Thursday, February 15, 2018

Jay Bonansinga and Paul Heitsch Interview

Jay Bonansinga is an award winning indy filmmaker and screenwriter who has worked with horror legend George Romero, Will Smith’s production company, and Dennis Haysbert’s The Unit, among others. His debut novel THE BLACK MARIAH was a finalist for a Bram Stoker award, and his numerous short tales and articles have been published in many magazines. In addition, he writes some Walking Dead novels. Holder of a master’s degree in film from Columbia College Chicago, Jay currently resides in Evanston, Illinois, is a visiting professor at Northwestern University in their Creative Writing for the Media program, and the Graduate Writing Program at DePaul University. He can be reached at Paul Heitsch is an audiobook narrator and gaming music composer (Myst.) His first recorded novel was The Miraculous Plot of Leiter and Lott in 2011 (which is my own.) He has since recorded 100 titles, including Bonansinga’s The Sleep Police, both for Crossroad Press. Heitsch is one of the finalists in the current Audie Awards (whose category I am not judging.) Read and/or listen to their titles to be a judge for yourself HERE
Jonathan Lowe) What are your favorite audiobooks of yours, and why? 
Jay Bonansinga) I love all the versions of my books that were done as audiobooks, but I especially love the Robert Forster performance of my book The Killers Game. This guy is pure Chicago with his hard R's and flat vowels!  Also love Fred Berman, who does all the Walking Dead books. 
JL) What about The Black Mariah, which hasn’t gone to audio yet? I used to review for trucking magazines like Truckers News and Landline, plus Cracker Barrel stores, which has an audiobook program. XM Radio too, which truckers listen to. Why did you write that book?
JB) I guess I always saw the cross country trucker as the last cowboy.  Running cattle, taking no shit from anybody, always pushing, tough as rawhide.  I have my chauffeur's license, but the first day I drove a huge stake truck when I was nineteen. I clipped a mirror off another rig and that was career kaput in one day!
JL) Paul, congrats on your nomination! Describe the audiobook nominated, would you?
Paul Heitsch) Nevertheless We Persisted is an anthology of short stories and poems, all exploring various themes. I’m one of 26 narrators who were cast to record the pieces, and am incredibly proud and humbled by the Audie nomination for Best Original Work. Tanya Eby, the producer, and owner of Blunderwoman Productions, was so generous to include me on the project, and I’m really looking forward to thanking her in person at the Audies Gala!
JL) Good luck! What about The Sleep Police?
Sleep Police was also a terrific book, with unforgettable scenes and characters. Please convey my thanks and best wishes to Jay Bonansinga.
JL) Oh! Before we go, tell readers about the bestselling Omega Force series that you narrate.
PH) The Omega Force series has been such an amazing experience to narrate. Over the course of the nine books—thus far—the central characters and their relationships with each other have continued growing more complex and nuanced. Author Joshua Dalzelle is absolutely fearless about letting the story arcs go in organic directions, rather than imposing some artificial gift-wrapped happy-ever-after ending to each book. And the stories themselves are just plain fun to read, full of action, humor, intrigue, and suspense. All of which he handles very deftly.

Footnote: For my original interview with Paul, go HERE. 

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