I’m pleased to introduce you to Joe Bonadonna, one of the authors in Doctors in Hell, a heroic science fiction and fantasy writer that has so many interesting books available, that after this interview I’m gonna run to Amazon and buy them all! Yes, I’m not ashamed to admit I do judge book by the covers and Joe’s covers definitely hooked me…I’m especially interested to know what’s hidden between ‘THREE AGAINST THE STARS’ covers.
Joe has thus far published three books: the heroic fantasy, Mad Shadows: The Weird Tales of Dorgo the Dowser, published by iUniverse; the space opera, Three Against The Stars, published by Airship 27 Productions; and Waters of Darkness, a sword and sorcery pirate adventure, (in collaboration with David C. Smith), published by Damnation Books. He also written stories for several fantasy and sword & sorcery anthologies: Azieran: Artifacts and Relics, published by Heathen Oracle; Griots: Sisters of the Spear, published by MVmedia; and Sinbad: The New Voyages, Vol. 4, published by Airship 27 Productions. For Perseid Press, Joe has stories appearing in Poets in Hell, Heroika: Dragon Eaters and the forthcoming Doctors in Hell. In addition to his fiction, Joe has written a number of articles and book reviews for Rogue Blades Entertainment, and Black Gate Magazine.
You can find Joe on Facebook and Google+
Visit Joe’s Amazon Author’s page at: http://www.amazon.com/Joe-Bonadonna/e/B009I1KYIK
Check out his blog, at: www.dorgoland.blogspot.com.
Joe, please tell us, where do you get ideas for your stories?
Almost everywhere: the news, mythology, something somebody said, watching old movies, or even watching science, documentaries, and travel shows on PBS. For instance, in “Hell on a Technicality,” my story for Doctors in Hell, I deal with the nature of the soul — what it is and where it might be located, in the brain or in the heart? Now, every man and woman that I know of who is in Hell was born with a soul. So their sins and crimes stained their souls, and got then damned to perdition. But I write about two characters who were not “sired by men and born of women” — Galatea (Pygmalion’s creation and later wife), and Adam Frankenstein, better known as Frankenstein’s Monster. Both we created by the hand of man: Galatea was given life by a pagan goddess, and Adam was given life through a stolen spark of the Divine. However, since they’re both constructs made my man, the question is . . . do they have souls? If they don’t, why are they in Hell? Was it a clerical error in the system that brought them there? And if they don’t have souls, then could they possibly get out of Hell on a technicality? They meet with a panel of experts — doctors of medicine and doctors of philosophy such as Plato, Leonardo da Vinci, Archimedes, and others — and I think I resolve this issue to everyone’s satisfaction.
But that’s only half the story. The other half concerns the plagues that are ravaging Hell and tormenting the damned. With all the brand-name and generic drugs we have on the market today, and all their side effects which cause harm and often prove fatal, I thought it might be fun to deal with those issues. And what other physician could I find to put to work on a vaccine for these plagues than the infamous Doctor Victor Frankenstein? He has a new hunchback lab assistant, too: Quasimodo, the Hunchback of Notre Dame. Together they develop a vaccine, Victor’s Vaccine . . . but of course, Hell being Hell, the side effects are disastrous.
What was the hardest part of writing your stories?
For me, it’s most often the plot. I always struggle with plot. I get ideas, but turning those into full-fledged stories is where the challenge lies. First I dream up a story, which is coming up with the idea, the McGuffin, as Alfred Hitchcock called it. Once I have that established, then I look for characters who will want the McGuffin for various reasons, whether to use, sell, trade or destroy. Sometimes the characters come right in and talk to me, and sometimes I have to go searching for them. Most of my stories deal not with the McGuffin — which could be anything at all, as far as I’m concerned (remember Marcellus’ briefcase in Pulp Fiction, for example: what was in it and why did people want it?), but with the characters and to what lengths they will go to get their little hands on the McGuffin. Once all that is established (although things often change as the story progresses), then I design the story, which is more or less outlining to one degree or another. Finally, I sit down and start building the tale, doing the actual writing. I usually write very slowly, but for Doctors in Hell, my “Hell on a Technicality” pretty much wrote itself, quickly and without too much agony, and the editing process was a breeze. Of course, Janet Morris played a huge part in helping me shape the story, as she did in both my previous tale for Poets in Hell, and for my story in her Heroika: Dragon Eaters, too.
If you could go back in time, what would you say to your younger version?
Get a more thorough education, spend less time partying, hanging out in bars, and chasing women. And a huge part of that was because from 1964 to 1984 I was heavily involved in Chicago’s rock and roll scene, as musician, songwriter, roadie, and performer. I would also talk myself into taking more writing courses, to attend either Columbia College or Northwestern University, and try to get my foot into Hollywood as a screenwriter and maybe even a performer when I was in my 20s, instead of in my 40s. And I would tell me to sign up for Second City, because when I was wandering around Chicago’s Old Town district back in the day, people like John Belushi, Dan Ackroyd, Bill Murray, and others were involved with SC. Isn’t hindsight the best?
Definitely Could you give us a one sentence synopsis of your story.
While Galatea and Frankenstein’s Monster hope to find out that they don’t have souls and can get out of Hell on a technicality, Doctor Frankenstein and his hunchbacked lab assistant, Quasimodo, develop a vaccine for the plagues ravaging Hell . . . but the side effects are horrific. (“Hell on a Technicality,” from Doctors in Hell)
JOE BONADONNA’S BOOK LINKS:
Mad Shadows: The Weird Tales of Dorgo the Dowser — Heroic Fantasy. http://www.amazon.com/Mad-Shadows-Weird-Tales-Dowser/dp/1450276156
Three Against The Stars — Space Opera.
Waters of Darkness, (co-written with David C. Smith) — Swords and Sorcery.
PERSEID PRESS ANTHOLOGIES IN WHICH I HAVE STORIES:
Poets in Hell — Bangsian Fantasy, Volume 17 in the Heroes in Hell series, created by Janet Morris. Published by Perseid Press. Featuring “Undertaker’s Holiday,” by Joe Bonadonna and Shebat Legion, and “We the Furious,” by Joe Bonadonna.
Heroika: Dragon Eaters — Heroic Fantasy anthology, created by Janet Morris. Published by Perseid Press. Featuring “The Dragon’s Horde,” by Joe Bonadonna.
Doctors in Hell — Bangsian Fantasy. Volume 18 in the Heroes in Hell series, created by Janet Morris. Published by Perseid Press. Featuring “Hell on a Technicality,” by Joe Bonadonna.
Purchase a copy here!
Azieran Presents: Artifacts and Relics — Extreme Sword and Sorcery. Sword and Sorcery tales, created by Christopher Heath. Published by Heathen Oracle. Available for Kindle, only
Featuring “The Book of Echoes,” by Joe Bonadonna.
Griots: Sisters of the Spear — Sword and Soul Heroic Fantasy. Created by Milton Davis and Charles Saunders. Published by MVmedia.
Featuring “The Blood of the Lion,” by Joe Bonadonna.
Sinbad: The New Voyages, Volume 3 — Heroic Fantasy anthology, created by Ron Fortier, published by Airship 27 Productions.
Featuring “Sinbad and the Golden Fleece,” by Joe Bonadonna.
All books available in paperback and Kindle editions from Amazon.
Thank you, Joe! I’m off to Amazon now!