Author Massimo Marino gives us his take on how he took to writing, his cast preferences for movie adaptations of his book, and much more, in this interview…
How does a typical book get written in your world – what do you start with?
Taking aside the ‘inspirational’ mystery, it all starts with a theme that I’d like to explore through the novel. For example, I’m now working on my 4th novel. The novel takes place in the capital planet of an alien race enemy of the new transgenic humanity that saw the birth in the Daimones Trilogy. So, yes, it’s a sort of 4th novel of the Trilogy in that readers will find familiar places, names, and locations. It’s a stand alone novel in that many years have passed from the events in the Daimones Trilogy, and this last provides the background and backstage scenario.
The 4th book is a YA science fiction novel and the themes that I’m exploring there are “Law and Order”, repression in exchange for security, racial tensions, and love between 2 young members of different races. Reasons of the heart vs diktats of the brain. The struggle between what you *feel* you must do, and what you *must* do because of how you feel.
How would you compare the protagonist of The Daimones Trilogy with Massimo?
When you write, you need to become your characters. If you write a murder story, to show a serial killer motivation, you must enjoy the slaughter scenes when writing from that point of view. At the same time, you must feel the anguish of the tracked next victim, and the determination to find the killer when in the investigator point of view, or POV.
In a sense, you have to become each character in turn. Suffering from a multiple personality disorder helps, of course, and it is the reason why all writers are not normal. Joking of course, but you must be able to wear all hats. I think readers don’t realize that and believe that what happens to characters, what they do and not do, how they react to events or the events they trigger are NOT aspirations or what the author would like to do. We don’t live our lives through our characters, but we instill as much life as possible in characters so that they feel real.
In “Daimones”, for example, there’s an extra-marital sex situation. Believe it or not, there have been readers who slammed the novel only based on that and saying that it was “the writer’s wet dream” and that he’s “condoning cheating. Poor wife.” Unbelievable but true, and those are from readers who wrote that on different sites online. Would they have called the police if I wrote murder stories from the point of view of the killer? Would they have me arrested for premeditation to commit murder?
Characters have their own life. A blessed writer is only the reporter of what they decide to do and say, but it’s not us or our extension, otherwise a writer would only be able to write and show one only character in all his life.
The confusion exist in some reader, I guess it explains why some read, and some others write 🙂
If you could cast some of your characters in the Hollywood adaptation of your book, who would play your characters? Why?
For Dan Amenta I’d like to see the role played by Mark Wahlberg. In his films, Mark show the anti-hero, the one who must raise to the task and challenges, but not really wanting to. He drags, and is unwilling to become the hero, but when the decision is taken there’s no obstacle that could resist him (in his roles, that is. Same as for writers in their novels, Mark is NOT his characters.)
Rumors are, though, that role for Dan will be interpreted by Tom Cruise.
Mary: I see Jennifer Aniston. She’s plays steady, strong female characters, and she’s beautiful with characters that show an inner beauty as well.
Laura: Mila Kunis. She has the “physique du role,” for so to say.
Annah: I had to look for that. I hesitate between Mackenzie Foy, who we will see in “Interstellar”, soon, and Isabelle Allen, who will feature in the “Miserables” with Russell Crowe and Anne Hathaway.
If you hadn’t become an author, what would you have been, today?
I’m glad you’re asking this question. When does one ‘become’ an author? I started to wrote stories when I was 6yo. On the side note, I became a physicist and a researcher, those I’m sure I became with my study. An author… I think it was always there.
Are you into writing full time or do you still work as a scientist? Your website talks about your employed life as if in the past…
Currently I’m a full-time writer. I don’t know how long it will last. Two things will happen: I’ll start make a living through my writing and keep writing full-time, or my savings will evaporate and I’ll serve hamburgers at McDonald’s
Well, then what really pulled you into writing, risking a fully thriving career?
Well, I stopped writing when I enrolled into University to study physics. Too demanding, brain and all cerebral resources became devoted to that task: understand the laws of Nature. When I was a kid, my dad and elder brother read everything science fiction. Dad received the “Astounding Stories” magazine at home, but I wasn’t allowed to touch them. If you know AS, they had the most stimulating covers a child could look at and triggered stories to match the covers. I started to write scenes and short stories based on those covers. The rest, one would say, is history, but I’d say instead that the seed had been planted then.
How would you deal with reviews?
I don’t deal with them. Readers are entitled to say what they want of my stories, and the spectrum goes from the silliest thing ever (e.g., that Daimones was my wet dream, LOL) to the most clever (luckily I have wonderful readers who say amazing things about my work.)
I don’t think there’s any reason, ever, for an author to comment on reviews. Of course, I mean reviews that focus on the story because the craft, the writing quality, the narrative skills are there. For that, I base my impressions on judges from various literary contest who shortlisted my work among thousands other titles in the same genre. Last in line, the judging panel of the 2014 International Book Award from Readers’ Favorite.
Is there any genre that you would never ever want to write in?
Difficult to say. I tried myself with horror and crime drama, as an exercise in style. Short stories written with the purpose to obtain a more concise style. I like writing them. Maybe porno stories, I’d like to avoid the risk to write another group of 50 shades of any color.
What awesome books and projects are you working on at the moment?
As stated in the first question, the first novel in the Daimones galaxy, the one that arose from the alien wars described in “The Rise of the Phoenix.”
Thanks, Massimo, for your patience with the questions…
Thanks for your questions, and thanks to those readers who got this far. See you soon in the Daimones Trilogy, or in the stories that follow from those.