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Meet Author J.G. Zymbalist
What group did you hang out with in high school?
I did not hang out with any group in school. I was a little bit like the male version of the Ally Sheedy character from The Breakfast Club. I was very miserable and reclusive. On the plus side, I did hang out with an older crowd. A family friend and his wife often took me to the movies; although we never did see The Breakfast Club.
What are you passionate about these days?
I believe in the laws of nature which are highly apolitical; however I also agree with Margaret Thatcher that the facts of life are conservative. That’s why I write in some respects. I hope that my writings can serve as morality plays and/or cautionary tales. I do wish to help and to serve others. I’m very sentimental and Victorian in that way.
If you had to do your journey to getting published all over again, what would you do differently?
I was only ever published in a few obscure magazines and ezines. I don’t suppose there’s anything to regret about that, but I do strongly regret sending partials to the money-grubbing lefty-elite gatekeepers of Manhattan. I should have just self-published from the very beginning because when a non-elite sends partials and query letters to the elites, it is for the most part a total act of futility. The only winner is the US Postal Service.
Ebook or print? And why?
I prefer ebooks. Even if humankind recycles paper, I do fear for trees. Nonfiction ebooks are also ideal because they’re just so much more user friendly and searchable. I’m all for that because I believe in the value of homeschooling. That’s how Abraham Lincoln got an education. When he wasn’t chopping logs or wrestling people, he read books. If he were around today, I think that he’d like nonfiction ebooks as much as I do.
What is your favorite scene in this book?
My favorite scene in Song of the Oceanides is the one scene that actually takes place within the otherworldly confines of White Sands Desert in Southern New Mexico. I think that must be the most beautiful and dreamlike place in the world, and it was fun to try to describe it. I do believe that less is more, so I did not try to drown the plot in description. Much of the scene entails dialogue—specifically the villain’s monologue as he endeavors to beguile the heroine. I’m very proud of the way he tries to beguile her too because he concocts an elaborate story involving Mormonism, mysticism, and the Old West. I think that Brigham Young would have found it all rather amusing.
Song of the Oceanides is a highly-experimental triple narrative transgenre fantasy that combines elements of historical fiction, YA, myth and fairy tale, science fiction, paranormal romance, and more. For ages 10-110.
Blue Hill, Maine.
3 August, 1903.
From the moment Emmylou heard the song of the Oceanides, she recognized something godly in the tune. As it resounded all across the desolate shoreline of Blue Hill Bay, she recalled the terrible chorus mysticus ringing all throughout that extinct Martian volcano the day her father went missing down in the magma chamber.
Aunt Belphœbe followed along, guiding Maygene through the sands. “Why don’t you go play in that shipwreck over there?” Aunt Belphœbe pointed toward a fishing schooner run aground some fifty yards to the south.
When Maygene raced off, Emmylou refused to follow. By now the chorus of song tormented her so much that an ache had awoken all throughout her clubfoot. Before long she dropped her walking stick and fell to the earth. Closing her eyes, she dug both her hands into the sands and lost herself in memories of the volcano. How could Father be gone? Though he had often alluded to the perils of Martian vulcanology, she never imagined that someone so good and so wise could go missing.
The song of the Oceanides grew a little bit louder and increasingly dissonant.
Opening her eyes, Emmylou listened very closely. The song sounded like the stuff of incantation, witchcraft. And even though she could not comprehend every word, nevertheless she felt certain that the Oceanides meant to cast a spell upon some unfortunate soul.