The Next Big Thing Series - Cloud Pharmacy (my forthcoming collection)

Taken Care Of by Nicola Slattery

The Next Best Thing

by Susan Rich

I was delighted to be tagged by author Midge Raymond, for this project in which writers answer the following questions about their latest books, and then tag a few more writers who do the same. This is sort of a literary chain letter just in time for the holidays.

Below you’ll find the questions Midge answered about her forthcoming novel, My Last Continent.

And, you’ll soon hear from the fellow writers I’m tagging — Geraldine Mills, Kimberly Fahner, and Katharine Whitcomb who (hopefully) will answer the same questions about their own Next Best Things!

Below are my answers to these repeating questions.

What is the working title of your book?


Where did the idea come from for the book?

I woke up one morning and just knew that this was the title of my next collection. Then I second guessed myself for a few months. The poems come from longing, from love, from the idea that love is not what we expect it to be. Cloud Pharmacy also looks at surreal events and tries to imagine life beyond the ordinary in terms of art, catastrophe, and the well lived life.

What genre does your book fall under?

This is an easy one - poetry. Of course, poetry is a rather large and wide genre. The book contains many ekphrastic poems (poems based on visual art) as well as poems dealing with new coupledom.

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

Emma Thompson, Scarlett Johanson, Johnny Depp, George Clooney --- there's room for everyone in poetry. I can see Salma Hayek as Hannah Maynard quite easily.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Love in middle age co-habitates with art forms of every age.

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

House of Sky is an ongoing process that started three years ago. I will keep adding poems, taking out poems, and revising the book for another year. It's a first draft until it's published.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

I am interested in finding different ways to keep poems fresh (that makes them sound like milk or eggs). House of Sky is my fourth book and I needed to really ask myself if I still had something new to say. I believe the answer is yes.

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

This is my most personal book to date.


  1. Congratulations, and this is delightful!

  2. Thank you so much, Kathleen! Hope to see you at AWP; will you attend this year?

  3. Loved hearing about House of Sky, Susan -- and can't wait to read it!

  4. Congrats on the new collection. Have a great holiday, Susan! XO


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