Tuesday, March 15, 2016

#MMBBR Showcase: Songs of the Oceanides by J.G. Zymbalist

 About the Book

J.G. Zymbalist conceived Song of the Oceanides as a highly-experimental slipstream symmetrically-triple narrative which employs elements of historical fiction, fantasy/magical realism, space opera, surrealism, steampunk, Greek myth, paranormal romance, and even children’s literature. Please see full description at jgzymbalist.com under “About the Book”

About the Author

J.G. Zymbalist began writing Song of the Oceanides as a child when his family summered in Castine, Maine where they rented out Robert Lowell’s house. J. G. Zymbalist 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 but never sought to self-publish the manuscript until January, 2016. For more, please see full bio at jgzymbalist.com

Q.  What inspires your writing?
A.  My tormented memories of school.  For some reason, I tend to remember all the insults and misfortunes.  I think this is why I'm so fascinated by homeschooling.

Q.  What is your favorite thing about being a writer?
A.  Hearing from a reader who really truly got what I was trying to say or felt something when reading something I wrote.

Q.  What is the toughest part of being a writer?
A.  Asking for money so that I can go on.  For me (and others I am sure) writing and begging go hand in hand.

Q.  If you could not be a writer, what would you do/be?
A.  I've said this before in interviews:  I would most want to be a fisherman.  I would love to live in harmony with the ocean--the ocean being the most remarkable aspect of nature.

Q.  What would the story of your life be entitled?
A.  I'm very reclusive, introverted, and spiritual so the two titles I'd most likely pilfer for my autobiography would be The Stranger or possibly Stranger in a Strange Land.

Q.  What is your favorite book of all time?
A.  Little Pictures of Japan edited by the notorious Olive Beaupre Miller.  It's a collection of haikus in English translation featuring charming little faux-Japanese illustrations.  This book always makes me happy when I read it.

Q.  Which character from ANY book are you most like?
A.  I'd say I'm a cross between Jane Austen's Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy and Franz Kafka's Gregor Samsa.

Q.  What character from all of your books are you most like?
A.  I am most like Giacomo Venable from my Song of the Oceanides.  Giacomo is a bit of a tramp, and he's a really obscure self-published comic-book writer.  Oh, and he's always very unlucky in love.

Q.  Which book would you love to take a weekend vacation inside of?
A.  Treasure Island.  What else?

Q.  What is your favorite season?
A.  Autumn.  What else?

Q.  What inspired your book cover?  Or what is your favorite book cover and why?
A.  I love covers that are understated and elegant.  I don't like flashy colors that jump out at the person.  My favorite book cover of all time is a certain edition of Tender is the Night featuring an elegant jazz-age oil painting of a bellhop.  Alas I can't remember either the name of the painting or the artist.

Q.  Tell me something funny that happened while on a book tour or while promoting your book.
A.  I did a book giveaway, and even though I was only supposed to give away five books, I ended up giving away more than ten.  The emails were so nice that I found it difficult to say no to people.  Then, when I finally did start saying no, I felt very guilty.  To this day, I feel guilty.  I suppose that's funny in a way.

Q.  Are you working on something new?
A.  Yes, of course.  Amelia Beamer, famed zombie novelist, is currently editing my NA epic fantasy about life in the British Empire during the First World War.  It's got lots of action and emotion and angst.  No zombies though, only a coven of freaky ancient witches.

Q.  Anything you want to say to followers of this blog or those that are just stopping by?
A.  I would like to thank them, and I mean that sincerely.  There is so much decadence and depravity and chaos and conflict in the world, and I think that perhaps the blogosphere is the last vestige of intellectualism and cultural exchange.  The blogosphere is to us what the literary salons were to eighteenth-century Germany.  So god bless the blogosphere!  I think the fate of civilization may very well rest on the shoulders of those who maintain and/or surf these wonderful sites

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