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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.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website | Booklikes

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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Interview: Joe Canzano

Joe Canzano  Joe is a writer and musician from New Jersey. The Monster convinced him to take some time out of his busy life to answer a few questions about his book Magno Girl. We talk about his avoidance of bologna sandwiches and the reason why four wheels is better than one.

Magno Girl can fight, she can fly and she has the ‘Gaze of the Guilt’. Where did you get the idea for Magno Girl and where did the super power ‘gaze’ come from?

I was talking to my girlfriend, who is now my wife. We were discussing her childhood love of Wonder Woman, along with the scientific basis for Magnetic Resonance Imaging. And thus Magnolia was born.

As for the “Gaze of the Guilt,” Magnolia’s mother is always trying to make her feel guilty, and that’s why she has that particular power. She inherited it – only her version is more magical.

Ron is a muscle head ninja biker. Do you ride bikes yourself?

No. I like my vehicles to have four wheels. It makes them easier to handle if you lose one of them.

Ron seems to be the main character of the story, as the story is told from his point of view. Why did you choose this angle, considering the book’s title?

I don’t think Ron is the main character – he’s just the guy telling the story of the main character, kind of like that guy who narrates The Great Gatzby, only Ron’s got a Harley and a couple of samurai swords. I thought the feel of the book was better with a guy narrating it, kind of like a noir detective novel.

Did you pull from life experiences to write the novel or did you have to do any serious research?

The only parts based on real life are the sex and the violence. Also, the line where Ron relates how his dad once told him to avoid eating boloney because it’s “not a man’s sandwich.” My dad really DID tell me that when I was nine years old, and I’ve rarely eaten bologna since – no kidding. One big theme in this book is the way a kid is affected by his or her parents. Most of the rest is pure imagination. The only research I did was checking the streets and locations in NYC. I’m sure some of it’s wrong, but hey, it’s a work of fiction.

‘Fooki’ is this evil drug in the novel that makes people buy more and more consumer goods. Why did you want that to be the crux of the evil plot?

I get tired of hearing people complain about not having enough. Be happy with what you’ve got, dammit! Also, buy a million copies of the book so I can get a beach house.

You have plenty of wacky villains and heroes in the story, besides Magnolia, who was your favorite character to write for?

The villain Legalman, because he’s smart despite being completely ridiculous.

Get more info on Joe Canzano at happyjoe.net or on GoodReads.com.

Review: Magno Girl

Magno Girl 4 Stars

Magnolia is a little known super hero flying above the streets of New York fighting petty crimes when she hears that someone just killed Joey the Round Man down at The People’s Pizzeria. She has suspicions that this is part of a larger plot and asks her friend Ron to help out by infiltrating the home of Thaddeus Stone, the founder and CEO of Americamart. Ron and Magnolia attempt to unravel a mysterious evil plot while encountering dangerous villains along the way. Magno Girl’s fame increases with every bad guy she takes down and every evil plot she foils. Now she must avoid the paparazzi, endorsements, and movie deals all while dangerous super villains plot to destroy her. Will Magnolia and Ron save the day? Even when the good guys are working for the bad guys, and the bad guys control the materialistic masses.

First thing, if you’re going to take this book seriously, you’re not going to enjoy it. But if you’re in the mood for a lighthearted and whimsical super hero story then this this will be a fun read. The writing is quick and the wit is sharp. The action scenes are cheesy, but it works because it’s supposed to be cheesy. The dialogue is quirky and silly in a way that makes it endearing:

He’s been burned and covered with pizza dough. They turned him into a man-sized Stromboli!” My jaw dropped. “Those dirty bastards.” Most of my family was in the pizza business, and while Joey was not a relative, I hated to see a good tomato soldier go down.

The writing was good, the jokes were decent, and the story line was entertaining, but what I really couldn’t get through was the interspersed moments of bickering between Magnolia and her mother. It really dragged the story for me. It was good enough the first time to show the relationship between her and her mother, but then it’s replayed over and over again through the story to the point where I literally felt Magnolias frustration. This is really the only disappointing element of the book. The world and back story are well built. The world, or at least New York, is filled with super heroes that fight crime, sometimes alongside the police, and star in commercials and sell their merchandise. There are low level heroes and famous super heroes. Magnolia doesn’t care for fame, but Ron does and they’re constantly fighting the urge to make easy money and stay true to their core belief of doing good for the greater good, not to cash out like many of the archetype super heroes. The story and it’s characters were absurd, but that’s where this book shines. This is a genuinely fun book to read. Don’t take the book seriously, go in ready to laugh and you’ll have a good time. I guarantee it.

Pages: 308Buy Now From Amazon.com
ISBN: 099063650X

Get more info on the author at http://www.happyjoe.net/

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