Five Questions With… John Zanetti

Editor Note: Hamish has another in his series of Five Questions With…

Hamish came up with this idea because he was accumulating too much material for his Famous News Sushi column and asked if he could do these mini-interviews. Why would we say no?

Thank you Hamish for being such a trooper for us. We really appreciate all fo your hard work.

Let us know what you think of these interviews in the comments below.


TGG: Recently, I was introduced to this great indie author I think you’re all going to love by my film’s editor, Felicity Tillack. So, without further ado… Could you please introduce yourself to our readers?

JZ (not Jay-Z, but JZ): I am a Kiwi/Australian living in Tropical Queensland for the past 22 years. Home is currently on the Atherton Tablelands in the small farming community of Mareeba. No traffic lights! I love it. Banana plantations and extinct volcanoes and giant spiders. I live alone in a small caravan surrounded by farmland and I like it that way. Favourite genres? Well, look at my books. Post-apocalypse, zombies, dystopia, and general mayhem. Netflix junkie – mostly sci-fi/fantasy of the horror kind but also John Wick and I loved the Umbrella Academy [we loved that one too – TGG].

TGG: You sound like our sort of person. Can you tell us about your latest collection of short stories?

JZ: Girls with Attitude. Five short novellas. Sci-fi with a dash of zombies and dragons. Suitable YA but quirky and a tad dark. Lead characters are mostly young women but not necessarily of the kick-ass kind.

TGG: Awesome! Can’t wait to check them out! Can you tell us about your previous novels?

JZ: The Gardener Who Could See is about a young man with sight who lives in an underground city of blind people. Here, he is the misfit and considered to be disabled because his sight gets him into constant trouble. He falls in love with the elite daughter of the city’s leader and strife follows. Set against a background of rebellion and conspiracy in the city.

This novel was first published as a paperback in Australia and got many good reviews from literary journals, newspapers, and a major sci-fi site.

Cantal’s Revenge. In a distant dystopian future a young woman is abducted and sexually assaulted by renegades. She is rescued by the dangerous and enigmatic Miss Abigail and sets out on a path of revenge. Suitable YA but older readers will find plenty here too.

War of the Shadows. My first novel. In a dystopian New Zealand, a group of people thrown together form the organisation Heritage to fight government oppression and tyranny and this leads to civil war. Along the way, they find that the cost of winning may be more than they are willing to pay.

TGG: [I mistakenly asked this question. I was trying to ask another question… but his response is too good not to include] What do you love about working?

JZ: I don’t love anything about working. I would much rather write and do algebra. Yes, algebra. Is that so strange?

TGG: Again, you’re our sort of person. Now for the question I actually intended to ask (lesson: don’t write interview questions on your phone)… What do you enjoy about writing?

JZ: ‘Enjoy’ is possibly not quite the right word. It implies pleasure. For me writing is more of a compulsion. If I don’t get these worlds out of my head, I’ll go crazy. Too late, you say, the damage done. (Bit of Neil Young there.) You know, a famous author once said, “if they knew what was really going on in our heads, they’d lock us up.” (Kiwi author, Janet Frame, I think. In her case, they did lock her up but she survived them and wrote classic stuff you never forget.)

TGG: And finally… where can we best support you? (buy your work, follow you on social media, your website etc)

Yes please. All of that.


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