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The Dream Prison

Joe Canzano Author Interview

Run and Flash follows a teen who’s sentenced to 1,000 nightmares and uncovers a deeper and more complex world after their friend tries to help them escape. How did you develop the idea for the Dream Prison?

It was inspired by the virtual reality games we have now – only this is the next level, where the game or dream is implanted into the player’s head. If a good dream can be implanted, so can a nightmare. I’m sure if this can ever be done, someone will put it to bad use.

This was a very creative story. What scene did you have the most fun writing?

Thanks. I like the scenes where Rune and Markla are together. The book has a fair amount of action, but really, it’s the dialogue and human interaction that I have the most fun writing.

I sensed a bit of Phillip K. Dick and William Gibson’s writing in this story. Am I imagining it or did you pull some kind of inspiration from these writers?

Your senses are good. I think I’ve read all of Phillip K. Dick’s books, and William Gibson’s “Neuromancer” is one of my favorite novels of all time.

Do you have more stories planned inside the Dream Prison?

I’m working on a sequel to this book. So far it’s going well.

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When 16-year-old Markla Flash is convicted of murder and sentenced to 1,000 nightmares inside the Dream Prison, her friend Rune vows to help—but he quickly finds himself pitted against his parents, and the police, and a gang of murdering “subversives,” as well as the keepers of a society where artificially created dreams are used for both punishment and pleasure.

“Rune and Flash” is an action-filled science fiction adventure about the power of truth, technology, and love.

Rune and Flash

Rune and Flash: Inside the Dream Prison is an intense and exciting read. This mind-bending sci-fi story follows Markla Flash, a sixteen-year-old who’s been sentenced to 1,000 nightmares in prison after a murder conviction. When Rune, her best friend, promises to help her escape, he quickly gets involved in another level of society, where dreams are created for the purpose of inflicting pain, punishment, and pleasure.

Joe Canzano’s imaginative story turns nightmares into tools. He’s created an intriguing dystopian world where people face the devastation of a thousand nightmares that are more realistic than life. I’m not sure I could endure the pain of them all.

While Rune is determined to rescue his friend Markla, he is offered a scholarship to write nightmares. This clash in technological perspectives can easily tear them apart or give them one of the biggest challenges to overcome together. In this way the author gives layers to his story. These nightmares are not just abstract ideas, they’re fully realized and that grounds this otherwise fantastic story and makes it all feel real.

While Markla and Rune share a strong bond, they come from very different backgrounds. Rune’s family is heavily involved in law enforcement and technology. Markla was raised in a poverty-stricken community, facing many obstacles just to survive. I enjoy the way the author crafts his characters. Slow and methodical and deep. They feel like real people because of the subtle details that are scattered throughout the story.

Life becomes more intense when Markla joins a secret organization that is determined to take down the government. Despite their opposite lives, the two friends develop a strong relationship, but they must decide their fate as they struggle to survive in a nightmarish dystopian world.

Joe Canzano’s Rune and Flash: Inside the Dream Prison is a riveting dystopian thriller with an inherent sense of adventure. I reveled in this dark futuristic world because of the exciting balance between creativity and psychological terror. With an inventive story-line, a detailed world and captivating characters, this is a science fiction story that is fun to visualize and immensely entertaining to read.

Pages: 315 | ASIN: B0B1CGJ9S6

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Searching for that Better Thing

Joe Canzano Author Interview

Joe Canzano Author Interview

Suzy Spitfire and the Snake Eyes of Venus finds our eponymous hero involved in a gang war, a revolution and attempting to protect a young girl. How did the idea for this novel start and change as you wrote?

It started with an outline that was about three paragraphs long. I spent a lot of time trying to create a more detailed outline but that wasn’t working out too well so I finally just started writing. This is what happens every time.

I enjoyed the evolution of Suzy’s character in this novel. What were some driving ideas behind her character development in this story?

I think lots of people feel like they should be doing something better with their lives. Suzy’s searching for that better thing, but she doesn’t know if she’ll find it – or if she’s worthy of it.

