Struggling with depression and learning to manage and overcome that depression played a big part in it. I had stopped writing for a long time because I felt that even though I was a successful author, my depression would always be there no matter how successful I became. One day, I decided to start writing again, and through my writing, I discovered a voice inside me that cared about keeping me alive and keeping me sane. This book was written in that voice.
2. Who should read it - and why?
I've often said that my job is to find my way out of dark places and make maps as I go, so I think this is a book for anyone looking for a map, no matter where they are.
3. How is it better or different from others in its genre?
The book is in a large part a reaction to the age of popular internet poetry. I helped establish the genre when I started publishing my work online in 2007, and now because due to social media, I feel like a lot of it looks and feels the same: a lot of short, modular, accessible poems about the same topics, none of which seem to be aware of each other or tackle specific themes consistently. Every Word You Cannot Say is written as one long epic poem that speaks to itself. It's holistic, even if the poems work as stand-alone pieces.
4. What challenges did you overcome to write your book?
The biggest challenge was to do something different that was still accessible and relatable to my existing readership. I wanted to push things forward without alienating anyone, and with this book, I hope I managed to do that.
5. What lasting messages do you hope your readers are left after consuming your book?
That they're not alone. That we all struggle with similar things. That there is a conversation going on in all our heads, between a voice that wants us to succeed, and a voice that wants us to fail. By just being aware of that conversation, we can change it for the better.
6. What advice do you have for struggling writers?
Just keep writing. It's a muscle and the more you write, the better you get. Every single day, write what you can.
7. Where do you see the book publishing industry heading?
I think there has never been more pressure, from social media and elsewhere, to fit a specific mold or to publish/write about the topics; and in the genres that seem to be exciting and selling lots of books. Lots of people cave in to that pressure and end up writing very similar books. So I feel like there's never been a better time for a few rebelious young people to do something truly interesting and new. Whatever it is, it probably won't be popular at first but it will push things forward and I feel like that's what we need right now.