Pocketful of Poesies is unlike any publication you have ever previously perused and that is quite a phenomenal pursuance.
Pocketful of Poesies is a pick of perfectly plangent dark tales. An astonishing array of very short stories that take alliteration to a completely new level with absolutely EVERY word beginning with the same letter.
This mind blowing volume of amazing alliteration, such as “Annie and Adam’s Adventure at Arthur’s Animal Aid Association,” “Betty Bets Billy ‘Bout Blowing Bigger Bubbles Better,” and “Colin Couldn’t Comprehend Chafing Cream” WILL blow your mind.
The alphabet may have 26 letters but there is no rule that each word you use has to start with a different one each time and Toula Mavridou-Messer proves just that in Volume One of Pocketful of Poesies.
You may read a an excerpt of Pocketful of Poesies: Absolutely All Artful Alliterations at GoodReads.
To buy this book, please visit Amazon.com.
Interview with Toula Mavridou-Messer
When did you realize you had a book (or some books) inside you?
When I was two, almost three, I was able to read and write and those skills literally blew my mind and opened up an imagination that has given me a lifelong extra dimension to my every day existence.
My Christmas gift that year was a children’s type-writer and I started writing my first book there and then….and have continued to write ever since.
These Poesies alliterations were never consciously written for a book – other people doodle and I make up alliterative stories!
Why is the theme of this project important?
Language, especially the English language, is a phenomenal tool and it’s something that is fluid and ever growing.
When we start learning what it and therefore what we are capable of, when we have mastered it’s use, it is magnificent and powerful.
Language is forever changing and reflecting who we, as a society, are and on a deeper level, the words we choose to use as individuals reflect who we are. Who I am. Who you are.
Every single story in Pocketful of Poesies is written with words starting with the same letter – there are no ifs, ands, thes or buts and so on. The result is a book filled with stories that in themselves are extremely entertaining and that are also mini ‘masterpieces’ of language.
The use of alliteration opens up a whole new world of words and their use for children, (and adults, alike), illustrating another way of communicating with a little more thought…and humour.
Children especially enjoy the tongue twister aspects of the stories. Reading lines like, "Heather has humongous hiccups. Heather’s hiccups happen haphazardly," out loud faster and faster not only helps with diction, it also helps with broadening their vocabulary.
Children will be laughing and achieving without realising that they are learning all the while.
What did you learn about yourself while writing this book?
Haha – I learned that my brain works differently to most other peoples not when writing this but when other people read the stories Until then, I had thought I was ‘normal.’
Pocketful of Poesies was written over years in moments when I needed to slow my brain down. I would pick up a pen and paper and rather than draw squiggles and shapes, like most people, I started writing alliterative stories. It’s an unusual form of relaxation…apparently.
Ultimately, it seems that it’s not something that other people generally do, or have ever thought of doing and that thankfully those ‘other’ people really enjoy reading my alliterative stories and encouraged me to get them published!
How do you find time to write?
I have never really sat down to write a project with an end goal in mind, i.e. to write a book. The thought of putting aside weeks or months to complete a project fills my soul with terror, which immediately results in writer’s block.
Instead, I write to relax, or when I have a specific idea. As mentioned, Poesies was a collection of ‘word doodles,’ written over time.
My novel, Mortal End: A Simmering Pit of Jiggery Pokery,’ on the other hand, was written in three weeks after I almost died in two car crashes in the space of an hour.
I think it’s safe to say that writing for me is ‘therapy!’
If you could work on a writing project with anyone (dead or alive), who would it be? Why?
Ooh – what delightful prospect to contemplate!
A few people come to mind immediately starting with the queen of whodunits; Agatha Christie. How amazing would that be – to write a murder mystery with someone whose own life…and death ended up being a mystery in and of itself? I would have picked her brain on how to perfect plot lines!
Then, there’s Dickens whose characterisation was so unique and eerily accurate. He understood the quirks of human nature and was able to translate those so beautifully and sometimes ‘unpleasantly’ to great effect with such a brilliant use of the English language. I am sure I would have learned a great deal about observing and translating reality into words from him.
Finally, it would be a dream come true to write with Bill Bryson. Hopefully his easy to read style, wit, charm and abundance of facts, research and sense of humour would rub off on me!
About Toula Mavridou-Messer
Toula Mavridou-Messer has written all of her life. She started typing her first novel at the age of two and just never looked back. At the age of 12 she won a coveted Blue Peter badge for writing a script for Grange Hill. At 15, Toula was a regular gossip columnist for Gay News, alongside her lifelong friend Jane Goldman. Then at the ripe old age of 22 came 2nd in a Write A Blockbuster competition for a national women’s magazine with something she cobbled together in an hour. Apart from being a talented author, Toula Mavridou-Messer is also an extremely talented photographer. She and her graphic designer husband James are the brains behind the series of 100% Photography books. Before dedicating her life to creating books, Toula Mavridou-Messer was one of the world’s most successful Celebrity Producers, working on shows on both sides of the Atlantic.
You can learn more about Toula Mavridou-Messer at on Facebook.