Sunday, February 13, 2011

Interviewing a Maker of Monsters ~ Andrew Mocete ~

~~ Interview with friend and urban fantasy author Andrew Mocete. He always has something interesting on his blog and he really dissects stories, looking for the emotions underneath. Let’s visit him a bit. ~~

Q: So you are a giant fan of Joss Whedon. What is it about his work that attracts a writer like you to what some would call tongue-in-cheek.

** Andrew ** Right. I guess I can understand someone hearing the name Buffy the Vampire Slayer and not wanting to take it seriously, but it was an extremely smart show. Of all the reasons for this, the main one is Joss’s firm grasp of human emotion. He admits he doesn’t know much about science and other technical stuff, but when it comes to emotion, few are better than him. You’ll laugh, be scared and have your heart ripped out all in one episode.

None of us know what it’s like to fight monsters or to be super strong. We do know anger, sadness, joy and everything else in between. That’s what Buffy did for me; it tapped into what I could relate to in a fantastic way. For example, if they want to tell a story about a guy who’s sweet to his girlfriend one minute and horrible the next, he literally becomes a monster when he’s horrible to her. That satisfies your basic need for the fantastic aspect, but at the core, the issue being addressed is one hundred percent real life stuff.

Q: You’ve hit a lot of the areas we can all focus on. But what makes you unique as a writer?

** Andrew ** I don’t know. I think that’s the type of thing you get labeled as by fans or peers. Stephen King probably wasn’t writing Carrie thinking, “This will surely make me The Master of Horror.” The guy was trying to break into book publishing and writing the best story he could. After he became the phenom he is, other people started calling him The Master of Horror.

I’m very passionate about the vampire series I’m working on and if I do my job right, I’ll transfer my passion into the hearts and minds of my readers. As an artist, it’s the best possible outcome. If readers decide I’m a new, unique voice in urban fantasy, I’ll be flattered beyond belief, but at the end of the day, I’m always going to write what gets me excited.

Q: A lot of people think the world is so close to chaos, we are barely containing it with curtains. Some say the loss of oil will lead to worldwide devastation. Others go as far as to say zombies will come into reality. I see you love zombies. Will you write a zombie book too?

** Andrew ** Nothing on the horizon as of yet because my vampire series is the priority. I want to get a few of them under my belt before I move on, but I love zombie movies! It’s the whole survival aspect of the genre that gets me.

If you’ve ever seen the original Night of the Living Dead, on the surface the zombies provide the tension, but the movie’s real focus are the group of people trapped in the house. They’re from all walks of life and would never in a million years choose to do anything together. Now they have to and still in the face of this danger, they do horrible selfish things to each other. I think it’s a bold statement on our capacity for evil. At least the zombies put everything they’re about right up front.

Q: Humans have a troubled history. We learn slowly. Do you think we still have problems with stereotypes?

** Andrew ** It’s always going to exist because it’s our nature to categorize. When we first meet someone, we immediately start evaluating. That’s not bad. It’s how we get to know one another. What is bad is to take an opinion of one person and apply it to a group rather than get know what those people are all about.

Q: So, you play guitar too? Did you ever get shaky knees?

** Andrew ** I didn’t want to make mistakes, but in general no. By the time I was doing shows, I had enough confidence in my guitar playing that I was proud of what I could do and wanted to show it off. Plus the guitar was like my partner on stage, so I had it to hide behind so to speak. I’d be more nervous if I was the front man.

Q: What brought you to guitar?

** Andrew ** As the cliché, goes, it was all for the music. For realz. I got into Metallica in my teens and by Christmas had my first guitar. After that, I spent many, many hours trying to become James Hetfield.

Q: Youtube is good for artists the way Facebook and Twitter are for writers. What do you use the most?

** Andrew ** I’m use Twitter most. I have a Facebook account, but I’m not as active. I like with Twitter you’re thrown into millions of conversations and it’s totally okay to jump in on the ones that interest you. With Facebook you have to make friends before you can talk to people, but with Twitter you make friends because you’re talking to people. That’s how I’ve made a bunch of friends, including you.

