As you know, we’ve been visiting with co-authors of Running Wild Press’s Anthology of Stories, Volume 2. Please welcome Nick Mazzuca, author of the short story “Buck It And Bolt.” Here’s the first paragraph to get us started:
My rig has a big ass. She moves slow – if you count hurtling through vacuum at 29000KPH as slow. Turns like a pig and pitches like a clumsy drunk. She’s a whale. I bet my life on her every single shift.
She hasn’t killed me yet.
Intriguing! What inspired you to write this story?
It started out as an outline for a radio drama. I had the idea for a story where two people in a high-risk, high stakes situation had to communicate over radio where only one has eyes and knowing how to use the tools in front of you is how you get out alive. After running into roadblocks in creating the sound effects I needed for the ambient atmosphere of the piece I decided to turn it into a short story. Also, I have long enjoyed the notion that even in the science fiction future we’ll still need highly-capable working class folk to do the dirty, dangerous work. I got to know the bus drivers who worked my morning commute, all of whom were smart, capable, and determined – always on the bottom of the totem pole, always necessary, and just trying to get to the end of their shifts.
I usually find them more interesting than anyone else on the bus!
What would you like readers to take away from Buck It And Bolt?
I want them to get the sense of triumph and adventure that comes from being very good at a dangerous, dirty job as well as the sense of comradery that comes from sharing said job with another person.
How long have you been writing?
I’ve been composing character-based narrative since the first time I got my Star Wars action figures back in the 80’s.
Funny, I was learning about romance in the 80s.
Do you write full-time? If not, what do you do for a living?
I write part-time on an as-needed basis. I left my educational admin job and became a full-time freelancer where I do mixed media, photography, video, translation, and assorted dogsbody work.
Do you only write short fiction? If not, how does writing a short story differ from writing a novel? (Other than the obvious length/time.)
I write play scripts and screenplays in addition to short fiction. In one sense short fiction is wildly different because play scripts are character- and dialogue-based. Screenplays are image- and movement-based. They’re similar that that all three are, essentially, minimalist, efficient art forms that require you to establish your characters and do your world building right off the bat.
What does your typical “writing day” look like?
I pre-schedule my “shift” in my google calendar and set research, outline, pre-writing, and page goals the night before and leave a block of freestyle time to map it out on the whiteboard, then plug away.
So jealous of your discipline and organizational skills. This is actual footage of my writing style.
What are you currently reading?
I’m currently doing a re-read of Warren Ellis’ hard-boiled dystopian absurdist comic Transmetropolitan. Think Blade Runner meets Hunter S. Thompson with bigger guns and better drugs.
Other than this spectacular anthology, do you have any recent or upcoming releases you’d like to tell us about?
My cyberpunk trans narrative play I, Weapon got picked up for reading at the Last Frontier Theatre Conference in Alaska.
Oh, my gosh, congratulations!
What advice would you give aspiring authors?
Keep pushing the boulder. And when it rolls back over you, give it a bit, then get pushing again.
Also: sometimes trying to get to the end of a decent draft is like punching through a wall. The wall doesn’t heal, but your hand does – so keep punching until the wall breaks.
Where can readers learn more about you and your works?
You can follow me on Twitter and Instagram at @nickmazzuca
Check out My Interviews for more opening paragraphs from great Running Wild Press authors like Nick Mazzuca.