Sunday, July 1, 2012

Interview with Joseph Mazzenga

Can you tell readers a little bit about yourself and what inspired to write in this particular genre?

I confess. I grew up on comics so it was a natural progression to Urban Fantasy. I don’t fly solo in just one genre but rather go where the writing takes me. I stay with UF because it is my sweet spot. I also dable with Gothic Romance and SciFi Horror. They all seem to collide every now and then.

What is it about the paranormal, in particular vampires that fascinates you so much?

I’ve been terrified of the classic monsters since childhood and it’s turned into pure fun for me. I think the raw attraction for all fans comes from the fact that these creatures are the top of the food chain – they are Homo Superous. Okay, give me that one please. Strength, stamina, in many cases superior intelligence, seem to hit that area deep in us where we are both terrified and in awe at the same time.

What inspired you to write this book?

I am a short story nut by trade. I chalk it up to ADD but I love a hard hitting story that doesn’t take 500 pages to get out. Tell me the truth – what roller coaster ride lasts 2 hours? I always wondered what happens when the human race checks out. Who or what is left over? And what did Aliens teach us? There is always something bigger and badder out there.

Please tell us about your latest release.

I actually have 2 novellas out right now.

First, there is Invasion of Blood, which is a nasty little tale about the human race coming to an end at the hands of a superior alien race. Only a scrap of survivors were left and Earth’s usurpers would eliminate these paltry humans once and for all. The only trouble is…the survivors weren’t human.

The second novella is a paranormal romance called Gillian’s Angel. This finding-solace novella focuses on a connection between Gillian and her lover…from the other side.

Both are out now for your perusal. And Thank You for reading….

Do you have a special formula for creating characters' names? Do you try to match a name with a certain meaning to attributes of the character or do you search for names popular in certain time periods or regions?

I do all of the above depending on what the story demands. I have an Urban Fantasy full length novel in the works that involves a lot of medieval flashback and I will research those names of the period to give the scenes and characters authenticity.

Often a name will just pop and I will build a character’s personality around that name as I see fit.

Was one of your characters more challenging to write than another?

I think there is always a challenge when you are trying to flesh out a story that readers can sink their teeth into (pun intended). I ask the same question of all of my characters – Will the reader identify with this person or creature?

Do any of your characters have similar characteristics of yourself in them and what are they?

As an author, I believe every character on every page that I write has a bit of me in them. I think sardonic humor seems to be a staple for my characters and yours truly has that within him…buried deep of course.

Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? How do you deal with it?

I don’t believe I have suffered writer’s block as defined in the classic way. I will go ADD and forget where I am in the story. It sometimes is a struggle to keep it all in focus. Oh look…..a bat….oh, there, I did it again.

Do you have any weird writing quirks or rituals?

I need silence. I know many writers who can be in a hurricane and they plug away. I can use music as a white noise but I can’t be dealing with lyrics while I write. A good dose of Blackmore’s Night or Kamelot will set the mood then it is balls to the wall to get it down.

Do you write in different genres?

I do. I have dabbled in Romance, Horror, and with the advent of my son, even children’s books. I always come back to the scope of Urban Fantasy however. It is sort of the genre mafia for me – you try to leave but it just drags you back in.

Do you find it difficult to write in multiple genres?

I think most authors don’t like to admit they can write in other genres. I find it a useful tool to work on your craft if you can write in other genres. It gives my main writing the depth I need to be successful.

When did you consider yourself a writer?

Third grade. The irony is that it took me years to accept that this is who I am. But that’s another story.

What are your guilty pleasures in life?

I am a workout nut, runner, weightlifter and hockey player. Guilty pleasures? I confess. I love appliance shopping. There. I said. Don’t judge me. Those useful little tools in the kitchen that help me make great meals. Love ‘em.

Other than writing, what are some of your interests, hobbies or passions in life?

I strive to be eclectic as I can. Some don’t know that I am a cancer survivor, however. I believe that survivorship is a right and I work hard blogging about my survival, sometimes day to day.

What was the last amazing book you read?

I am guilty – I just finished reading The Secret by Rhonda Byrne.

Where is your favorite place to read? Do you have a cozy corner or special reading spot?

I read in bed. Period. During the day, night, rain, snow, sun….in bed.

What can readers expect next from you?

My characters are steeped in reality. They are more than human even if they are not human to begin with. They can be superhuman but, like the rest of us, they are also flawed. I think readers will identify and say “I know that person.”

Where can readers find you on the web?

I am all over. Please tweet, friend, or drop me a line at:

Would you like to leave readers with a little teaser or excerpt from the book?

I will leave you with Invasion of Blood…

The human race had come to an end. That much was certain. The days of Homo sapiens rule were over. Centuries of culture, ingenuity, and bloodshed were all gone. Erased. A mere fabrication of universal imagination. 
This was the final campaign for V’ry Captain M’Tal and his crew. A definitive conquering point to his celebrated career. 
What he didn’t count on was the last stand from a band of beings left on a sloppy little planet called Earth.
M’Tal hated humans. They should have been eradicated by the V’ry onslaught. He would make these humans pay for surviving the V’ry genocide. 
There was just one troubling aspect…the survivors weren’t human.


Jeanne Paglio said...

Great interview, Joe. Love the genre mafia comment. So true for many writers.

JM said...

Thanks Jeanne!

Nina Pierce said...

What a great interview! And the excerpt has me totally intrigued. I'm headed over to check it out now.

Lyn said...

Great Interview!Both novellas sound interesting, I'll have to check then out. I like that you write in different genres and agree that it helps with craft.

Coralie Hugthes Jensen said...

Wonderful interview. Very interesting.