Orsayor: Hi Jeff, Thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself and your background?
Jeff: My pleasure, Orsayor. Let’s see, I was born in Philadelphia and now live in Bucks County, Pennsylvania with my wife Kelly and our two cats Sammy and Bear. Free time is spent reading and writing (big surprise), exercising, watching MMA (mixed martial arts), and, I don’t know, eating steak and drinking beer as often as possible. Huge animal lover too.
As for writing, I started very young with short stories and the like. I learned by reading and imitating my favorite writers. I think Stephen King said the two things aspiring writers must do is read and write consistently, and I’d have to agree—there is no better teacher.
Orsayor: What inspired you to write Cling?
Jeff: I always want to test myself with trying out different genres. People tend to know me for darker stuff, and while I love and will continue to write in that genre, I feel like one should always try things out of their comfort zone. That’s where true growth occurs. So, Cling was something I actually started over two years ago in an attempt to venture out of my comfort zone. The idea just hit me one day, and I started writing, and before I knew it, I had about twenty pages done without so much as a pause. It was a great feeling like I was possessed.
I wanted to write a kind of female Mad Max story of a world gone to hell, and some badass woman roaming these wastelands, yet I didn’t want to make her invincible and one-dimensional. I find flawed characters far more interesting to read and write. So Sadie (the main character) was born, but there was so much more to be told; I really felt the project had limitless potential. So, on a whim, I asked my sister (a genius when it comes to knowledge and research on just about anything) if she wanted to co-author the project with me, and she agreed. It took some time (I had never collaborated before, and I was juggling other projects as well), but it is finally done and ready for pre-orders!
Orsayor: Do you work with an outline or plot or do you prefer just to see where an idea takes you?
Jeff: Definitely the latter. I have a general idea of where the story goes, but it never ends the way I think it will. Once I get going, the characters kind of take over, and I’m simply telling their story as I see it unfold. Hope that made sense.
Orsayor: Was there a scene in Cling that was hard for you to write?
Jeff: Hmmm…kind of. The most difficult part was collaborating with my sister. By that I mean, I would finish my part, then send it to her and have to wait, working on something else in the meantime. When she would finish her part and send it back, it would be difficult to get back into the mindset of the characters sometimes. So I guess that was a bit of a struggle.
Orsayor: Give readers an insight into one of your main characters from the book.
Jeff: Well, I already mentioned Sadie, so I’ll mention Finn now. Finn is a bounty hunter, but unlike most bounty hunters, his heart isn’t completely dead. He’s a badass, but a clever badass. He won’t fight if he can find an easier way to subdue someone. He also has a long-standing feud with a very powerful gang that plays a big part in the plot, not to mention he and Sadie shared some time together back in the day, so there’s even the tiniest bit of a love interest thing going on. The problem is, both characters are too bull-headed to admit their crush, so instead it comes out like schoolyard taunting of one another, I suppose LOL.
Orsayor: What sort of readers/audience do you believe will find Cling interesting and enjoyable to read?
Jeff: I’m hoping everyone! Obviously fans of post-apocalyptic and the dystopian genre should enjoy it, but I’m hoping my sister and I have crafted a strong enough story and likable enough characters that all avid readers should have fun with it. The age range on this one is different too. I wouldn’t recommend some of my books like Bad Games or Wildlife and certainly not Numb to a middle-schooler, but I think they’d be okay with Cling. Yeah, there’s violence and adult themes, etc., but I’d say it’s suitable for about fifteen and up, so maybe the young adult audience can get in on it as well. Who knows?
Orsayor: Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character from your book?
Jeff: Yeesh, these are tough to answer. I’m not real good at following current celebrities. I’ll go with Milla Jovovich for Sadie. She’s done lots of gritty action films, and I’ve had a crush on her since forever.
Orsayor: What’s one valuable piece of advice you were given that helped your career?
Jeff: Never quit and grow a thick skin. That’s two, isn’t it?
Orsayor: Can you tell readers about any upcoming projects?
Jeff: Well, Cling, of course. After that, I have another dark thriller in the works. Also started the second installment for Side Effects (my police procedural series with FBI agent Maggie Allen). And there’s a very good chance that a 4th Bad Games installment will be out soon.
Orsayor: How can readers discover more about you and you work?
Jeff: To find out more about me and my work, best places are probably my website www.jeffmenapace.com (I recommend signing up for my free newsletter to get the first words on new releases, advanced peeks at future projects and occasional free stuff) or Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/JeffMenapace.writer/)
To find all of my available work, the best place is Amazon (https://www.amazon.com/Jeff-Menapace/e/B004R09M0S) or my website.