Sometimes, in the course of my work, I meet brilliant people and i’m inclined to talk to them and learn from them. This is my debut interview but it’s one of the best interviews I have had so far (Others not documented yet).
I met EM Bosso online in one of the Facebook groups we belong to, together. Over time, we started talking and I realized that he had a style of writing that was a perfect mix of adulterated humor. The capacity to address important (and sometimes painful) issues in the society and still make it funny is something many writers fall short of.
EM Bosso is bold, outspoken (at least in print) and tackles tough topics with a light touch. I enjoyed this interview and I’m sure you will also relate.
JL: Thank you for stepping from your busy schedule to conduct an interview with us. It will be my absolute pleasure to ask you a few questions on your work, your journey so far and what you have in store for us in future.
Every writer has their own specific style of writing. Before we get to the first question, kindly introduce us to you and your style of writing
EM Bosso: My name is EM Bosso and I will be your host for this fascinating retrospective of… EM Bosso. Mr. Bosso wasn’t always an author, far from it in fact, but he always had the dream. From his early days of writing an underground newspaper at his small Catholic High School (the five-day suspension from school was totally unwarranted) to his monthly newsletter on finance and the stock market, getting the word out and causing trouble has always been part of his life. His love of narration may stem from his annoying habit of speaking of himself in the third person….
With a background in finance, lobbying for the disabled, banking, baseball and computer system design (among many other varied professions we shall not mention) much of his life has been devoted to finding new and better ways to make the world better one person at a time, one project at a time. As a firm believer in Karma, EM is convinced that someday it will come back to him tenfold… to date he is still waiting.
(prepare to change to first person… lol)
I’ve been told my style of writing is raw, naked and real. I think that description is accurate. I write novels for a purpose as well as entertainment. I won’t say they are politically active novels, I try to avoid the politically arena wherever possible, but the issues and scenes in all of my novels are based on real life, real stories and frequently real people that I have either researched, interviewed or known in person. They are, of course, fictionalized and exaggerated for impact and therefore not TRUE but filled with TRUTH.
As for the naked comment… I’m not sure how the person knew what I wear when I write, but surprisingly accurate… lol.
Actually, they just meant that you can feel the emotions of my characters be it sadness, fear, pain or joy and that is exactly as I intend it to be. When I finish writing a scene, if I’m not happy, horny, sad or appalled, I go back and do it again until I am.
JL: That’s an interesting approach. Where do you get the motivation to write?
EM Bosso: Sadly, I get my motivation to write from the world around us. I’m multi-genre not because I can’t decide what genre I fit into best, but because there is so much pain in the world that needs to be addressed.
The FBoM series is based on abuse, rape, date-rape and vengeance but that’s just the overall wrapper the story lives within. The novels address the causes, the misunderstandings, the sociopathy and the aftermath. How can something so appalling have survived as a common occurrence since the beginning of time. Aren’t we now more advanced, more civilized than our cave dwelling ancestors? Or is that just something we tell ourselves to rationalize our existence? How do we justify subjugating and entire gender? How does an entire gender, that has raised the majority of males, avoid teaching their sons a better way over thousands of years? Most importantly… What can we do going forward to make the world a better and safer place where everyone is treated equally with kindness, tenderness and respect?
The SMAFU series deals with love, life and relationships. Marriages are not always easy, they don’t always succeed and last. SMAFU in the first novel is an acronym that stands for Situation Married All Fucked Up and deals with some harsh realities of infidelity, both physical and emotional. It deals with emotional abandonment, lost dreams, and the growing distance most couples experience as life drags them down and draws them apart. Mortgages, kids, careers all play their part in changing the landscape and relationship of the young dreamy-eyed and frequently unrealistic couple that fell in love and believed their partner would always be the same person that they married.
The upcoming sequel, SMAFU: Soulmates, deals with a couple whose marriage has already failed and their trials and tribulations in moving on towards a new life without the partner they had always imagined they would have. It’ll be another hit… I think… I hope… Maybe… lol
JL: We wish you success as well. In your writing tips eBook, you stated categorically that when a writer hits a writer’s block, they should step into the shower and things work out for themselves. What methods do you apply yourself to get out of that?
