This week we’re getting to know speculative fiction author J.E. Purrazzi, whose works include the Malfunction trilogy and the paranormal thriller serial The Raventree Society. Beautifully written and intricately plotted, these books will suck you in from page one and make you practically tear the pages trying to find out what happens next.
When Menrva, a geneticist in the subterranean city of survivors known as Bunker, responds to a call for help from Cowl, her former best friend, and Bas, a renegade cyborg, she makes a vital mistake and places all three of them in danger. As they struggle to escape City guards, cyborg soldiers, desperate scavengers, and ravenous aliens, they find in each other something they never expected: family.
During a battle, an attacking cyborg manages to overcome her programming just long enough to deliver a cryptic message. The trio is forced to decide if they will risk death – or worse, capture – to seek out the truth about the City, or if they will fight only for themselves
This fast-paced, gritty first book of the Malfunction Trilogy introduces a future caught between destruction and oppression, where Menrva and her friends must decide if the ends justify the means.
I grew up on a steady diet of adventure both real and imagined. It was never quite enough. So what is a girl to do? The answer: live in a fantasy world.
Whether it be in art or writing, I am always trying to live multiple lives at once. You can usually find me lost in a maze of thoughts, occasionally emerging for my full-time job as a Nanny and the common distractions of being a housewife, church member, and mama’s girl. I live in sunny Florida where I never visit the beach and avoid going out of doors in summer. I am at my best huddling in the air conditioning with my genius of a husband, two too many cats, and gallons upon gallons of fish tanks while I spend hours being distracted instead of being creative.
1. Tell us a little about you and what you’re working on.
Thanks for having me on! I’m Jill, a speculative fiction writer and artist. I’m the author of Malfunction, the first in a Biopunk trilogy, and the prequels Revelation and Infraction. I also have the first three episodes of my paranormal thriller, short story serial, The Raventree Society, published.
I’m a cross-culture kid. I grew up in a country called Papua New Guinea, but I’m currently living in Florida, working full time as a Nanny and writing in every spare minute.
You As A Reader
2. When did you first fall in love with books?
When I was really little, for as long as I can remember actually, my parents read to me every night. One chapter of the Bible, and one chapter of whatever book we were reading at the time. Picture books at first, and as we got older we went through Narnia, Enid Blyton books, and many many more. Of course, I also read like a crazy person in my free time. Me and my sisters were all big readers.
3. What’s your favorite book from your childhood?
Wow, that’s a HARD one. I would say, Lord of the Rings, if we count 13 and up. I read the Lord of the Rings books every year, obsessively, for a very long time. Me and my sisters were all obsessed. If we are talking about the younger years, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer as well as The Adventures of Huck Finn (we had an abridged version) were great loves of mine. But if I had to pick one for both my childhood and teen years, I loved The Pilgrims Progress, which I read in every version I could get my hands on. My current copy is a mess of notes and underlines from the times I’ve read it since then.
4. Of the books you’ve read, which one changed you the most?
Without a doubt, Lord of the Rings. Specifically, The Fellowship of the Ring, because that’s what introduced me. But not only was it the book that confirmed my love of writing (American Girl Doll books being what gave me that first desire to write) it also shaped my world views and my spiritual and emotional life.
5. What’s the last book you read and your current favorite?
The last book I read and finished is The Horseman, by Kyle Robert Shultz, though it is only published on Wattpad at the moment. I loved it. I’m also currently reading Golden Son by Pierce Brown and Aletheia by Megan Tennant.
My current favorites? That is a hard question. I’m loving the Red Rising Trilogy. I’m also quite in love with The Brother’s Karamazov, The Picture of Dorian Gray and Frankenstein. My favorite read of last year was Fort Rewind by Sarah K. L. Wilson. The list is always growing, though.
6. If you could meet any author, alive or dead, who would it be?
Can I have an author round table? Tolkien, of course. I think that would be my first choice. I do love to listen to Patrick Rothfuss, and though I disagree with most of his political views and I actually still haven’t read any of his work, I would love to spend some time with him to get some writing tips.
You As A Writer
7. When did you first know you were a writer?
I started seriously heading towards being a published author maybe 3 years ago now, but I feel like I always knew this would happen. I’ve always loved books, they’ve had a huge role in my life, and it just felt natural to think that I would write something one day and publish it.
8. Do you remember the first story you ever wrote? If so, what was it about?
I don’t think it was the “first” thing I wrote, but the first thing I remember writing was a little booklet made of lined paper and construction paper with drawings on every other page and messy handwriting. It was a knock off of the previously mentioned “American Girl Dolls” books and was about a girl getting lost in the woods. I wish I had kept that.
