Jack Massa interview
A little introduction:
Hello! My name is Jack Massa. My recent writing has been mainly fantasy in different subgenres—heroic, historical, urban, paranormal. Over the years, I’ve also published science fiction, poetry, and nonfiction. For my next trick (later this year) I seriously want to return to science fiction/space opera.
When did your love of books begin?
I’d have to say 1st Grade, when I was just learning to read and discovered Dr. Seuss. The Cat in the Hat revealed to me the true meaning of life.
When did you start to have the wish to become an author?
I was privileged to attend a small, radical liberal arts college. “Radical” in that the institution largely made students figure things out for themselves. I tried a lot of things and decided writing fiction was for me. I wrote a magical realist novel as my senior thesis.
How have you found the process for becoming an author?
Up and down, in and out, with many twists and turns.
After college I went to grad school and got an MFA in Creative Writing. While there, I wrote a science-fantasy novel that got bought by a New York publisher. But I soon found that, while I was publishing some, I was not making nearly enough money to live on. So day jobs ensued.
I wrote a couple more novels that did not sell, and several times, over the years, I quit writing entirely. But it has always drawn me back…
What would you say to those wanting to become an author?
Choose your goals. Decide what defines success for you.
As a business, writing is a very tough game. If you want to write for money, you’re going to have to work really, really hard. You’re also going to have to learn a lot about the business of publishing (which is changing all the time). And you’ll probably have to adapt what you want to write to fit a profitable market niche.
So choose your goals. You may want to write for your own satisfaction, or just to reach a few readers and say something of value to them. That too is a worthwhile goal. In fact, I’d say that of all the writers I’ve known, the happiest and most fulfilled have been those who wrote first for themselves. Art for art’s sake.
Tell us about your book/books:
I currently have three fantasy series, which I can now say I consider complete:
- The Glimnodd Cycle - epic/heroic fantasy featuring witches and pirates, set on a magical world with magical weather and many weird creatures. (Three novels and a couple of short stories.)
- A Conjurer of Rhodes - historical fantasy set in the ancient Hellenistic World (the time after Alexander the Great). Historically accurate tales mixed with the magic and mythology of the times. (Three novels).
- The Abby Renshaw Supernatural Mysteries - Young adult/new adult paranormal fantasy set mostly in present-day Florida. Abby is a young girl with the natural talents of a shaman and a family heritage of magic that goes back to the occult revival of the late 19th Century. (Three novels, three novellas, and a short story).
Next, as I mentioned, I want to write some science fiction or science fantasy —not sure where that will take me, but it will be in outer space.
What do you love about the writing/reading community?
You meet so many interesting, intelligent, and engaging people. Humans have always needed stories, and people who love stories are to me, the coolest of people. They are my tribe.
If you could say anything to your readers what would it be?
Enjoy yourselves. The Universe is wilder and stranger than we can imagine. The reality we think we know is only one small piece of a much larger moving picture. As a friend of mine who is a bard likes to say, “Live well and in wonder.”
Where can people connect with you?
I love connecting with writers and readers!