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THE NEXT BIG THING asks writers to self-interview about their books with 7-8 designated questions, post somewhere in the blog-o-sphere and then "tag' (5) writers for the next week to do the same. Sharmagne Leland-St. John has been tagged by Mary Jo Balistreri and Ellaraine Lockie.

 Q: What is the working title of the book?

A: The Song of Sparrows

Q: Where did the idea come from for the book?

A: The title poem begins, "The song of sparrows nudges her from sleep". I've been working on this
book since 2010 when I published La Kalima, but took some time off to work on Cradle Songs: An Anthology
of Poems on Motherhood
(Quill and Parchment Press April 2012) and working on a book of short stories
working title Spirit Ridge.

Q: What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a
 movie rendition?

A: I'd actually want to play the lead role myself, if Liam Neeson or Robert Redford would play opposite my
character. I think of this as more of a documentary or live action short subject film than a feature.

Q: What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?

A: A memoir of love songs without music.

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

A: I began to collect poems that I had not included in La Kalima, rewrote or polished some of them, and then
just added poems as I conceived them, so I basically began in November 2010. The last poem I wrote was in
Tuscany in November 2012. Poet Ed Bennett said he envies me because my first drafts are in themselves finished
drafts! I have a folder called Bits and Pieces which has "one liners" I have thought up. When I feel like writing,
I open it and pull out a line or two as a prompt and run with it.

Q: Who or what inspired you to write this book?

A: Love in all its facets. Requited and unrequited. I mostly write about feelings. I love who I am when I am in
love. These poems are not however emotional band-aids. Some of the poems are about people, the poet Celia Leighton
Thaxter for instance and inspired by the oil Childe Hassam painted of her. I was nominated for the Pushcart Prize for
this particular poem in 2011. Many others are also ekphrastic with the prompt being works of art or world news.

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

A: Perhaps the cover art if I ever get it done!  I paint the watercolours for all of my book covers. The poem titles in the
table of contents will lure the reader into at least opening the book beyond that page.

Q: Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

A: I am deciding if I want to send it out to other publishers, or publish it through Quill and Parchment Press or
WynterBlue Publishing Canada, Inc. they have been the publishers of my last 4 poetry collections, as well as the
anthology of poems on motherhood.

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