EM Bosso: So far my only writing block is time. I still work full time as a Financial Advisor and write as both a hobby and a budding business. When I find the time, pumping out five to ten thousand words, that leaves the reader in a puddle of emotional confusion and angst hasn’t been a problem. Stating that… the cure for writer’s block is really just to write. Open up your laptop and just start typing, eventually the words will begin to flow and you’ll be on your way.
What’s that old saying about a room full of monkeys with typewriters and Shakespeare?
JL: Food for thought, definitely. In your writing tips #42, you stated that fiction writers are liars and fraud because they create an imaginary world and tend to make us believe that something that didn’t happen occurred. Didn’t you mean to say they fiction writers are “creative and imaginative”
EM Bosso: Well… actually… ummm… no. I meant that in jest, obviously, but there is truth in the words. Our job is to spin a yarn so successfully that the reader believes it to be real for the length of a novel. We are supreme liars telling tales so believable the reader FEELS emotion.
A painter is creative and imaginative, but do you FEEL angst, anger, sadness when you look at the Mona Lisa?
A sculptor is creative and imaginative, but do you feel pain, fear, anger when you see the Statue of David?
My point was as a compliment… authors, and by extension actors, are the supreme con-men. We give the truth scope.
JL: Well put. I’m curious to know who is your favorite author and how have they influenced your style of writing or motivated you to be who you are?
EM Bosso: That question requires two separate answers…
My favorite author that has inspired my writing style is Mathew Woodring Stover. He is brilliant, aggressive and writes on so many layers of consciousness I discover something new every time I re-read his Cain series. He has pushed me to not shy away from hard scenes simply because it might possibly offend someone. The truth, and the world, is not always a pleasant place but as a society we like it clean and sanitized. Well… that makes real truth hidden and unspoken. As long as it stays in the shadows… it will never get any better.
The author that has most influenced my personal life, however, is Marion Zimmer Bradley. Her Darkover series formed my open heart towards acceptance of all forms of sexual expression and the overall strength of women. Her novels strive to show that we are all equal, all important and most importantly… love is love regardless of who it is with or how it is shown.
JL: I’m yet to come across their works but I will definitely check them out. Have you ever read a book that made you cry?
EM Bosso: Yes… it was my 1985 high school yearbook. It was twenty years later and the haircut I was sporting in my picture was appalling. It explained everything about my poor dating performance during my high school years.
There was also a novel by Elizabeth Moon entitled The Legend of Paksenarrian that had a scene that was almost more than I could handle. I won’t say I broke down and cried, but it definitely struck a chord that left my cheeks much damper than when I had started reading…
JL: When writing, do you try to deliver original ideas or do you get inspiration from already published works from other writers, such as Mathew and Marion, your favorite one?
EM Bosso: Everything I write is original. I intentionally write things that others avoid… someone has to do it. Stating that, I’m sure subconsciously I pull from authors I’ve enjoyed over the years in style, form and general, not specific, content.
JL: How did publishing your first book change your writing style?
My first novel, although well received, was… a first novel. It could have been better, more robust, and filled with more flavor and style. I’m not saying it was bad, in fact it was very very good. But everything I have done since then is simply… better.
JL: What kind of research do you do before starting on a new book?
EM Bosso: It depends on the novel. The SMAFU series doesn’t require much in the way of research as it is more based on emotion, observation and experience. The FBoM series required, and still requires, extensive research into history, sociopathy, abuse, gaslighting, DARVO and college date rape. Before writing the first novel in the series it also involved interviews and discussions with women who wished to remain anonymous regarding the aftermath and emotions involved in being a survivor of such trauma. It was heartbreaking, but it allowed me to write some of the most real and true scenes and emotions that I’ve ever seen put to paper.
JL: Being a successful writer today is a long call from the nuts and bolts stacker that you once were. What propelled you to grab life by the nuts, kick the bolt in (pun intended) and take the plunge into writing?
EM Bosso: Insanity, frustration, and lots of Scotch. Honestly… I’ve always written in one form or another starting with an underground newspaper that almost got me expelled from High School. I prefer to think my other jobs have just been side-gigs until I can pay the bills with my words.
JL: Sure, we all start somewhere. Are you currently working on a new book and what is it about?
