It’s October! This means many things. It means Tumblr’s baffling obsession with Hallowe’en will intensify (as someone who never celebrated it as a kid, the appearance of pumpkins ALL OVER my dash is confusing every year). It means that it’s time to start preparing for NaNoWriMo, if you’re participating. It means I go to uni in four days, and isn’t that a terrifying thought?
And it means that it’s release day for Broken Body Fragile Heart, so that’s what I’m talking about.
What is this thing?
It’s a poetry collection. I wrote it. It’s my third one, actually.
What’s this one about?
This one’s largely autobiographical, although the term ‘poetic license’ is probably a good one to keep in mind. It’s about fragility (emotional and physical), disability, illness, faith… all the things that have affected me over the past year.
What’s your poetry cred? Got any awards to your name?
Well, no, actually. Sorry. I mean, there was that one competition I entered where they wanted to publish my poem, but I’m not sure that really counts as poetry cred, because I didn’t win anything. Still waiting for news on the other competition. However, I had some nice reviews on Amazon for Crossroads Poetry, which seems to have been my more popular collection. There are some quotes from those on this page.
I liked Crossroads Poetry but not Fleeting Ink. Will I like this one?
Probably! In style and content, it’s much more similar to Crossroads Poetry. The difference is that there’s less about mythology and more about religion: struggles with God rather than dances with fairies. But the imagery used is much more like Crossroads. Actually, there are a couple of poems in there that were written in about February, and at the time I thought, “Oh, it’s a shame I’ve already published Crossroads Poetry and can’t include these, because they fit.”
I liked Fleeting Ink but not Crossroads Poetry. Will I like this one?
Maybe. Although there are similarities between this and Crossroads Poetry, it kind of depends why you didn’t like it. If it’s because you’re not comfortable with all the myth stuff (for faith reasons or whatever), then you may well like it, because it doesn’t have all of that and it has quite a lot of stuff about faith and religion. However, if you didn’t like the dark imagery and the creep-factor, you may not enjoy this quite so much. A lot of these poems were written from a dark place, and as a result they’re not exactly happy-clappy.
That said, there are some poems about writing, a la Fleeting Ink, because one of the things that was hardest about my wrist injuries was the fact I couldn’t write. So have a think, and maybe check out the sample poems.
I liked both of your previous collections.
I’m delighted to hear that.
I didn’t like either of your previous collections.
Ah, come on mate, you didn’t have to tell me that. Now I’m sad. But that’s okay. I get that not everyone likes poetry, and even those who do may not like my particular style (although I think I’m improving as time goes on?), or you might just not like me. That’s okay. If you want to give me another chance, I’m really proud of this collection and there are some poems in there that I think are better than anything the other collections had to offer. But if not, cool. I wish you well.
What’s the point in buying it?
The point? Um, I don’t know. What’s the point in anything? There are some good reasons to buy it, I think:
- You like me.
- You like my poems.
- You’re aware that I’m going to university in four days and you know that the life of a student is a poor one, so you want to support me financially and you know that the meagre royalties I get from this poetry collection are greatly augmented by each individual sale, because they’re so small in the first place.
- You’re bored, but you don’t have time to read an entire novel, so you’re looking for something quicker.
- You’ve just met me, and you want to know me better. (I’m pretty sure by the time you finish this, you’ll know more about than me than I possibly intended to tell you.)
- You heard that there were some poems about specific people in there, and you’re afraid that you’re one of them, so you’re reading it to find out.
- You have a friend struggling with injury / anxiety / other health conditions, and you think reading these poems might help you understand them better and therefore support them better.
- You’re struggling with injury or anxiety or other health conditions, and want to feel like somebody else understands.
- You feel sorry for me because I sell so few books and you want to make me happy.
- You’re nice like that.
- It’s pretty.
Okay, fine. Where can I buy it?
All the links are on this page, but to summarise: it’s out on Kindle right now. It’ll be on Nook and Kobo within the next couple of days; there were just some technical hitches in the upload process. The paperback will be coming out in the next few weeks and you’ll be able to get that from places like Amazon.
I just looked and the Kindle edition is £2.99! That’s a bit steep, isn’t it?
Well, I know it’s slightly more than the first two collections (which were two quid each), but I had good reason for that. First off, it’s longer, so you’re getting more for your money. Secondly, it took me a really long time to write. I would have to sell literally hundreds of copies to even earn minimum wage for the hours I put into this, first in the writing and redrafting process, then the formatting and design. The finale poem that forms the entirety of part two is about five thousand words long, and took me days and days to write. Even when I got to the end I then printed the whole lot out and spent ages crossing words out, rewriting lines, cutting entire sections…
I’m charging more because in my heart, I believe that this one is worth more. I believe that all the time and tears and fear (seriously, publishing this stuff is terrifying) deserves more than two quid. Also, I figured, hardly anyone buys poetry so I doubt the extra cost is going to encourage or deter anyone particularly, and it might increase my royalties an infinitesimal amount. Worth a try.
Do I have to buy it now?
Well, no, you don’t have to. It would be nice if you did, for a couple of reasons: it would boost it up the charts on Amazon, which will do absolutely nothing except make me happy. It would mean that your contribution came in with the rest of the October royalties, so I’d get a small lump sum rather than a series of £2 payments over the course of a few months. And also because if you’re anything like me, if you don’t do it now, it’s unlikely that you’ll do it at all.
I’m going to hold out for the paperback.
Okay. Awesome. That’s great.
I think that covers just about everything, so I’ll leave you with this video of me being ridiculous excited by the paperback proof I got yesterday. Bonus: I read one of the poems aloud in this video, so that may give you another taster of the content.