Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Daimones by Massimo Marino : Interview and Excerpt

Dan Amenta and his family woke up one morning to discover the world had changed. Apocalypse had arrived.

They were surrounded by horrible disaster. They were surrounded by death, yet they were untouched by it. More and more they sensed that some sort of supernatural power had left them the only 3 people on Earth. They were not!

The efforts to survive and find other people brought Dan to discover the disturbing truth about the human extermination. Dan and his family met Laura, who brought revelations about this catastrophe.

The presence of Laura, a sexy, young, and disruptive girl, raises questions about what is right and ethical in this new reality.

Other survivors report what they have seen, forcing Dan to find explanations in his own past. Ancient hallucinations strike Dan with the force of a sledgehammer. They bring him face-to-face with his new role in a scenario with roots millions of years old.

Earth is in the hands of a higher, older power, but not the one Dan had envisioned throughout his life.

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Excerpt: When Dan meets with Laura

At that moment, I heard the swishing sound of the rollerblades from behind, and the adrenaline rush heightened all my senses as my body released glucose and sugar directly into my bloodstream. My breathing and heart rate jumped. Everything happened very fast: my blood pressure shot up, and a hot flush erupted like fever making me sweat as if I was taking a shower from within, and a screeching sound made me shiver: The wheels came to a halt, and although it was somewhere to my left, and out of my field of vision, I didn’t have to turn my head; I saw her in my mind, vividly, and menacing. A cold shiver slid up my spine, a pair of eyes stared at me intensely, carving holes into my back. The burning sensation of a bullseye glued to my neck. Rollerblade girl was breathing hard behind me.
“Thanks for coming,” I said, still seated, and about to change position. I had the impression Rollerblade girl jolted when I opened my mouth.
“Who are you … and stay as you are, don’t turn to look at me! You didn’t trust me, I do not trust you.”
The voice was pleasant, that of a young woman. Not exactly afraid, not calm either. I tried to combine the few images I glimpsed the first time we saw her with this voice and tried to imagine with even more details the young woman. My gosh, I was there, hearing to another voice, a different voice than mine, Mary’s or Annah’s; after such a long time!
We lived a world deprived of laughter, children cries, chatters, the always present human murmuring that we gave for granted everywhere in the world. One can never feel the presence of something as strongly as when it is no more there; the void replaces what once gave us reassurance, continuity, fulfillment. Don’t people talk about the deafening sound of silence? I experienced in a flash the unbearable weight of emptiness.
She had a charming voice, with a pleasant Italian accent. The kind of voice which makes you look for who is talking in a bar or at a restaurant. When the charm of the voice marries with the charm of the person then one is gratified with the pleasure of having discovered harmony in human incarnation. She sounded determined. I didn’t move.
“Well, I do trust you now. I would not be here sitting like that otherwise. The people you saw are my wife and daughter. And they were worried for me. They still are. They … I … we wouldn’t have hurt you.”
“Where are you coming from? Do you know what happened? Is everyone dead? How can that be true?”
“From out of town, in the countryside, and could you stop shooting questions like darts?”
She paused a second.
“Funny you are saying that …”
I didn’t make out the meaning of her last remark.
“Don’t stand up … turn around slowly.”
With the help of both hands, I twisted around, slowly, as she requested. Rollerblade girl was firmly standing her ground. She was fit, a rather athletic body, dressed entirely in black if not for a peach colored top that I could perceive, more than see, from her semi-opened zipped black leather jacket, hiding a full breast. Her recent “shopping” from the mall, no doubts. She wore black jeans, tight and low waisted. Perfectly sculpting her figure. A rebellious lock of black hair refused to be constrained by the black helmet she was wearing. Her eyes invisible behind dark sunglasses. She was very attractive, and she kept a crossbow pointed right at me!
“Well, I am at your mercy it seems. I assure you, I am totally alone.” I noticed she was glancing around for the presence of others.
“Ok Mister, what do we do now?”
“Honestly? May I stretch my legs? They are starting to hurt.”

