Joe Lunievicz has excelled in many areas over the years – as competitive fencer, public speaker, yoga instructor, and improvisational actor – but in his heart he always knew he was a writer. For years he wrote early in the morning before work and then, after his son was born, late into the night. At 16, Joe began writing stories, essays, and poetry that illuminated the unique subcultures he’s been part of in his native home of New York. His work has explored the worlds of amateur rugby and fencing, fantasy and science fiction gaming, and stage combat and theatre. These experiences certainly inspired Joe’s debut novel, Open Wounds (WestSide Books, May 2011).
*Bio taken from Joe's Website
Here's part two of my interview with Joe Lunievicz. If you missed it, check out PART 1. Read on to the end and you'll find a giveaway to win your very own copy of Open Wounds.
The image of him that I saw on the roof of the Hotel Chelsea started things off. I had to find out who this man was who was dueling with sharps. I saw Cid’s face and the back of his opponent’s head. I saw the small swords and I knew they were trying to kill each other. Swords were part of the original puzzle my mind’s eye gave me and part of what led me to find Cid’s history and his past. You could say I had no choice but to include swordplay.
I never thought of myself as a sword-loving kind of gal. Lightsabers, maybe, but fencing? Never crossed my mind. I LOVED it here though. It was fun and interesting and worked perfectly in the story.
Cid is one of the most troubled, but strongest characters I’ve read. What inspired his character and his growth? When you started Open Wounds, was Cid always destined to have a tough life or did the story just unfold that way?
The man on the roof of the Hotel Chelsea had a broken nose, a scar, and eyes that carried a great sadness. Part of the puzzle of his story for me was the reason for this great sadness. In working my way back to his birth and examining the first fifteen years of his life I found the foundation for this sadness, its beginnings, and it was profound. But as with all things, I think, in life, there is both light and dark and Cid’s profound sadness had to be matched with a will to persevere towards light. Cid’s growth comes from the pain of loss and the trauma of violence. In order to survive and become whole it required both internal resources and the help of others. He could not have come through without Lefty, Nikolai, Tomik and Siggy, and the collection of friends he develops over time. I think at some point we need to see ourselves the way others see us, especially when they see us as good, worthy of love, and worthy of friendship. Cid can’t do this for himself so others help him to see this part of himself.
I don't even know what to say to that because it's poetic and kind of beautiful. And so very true. I'm a little in awe that you saw Cid so vividly in your mind, as an old man, and you were then able to trace his life back to create such a powerful past.
I am working on two projects at the moment, either one of which will take over my time and efforts and become the next book I finish. One is about a boy who takes his inspiration in life from the Bhagavad-Gita and the teachings of his yoga teacher. The other is a story of a young Englishman who survives his time in Ypres salient but lives afterwards in the half-light between nightmare and light. We’ll have to see which one wins the race to the finish.
Ooh, both sound interesting. I know very little about Hinduisim and just as little about Ypres salient and WWI. Whichever one you choose, I have a feeling I'll be taken with it.
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