The writing in this book is excellent. What were some challenges you set for yourself as a writer with this book?

Thanks. I wanted to create deeper characters and a more complex plot than I had in the last book.

What is the next adventure that Suzy is going to get into and when can readers expect it to be available?

I’m not sure. The book I’m writing now has nothing to do with Suzy Spitfire, so it might take a little while.

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Suzy Spitfire and the Snake Eyes of Venus by [Joe Canzano]When outlaw Suzy Spitfire flies to Venus in search of a vicious serial killer, she’s looking for the road to redemption—but instead, she quickly becomes involved in a gang war, a revolution, and a desperate attempt to protect a young girl from a violent fate. Join Suzy Spitfire and her friends for another wild ride through the solar system!**This book contains some profanity.

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Suzy Spitfire and the Snake Eyes of Venus

Suzy Spitfire and the Snake Eyes of Venus by [Canzano, Joe]

Suzy is searching. A part of her is tired of all the running but deep down she knows that it is all worthwhile. Her connections to some questionable characters put her in danger. In the midst of all the chaos, she finds herself in the custody of a young girl whose safety hangs in the balance. A girl who she feels is her responsibility. She, therefore, embarks on an action-filled trip around the galaxy in the adventurous way that only she can. Will Suzy evade the hunters or will she just have to run from an attractive one this time?

The second book in a series is always tough to execute especially if it follows the masterpiece that was Suzie Spitfire Kills Everybody. However, Joe Canzano seems to have outdone his first installment in the series. I especially appreciate the in depth characterization throughout this book. He has made Suzie a more wholesome and lovable character, but still a spirit animal full of grit and moxie. In Suzy Spitfire and the Snake Eyes of Venus Joe Canzano has added a dimension to her that we may have missed before. This time she has to be a heroine while setting a good example for her protégé. She is still a handful though.

Suzy Spitfire and the Snake Eyes of Venus is colored with a delightful mix of profanity and cutting wit. It’s a careful mix of suspense and second guessing that keeps the book engaging. I could rarely guess what was going to happen next. I was surprised by a few twists, shocked by others, and utterly flabbergasted by a few wrinkles in the plot. Everything happens quickly.

The author has favored the use of imagery in this novel. He uses a brilliant application of adjectives among other figures of speech to evoke vivid mental images for the reader. He even affects a splash of hyperbole that elevates the prose and keeps the story consistently compelling.

Pages: 344 | ASIN: B08479YQ9H

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Shoot First, Ask No Questions

Joe Canzano Author Interview

Joe Canzano Author Interview

Suzy Spitfire Kills Everybody is a genre-crossing novel with elements of over-the-top action, science fiction, and dark humor as well. Did you start writing with this in mind, or did this happen organically as you were writing?

The science fiction part was planned, but the rest evolved. I started out with a loose goal to try and write something like Neuromancer, but it ended up being a lot less serious.

Suzy is a fugitive on the run and takes no crap from anyone. What were some of the trials that you felt were important to highlight her character’s development?

The situations involving her tendency to be impulsive – her inclination to shoot first, ask no questions, and then shoot again. Also, the situations involving trust. Suzy isn’t very trusting, but it’s hard to get through a good fight without a few friends, and she needs to deal with that.

There was rarely a dull moment in the story and I enjoyed the rapid fire action. How did you balance action with storytelling?

I try to make the action all about how the characters react to the stress. The real story is in the characters, otherwise it’s just a bunch of empty gunfire and explosions. To paraphrase Jim Butcher, “The action is just a light show.”

Also, I think action comes in different forms. Two people talking is action – as long as there’s tension, or it’s entertaining in a way that relates to the plot, or both. Kurt Vonnegut once said that “Every line should either reveal character or advance the plot.” I think about that quote a lot.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

I have outlines for four new books, but I’m not sure which one I want to do. One of the outlines is for another Suzy Spitfire story, and I might do it. It was a fun book to write. It would be available next year.

