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The Story Just Wanted To Be Told

Michael A. Greco Author Interview

Cuckoo Heartfully is a quirky and fun adventure book following a cast of intriguing characters. How did the idea behind this book start and change as you wrote?

This is really a “kind of sequel” to The Cuckoo Colloquium, though it can stand alone. I just wanted to take the characters farther because there’s so much more to do with it. Although I don’t think one needs to read these books in sequence, I’m actually writing the third book in the series now and it will be out next year.

I enjoy the way you develop and write your characters. Who was your favorite character to write for in this novel?

For this novel, my favorite was probably Titti Bingo, as she’s the one who endures the greatest changes as far as character arcs go, I believe. She appears in the third book, too, and even suffers worse (I fear). Pinky Bell is my guiding light, however; everything will always revolve around her.

What scene in the book was the most challenging for you to write?

Boy, that’s hard. Every chapter can be grueling, but I might go with one of the culminating chapters like the rescue of the cuckoo. I also suppose the script format for the Randy Vagabond chapter also presented unique challenges for me. On the whole, this one was easier to write than some others. The story just wanted to be told, I guess.

I enjoyed the humor embedded in the story. Was there anything in the book that made you laugh out loud?

As an introvert, I’m on the quiet side, unable to let loose with a real belly laugh. But I giggle a lot. Really, if a chapter does not make me giggle, it’s probably headed to the chopping block.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Website

Kyoto, Japan, the hometown of sixteen-year-old Pinky Bell Asano, is speaking from the heart.

Things pent-up inside the townspeople are coming out—the repressed longings, the resentments, the dread. They’re bursting forth in staggering admissions across the staid community, thanks to the magic of a small souvenir, a stuffed cuckoo shrike, that Pinky Bell has brought home from her academic colloquium in the jungle of Borneo.

The little bird has somehow come alive, provoking mass confessions and saturating Kyoto with the mayhem of unbottled inhibitions.

Maybe all this “heartfulness” is not such a good idea after all, and Pinky Bell realizes it’s up to her to return the cuckoo to the rain forest, which has dispatched its own dark agents to sniff out the thief.

The young Pinky Bell must also keep her teen virtue intact from scheming rascals, while at the same time a tremendous supernatural clash looms between the cuckoo shrike and Kyoto’s own contending powers.

In a featherbrained world of cross-dressing professors and accidental space orbit solos, the characters inside an electronic game become self-aware, and the Borneo jungle—now minus its cuckoo shrike mentor—adopts a whole new curriculum, that of Nihilism 101.

Welcome to a new colloquium—one with heart.
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