Hale and well met me hearties!
The Whimsical Herald will cast anchors aweigh to scurry up the New England coast for a much anticipated interview with bestselling author Joseph J. Christiano. Though Spring has arrived we are grateful that the still frigid winds are at our backs, and we are warmed by the thought of having our guest sitting at the Captain’s table, regaling us with his tale of danger and intrigue.
TERROR CAN EXIST IN A VACUUM…SPACE IS A VACUUM
“They did not see the body until they nearly stepped on it. Hansen ignored Kehoe’s gasp and knelt beside the body. It might have been a man once, though Hansen was not convinced of the corpse’s gender. It lay on its back, one arm outstretched toward the ceiling; its other arm was gone below the elbow. Its skin and what little remained of its clothing were the color of coal.”
Joseph J. Christiano takes readers back to the moon with the release of the Author’s Edition of his best-selling novel, MOON DUST.
The luxury starliner Sovereign of the Stars makes an unscheduled and unannounced landing at Armstrong Base, mankind’s first permanent facility on the moon. Armstrong’s commander, Colonel Michael Hansen, boards the vessel and discovers the mummified remains of the passengers and crew. A single comatose survivor is found.
A team from earth arrives to begin an investigation. They are led by Lindsay Dwyer, a bureaucrat who far outranks Hansen, and who becomes the de facto commander of Armstrong. Things begin to go wrong soon after their arrival. Several of Armstrong’s personnel are found dead, their corpses mummified. Hansen orders and evacuation of the facility only to discover the base has been locked down from Earth.
Facing a terror of unknown origin and a mutinous executive officer, Hansen must find a way to keep his people alive long enough for them to discover how to defeat their enemy…an enemy that reduces its victims to moon dust.
1.You’ve written many bestselling novels-do you have a favorite aside from ‘Moon Dust’?
I do but I’ll never tell. I can’t choose among my “children” in public.
2. Between Hansen and Nixon, which character do you relate to the most?
There’s some of me in both. I guess if you made me choose I’d say Nixon. He’s the more put-upon, he has a shorter fuse. He makes very detailed plans that are can’t-miss, and then some unforeseen x-factor steps in and makes a mess of those plans. That happens to me. Often. Also, he’s a little more fun to write as a character.
3.Do you see space travel becoming more routine in the future outside of military applications?
I hope so! But if/when that does happen it’ll be well after my lifetime, unfortunately for me. I’d go up there in a second!
4.What is one of your favorite quotes from any of your books?
Man, that’s tough. Since we’re talking about MOON DUST I guess I should pick one from that novel. There’s a scene at the start of the third act where Nixon goes to retrieve the body of one of his friends. At this point the characters believe they are out of danger. The body isn’t there and he gets very angry, thinking someone beat him to it and did so without treating the body with respect. The scene ends with these two sentences: “It would not occur to him until much later that he had missed something obvious in the security office. By the time he realized his error, he was running for his life.” That line shouldn’t even be in there. It’s the dictionary definition of Authorial Intrusion. But I love it! And my editor must have agreed because that line made the final cut.
5.What kind of research did you do as you were writing ‘Moon Dust’?
Lots of online research. I also had access to an ex-employee of NASA but he asked not to be credited so I can’t say much beyond that. Every source I researched taught me something I never knew. It was very educational, and the environment within the novel is pretty accurate if such a place as Armstrong Base really existed.
6.Which of your books would you most like to see greenlighted for film?
Oh man. Ideally? All of them! I write visually so I don’t think it would take much to turn any of them from a novel to a script. Tell Spielberg to have his people call my people.
7.Who would you cast in the part of Colonel Michael Hansen?
Someone reviewed the novel and mentioned Bruce Willis or Ed Harris. I like both of them but I think Hansen is a bit younger. How about Eric Bana or Cillian Murphy?
8. There is a lot of humor in the interactions between characters in ‘Moon Dust’-is that characteristic of all your writing?
I write pretty dark stuff, very gothic. I try to balance that with humor. There’s usually a character with a wiseass attitude running around to make remarks that lighten the mood. A lot of that stuff comes from how I think I’d react to those situations.
9. Which of the trope themes popular in Scifi and Horror do you think is the most played out at this point, vampires, zombies or superheroes?
Lately? Superheroes. That’s something of an irritating admission for me. I grew up reading comic books. I still do. If these superhero movies had come out when I was a kid I would have loved each and every one of them. Now it’s starting to enter the realm of oversaturation. I doubt zombies and vampires will ever be played out. There’s just so much you can do with them.
10.Who are your favorite authors? Who do you read?
How much time do you have? Stephen King, obviously. Dean Koontz. Alan Moore. Neil Gaiman. Richard Matheson. Agatha Christie. So many more.
11. What’s coming up next? Do you have any events, appearances or conferences planned for 2018? What can readers look forward to as far as future releases?
I’m working on two novels at the moment. I hope to have both finished by the end of the year. I don’t want to say much more than that, though.
12. What advice do you have for aspiring authors based on your own experience in publishing?
Get used to the word “no.” You’re going to hear it a lot more than “yes.” But keep trying. It took me almost a year to find a publisher for my first novel. When I did, when that contract arrived, I was walking on air for weeks. The wait and the rejection are worth it when you finally get someone willing to take a chance on you. So, yes, keep trying!
Alas, me hearties, the sun is sinking into the horizon and it is time to wish our guest Author Joseph J. Christiano farewell and Godspeed. The sea certainly seems tame in comparison to the horrors of space travel! We look forward to his next exciting release!
In Your Service As Always,
Patricia Mattern, Mistress of Madness, The Whimsical Herald
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4/8/2018 12:47:39 pm
Mummified corpses and wise ass characters love it and I can't wait to read it!!!
Joseph j. Christiano
4/13/2018 12:07:41 pm
I hope I don't disappoint!
4/8/2018 12:48:22 pm
Another great article P.Mattern. I love the questions you come up with. This author has some great answers too. We have some favorite authors in common.
4/8/2018 12:56:31 pm
Love the intriguing premise and the author's responses ! A must read for any scifi or thriller addict!
4/8/2018 01:07:55 pm
Reading this interview, reminded me of every scary space movie I've ever scene. His descriptions and his research let me know that he really knew about his story. Really makes you want to take a trip to the moon.
Joseph J. Christiano
4/13/2018 12:08:27 pm
You and me both, Janet!
4/8/2018 01:37:25 pm
Another great interview! Cannot wait to read more bub this author!
4/8/2018 02:50:13 pm
Awesome interview PMattern. Loved it. Sounds very interesting. Great trailer. I love how u come up with the questions. Ill have to check this book out.
4/8/2018 03:52:27 pm
Awesome interview 😍😍😍
4/8/2018 09:31:24 pm
Fantastic interview!! Cant wait to read Moon Dust!! I'm intrigued about everything! Inlove the fact rhat he didnsonmuch research... that always makes for great world-building within the novel. And i totally agree... I dont ever think writing about vampires or zombies can ever get old!!! Or maybe I'm just biased cause I'm totally into that right now... haha! But seriously... great interview P. Mattern! You always keep us engaged!!!
Joseph J. Christiano
4/13/2018 12:09:29 pm
I hope you enjoy it, Erin. Let me know!
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Mistress of Madness
Well, do you have any idea why a raven is like a writing desk?
Lewis Carroll, in 1897, proposed this answer, "Because it can produce a few notes, though they are very flat; and it is 'never' put with the wrong end in front!" (raven, spelled backward, is nevar aka never...or as we like to say here at TT...never more!)