being selected for the Scottish Book Trust and BBC My Favourite Place anthology. Marianne and I have been in a writers group together for over a year now and we first met through CBeebies.

Max Scratchmann is about to launch his autobiographical book The Last Burrah Sahibs. I just met Max last month at Portobello Book Festival but I thought his book sounded really interesting and I’d like to know more.

Marianne Wheelaghan has just launched a new crime thriller Food of Ghosts. I’ve known Marianne as a fellow Leither on twitter for a long time but recently got to know her better at a social media training session I was running at Stockbridge Library.

Sharon Meiring-Jones is a brilliant writer, currently working on her second book. She used to live in Edinburgh and we were in a writers group together for a couple of years. Sharon was published through Chipmunka and that’s how I heard about them. So if it wasn’t for Sharon I’d not be writing this post!

Click everyone’s name to be taken to their blog.

 
7 Comments

Posted by on October 31, 2012 in Banana me beautiful, poetry, Writing

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

7 responses to “The Next Big Thing

  1. Roy

    November 1, 2012 at 1:09 pm

    Great blog, Emily! I think transiting between Amy Pond and Maggie Smith seems a very graceful and noble goal in life :-)
    Let me know when the paperback is available – I’d love to buy a copy.

     
    • auntyemily

      November 1, 2012 at 1:28 pm

      Thanks loads Roy. Really great of you to tag me in the first place (:

       
  2. Marianne Wheelaghan (@MWheelaghan)

    November 1, 2012 at 1:16 pm

    A big thanks for tagging me, Emily. I’m proud to be in such good company and what a refreshingly honest post! I loved reading how Banana me Beautiful came about and I LOVE your paintings – they are funny and yet very serious (and sad) at the same time. I imagine the book is similar. I can’t wait to read it.
    ps: I had such a chuckle at Maggie Smith playing you as a granny – but why shouldn’t she? ;o)

     
    • auntyemily

      November 1, 2012 at 1:29 pm

      Thanks loads Marianne, looking forward to reading your blog! I think it was just funny to think there was a film about my life at all and also the book finishes before I become a granny so I’d clearly got carried away! x

       
  3. Lari Don

    November 1, 2012 at 1:20 pm

    I love this post. I think the journey you describe from the first discussion with the publishers, to returning to poems you wrote years ago, to pulling it all together into one coherent whole is wonderful. And the book looks uplifting and gorgeous. I can’t wait to see it. Well done fellow Next Big Thingy!

     
    • auntyemily

      November 1, 2012 at 1:30 pm

      Thanks loads Lari! Looking forward to catching up at Leith Library sometime soon x

       

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
Scran Salon

Edinburgh's monthly food shindig

The Grove Community Garden

Fountainbridge Comes Alive Through Community

Forest Families

Promoting play in nature

Home Is Where The Cake Is

Creating real food recipes and cakes and baking delectable vintage afternoon teas

broadway, brothels & true love

A JOURNEY INTO MARRIAGE

Engaging Communities in Scotland

thinking differently about engagement

walkingwithpoets

'by leaves we live'

Leither Lass

A Leither girl's guide to Edinburgh...

fireflymagazineblog

The blog of Firefly magazine. The seasonal magazine for families who are wild at heart.

The Found Explorer

creative reuse and regenerated arts education

Edinburgh Museums & Galleries Outreach

Taking Edinburgh Museums & Galleries out to you!

ronanandfriends

This is a bit about me and my friends.

Lynsey May writes down the night

Writing down the night in the long, long nights of Scotland.

Edinburgh Cycle Chic

Because you don't have to wear Lycra

maggigibson

Just another WordPress.com site

Leith Library

A blog from the Scottish Book Trust Reader in Residence at Leith Library

thisislittleforks

text + performance

SpeyGrian

Outdoor learning for writers, artists, scientists and educators

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 188 other followers

%d bloggers like this: