Monday, April 3, 2017
Interview with author Larissa Shmailo in BookMarketing Buzz
1. What really inspired you to write your book, to force you from taking an idea or experience and conveying it into a book? I write for two reasons: to sort out my life and to experiment with language. In the case of Medusa, I was experimenting with something new to me, formal poetry (I had mostly been an experimentalist and spoken word poet before).So what would prostitution, addiction, misogyny and obsessive love look like in form? Medusa’s Country is the answer.
2. What is it about and whom do you believe is your targeted reader? Like all my work, it is about traumata, the female kind, and also about pushing the envelope of poetic style. I think women will identify and men will learn something.
3. What do you hope will be the everlasting thought for readers who finish your book? What should remain with them long after putting it down? The main thought, I hope, will be about the power of literature to help people transcend horrors, to grow beyond trauma to victory and inner peace.
4. What advice or words of wisdom do you have for fellow writers? Keep writing. Certainly keep your eye out for what is good in other people’s work, but always trust your own voice, your own inspiration, your own truth first.
5. What trends in the book world do you see and where do you think the book publishing industry is heading? A blurring of the line between big mainstream publishers and small press, as some of the latter get bigger, use big distribution outlets, find their way into big media coverage, grow audiences as my publisher has.
6. What great challenges did you have in writing your book? None. Those all came before I became a writer. It’s been pretty smooth sailing ever since.
7. If people can only buy one book this month, why should it be yours? People who say they don’t like poetry inevitably say about mine, “Hey, this is good.” And the book tells a story of redemption from despair and degradation to a beautiful life of love and creativity. I think the book entertains and inspires.
Larissa’s work appears in Measure for Measure (Everyman's Library / Penguin Random House), Words for the Wedding (Perigee / Penguin Putnam), Contemporary Russian Poetry (Dalkey Archive Press), Resist Much / Obey Little (Spuyten Duyvil Press), and over thirty other anthologies. Larissa's poetry collections are Medusa’s Country (MadHat Press). #specialcharacters (Unlikely Books), In Paran (BlazeVOX [books]), and the chapbook A Cure for Suicide (Červená Barva Press), and e-book Fib Sequence (Argotist Ebooks). Her poetry CDs are The No-Net World and Exorcism (SongCrew); tracks are available from Spotify, iTunes, Muze, and Amazon. Larissa translated Victory over the Sun for the Los Angeles County Museum of Art's celebrated reconstruction of the first Futurist opera; the libretto has been used for productions at Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Smithsonian, and the Garage Museum of Moscow. Larissa edited the anthology Twenty-first Century Russian Poetry (Big Bridge Press) and has also been a translator on the Russian Bible for the American Bible Society. Her novel, Patient Women, is now available from Amazon, BN.com