Author Interview with Joe Gazzam

Posted on November 1, 2013

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IMG_0797A little background on our featured author:

Screenwriter/Novelist Joe Gazzam was born in Baltimore, MD, grew up in Fort Lauderdale, FL and graduated from the University of Florida. Soon after college he moved to Los Angeles with one script under his arm, never having been to California in his life.

Since then, due to good luck and the support of friends and family, he’s been a working screenwriter for 8 years. Joe has worked on such films as:

21 Jump Street
Barbarella
Step Up: Revolution
Disney’s Hawaiian Adventure
It Takes a Thief
Anubis Tapestry
(and many more)

He is repped by Harley Copen of ICM and managed by Ava Jamshidi of Industry Entertainment. His debut novel, UNCAGED, will be released on Oct. 22, 2013!

He currently lives in Southern California with his wife and son.

Do you write under any other names? 

No.

What are you currently working on?

Finishing book #1 of a YA action series and working on two original screenplay projects.

How many (if any) books do you have published and what are their titles?

Just one book…

UNCAGED

What inspired you to write your first book?

Fear. After watching the Scared Straight program.

My two biggest fears are pretty much sharks and prison.

Do you have a specific writing style or one that you prefer?

Actually in the process of discovering my style in writing books. Uncaged is fairly formally written, but the next book will be a little more relaxed and confident I think.

How did you come up with the title of your book(s)?

I wrote script first called “Scared Straight” that was a condensed version of what’s in the book. At one point it got greenlit to film and the company made this poster. Well, Nic Cage was going to star in it and their tag line at the bottom of the poster was — UNCAGED 2011.

I thought that’d be a cool title for the book.

Is there a message in your writing that you want readers to grasp?

Just to be entertained.

Are the experiences in your writing based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

On the documentary “Scared Straight”

What books have most influenced your life most?

The Shining, Cat’s Cradle, anything of Charles Bukowski.

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a “mentor”?

Shane Black

What book are you reading now?

Just finished Dr. Sleep.

Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.

My agent.

Do you see writing as a career or a hobby?

Career. It better be!

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

No, pretty happy!

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

That documentary.

Can you share a little of your current work with us?

It’s untitled, literally just finished a first draft!

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Dear god, everything. lol.

Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

Charles Bukowski, just the raw power of it.

Who designed the covers of you books?

My publisher and myself.

What was the hardest part of writing your any of your works?

Juggling my assignments for the movie studios while writing the book. Going back and forth between the mediums was crazy!

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Write, write, write. Know that writing is a craft that you get better at.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

Only the obvious — THANKS!

What were the challenges (research, literary, psychological, and logistical) in bringing your stories to to life?

A lot of research went into prison architecture believe it or not.

What character from your writing is your favorite and why?

Jason, because he overcomes his fear.

 

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