9. What has been the most difficult part of your writing journey? The best part?
The most difficult part of the journey was actually the publishing of my first book, Revelation. I had the date set, and I had been working towards it for a while, but just as I was about to publish my mother was hospitalised with a serious infection and we found out that her cancer had not only survived the chemo treatments and surgery, but it was now stage four. It was all at the same time the worst and best week of my life. I was exhausted, making sure I was spending time with my mom every night and trying to keep all my sisters who were out of town updated without breaking down. And at the same time I was marketing, figuring out how to publish and trying to deal with all those typical feelings you get when you are taking a huge step.
The best part: holding my paperback for the first time. A kindle book is no less a “book”, but there is something about holding that paperback, after growing up on books!
10. Of all the writing advice you’ve received, what helped you the most?
The best writing advice I’ve ever gotten was just to write every day. To treat it like a job. I’ve heard a lot of people bucking against that advice lately, but I think people are worried about feeling like failures. It’s not a matter of judgement or legalism, though. Treating your writing like a job will get you moving in the right direction. Even if it’s only a sentence or two a day. It’s the habit that matters.
11. Tell us about your current project and any others you’re working on.
I’m currently editing the second book of my Sci-Fi trilogy: Disintegration. It’s requiring a lot of hard work, and honestly it’s been really tough, but I’m excited about the project. I’ve changed a lot from the first draft and I really think it’s got potential going into the rewrites.
I am also currently editing a classical Cyberpunk short story I wrote for The Phoenix Fiction Writers, a marketing collective that I am part of. I am also going to be starting the editing process on the third Raventree Society episode soon here, as I want to have a finished product for the release in May.
I have a bit of a secret project in the works as well, but it’s on the back burner a bit. My main focus is Disintegration.
Fun Stuff About You
12. Besides writing and reading, what are some of your other interests?
As a hobby, I also enjoy fishkeeping. I’ve usually got a couple hundreds of gallons of fish tanks in my house at any point, with all manner of plants and brightly colored creatures.
I am also an artist. I’ve recently gotten the chance to do several book covers for my Critique Partners and I’ve really enjoyed that so far, though it is a lot to keep up with. It’s a ton of fun, though.
Other than that, I am a geek. I don’t watch a ton of TV anymore, but I love podcasts, reading, watching documentaries, and collecting knowledge from any avenue I can. It comes in useful when writing.
13. If you could become an instant expert at any one thing, what would it be and why?
Digital art. That’s one skill I would find very VERY useful in writing right now. Having the ability to create solid digital art for my book covers, website and more would be very helpful. Digital art just has a slightly more “sci-fi” look which would work well with my current writing projects. But I love knowledge of any kind. Other than math. I hate math.
14. You’ve just won an all expenses paid trip to anywhere in the world. Where would you go?
I feel like a broken record, but New Zealand. Lord of the Rings was filmed there, and there are still a lot of attractions like Hobbiton and tours of film sets. I also LOVE Wetta Workshop, which did the art and design work behind Lord of the Rings, Narnia, and many other amazing films. They do incredible work, and that is my dream job, outside of writing. I also love polynesian cultures, especially because Papua New Guinea, the country I grew up in, is very close to New Zealand.
Fun fact, my Great Grandpa nearly moved there. I could have been a very different person if he had!
15. How can people connect with you?
The best place to find me is to go to my website: www.jillanepurrazzi.com. You can find links to all my social media, buy links for all my books, a weekly blog, suggested Indie Published books to read, recommended writer resources, and a sign up for my monthly newsletter which includes a FREE exclusive short story from the Malfunction Universe. You can also pick up my first book, Revelation, for free from any of the sites listed on the website and more. And if you would like to email me, you can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org
16. Anything else you’d like to tell us?
Firstly, thank you so much for hosting me, M L Moos. I really appreciate it!
Secondly, if you like Paranormal stories on the edge of horror, or if you enjoy TV shows like Supernatural or podcasts like Lore, you might enjoy my Paranormal Short Story Serial: The Raventree Society. They are only $0.99 for an episode.
Finally, if you enjoy Speculative Fiction, be sure to check out Phoenix Fiction Writers. You can find us on our website www.phoenixfictionwriters.com. We are a collection of speculative fiction authors writing meaningful fiction who have banded together to create a better reader experience. You can find links to all our authors, and their books, as well as blog posts, a serial story, an awesome newsletter (that will soon be featuring free short stories from a few of our authors, including one from me) and a monthly podcast. I was recently featured in an episode along with E.B. Dawson and Hannah Heath.
Thanks for telling us a little about you! I’m dying to find out what happens to Kyle Hanson next! And though I don’t often read dystopian fiction, I’m loving the dynamics between Menrva, Cowl, and Bas.
The Raventree Society: Ep. 3 – Amazon