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Interview with A. H. Nazzareno, Author of The Villains Who Snapped My Spine


What’s the story behind the story? What inspired you to write The Villains Who Snapped My Spine: A Memoir?

Someone planted a pragmatic seed, suggesting I write about the atomic-level trauma bomb because journaling is supposed to be therapeutic. The incidental memoir stemmed from a precipitous health crisis, so naturally, I was open to most forms of therapy.

If you had to pick theme songs for the main characters of The Villains Who Snapped My Spine: A Memoir, what would they be?

Not that I’ve put much thought into an accompanying playlist or score, per se: I suppose the story could begin with “We Are Between,” a track from Modest Mouse’s ironically appropriate The Golden Casket, before transitioning to a more western vibe like “Mojave” by Marty Stuart. It would be prudent to incorporate anything from the great Ennio Morricone, a heavy dose of acoustic Johnny Cash—and, without a doubt, the book must end with “Not Dead Yet” by Lord Huron. Something like that, anyway.

What’s your favorite genre to read? Is it the same as your favorite genre to write?

I enjoy reading true stories that are unbelievably non-fiction. Honestly, though, I’d prefer to pen a novel.

What books are on your TBR pile right now?

Comedy Comedy Comedy Drama, Bob Odenkirk; East of Eden, John Steinbeck; Random, Penn Jillette.

What scene in your book was your favorite to write?

One of my favorite scenes is a very real, sobering, verbal witching-hour exchange with a wise old cat. May her soul rest in peace.

Do you have any quirky writing habits? (lucky mugs, cats on laps, etc.)

My short-lived habit began as a gift to myself for surviving the hospital adventure. I bought a pack of American Spirits that remained next to my laptop until the manuscript was finished. Although there may have been one missing, that was an anomaly, and strictly for the memoir, I swear.

Current writing is sustained by a habitual 5 am pot of coffee and a much healthier chocolate croissant.

Do you have a motto, quote, or philosophy you live by?

“Life has become immeasurably better since I have been forced to stop taking it seriously.” ― Hunter S. Thompson

If you could choose one thing for readers to remember after reading your book, what would it be?

Keep fighting the negativity villains, no matter how disheartening the circumstances may seem.

 

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