Continuing in my series of interviews with my Running Wild Anthology colleagues, I’m very pleased to feature Nick Mazzuca. Nick’s story “Buck It and Bolt” is great sci-fi with a gritty soul and lots of heart.
Is there part of the Anthology’s cover collage that reminds you of your story?
I really like the inserts of black-and-white photographs layered under the color overlays – it reminds me of the Cowboy Bebop opening, which is another piece of science fiction centered around regular folks grinding their way through their days.
Would you add anything to the cover to hint at your story?
I’d put a diffused starscape in the background.
What do you like best to write?
I enjoy throwing characters into impossible, no-win situations and seeing how they crawl out.
What’s the biggest stretch for you to write?
I’m great at figuring out the how of world-building, but getting my characters to sing requires a lot of effort.
Where do your stories fall on the plot-driven vs. character-driven spectrum?
I try to cut it straight down the middle. Plot is there for characters to struggle against. Characters are there to survive what the plot throws at them.
What authors did you love most as a kid? Now? What authors have influenced your writing most?
I was a huge fan of Clarke, Peter David, Harlan Ellison, Conan Doyle, and Rosemary Sutcliffe growing up. Frank Herbert’s examination of societies through personal point of view still informs much of my artistic worldview, though I very much reject the “Great Man” theory underpinning it. Right now I’m enjoying Shelley and LeGuin.
Is there a place that you’ve lived (or visited) that most influences your writing?
I grew up in Nebraska, but moving to Philly really did cement my notion of what a city can represent for a people. Economics, sociology, and history really do come together to create the vibe Philly has. Philly is weird, but you never see a bumper sticker saying “Keep Philly Weird.” It stays that way on its own.
What’s the first piece you wrote that you’re still proud of/happy with?
My Master’s Thesis: The Dreamer Deepe. It’s a Lovecraftian horror play that I wrote close to a decade ago. There’s a ton wrong with it, but it moves and has a solid sense of space and place.
What have you been up to since the Anthology came out?
One of my plays had a reading at the Valdez Last Frontier Theatre Conference. Spending a week binging theatre and taking nature photos in one of the most magnificent places on Earth… doesn’t suck.
What do you plan to work on next?
I’m restarting work on a sci-fi horror play as well as getting the outline of a screenplay about alien abduction into gear.
How can readers connect with you?
Twitter for my random musings and angry political scoldings: twitter.com/nickmazzuca
Instagram for lots of striking images (and the occasion fuzzy friend!) @nickmazzuca
Thanks for being part of my blog, Nick! It’s great to hear your news and plans, and I wish you the best success with them!
UPDATE Dec. 8th, 2018
Exciting news! Nick’s story “Buck it and Bolt” has been chosen as one of RWP Readers’ Choice Best of 2018*. Congratulations, Nick!
*Check back for more results soon.