I love being a part of the publishing industry. Just a few days ago, I ate ten imaginary cupcakes in celebration of my one year anniversary with RAP. I have to say this job has changed my life in a very positive way. I love to write, and I love to craft stories. However, as I have mentioned before, I don’t have a lot of time for it. Being a part of RAP has become a huge learning and inspirational experience for me. I feel that my own writing has improved, and I’m surrounded by others like me: writers juggling jobs, family, a lack of an office, and yet they still find pockets of time in which to write.
It’s true, in my position, I spend a lot of time looking for things to fix in books. It is always a treat when I open up a manuscript and find something that doesn’t feel like work. Something I would read even if I didn’t have to. BRAINEATER JONES was one of those manuscripts. I would love to tell you more about it, but alas, I am not allowed to review. I can only give one statement: I liked it, and you should buy it.
A few months ago, as Stephen was preparing for the release of his debut novel, he asked if I was going to join the blog tour.
“Steve-o,” I said, “I’d love to, but you do realize I have only two followers, and you’re one of them, right?”
“I don’t care,” was his mind-blowing reply. Thus was this great collaboration born. Enjoy.
Also, here is his bio: Stephen Kozeniewski
When Naomi asked me to do an interview on her blog as part of the tour for my new novel BRAINEATER JONES I was a little bit flattered, then a little bit shocked, then flattered again, then hungry for a while, and finally grimly stoic. Unfortunately, Naomi has been absolutely swamped lately between her day job, her editing gig, her writing, being a full-time mother, and, presumably, the illicit panda-breeding operation she’s been running in her backyard. So when she came back and asked me to write the interview questions as well, I was more than happy to oblige. Enjoy!
Pretend Naomi Rinceoir: Hello, Steve, and welcome to whatever the name of my blog is! <Note to self: google before sending.>
Stephen Kozeniewski: Thanks, Naomi! And thanks for having me!
PNR: Steve, as both the handsomest and most talented writer of our generation, is it difficult to maintain your world-famous humility?
SK: Oh, well, “living legend” is a bit of an exaggeration. I prefer to think of myself as a substantive but down-to-earth genius. You did say “living legend,” right?
PNR: No, but now that you have, it seems apt! Wish I’d thought of it!
SK: Well, God doesn’t give with both hands. (Except in my case.)
PNR: Delightful! It’s always rewarding to talk to a clever man.
SK: Ah, a Dostoevsky reference! Truly, Naomi, you amaze me a little bit more every day with your erudition.
PNR: Oh, well, it was nothing, really.
SK: What’s your favorite Dostoevsky? Aside from THE BROTHERS KARAMAZOV, of course.
PNR: It’s so hard to choose! They’re all so brilliant: THE GAMBLER, A FRIEND OF THE FAMILY, NOTES FROM THE UNDERGROUND…
SK: All good choices.
PNR: But enough about me. This interview is supposed to be about YOU.
SK: Oh, you do go on. No. Seriously. Do go on.
PNR: I understand you hate talking about the craft of writing, so if you don’t mind, I’ll just eschew all those questions.
SK: Naomi, you…you are a breath of fresh air! I admire your dedication to researching your interview subjects. I have always dreamt of having an interviewer like you.
PNR: Oh, you! All right, here’s my first question: if you could be any animal, what animal would you be?
SK: I told my publicist nothing about the animal kingdom! Next question!
PNR: O…kay, let me just scratch these next five or six follow-ups off my list. Oh, here’s one: what is your book about?
SK: Here’s the elevator pitch: BRAINEATER JONES is the story of a zombie who wakes from the dead with amnesia and sets to solve his own murder.
PNR: Sounds intriguing! Tell me more.
SK: Well, it’s set during Prohibition and yet the zombies require alcohol to remain functional. Jones has to go head-to-head with the bootleggers who keep him in moonshine, even though they may be mixed up with the people who murdered him. And his only friend in the world is a severed head.
PNR: Wow! Where did you get the idea for all that?
SK: I read it on the back of a cereal box. I think it may have been a box of Wheaties? It was supposed to be a biography of FloJo but it got really discursive.
PNR: Interesting. Next question: when did you realize you’d “made it” as an author?
SK: Let me tell you a story, Naomi. I was hung over when my publisher at Red Adept called to offer me a contract, did you know that?
PNR: Do you even drink?
SK: Very rarely. But this was one of those occasions. I think it might’ve been the anniversary of Keith Moon’s death.
PNR: Such a tragedy! The voice of his generation cut short.
SK: Too true. Anyway, I didn’t really know what was going on. I knew that someone was offering me a book deal but it was all too surreal to grasp. But later that same day I got an instant message that really brought it home for me. You know what that message said?
PNR: No, but I’m sitting on pins and needles to find out.
SK: Well, it said (and I’m basically paraphrasing here) “I work for Red Adept and I read your book and I really liked it and I’m really excited for you.” And I was touched. That really brought it home for me. And I had never really felt touched like that before. Somebody who I didn’t know from Adam had actually taken the time out of their day to tell me that they thought something I wrote was really cool. Like, that person could’ve just gone about their life, but they said to themselves, “No, I’m going to stop doing all the things I could be doing so I can welcome this guy to the publishing family.”
PNR: That’s an amazing story.
SK: Oh, it’s not over yet. Do you know what that person’s name was who messaged me?
PNR: No! Please tell me.
SK: Naomi Rinceoir.
PNR: Bwoosh! Mind blown.
SK: And now you know the rest of the story.
Ha. He’s making me blush. I guess it’s important to remember that a kind word costs you nothing, but can be valuable to someone else. 🙂
To follow Steve on Twitter click here: https://twitter.com/outfortune
Steve’s blog: http://manuscriptsburn.blogspot.com
Buy BRAINEATER JONES:
Also, enter to win a $5, $10, or $20 Amazon gift card, just for joining us today! Thank you! RAFFLECOPTER