Q: Then tell us about the vampires in your book. Is it cuddly? (Please no)

** Andrew ** There’s one vampire and he’s not cuddly how you mean, but I do have a fondness for him. Basically it’s a story about a guy trying to find out where he fits in the world. And since I’m urban fantasy, he gets to be a vampire. He’d rather be “normal”, he views being a vampire as some sort of defect. But maybe it isn’t. Maybe it’s what makes him unique. That’s all you get until it’s done!

Q: Will you stay around? Career or hobby?

** Andrew ** I’m in this for the long haul. I want it to be my profession. During the band days, we’d say to each other, “Tonight a million bands are going on and tomorrow another million will.” That’s a lot of voices wanting to be heard. If I want mine to be heard, I have to do the hard work to get there.

The amount of time that goes into writing a book from start to finish could be anywhere from months to years of work. How many people really want to devote that much time to something like that? I’m one of them. It’s exciting because when I get to the finish line I’ll know what every other author feels when their work is finally out in the world. I’m betting I’ll like it so much, I’ll want to do it again and again.

So world, you’re stuck with me.

Thanks for coming Andrew. Please, feel free to add anything else for our readers.

Here is a little bit more about Andrew:

Andrew Mocete has been telling stories for his own amusement since before he could write. There was no smashing He-Man into Skeletor unless there was a complete story and background between said action figures. Granted, these might’ve lacked depth, but for a five year old they were pretty kick-ass.

Since graduating to the written word, he’s decided to share the friends in his head with you all. Isn’t that nice of him?

He’s currently at work on his urban fantasy debut, Monster Inside Me about an amnesiac vampire.

Got the urge to chat with Andrew or ask him a question? You can find him on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads or email him at andrewmocete (at) gmail (dot) com


Jamie Manning said...

Excellent interview. Any time I see or hear about someone writing about vampires I get excited, because all you ever hear anymore is that the vampire genre is over. It's nice to know that some people don't care about what the trends tell us and just write what they want to write.
Thanks for the interview!

Andrew Mocete said...

Thanks Jamie who is a guy! Love that blogger profile.

I don't think a genre ever completely dies. Maybe it goes underground, but as long as people are still passionate about lending their voice to it, it lives on.

Summer Ross said...

Great interview Draven. This new author sounds very promising! I'm a vampire fan- though I don't write about them I can understand why it is appealing to writers.

Jeff Beesler said...

Excellent interview, Draven and Andrew. An amnesiac vampire? Sounds like a promising premise! I'll have to keep my eyes and ears out for it!

Andrew Mocete said...

@Summer and Jefferey

Thanks so much for the support! I'm trying for a Fall release, but nothing's set in stone yet. I hope when it comes out it measures up to your expectations.

e said...

Excellent interview Draven and Andrew. I never tire of Vampires and with imagination and passion any genre can live on indefinitely. There's always a new premise that will peak a person's interest. Awesome!

Andrew Mocete said...

Thanks Michelle! We're emotional creatures so it's only natural that we respond to it. That's the number one thing I hope comes across in all my writing.

And thanks for the follow on twitter, I'll be looking for you.

Unknown said...

Jamie - Thanks for stopping by and glad you liked the interview. Andrew was a joy to speak with and I feel I garnered a cool friend. The novel should be great.

Summer- Thanks for always keeping current. I'll be checking up with you. I've been busy and in a lot of pain lately, but more updates coming.

Jeffery - Yeah, you know he has a great point about a lot of the televisions shows and I'm interested in seeing how his work came out. Most romance writers say they sell emotions, not stories.

Poetic - I don't think I've seen an amnesiac vampire either. It should be really interesting. We will keep everyone up to date.

Andrew - Thanks for checking in and commenting back to the people here. I loved the interview Andrew.

Draven Ames