An Interview with RAP Author, Stephen Kozeniewski

Braineater-Jones-800-Cover-Reveal-and-Promotional Kozeniewski Author Photo - Headshot

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:

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Barnes & Noble:



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Some Stuff You Should Know

So, one of the things I wanted to do with this blog was to help promote books from Red Adept Publishing. (My boss says I have to disclose that I work there, so no one thinks it’s some kind of evil plot. I am not allowed to review the books, just promote.) I will soon participate in my first blog tour, and hopefully have more to follow. My blog just isn’t all that exciting yet. I feel like a weirdo for blogging when I haven’t been  writing.

Anyway. Some stuff you should know:

Recently Released by RAP:

Canvas-Bound-800-Cover-reveal-and-PromotionalLife-After-Dane-300-by-200 Nine-Feet-Under-800-Cover-Reveal-and-Promotional Stone-and-Silt-800-Cover-reveal-and-Promotional Lay-Death-at-Her-Door-800-Cover-reveal-and-PromotionalEver-Near-800-Cover-reveal-and-Promotional


The newest release:


Look for my author interview on October 23!


Okay, so now I will try to stay more on top of the news! That’s it for today. It’s a crazy Saturday at my house….but we won’t talk about that. 🙂