Cosmic Convocation, Starry Eyed Press’ first official space opera anthology features a story called The Edge, a tale of humor and adventure set in a sprawling atmosphere of domes and mines.
We had a chance to sit down with its author Vincent deDiego Metzo to get the scoop on what inspired the tale.
Vincent, give us the story of you.
My grandfather was an artist, primarily a painter he also made jewelry, textiles,
furniture, sculpture, and ceramics. My mother was an illustrator and my father an actor.
I was always encouraged to be creative and my main toys were building blocks, paper, colored pens and pencils. Fortunate to go to a grade school where we had art nearly every day, and to go on to the High School of Music and Art when it was on 135th street I first wanted to be a painter, then an actor. Ironically, when I was in art school, my interests turned to musical theatre and when I was in drama school, my interests turned to music.
I’ve always had a DIY aesthetic; In grade school, we wrote plays for our classmates and did pretend radio shows on cassette recorders and when my mother started teaching animation as an afterschool class, my friends and I did stop-frame animation. When my cohort and I got kicked out of a children’s theatre company, we started our own and wrote/produced two off-off Broadway shows. After high school, I started singing and performing in bands. In the city, that meant doing original songs at CBGB’s and other clubs. At NYU’s drama department, they told us if we wanted to be in theatre, we should be prepared to make our own theatre, but by that time I was already in a band making our own records.
It took me a long time to come to writing. I’m dyslexic and the shame of not being able to spell well, made me shy away from expressing myself on paper. Years
later, I realize that isn’t a barrier and I write the things that I’d like to see and read.
Constantly evolving my 99cent Ethic – a DIY art philosophy based on penny dreadfuls, pulp fiction, comics, punk rock, off-off-Broadway theatre, and what I find at the 99-cent store (dollar store now, inflation) – Vincent makes art in many different media.
Growing up as a latch-key kid in a family of creatives the tension between, TV, pop culture, museums, and Shakespeare created my DIY approach to stripping down everything to its most essential and emotional elements. If my stories were songs, they’d be like the Ramones (Beach Boys on speed) or Social Distortion (noire 50s on meth.)
Currently, I’m learning how to make neon signs, teaching kettlebell workshops,
and planning to take over the world.
Tell us a bit about The Edge Why do you think readers will love it?
Second Lieutenant Weaver hates space travel. His AI implant keeps him sane and has his back while he runs security for a labor negotiation on a distant asteroid. Unfortunately, his comrades do not.
Who doesn’t love an anti-hero?
What was the inspiration behind this story?
Many of my stories are born from dreams. Not fully fleshed, beat, and plotted, but an image that inspires me. In this case, it was a skeleton floating in a spacesuit around a Mayan ruin.
What sci-fi books have you recently been reading and which titles represent
your long-time favorites?
I recently read the Expanse series by James S.A. Corey. Now that the final season aired on Amazon, I’m going to read the books that take place after the series ended.
My longtime favorites include works by Philip K. Dick and William Gibson.
What are your favorite genres to write in, and are they different from the ones
you read? Do you have preferences when it comes to story length?
I enjoy writing sci-fi, fantasy, and horror. I read all three genres but also like a good detective story. So, most of my work, regardless of whether it’s sci-fi, fantasy (love me some witches and vampires), or horror has a noir element. Yeah, Kolchak: The Night Stalker was one of my favorite shows growing up.
I like all lengths of stories. When I get an idea, it may be a picture, song, poem, flash, short, novella, or novel. The idea dictates the medium and the length to me, so I find myself trying to work on a novel every quarter, and a short story every month. Novellas typically sneak in as short stories taking up a month or more of my time. I also like to work (and read) multiple things concurrently.
Tell us more about your writing process. Would you say you’re a pantser or plotter and do you do a lot of research for your writing?
As I mentioned earlier, I’m dyslexic. So, I find it much easier to type and I love spell and grammar check. However, I also will draw out diagrams of locations, people around a table, and even relationships. This is especially helpful for me in visualizing action scenes.
I try to write every day, but that gets sidetracked when I’m editing or doing a second draft, especially of a novel. For me, writing is a right-brain activity and editing is left-brained making it hard to do both on the same day unless I take a (long) break in between.
I often wear hats and/or fancy jackets when I write. I always listen to music (usually the radio) and mornings are my most consistent time, though I’ve had some evenings where I’m very happy with what comes out.
I’m a plo-ster; I get an idea and usually an opening image, then plot/beat it out before writing. I often like to write backward then from the finale to the mid-point or first act.
I do a medium amount of research. Enough to trigger my imagination but not so much that it becomes an academic paper.
How do you promote your writing, what marketing strategies and tools have worked for you? Which platforms would you recommend to fellow authors? Where do you like to promote your writing and engage with readers?
I’m on Facebook and Instagram, but I’ve stayed away from Twitter so far. I’m often torn between promoting my 99cent Ethic brand and my own name Vincent deDiego Metzo as a brand. I like to make videos, art pieces, and never shy away from interviews or readings to promote my work.
Where can our readers find more of your works?
Ebook and illustrated paperback available here.