A Conversation With My Lonesome
“The Next Best Thing” project is a series of self-interviews based on a shared list of questions, propagated through links and tags from writer to writer. It manifests as a virtual ephemera: a web tossed from one writer to another. Previously, Ms. Fox Henry Frazier (aka Vodou Fox) answered questions about her poetry collection in-progress, The Hydromantic Histories. She was so kind as to tag me in the project—and thus my self-interview follows below.
1. What is the working title of the book?
Swarm Queen’s Crown
2. Where did the idea come from for the book?
This, from the Dungeons and Dragons “Complete Druid Handbook”:
Swarm Queen’s Crown: This dread item resembles a gold tiara set with a piece of amber encasing an insect—usually a queen bee . . . [Under spell of the crown] a user’s body mutates into a human-shaped mass of stinging, venomous wasps, bees, and spiders: a miniature, living, creeping doom.
3. What genre does your book fall under?
“Corpus Numina” or “Numinism” or “Earth Magic” or “Eco-Romantic” or “Gnostic”
4. What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
Those with fey voices. The voices would roll against a hand-animated opera under the direction of Hayao Miyazaki.
5. What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?
Now the leaves themselves
open all these casings as I look up
and wager for that shook magnet.
6. How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
Years. . . Perhaps three. These things come down from split skies slowly over the seasons and fill our little coffers. It takes anywhere from a day to several years to craft a poem, depending on the editing process. Weaving multiple poems together is an arduous task in itself.
7. Who or what inspired you to write this book?
Who or what indeed. The vaster spirit that inhabits me, you, the infinite physical plane—The mysterious force which inhabits Being and non-being alike.
8. What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
At the nexus of my work is a deep reverence to the continuities within the vast organic kingdom known as Nature—all my questions and devotions stem from this stance of recognition. We are human, but we are also carbon and oxygen and nitrogen and calcium. We are the flora, fauna, stone, sand, and the sea. We are the elements we borrow and return to the fold of other ontologies. Swarm Queen’s Crown deals largely with the idea that sentience is multiply inhabited: the human body as it remembers being more-than-human.