What is your favorite ice cream flavor?
Mint chocolate chip. As a single flavor. But if we are talking about a full-blown sundae, then I’d have to go with anything that involves chocolate ice cream and peanut butter toppings.
Which mythological creature are you most like?
Atlas. I feel that no matter what I’m involved with—my writing, my music (I’m in bands), my company etc—I have a hard time delegating the things I feel directly relate to my own creativity, even when there is a team surrounding me. I always feel like I’m supporting all my projects on my shoulders, even if it’s a collaborative effort.
First book you remember making an indelible impression on you.
I think that comes in stages throughout life. The first book I ever read where I knew I was going to be a bookworm was Judy Blume’s Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing. That was the book where I said, “Oh man, books are this much fun to read? What else is out there?” It was Stephen King’s The Dark Half where I thought, “I want to do that! I want to write novels.” Then I’d say The Great Gatsby and Les Miserables made me realize the importance of solid character development. And Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar showed me the importance of emotionally connecting with the characters. Jean Auel’s The Earth’s Children series was the first time a series captivated me throughout each installment. But it was Clive Barker’s Imajica where I saw how beautiful it could be to have reality and center-of-reality landscapes blend together seamlessly.
How do you develop your plot and characters?
I am primarily a rock-fiction author, which means I adapt albums or songs into novels or short stories. It’s the same approach as a film being adapted from a novel; I just take albums and adapt them into novels. (Think if Pink Floyd’s The Wall or The Who’s Tommy were turned into novels instead of films and plays.) It’s my job as a rock-fiction author to find the story arc within the lyrics. And the more ambiguous the lyric, the harder it is sometimes for me to locate the plot of what I want to write. Studying the lyrics of what I’m adapting, whether it be romance or sci-fi or drama, is imperative to getting it right and not veering too far off course from the source material. Sometimes I reach out to other fans for their interpretations of certain lyrics, and by getting their insight, helps me see an approach from a different angle. The characters are developed based on the mood or atmosphere of the music in the songs, not so much the lyrics. If the song/album is a cheesy new wave song, my characters might behind whimsically and flamboyant. If it’s a dark, brooding song or album, they might be more morose or violent. The music dictates the character development; the lyrics dictate the plot.
Describe your writing space.
When we moved from Japan to North Carolina and were looking for a new house, my wife was adamant about finding a house where I could have my own writing office. With doors. I wrote my first two novels, Dreams Are Unfinished Thoughts and Welcome to Parkview, in Massachusetts and Georgia at a desktop computer either in a bedroom or in the living room. I wrote my third novel, Yours Truly, 2095, on a laptop either in our kitchen or tatami room in Japan. After that experience, it was my wife who said, “You need a real writing office.” So my office is a writing desk, two computers, my bookcase, a printer, a futon where I can sit and reflect away from the glow of a monitor, and some recording gear. Moonlight City Drive was written in this space, and it was the fastest I have ever completed a novel.
Snapshot in the parking lot. Man and woman embrace. Betrayal, I see it every day, like my own reflection in the mirror staring back at me. Another case, another bottle of booze, life is no longer a mystery to me …
… Because I’m the private eye, hot on your trail; the top gun for hire. You’ll find me lurking in the shadows, always searching for a clue. I’m the bulletproof detective. I got my eye on you …
What’s a little sin under the covers, what’s a little blood between lovers? What’s a little death to be discovered, cold stiff body under the covers?
I’m digging you a desert grave, underneath the burning sun. You won’t be found by anyone. Vultures circle in the sky, and you, my dear, are the reason why.
… I was always easily influenced.
Brian Paone was born and raised in the Salem, Massachusetts area. Brian has, thus far, published four novels: a memoir about being friends with a drug-addicted rock star, Dreams are Unfinished Thoughts; a macabre cerebral-horror novel, Welcome to Parkview; a time-travel romance novel, Yours Truly, 2095, (which was nominated for a Hugo Award, though it did not make the finalists); and a supernatural, crime-noir detective novel, Moonlight City Drive. Along with his four novels, Brian has published three short stories: “Outside of Heaven,” which is featured in the anthology, A Matter of Words; “The Whaler’s Dues,” which is featured in the anthology, A Journey of Words; and “Anesthetize (or A Dream Played in Reverse on Piano Keys),” which is featured in the anthology, A Haunting of Words.
Brian is also a vocalist and has released seven albums with his four bands: Yellow #1, Drop Kick Jesus, The Grave Machine, and Transpose. He is married to a US Naval Officer, and they have four children. Brian is also a police officer and has been working in law enforcement since 2002.
He is a self-proclaimed roller coaster junkie, a New England Patriots fanatic, and his favorite color is burnt orange. For more information on all his books and music, visit www.BrianPaone.com
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