Author Links: Website | GoodReads

Suzy Spitfire Kills EverybodyWhen outlaw Suzy Spitfire discovers her father was murdered after creating a super-duper artificial intelligence, she races across the solar system in search of the brain he built—but it’s a rough ride, and she’s soon forced to tangle with pirates, predators, and her father’s killer—as well as a man she thinks she can love.

Suzy Spitfire Kills Everybody is a smash-bang sci-fi adventure filled with action, intrigue, and a dose of dark humor.

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Suzy Spitfire Kills Everybody

Suzy Spitfire Kills Everybody

Suzy Spitfire is a take-no-bull fugitive on the run. Her best friend Aiko, who was her father’s lab assistant and is also on the run, wants to see her and she’s taking a big risk by coming back to Earth. She wastes her time at the bar flirting with Ricardo until Aiko shows up. Her friend reveals the location of a top-secret Artificial Intelligence her father developed for the government, and also informs her that her dad’s death was a murder, not an accident. Almost on cue, the bar is raided by the feds. Ricardo comes to their rescue (while stealing a case of whiskey on the way out) and they are on the run again, this time with a price on their heads and Special Forces on their heels.

With the feds, a fleet of pirates, and a criminal gang all gunning for them, this crew of outlaws has nowhere to turn. Blurr, the Special Forces commander, has no qualms about using extreme methods to get what he wants. Getting to Suzy – and the secrets she knows – would be even better.

I really got into the rapid-fire action. There’s never a dull moment in this book. Suzy is a larger-than-life antihero who would rather shoot than talk, and when she does speak, it’s usually a string of smartass remarks. Surrender is for weaklings and arguments are best ended with her pistol set on “stun” so she can mock the loser later. The action escalates through the book, with the crew of the Correcaminos Rojo bouncing between criminals, pirates, and the law, trapped on posh spaceships, hell-hole prisons, and domed spaceports. Her banter with Ricardo is fun, and her inability to keep her mouth shut gets her in trouble more than once.

Along the way, Suzy begins to second-guess her impulse to fight and starts listening to Ricardo. There may be a lot more to the guy besides his stunning good looks and bad poetry. She realizes she might be falling for him, but she can’t be sure that he’s not working for one of the factions trying to chase her down. It makes for a nice romantic subplot that may or may not involve bullets before it’s all over.

I also liked getting occasional glimpses into the stories of the people on the other side of the fight. Getting insight into what was going on behind the action provided a break between fight scenes and added a lot of scheming and intrigue. I don’t want to get into spoiler territory, but getting the inside scoop on other key characters added a lot of excitement to the story.

If I had to criticize one thing, it would be that the action gets a little repetitive. Several encounters with enemies are similar, but the great thing is that none of these situations resolve in the same way. It was nice to see the characters playing to their strengths and weaknesses, and the author does a great job at blending screwball humor into the mix. There is a minor loose end concerning a secondary character, but that might be covered in a sequel.

I would absolutely recommend this for a quick, fun, summer read. It’s a great blend of over-the-top action that reads like classic pulp fiction, and characters who play their tropes for all they’re worth. Suzie Spitfire Kills Everybody will leave you smiling.

Pages: 297 | ASIN: B072PXT1P7

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Sex Hell Seems Fairly Natural

Joe CanzanoSex Hell is a madcap, bizarro romp through the sex lives of four people caught up in a witch’s spell. One thing that really stands out for me is the creativity in the characters and situations. How do you start to write something as wild as Sex Hell?

I think it starts with my influences. I’m a big fan of writers like Christopher Moore, Douglas Adams, and Tom Robbins. To someone with my tastes Sex Hell seems fairly natural.

In one of the defining moments of the story Debbie is given the opportunity to trade in the last three years of her life and get great sex in return. This is a great contrast to her character, but where did the idea for this deal come from?

I believe the witch starts out with ten years but starts getting more desperate as Debbie rejects the offer and eventually drops the price down to three years. The idea came from considering different things that people want; in this case better sex and more youth.

Were you aiming for the bizarro fiction genre when you wrote Sex Hell, or was that something that developed as you were writing?

