Someones (Mary Tabor) (Jesse Nissim) asked me to participate in this so here are my answers.  I have tagged them both back because they are lovely writers and people.  I am also tagging the following smart and talented writers.  You should go check them out if you're bored.  Chris Kennedy, Mi Ditmar and Jules Gibbs.

What is the title of your book?

Sit Down Traveler.  Although one good friend thought it should be The Wide, Unruly Room and in its first incarnation it was titled The Sad Bra Speaks.  Don’t ask.

Where did the idea come from for the book?

Since my book is a book of poetry, it was a collection of poems before it was a book. I have no idea where the poems came from.  I suspect the following: desperation, inability to make decisions and fear of my fate.  Also love, how it is both a destroyer and a creator.  Waking up in the morning and feeling sad.  The light on the leaves in the fall.  Anxiety.  The taste of chocolate.  Sex and death.  The usual poetic obsessions.

What genre does your book fall under?


Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Now there’s an idea.  Since I don’t really go to movies or watch television that much or retain names of any actors I am at a loss.  Frankly I don’t really want my poems to be a movie.  So take that Hollywood.  Don’t come knocking on my door with your fancy dollar bills and your crazy actors. 

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

I’m sad, are you sad too, will you share your dark chocolate with me?

Was your book self-published or represented by an agency?

No and no.

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

All my bloody life.  First I had to live it, then I had to write a bunch of poems—and then I had to revise all the kind of crappy poems a billion times and then order those poems and then moan a bunch about what a terrible writer I am and then revise again and take out old poems and put in new poems and show them to my writer friends until they were completely sick of me and then they reordered it (thanks Chris Kennedy & Mi Ditmar!) and finally Antilever Press took pity on me and published it. 

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre? I HAVE NO IDEA.  Therefore I changed this question to who were your influences?

Poets I absolutely love, love, love include Elizabeth Bishop, Louis MacNeice (Snow, Sunlight on the Garden especially) and Gerard Manley Hopkins.  Oh & Seamus Heaney. Oh wait—Alice Oswald.  I love her.  Go read her poem Dunt. If my poems were movies I wish these poets would play my poems.  Also I wish I could leech on to their poetic selves and suction out their poetic brains.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

My daughter, Hannah.  For some people having a child makes it more difficult to write, but for me having a child gave me a focus, albeit the slowest focus in the world since the book wasn’t published until she was seventeen years old. 

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

I use the Tarot as a kind of spine in the book; therefore people who find the Tarot beautiful or interesting as a set of symbols might at least want to send me emails about how wrong I am.  If you are looking for car crashes and bombs, I don’t have so many of those.   However, if your fascinations include love gone wrong, the human condition and death, then this book is for you.


    I am Sarah C. Harwell  If you need to know more read my bio.


    April 2013