Fuchsia explores conceptions of the displaced, disassembled, and nomadic self.
What you tell your relatives it’s about?
I try to be vague: “Fuchsia is about many things.”
How long was this project marinating in a draft or in your head before it became a book deal?
The poems were written in the course of five years, more or less. Some took years to write, others showed up in a day.
Name a canonical book you think is totally overrated.
Infinite Jest. I mean …
What’s a book you’ve read more than two times?
The Bluest Eye (Toni Morrison); I read it at least once every year.
Is there a book or other piece of art that influenced your writing for this particular project?
Stories of migration & war inspired this collection.
What’s your favorite show to binge watch when you’re not writing?
I have too many, depending on my mood, and writing stage. I just finished watching Trollhunters (the animated series); I’m fascinated by the meticulousness with which the monsters are created. (The series was created by Guillermo del Toro). I loved binge watching Scandal. Anything by Shonda Rhimes, really.
What’s the last movie you saw in theaters?
Doctor Strange. I’m a fan of Marvel stories.
Do you listen to music while you’re writing? If so, what kind?
Not really, I find it distracting (unless it’s playing somewhere in the background).
Who is your fashion icon?
I don’t have one. Silly me. But if I did, I’d say Janelle Monáe. Zadie Smith is quite elegant too.
If you could buy a second home to be your writing-only retreat anywhere in the universe, where would it be?
Somewhere in the woods, a cabin with no wifi, overlooking the ocean. Wouldn’t that be nice?
Do you prefer a buzzing coffee shop or silent library?
Both! Depending on what I’m writing, or the level of thinking I have to do while writing. If the poem or story is spilling out naturally, I prefer the buzzing coffee shop, but if I’m still brainstorming or rearranging things, I prefer a quiet space.
Do you tend towards writing it all out in one big messy draft and then editing, or perfecting as you go (or something in between)?
I’d like to think it’s a bit of both, but it’s mostly a messy draft, then grueling revision. I love the first part; it’s all so exciting, before I have to wear the editor’s hat.
How do you pay the bills, if not solely by your pen and your wit?
I wear many hats at Otis College of Art and Design.
What is your trick to finding time to write your book while also doing the above?
Sleep less. I try to prioritize too, but when something is bubbling under the surface waiting to be written, I must allow myself some time to focus on writing, or reading, however I can manage (I’m very stingy with my time). I try not to force the writing, but wait to be inspired and let the words take me. It sounds idealistic, but it’s quite effective. Then I write as much as I can and endure sleepless nights and early mornings before my mind goes into lethargy. It’s working so far.
If you could write fanfiction about any pop culture character, real or imagined, who would it be?
Annalise Keating (How To Get Away With Murder).
Care to give us a few sentences of micro-fiction about that character?
The sour taste of fresh tears reached her upper lip and drizzled down her neck; Annalise felt her body shaking, and knew it happened again. The smell of it was everywhere: blood, purling like a silent river, its familiar warmth unspooling quickly throughout the space, and onto the next body.