EM Bosso: Currently I have several items on the agenda. SMAFU: Soulmates is complete and in the final stages of formatting for print before it is released. FBoM: The Betterment is finished and in the final stages of formatting for print as well. I’ve written a book of fairytales as they should have been told, which is in the process of editing and proofing, a dreamwalker dark fantasy which is complete but I can’t decide if I want to publish (it’s a mix of 1984, Brave New World, and a little Stover mixed in), frankly it is so dark I don’t know if I care to put my name on it no matter how good it is… lol
I will soon be starting FBoM 3, which is yet untitled, and a few novellas here and there to give some background on the characters in all of my novels. So… yeah… been busy.
JL: You have a lot on your plate. Tell us a little more about your novel, FBOM, The foundation.
EM Bosso: FBoM is the first novel of a trilogy based upon a man who loses his daughter to suicide after she is raped at college. He has the resources, training, and connections to set up a Foundation that has a dual mandate, to be the Sword and the Shield protecting women where they can and doling out vigilante justice when they can’t. The story itself stands on its own with intrigue, suspense, romance (yes some romance) and action but if you dig beneath the surface you will find layer after layer of meaning and social commentary. When does right become wrong, where does righteous justice cross the line and become meaningless vengeance? Where do we draw the line between doing what is right and what is necessary? I haven’t even scratched the surface of what goes through the perpetrators mind, or how it affects the women involved. The FBoM series takes you there, draws you in and beats you over the head with raw emotion and powerful realities.
There is so much to the FBoM series that I can’t do it justice in just a few paragraphs… you’ll just have to read the novels…
JL: Where can we find my works online?
EM Bosso: The best place to keep track of my works is my website, EMBosso.net. You can sign up for my email list and I will happily send you an update when something exciting happens. I don’t spam, so you won’t hear from me very often, but when you do… it’ll be epic. Lol
You will also find links to the retailers that offer my novels and frequent blog posts that hopefully you find as meaningful as I do.
JL: I believe that you also assist potential authors by giving them free writing tips? Which 3 writing tips do you commonly give to these newbies?
The first and most important writing tip is to write for yourself not for your audience. If you become hugely successful, at some point you will need to write novels that your fans love, but for now… do it because it is what you love. If your writing is pure, and shows what is inside your heart, the fans will find you eventually and they will stay with you for life.
The second tip is simple… write, write, write and then write some more. An average novel in most genres is 80,000 words, in order to get there-after editing- you need to start with at least 120,000 words. You will be surprised how much you delete in order to make your story better. We, as authors, love the words we write. The readers love what we write after we remove the words that get in the way of the story. Imagine if a movie included everything that was filmed instead of being edited… it would be awful.
Finally… I’m sad to say my third tip would be there are very few overnight successes. In fact, most overnight successes take decades. Don’t get discouraged, don’t give up if it’s what you love. Remember tip number one… write for yourself, not your audience. If you are putting out work you are proud of, and you love, eventually the money will follow.
CRAZY QUESTIONS SECTIONS
This is a section I’m very eager to hear what you have to say. The questions might be a bit crazy, but it will help in getting to know you better.
JL: Do you Google yourself?
EM Bosso: Good lord no… I’m terrified that picture from my 1985 yearbook will rear its ugly head…
JL: What advice, in 3 words, would you give to the 10-year-old version of yourself?
EM Bosso: Don’t get married. (Kidding… just a joke… please forward hate mail to the sponsor of this interview. There is no proof I wrote that. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.)
JL: Tell us something we do not know about you
EM Bosso: Hmmm…. I’m a left-handed Aquarian, which of course means I might change my mind tomorrow about everything and decide to become a long-haul truck driver just for fun.
JL: Which book do you secretly wish you were the one who wrote it
EM Bosso: It’s no secret at all, I talk about the series frequently. The Harry Dresden Chronicles by Jim Butcher. They are unique, entertaining, and filled with humor as just enough fantasy to help suspend reality. Between the sarcastic humor and the old fashioned feel of a Sam Spade novel… I’m a little jealous.
JL: What’s the biggest lie you ever told anyone?
EM Bosso: “I’m Batman”
JL: If you had a super power, what would it be?
EM Bosso: That’s easy… Mind control. (I like to avoid arguments)
EM BOSSO PROFILE:
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