I set out to write an absurd comedy. I like this term “bizzaro fiction” and might start using it. Maybe it will steer more appropriate readers to the book.

Where do you think Debbie and her boyfriend Mike are a year after the story ends?

Debbie and Mike had certain issues and those issues would probably remain.

What is the next book that you’re writing and when can your fans expect that to come out?

I’m writing a “light” sci-fi book based on one of the characters in Sex Hell. There will be humor in the book, but unlike Sex Hell and my previous novel, Magno Girl, (which the Hungry Monster was also nice enough to review), this new book will not feature the humor quite so front-and-center. The story will be more grounded. The book is called Suzy Spitfire Kills Everybody. I’m making fast progress so far, and I have a semi-realistic publication date of June 30 in mind.

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Sex HellWhen Debbie de La Fontaine tries to spice up her love life by supernaturally tampering with her sex life, she is cursed to spend every future encounter in a magical place called “Sex Hell,” where the sex is ludicrous and amazing–but the romance is scarce. Her only chance for escape is through the stingy clues supplied by a laughing demon, and the only way to obtain the clues is by returning to Sex Hell again and again to have outrageous sexcapades with the man she most wants to avoid–or does she? Sex Hell is an absurd comic fantasy about the confusion of relationships. How is love related to sex, and how is sex related to love–and do love and sex need to be related at all?Buy Now From Amazon.com

Sex Hell

Sex Hell4 Stars Sex Hell is a madcap, bizarro romp through the sex lives of four people caught up in a witch’s spell. Debbie has a boyfriend, a hunk of a man named Mike. Debbie’s problem is that she’s more turned on by the idea of popcorn and a book than she is by her muscle-bound boyfriend. When a witch shows up in the diner where Debbie works as a waitress, the old woman makes her an offer. Debbie can trade in the last three years of her life and get great sex in return. Anxious that Mike will see through her excuses for not having sex, she agonizes over the offer. Her friend and co-worker Cynthia is all for it, and after Mike leaves town for work, much agonizing and a bit of shady bargaining, the deal is done.

Before the night is over, Debbie finds herself in a car crash—and then in bed—with Juan, a handsome guitar player. She feels terrible, Mike seems to know that she cheated on him, and she wants to find a way to get out of the deal. This setup topples the dominoes in a hilarious chain of events involving demons, bizarre sex, a Love Goddess, magical bongos, bad German accents, true love, and a road trip from hell.

If you’re looking for something wildly out of the ordinary, Sex Hell is right up your alley. The book reads like a 1930’s screwball comedy gone horribly awry in a so-wrong-it’s-right way, and if you’ve read anything described as “bizarro”, you’ll find plenty to like here. It’s definitely not for readers who are put off by graphic sex and language and you have to completely suspend your disbelief in order to enjoy the delightful absurdity of the whole thing.

Debbie de La Fontaine is a geeky, overly-anxious woman who takes “overthinking” to a whole new level. She’s the kind of hot mess who wonders if she should rush to change her clothes as soon as her boyfriend knocks on the door. Mike adores her, but Debbie goes to extreme lengths to keep from having sex with him. Cynthia is a good friend, but as a wing man, she’s terrible, and prone to leaving Debbie hanging.

Her boyfriend Mike is a caricature, superhero-like in his quest to save Debbie from the “evil witch” but equally tone deaf to the realities of the situation. Juan is handsome and cocky and desperate to avoid any kind of commitment, but since the demon sentenced him and Debbie to Sex Hell, he can’t get away from her, no matter how hard he tries. Their quest to get out of Sex Hell is the best part of the book. The situations they get into, and out of, and back into, are utterly cartoonish, but what else would you expect of a woman who keeps a portrait of Wile E. Coyote on her wall?

I’d recommend this as a great vacation read. It’s a fun, totally illogical but ultimately satisfying romantic adventure. Take it to the beach where you won’t be afraid to laugh out loud.

Pages: 320 pages | ISBN: 9780990636557

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