What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?Middle West and Great Plains writers continue a “frontier” legacy with topics of nature, weather, the relationships among Native and European settler writers, urban-rural dialectic, and community life.
What genre does your book fall under?
Non-Fiction, critical essays.
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
This is like some studies of ethnic literatures, but this is the first book that considers literature of this region.
Who is the publisher?
The Backwaters Press in Omaha, published by Greg Kozmicki. He has done so much as an independent literary publisher. He is an unsung hero, and a fine poet himself. Working with Kozmicki and his copy editor were a gorocess.
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
I realized other regions of the country celebrate their literature, but in the plains and prairies, writers do not have the same recognition.
What else about your book might pique the reader's interest?
I have been grateful for some wonderful reviews from the Kansas City Star, the Manhattan Mercury, and others. A reviewer for American Indian Library wrote: “This is the first book of critical essays about contemporary Midwestern writers. Denise Low, of Delaware and Cherokee heritage, foregrounds Native writers, including Louise Erdrich, Heid Erdrich, Diane Glancy, Joseph Marshall III, and Adrian C. Louis. The four sections of Natural Theologies are about history, settlements in the Plains, Midwestern people and their character, and nature. The author considers not only the legacy of “frontier,” but also the enduring narratives of settler/Native interactions.”
Where did the idea come from for the book?
As a young writer, I learned that writing is a dialogue with books. I began reviewing books after my M.A. in literature as a way to expand my writing practice. This book includes expanded essays on books that have influenced me.
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
I really don’t think this book will be made into a movie, but I really think N. Scott Momaday is very cinematic. I’d like to see a movie about his writings. He has influenced many Native and Southwest/plains writers, especially because of his insistence that the oral tradition as a valid literary genre.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
I had some ideas and a few drafts, but I spent one summer drafting this, working intensively every day, and then another year editing it.
And to keep 2013 THE NEXT BIG THING going, here is another wonderful writer, Lisa Hase, and her next big thing: http://zingarapoet.net/author/zingarapoet/