Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Interview with Tom Mazzone

I read Roads and Circuses a few of days ago and today I am lucky to have the author, Tom Mazzone, here with me.

Hi Tom, thank you very much for joining us today. I'm just going to jump straight in with the questions if that's ok.
When and why did you decide to become a writer?
In my late teens, I started writing little jokes/gags and although I suppose I knew it was writing I only looked at it as “Making things up.”

Can you describe your writing style in 10 words or less?
Humour, silly, surreal, peppy, biting, fun.

What is that one moment you have had as a writer that made you realize you were actually a real author?
I think I’m still waiting. Not sure why.

Tell us about your writing routine; what’s a typical writing day for you?
I try and start early, 6 am or so and depending on where I am in a project I try and go for 3 hours, then get some exercise or do some shopping, tidying anything other than writing, just to pace myself. Then I’ll get back at it around 2 pm again.
For me it’s the editing and reworking of something is where the real time is spent trying to fix or make sense of the idea or scene I’m working on.
In the evening I try not to do anything, but sometimes I get drawn back in and I don’t fight it. After 8 pm I have to stop otherwise I won’t be able to relax and because then I won’t sleep well and then I won’t start at 6 am the next day.

Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer to just see where an idea takes you?
Both. I always start with something even if ‘s a bare bones idea, but I find more times than not things will veer slightly from the basic premise and truthfully that’s what I like most, how an idea evolves. Almost never do I sit and see what comes out. I have to have a basic road map.

What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?

Roads & Circuses.
The inspiration behind it was around the time of the IMF bailout in Ireland and watching Politicians across the world say one thing and do another and the next day say another thing and yet again do something else. It was brought on out about being frustrated.
The title is a play on the Roman phrase regarding politics Bread & Circuses, Meaning: Offerings, such as benefits or entertainments, intended to placate discontent or distract attention from a policy or situation... I tried to have fun at the expense of leader who only wants to lead for the sake of leading. I promise it is a light read and funny.

And where can we get our hands on it?
Amazon,  Barnes & Noble,  Kobo  &  Apple,

Are any experiences in the book based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
No. Everything from this book was watching politicians around the globe shuck and jive.

Give us an insight into your main character. What does he do that is so special?
What Marcus O’Malley does that is so special is succeed. That’s all he wants out of life to prove that he’s better than everyone. Although he thinks he’s special, the readers won’t think as much as he climbs the Party ladder in an attempt at becoming Prime Minister.
I describe him as being the brown-nosing suck-up everyone despised in school. The joke is on him and there is a lot of them.

Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
That deadlines are rarely met, but deadlines need to exist or nothing would ever get done.

Tell us about the cover and how it came about.
I really enjoy political cartoons. They can say so much and make you think about events in such a simple, but complex way. So the book, being about a politician, I sketched out my ideas in stick figure’s and then found a political cartoonist who immediately grasped the idea.
Marcus O’Malley is riding a unicycle atop a hire wire juggling balls that spell out FAMILY, while keeping an eye on swinging trapeze artists as he is trying to figure out what is best for his Party, Himself & the People, all as the People are left to dangle from the wire.
It was allot of fun and turned out better than I hoped.

Can you tell us anything about any of your current work(s)-in-progress?
Yes, Roads & Circuses is the first in my Five part West Dublin Series which follows one the O’Malley family, and next in line is Therese O’Malley who gets involved in a passports for cash scam. Again it’s a comedy and at the end of this first book I include a couple of random chapters for the reader to get a pretty good idea of the character that is Therese.
I’m going to starting it proper in in November and hope to have it released by April 2016.

Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
It’s early days, but I the feedback I’m getting is that there seems to be a gap in the market for humorous fiction of this ilk and of this length. These are quirky, wry stories about people behaving their worst in stressful situations, and nearly getting away with it.
These books offer a genuinely laugh-out-loud read about the type of characters who make life miserable for the rest.

Where can we find you to tell you how good your books are?
Any reviews on the likes of Amazon or Goodreads. Or by email or my facebook page Tom Mazzone

What do you like to do when you're not writing?
I have developed into a reasonable cook and find from the shopping to the preparing to the cooking to eating and cleaning to be similar to writing. It’s a process with many components, you do it because you love doing it and because it’s a little gift to others and when they enjoy it you selfishly feel good about yourself.

What advice would you give to your younger self?
Don’t listen to your younger self. Or. It’s going to be harder than you think, get up earlier.

And before we go.., which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why?
Tough one, but off the top of my head I’d say the composer/musician/satirist Frank Zappa and I wouldn’t want to necessarily meet him, I think I’d just like to watch him work as he weaved so different genres in to his own unique individual thing.

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