Welcome!  It's my pleasure to welcome you today.  Thanks so much for stopping by so we can find out a litle more about you and your book.  So if you are ready, let's get started.  :)

- How did you start your writing career?

Well, I hadn't realized it had started actually. Next question? :-) For many reasons, professional and personal, I wrote a lot in my past years, but Daimones is the first non-academic work to see the light. Others have been written and thrown away.

- What does your significant other and family think of your writing career?

Smiling… At first they did not say much, their gaze was more than enough, especially when they saw me at my computer writing for hours and sometimes ending at the first hours of the day. Things started to change, for the better, when the first positive feedbacks came from beta-readers, especially for the completed manuscript, the story, the surprising conclusions, and the transformation that the main characters go through till the end.

- Where do you research for your books?

Everything is a possible source, but I admit I search most things online. I wonder how things were in the past, before our connected society changed our habits and the way we share information.

- What was one of the most surprising things you learned while writing your books?

That sometimes you cannot control what your characters do and say. I watched lessons on creative writing online from Brandon Sanderson, and in one of those he described the two extremes of writing styles. One goes through pre-organizing everything, the entire plot, from the beginning to the end, the various conflicts, each chapter, everything. And then fills up the gaps, more and more till the manuscript is "completed". At the opposite sit those writer called "gardeners". These ones plant the seed of the story, and then the story grows, evolves, take unexpected turns, with the writer sometimes unable to tell how it will end, or what will happen if certain events were to occur. I found myself more into this last tail of the "writers distribution curve". I've watched Daimones in my mind, heard characters discussing and reacting to what happened to them as in a movie. Sometimes I was unable to write as fast as the images flow I witnessed. The story and the characters had a life of their own.

- What do you think makes a good story

People talk about the "page turner" to describe a good story, something were conflict appear at every page, almost. There's truth in there but it is not the end of it. I think a good story has to make you feel you are part of it, you turn the pages because you care and want to be reassured that something bad is not going to happen (or it is if you hate the character). A good story should make you laugh, cry, feel sadness and happiness, move you to tears, and losing track of time. It will not happen with every reader or at the same places in the story, but if it happens here and there, to some, even one, then the story has reached its goal to please a reader, allow him to escape and live in the same lucid-dream the writer used to create a different world.

- What books are your reading now?

Coming back to your first question, because I still do not think I have started a career as a writer, I am reading "Worlds of Wonder - How to write Science Fiction & Fantasy" by Davig Gerrold. Then "Analytics at Work" by Thomas Davenport, but that is for professional reasons, then "The God delusion" by Richard Dawkins, re-reading "Lezioni Americane" by Italo Calvino, and "Le Nozze di Cadmio e Armonia" by Roberto Calasso. My wife says I do not read enough, and she wins by far in comparison…

- If you were to write a series of novels, what would it be about?

I'd love I will be able to write the sequels for Daimones, what happens next, after the last page, is already filling up my mind. The new human race, Dan and the others, have a long journey. Their age has just started, and more ancient and powerful races wait for the humans to surge again.

- Do you have a favorite quote, quip, or saying? What is it?

One from Daimones itself has resonated with others: "…even within the best intentions, cruelty is just around the corner." You cannot avoid it.

Massimo is a physicist/computer scientist with over 17 years spent in fundamental research before moving to the private sector, with Apple Inc, the World Economic Forum, and now Partner of a start-up in Geneva, Switzerland, for smart-phones applications. With his wife, Mara, met when she was 15 and he just turned 18, they started dating one year later. They have now a 13yo daughter, lived in Italy, Switzerland, France and the United States.

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Giveaway ends September 15th 11:59 PM Central Time.


mountainmama said...

Great interview. I've got this book on my wish list!

Karen Arrowood said...

Okay, now I am intrigued. I will definitely have to read this one. Thanks for the opportunity.