Monday, November 6, 2017

Interview with Joshua Pantalleresco, author of The Wandering God

And today...Joshua Pantalleresco is kind enough to answer those tricky Speculative Fiction Showcase questions...

What prompted you to start running your live Podcast, Just Joshing?
Like all things in my career, by accident.
If you go farther back in my blog, you will see I used to do written interviews.  I got the opportunity to interview Robert J. Sawyer at When Words Collide.  My master plan was to feature him on the website.  This was about the time I finally came into the 21st century with a smart phone and figured I'd record the interview instead of writing it from memory.
During our conversation he mentioned "podcast."   I had no idea what I was doing, but I figured why not?  It seemed like it was a natural extension of what I've been doing with a dozen years interviewing authors and other creative people.   And it's been a blast to do.

In your blog post on February 20, you write about the importance of gratitude and positivity. Why is this important to you as a writer (and a person)?
LE Modesitt Jr's The Recluse Series had a moment when an officer was advised by a near ranking friend to thank the people that helped them.  They never had to, and did.  It really stuck with me.
I realized a long time ago that no one owes you anything.  It seems like such a simple thing, but a lot of people have this tendency to forget that kindness is not a given.  I've been through some tough situations and sometimes it's been by myself, but more often then not I have had good people be there for me.  They never had to, and I recognize that.
Writing is both the loneliest and most collaborative thing to do.  We often find ourselves alone creating the work, but we need people to read it or listen to it.  People never have to do that, but it's the greatest feeling when they do.

You are planning to release your book The Cloud Diver in episodic format in May/June of this year. What made you choose that format?
The smart phone.  I know a lot of people that read stuff in train stations or on the bus or wherever.  Shorter episodic pieces seem like something that would appeal to that crowd.  But it's also a different challenge.  Can I do a full compelling story in so many acts released to often.

Tell us more about The Cloud Diver. You describe it as “the Matrix meets Indiana Jones”. Those are two contrasting genre movies. What made you choose them as a reference point for your blurb?
My podcast with Ron Friedman.  I mentioned the cloud and that it would one day be our archeology.  The idea just stuck with me.

Will there be humour as well as adventure?
Yes and Yes.

What is a "data mine"?
In my case, a term I borrowed from Warren Ellis.  A data mine is a bot that gathers information on a particular topic.  

Thinking about the likes of William Gibson (Neuromancer, Idoru etc) how far has the worldwide web and new technology permeated and changed the world of science fiction?
In my opinion, it's quantified science fiction.   Take the computer.  Old school processors were these giant difference engines.  They were ginormous monstrosities that just screamed doomsday.
Now the most powerful processors in the world are tinier than a molecule.  Think about that.  Our world is denser and tinier.  It's a completely different view than what came before.
On the flipside, we don't look at the social commentary. Old school science fiction looked at the ethical and moral dilemmas that new technologies can bring.  What is lost?  What is gained?  Is there a good choice?  Some real critical thinking is in there.
Today, it's not as prevalent with a few notable exceptions.  

What is the future for science fiction when some see the present as a dystopian reality?
I'd say that science fiction's biggest question in the next twenty years is going to be the redefinition of what is alive and what is real.  We are going to see a lot of changes.  Making sense of it all is going to be a question.

Do you use Scrivener or Word? Or another word-processing program? Or pen and paper?
I use OpenOffice right now.  One day, I hope I'm cool enough to have Scrivener.  That said, I'm using pen and paper more these days.  I find pen and paper stimulates a different part of the brain.  It's also like writing half a draft.   When you type it up, you already make changes as you go.

Would you rather see your stories on the big screen or the little screen?
Depends on the story.  Cloud Diver?  Small Screen.  The Watcher?  Big screen.

What films are you watching now?
Don't go to the theatres as often anymore.  At home?  I'm really digging The Network, and I dig films like The Matrix and Inception.  Fitting for what I'm writing yes?
Best film from more recent times I've watched?  Rogue One.

Are you--or have you ever been--a gamer?
Absolutely.  Most of my spare time right now is being used to play an online CCG called Shadowverse.  It's a horror/fantasy flavoured game that's very well done. 
On consoles, I'm currently working on Tales of Zestiria and every once in a while I play Persona or Final Fantasy.  I also have played tabletop board games and rpgs.

Do you have your own office, study or writing space, or can you write in a cafe or the library? 
I tend to type at home.  Lately I have done a lot of writing at cafes though.  Every Sunday I go to this group in Calgary called write club.  A bunch of us writers get together and just do our thing and chat.  It's good to get out there.

Who do you consider are the major influences on your writing?
Books:  Asimov, Bradbury and Edgar Rice Burroughs are huge influences.  I'd be remiss not to mention also Calvin Miller and Samuel Coleridge as well.
Comics:  John Ostrander, JM Dematteis, George Perez, Barry Windsor Smith, Warren Ellis and James A. Owen are big ones for me.
Video Games: Final Fantasy 13, Persona 3, Nin No Kuni

If you could have any director to shoot the film of your book(s), who would you choose?

What next for Joshua Pantalleresco?
Finishing the Cloud Diver for serialization. After that I work with Florence Chan on my final book of the Watcher Trilogy for Mirror World Books.  I continue working on the journal for a horror book with Virginia Carraway Stark.  Finally, if I see finished pages, release a comic too.
I'm insane.

Just Joshing Podcast | Amazon

About Joshua Pantalleresco:

Joshua Pantalleresco lives in Calgary where he goes to achieve his goals of being a successful writer and podcaster. His podcast, Just Joshing airs on Itunes and can be located at

As for his writing, he's written epic poems about children wandering in a post apocalyptic world. His main character in his next book is being chased by zombie mobsters and unicorns that fart rainbows. Stories, he believes, exist everywhere.

As well as he can write, he doesn't draw so well. His stick figures revolt (but that's another story...)

blog | instagram/twitter:  @jpantalleresco | Facebook

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