Massimo Marino comes from a scientist background: He spent years at CERN and The Lawrence Berkeley Lab followed by lead positions with Apple, Inc. and the World Economic Forum. He is also partner in a new startup in Geneva for smartphone applications: TAKEALL SA. Massimo currently lives in France and crosses the border with Switzerland multiple times daily.
“Daimones” is the first volume of a trilogy, and is based on personal experience and facts with an added “what if” to provide an explanation to current and past events. It is his first novel. Watch the book trailer at: http://youtu.be/gqqn0YtPrrw
“Daimones” is the recipient of the 2012 PRG Award Reviewers’ Choice in Science Fiction.
He also writes short chilling, twisted, horror stories, sometimes while having breakfast.
If interested in more details about Massimo Marino, please see his full profile on Linkedin: http://ch.linkedin.com/in/massimomarino
On Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/MassimoMarinoAuthor
What inspires you to write?
I can’t say it came from someone or something. There are stories that build up in the mind of any writer, or aspiring one. Sometimes you are able to contain them all your life and no one will ever think of you as a writer. Other times a story breaks free and you can’t but start writing it. It becomes inevitable.
I’ve been writing for many years, could not count them. Mostly—as I said—academic writing, but since my teen years I have written novelettes and short stories that always ended up in a drawer and then lost. Still in my mind though. Daimones, the first volume of a planned trilogy, is the very first non-fictional work that is published.
Tell us about your writing process.
In a sense, it is a discovery process. In lessons on creative writing from Brandon Sanderson, he described the two extremes of writing styles and writers. One goes through pre-organizing everything, the entire plot, from the beginning to the end, the various conflicts, each chapter, everything. And then fills up the gaps, more and more till the manuscript is “completed”.
At the opposite sit those writers called “gardeners” or planters. These ones plant the seed of the story, and then the story grows, evolves, takes unexpected turns, with the writer sometimes unable to tell how it will end, or what will happen if certain events were to occur. I found myself more into this last tail of the “writers distribution curve”.
I usually keep a regular schedule. Write in the morning and go into the afternoon only if I do not meet a “daily quota” of about 2,500 words. Then I re-read and revise in the afternoon. I usually write in the home-office, with a window looking at the Alps and the Mount Blanc. Sometimes I stare at it, while I see again and again the last scene I am trying to put on paper. Other times scenes build up and I need to wait to “receive” more details, see the characters in there and hearing their voices.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I interact with them. Sometimes you cannot control what your characters do and say.
I’ve watched Daimones in my mind, heard characters discussing and reacting to what happened to them as in a movie. Sometimes I was unable to write as fast as the images flow I witnessed. The story and the characters had a life of their own.
What advice would you give other writers?
People talk about the “page turner” to describe a good story, something where conflict appears at every page, almost. There’s truth in there but it is not the end of it. I think a good story has to make you feel you are part of it, you turn the pages because you care and want to be reassured that something bad is not going to happen (or it is if you hate the character). A good story should make you laugh, cry, feel sadness and happiness, move you to tears, and lose track of time. It will not happen with every reader or at the same places in the story, but if it happens here and there, to some, even one, then the story has reached its goal to please a reader, allow him to escape and live in the same lucid-dream the writer used to create a different world. A good story will find its readers.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I submitted my first novel to publishers and agents and the reply theme was “we liked the lyric of the prose and we licked the story. We are not sure about the commercial hook”.
So I thought readers might like the prose and the story. They don’t care about the commercial hook. I write for myself, of course—the story breaking free—but I write for every reader out there. If I can make so that one spends a good time in the world I created, care for the characters that speak through the pages, and is willing to share the emotions and feelings I hope to transmit, I have found gold. There is not a greater reward than a reader who sends a “Thank you” note.
That is how I went Indie.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
Going around the internet one finds gems and crap. We all know that. Same with books, and nowadays it does not really matter anymore if it is a self-published (indie) or a traditionally published work: you find typos, grammar issues, in both.
With the (r)evolution of the publishing business, most publishers don’t have the means to provide the same stringent level of qualities unless you, the author, are able to bring in million of copies sold each year. The vast majority of all others are left practically with the same resources as an Indie writer.
So, how to sift through the slush pile? Well, there are groups of writers/reviewers/avid readers that do exactly that, sift for you to find the really good titles and the promising authors.
There are groups of editors and writers who united themselves to help and encourage Indie writer to raise the bar of their writing above the traditional publishing requirement even. I’m glad to have been accepted—because of the quality of my prose—by two of them already, and I received the 2012 PRG Reviewer’s Choice Award in Science Fiction.
What do you use?
Professional Editor, Beta Readers?
What genres do you write?
Science, science fiction, contemporary fiction, post-apocalypse, crime drama