Argante Literary Services


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Blog Hop May 1st 2013

Posted by arganteliteraryservices on April 30, 2013 at 7:25 AM Comments comments ()


What is a blog hop? Basically, it’s a way for readers to discover authors new to them. I hope you'll find new-to-you authors whose works you enjoy. On this stop on the blog hop, you'll find a bit of information on me and one of my books and links to three other authors you can explore!

My gratitude to fellow author Bronwyn Elsmore for inviting me to participate in this event. You can click the following link to learn more about her work. Website:

In this blog hop, I and my fellow authors, in their respective blogs, have answered ten questions about our book or work-in-progress (giving you a sneak peek). We've also included some behind-the-scenes information about how and why we write what we write – the characters, inspirations, plotting and other choices we make. I hope you enjoy it!

Please feel free to comment and share your thoughts and questions. Here is my Next Big Thing, answers in response to the questions asked.

1: What is the working title of your book? Planned for launch on New Zealand’s National Poetry Day, Friday 16th August 2013, Poetivity: How to Read and Write Poetry is the work in progress. I am terrified that I will not find the time to get it down, although it is all drafted out, chapter by chapter, and has already occupied too many years of my life.

2: Where did the idea come from for the book? I have been teaching English literature and creative writing for many long years. I have a mass of information, handouts, workshops, etc., etc. I felt I wanted to put them together to make a coherent whole and to make it a book that could be used in teaching, but was not a textbook. I had some encouraging noises from publishers, but no follow-up so will publish it independently through Oceanbooks.

3. What genre does your book come under? I hope it is creative nonfiction. Obviously, there is instruction in there, because it is a ‘how to’ book. (‘How to’ in the title apparently sells books quicker than anything else except sex. Maybe I should change the sub-title to read ‘How to read and write poetry in between engaging in deeply satisfying sex...’ I think not. I do want it to be easy to read, to be soundly based on what poetry is and what poems need to be, and to include as many examples of good poems as I can manage. New Zealand is a nation rich in poets, past and present. I believe poetry is a good jumping point from which to engage in philosophy and psychology - it is where our mind grants equal rights to heart and soul. And I believe in reading poems aloud to maximise understanding and pleasure - the latter is not necessarily dependent on the former. Consider 'Warning to Children' by Robert Graves or 'Brahma' by Ralph Waldo Emerson. All writing forces honesty on us, and, in my opinion, poetry requires that stern honesty more than any other form of writing.

4: Which actor would you choose to play your favourite character in a movie rendition? Though I do write narrative poems, I don’t know that any of them could sustain transfer to the screen. ('Day's End'? 'Snake Woman'? 'Recluse'?) I’d love to have one of my poem’s quoted in a film as Auden’s 'Funeral Blues' was quoted - in full - in Four Weddings and a Funeral. Preferably by JohnnyDepp.

5: What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book? Poetivity is a guide for intending poets whose ambition is to write ‘best words in best order.’

6: Is your book self-published, published by an independent publisher, or represented byan agency? Poetivity will be published through Oceanbooks, an independent publishing co-operative run by writers for writers. Go to I am proud and grateful that Creative Tauranga has offered to organise the launch at their Community Gallery in Willow Street. Please, O Life, slow down for me, and all you little ducks nibbling me to death, go feed elsewhere, and let me be.

7: How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript? Poetivity has been morphing throughout long years of experience in reading poetry, writing poetry and teaching poetry. I will have put seven years into it before it is done.

8: What other books would you compare your book to? I do not want to compare it to any other book; the mainstream publisher who rejected it did so because they were publishing ‘a similar book’, 99 Ways Into New Zealand Poetry. A wonderful book, indeed; but more intense and academic than I could ever be. I hope they will cuddle up amicably on every poet’s bookshelf. I do not expect this to be a bestseller; I hope it will become the sort of book that sells steadily as it is recommended by word of mouth.

9: Who or what inspired you to write this book? I have been a lifelong insomniac and my father, Eric Gordon Brice - a gentle man in every sense of the word - would sit on the end of my bed and recite poetry to me to send me to sleep. Often it had the opposite effect. Ultimately, it was he who triggered my lifelong love affair with words, and I am deeply grateful that he introduced me to poetry in such a pleasant and loving fashion. When I read or hear a perfect poem - and my tastes are eclectic - I still get that genuine shiver of pleasure I first got from Dad reciting Tennyson’s 'The Charge of the Light Brigade' or the 'Rubaiyat of Omar Khayam' or 'Cargoes' by John Masefield. I went on to embrace modern and post-modern poetry, and though now I write mainly in free verse, it was these founding classics that first seduced me. .

10: What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest? The challenges they’re presented with and the poems that are meant to inspire them to write their own.

Who’s next on the NEXT BIG THING BLOG HOP?

So glad you asked!

Below you will find authors who - hopefully -will be joining me by blog, next Wednesday. Do be sure to bookmark and add them to your calendars for updates on Works in Progress and New Releases! Happy writing and reading!

NB I say ‘hopefully’ because I have been such a slack blogger that I have lost access to two of my blogs and I had only an hour and a half before midnight to discover how to load this. So much time went into this process that I have left it late to secure my authors. The three I have asked are all bold adventurers and, toes and fingers crossed, they will be joining us.

And I am a reformed character. Now I know how to get into my blog and add things, I will do so weekly. I promise.

Susan Tarr

Raewyn Alexander

Vaughan Rapatahana