Thursday, July 28, 2016

Straight Chatting from the Library: J.G. Zymbalist


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. One randomly chosen winner via rafflecopter will win a $50 Amazon/BN.com gift card. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

READ THE INTERVIEW


What is the sweetest thing someone has done for you?

Wherever I go in life, and no matter how old I get, my mother always sends me cookies.

How would you spend ten thousand bucks?

I would like to think that I’d give it away to charity, but I have too many debts to pay. It might be nice to pay all my bills and not have to worry about things like that for a while. What I didn’t spend, I could earmark for future bills. I’m sorry if that offends anyone, but I’m fairly guarded.

Where do you get your best ideas?

The deepest recesses of my unconscious mind. No matter who you are, your unconscious mind directs all. As far as words and phrases, I get many of those from other books. Dickens was a master of colloquialism. Of course Shakespeare was too, but his stuff is much too archaic. I don’t know why, but Rudyard Kipling is another great source for quirky words and catchphrases. No one compares with Dickens though. He invented his own words and expressions—sort of like the way Goethe and Heine were always constructing their very own German compound nouns.

What comes first, the plot or characters?

They come simultaneously along with setting and time frame and several other craft elements. Everything comes to me as the skeletal framework for a whole story arc. That’s just the way my unconscious mind operates, and that’s why I never suffer from writer’s block. The challenge is to make sense of the ideas and to structure them correctly.

What does your main character do that makes him/her special?

My work, Song of the Oceanides, is a triple narrative with three different point-of-view characters. The Earthlings are pretty much everyday tramps. Giacomo is a lovesick artist stumbling through life, and Rory is an unpopular misfit at school. The one point-of-view character who is very special is the Martian girl, Emmylou. Even though her lousy emotionally-unavailable aunt stranded her on Earth, the aunt did leave Emmylou a gazebo which hops about so as to help her elude the Pinkerton Detective Agency’s Extraterrestrial-Enigma Service. Most important of all, Emmylou is intelligent and fascinated by all things scientific. She is the opposite of a proverbial mean girl—the sort of female metaphorically represented by the Oceanides.

READ THE BLURB


Song of the Oceanides is a highly-experimental triple narrative transgenre fantasy that combines elements of historical fiction, YA, myth and fairy tale, science fiction, paranormal romance, and more. For ages 10-110.

READ AN EXCERPT


Blue Hill, Maine.
3 August, 1903.
From the moment Emmylou heard the song of the Oceanides, she recognized something godly in the tune. As it resounded all across the desolate shoreline of Blue Hill Bay, she recalled the terrible chorus mysticus ringing all throughout that extinct Martian volcano the day her father went missing down in the magma chamber.

Aunt Belphœbe followed along, guiding Maygene through the sands. “Why don’t you go play in that shipwreck over there?” Aunt Belphœbe pointed toward a fishing schooner run aground some fifty yards to the south.

When Maygene raced off, Emmylou refused to follow. By now the chorus of song tormented her so much that an ache had awoken all throughout her clubfoot. Before long she dropped her walking stick and fell to the earth. Closing her eyes, she dug both her hands into the sands and lost herself in memories of the volcano. How could Father be gone? Though he had often alluded to the perils of Martian vulcanology, she never imagined that someone so good and so wise could go missing.

The song of the Oceanides grew a little bit louder and increasingly dissonant.

Opening her eyes, Emmylou listened very closely. The song sounded like the stuff of incantation, witchcraft. And even though she could not comprehend every word, nevertheless she felt certain that the Oceanides meant to cast a spell upon some unfortunate soul.

MEET THE AUTHOR


J.G. Źymbalist began writing Song of the Oceanides as a child when his family summered in Castine, Maine where they rented out Robert Lowell’s house.

The author returned to the piece while working for the Martha’s Vineyard Historical Society, May-September, 2005. He completed the full draft in Ellsworth, Maine later that year.

For more information, please see http://jgzymbalist.com or https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14930590.JG_Zymbalist.

The book is FREE on Barnes and Noble or Amazon.

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28 comments:

  1. Who are some of your favorite authors; what strikes you about their work?

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    1. Peggy, many of my favorite writers have a really atmospheric poetic style. That's what I love about, say for example, John Fowles who wrote the very famous The Magus. My stuff is also fairly dense and atmospheric and poetic--especially Book One of Song of the Oceanides. I love books that dwell on or at least include observations on emotional growth.

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  2. Congrats on the tour and I enjoyed the interview.

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    1. Thank you for being kind. Interviews can be very trying.

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  4. Great post, I enjoyed reading the interview :)

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  5. Do you read much and if so, who are your favorite authors?

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    1. Becky, sorry for the delay in getting to your question. Let me see. I love poetry, especially Mary Oliver. Regarding fiction, I suppose Ray Bradbury will always be my favorite. Isn't he on everybody's list? I've always loved Robert Heinlein too. Hawthorne is another favorite--especially his novellas. I strive for a tone similarly melancholy and sensitive.

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  6. I absolutely loved the excerpt. This sounds so fascinating.

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    1. Thank you MomJane and sorry for the delay in responding!

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  7. Have you written any other novels in collaboration with other writers?

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    1. Wow, that's an interesting question. I've never done that, but I know what you're talking about. For me though, I always work closely with editors. I've had some good ones too: Sarah Willis, Nick Mamatas to name a few. Amelia Beamer who has authored several bestselling zombie novels recently edited a work I hope to put out next year. Working with a content editor is about as collaborative as I get. I don't know. Perhaps I'm too reclusive to join in with others too much.

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  8. Happy to be a part of this tour, thank you for sharing!

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    1. Thank you, Nikolina. You're so kind.

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  9. This sounds wonderfully complex with the triple narrative and spanning different genres. Love the ocean, and so different Martians and Earthlings wow!

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  10. This sounds wonderfully complex with the triple narrative and spanning different genres. Love the ocean, and so different Martians and Earthlings wow!

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    1. Thank you, Rose-Marie. It has elements of the literary too because I really want to emphasize the various characters' emotional centers and their respective subtle evolutions. One thing though: The first part, Book One, moves more slowly than Book Two. For those who wish to cut to the chase, you might prefer the second part. I don't know.

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  11. Shared on G+, have a great day!

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    1. Thank you humbly and kindly, Nikolina.

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  12. Congrats on the new book and good luck on the book tour!

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  13. Shared on Facebook to help spread the word! :)

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    1. Cool, thank you. Isn't Facebook a wonderful thing?

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