It's so hard to believe that we are so close to half way through the year! I am very close to meeting half of my reading goal. Currently hitting that snag. I hope everyone else I close to their goals!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Interview: Gary Val Tenuta

Welcome to Jagged Edge!
Would you like to tell us a little about yourself?

First, I want to thank you, Kati, for this opportunity. So, what about me? Well, the short version is that I’m a writer and a book cover designer ( Shameless plug there. Born and raised in the Pacific N.W. of the U.S. where I currently live in a cozy condo with my big, hairy, black cat named Bear. I’m a former features writer for Fate Magazine (U.S.) and Beyond Magazine (U.K.), I love U-No candy bars, my fireplace needs cleaning and I wear a size 11 shoe.

What inspired you to write?

I honestly don’t know. I suspect it might go all the way back to when I was a little kid and my mother would read story books and Mother Goose rhymes to me. I always had a vivid imagination and I got totally wrapped up in those stories. But the first time I ever really tried to write a story myself was when I was about 12 years old. I guess the really strong inspiration came a few years later when I discovered Edgar Allan Poe. I just couldn’t get enough of it. Eventually I read everything he ever wrote. At least, as far as I know. But it was his poems and stories that really got me inspired in a big way.

What authors influenced you as a writer?

Poe and H. P. Lovecraft come to mind immediately as early influences. In later years I was inspired by John Updike, Richard Bach and Robert Pirsig.

What is your favorite quote?

I have two favorites:

There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.” – Shakespeare

The universe is not only queerer than we suppose, it is queerer than we can suppose.” – J. B. S. Haldane

Actually, there’s a third one that I really like:

I think. Therefore, I am. I think.” (Found written in tiny letters on the grout between the wall tiles in a restroom at the University of Washington, with apologies to Rene Descartes)

If you could jump into a book, and live in that world, which would it be?
Hmm… interesting question. Can I be the main protagonist? If I could be the main protagonist then I’d love to jump into the shoes of Robert Langdon in Dan Brown’s “Angels & Demons” and “The DaVinci Code”.

What is at least one thing that every writer needs to have or do?

I could list several things but I think I’ll give a plug for one of the handiest little companions I think any writer––especially beginning writers––should have on hand. It’s a book called Self-Editing for Fiction Writers. The authors are Renni Browne and Dave King. Wish I’d had it when I wrote my first novel. It’s easy to read, written in a friendly, conversational style and it’s loaded with stuff that can really help you polish up your writing skills. And, no, I don’t know those authors and I wasn’t paid for this endorsement. (chuckle) It’s just an excellent little reference book that I love to recommend to other writers.

Are your books different than your personal favorite books by other authors?

I hope with my second novel, available now on Kindle (Ash: Return Of The Beast), that I’ve finally found my own voice. But the subject matter and genres are similar to my favorite books by other authors. My favorite books are those that incorporate esoteric lore, ancient mysteries, and that sort of thing. My long time interest in those subjects are what drew me to those authors in the first place. Those are the kind of things that would be in my books even if no one else was doing so.

What led you to writing in this genre?

I pretty much answered that in the previous question. I’ve had a life long interest in things like the mystery of the Great Pyramid, Stonehenge, ancient cultures and artifacts, sacred geometry, UFOs, paranormal phenomena, esoteric lore, and so on. There’s an old adage: “Write what you know.” That’s what I know. That’s what fuels my passion and gets my imagination fired up.

What is your favorite part of the writing process?

I love it when the story is well underway and has gotten to the point where it’s almost writing itself, finding its own way in the world I’ve created, the point where even I, the writer, am often surprised by the turns it takes.

Least favorite part of the writing process?

The editing!

What are you currently working on?

I’ve recently dusted off an unfinished manuscript for a YA novel that’s been in the drawer for several years. It’s a fantasy story called The Dreamstone. I’m looking it over to see if it’s worth finishing. I think it is.

Where readers can find you?

The powerful video trailer for my current novel, Ash: Return Of The Beast, as well as a synopsis and other info is at

Ash is a modern-day occult crime thriller inspired by a little known factoid I discovered about the notorious occultist, Aleister Crowley (1875 – 1947). After he died at the age of 72, he was cremated but the cinerary urn containing his ashes disappeared. Its whereabouts has remained a mystery… until now. Seattle’s preachers are dropping dead and all hell is about to break loose. And according to an FBI agent on the case, that’s not just a figure of speech.

And, of course, Twitter:!/EzekielCode

Was there a question you wish I would have asked but didn't?

Can’t think of any. Thank you for the interview. It’s been fun.

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