Thursday, 1 August 2013

Q & A with Massimo Marino

Title: Once Humans 

Series: Daimones Trilogy #2

Author: Massimo Marino

Genre: Science Fiction

Page Count: 314

Published: June 27, 2013

Description: Mankind is undergoing rebirth, the new arrivals closely watched by the Selected: the transgenic beings created by the Moîrai. The new communities thrive with the aliens' support and peace and security reign on Eridu, as the planet Earth is known by the Moîrai and in the galaxy.
But peace and security of the cradle are suddenly shattered by acts of sabotage set to disrupt the fragile balance of the fledgling communities.

From the coldest climes to the deepest ocean floors, a cosmic conspiracy full of betrayal and fear is being hatched with the hope of pushing the world perilously close to the brink of self-destruction.
It is up to Dan Amenta to journey through dark and deadly alleys--even into the depths of the planet--to unlock the shadowy logic of alien minds.

"Once Humans" starts some ten years after the events narrated in "Daimones", Vol.1 of the homonymous "Daimones Trilogy". The story is a 'loss of innocence' for Dan and for the Selected. The events and the emotional trauma prepare the race of man to reclaim its place in the galaxy.

Q & A with Massimo Marina 
Q: Tell us a little bit about your main character, Dan Amenta.
Dan is each and everyone of us. A family man, with good qualities and weaknesses. He tries—as much as he is able to—to ride the flow of life’s events following his beliefs and adhering to his principles, believing they will preserve him and his family.

Daimones begins with Dan being fired from his job. Though it's a fairly ordinary situation and the novel emphasises this ordinariness and shows the simple perceptions that make up our daily life; for Dan, it's the beginning of a much greater change. He has barely managed to come to terms with his new situation, hasn't even told his twelve year old daughter, when his concerns fade into insignificance in light of a complete upheaval to the world order. After a bad storm, his family awake to discover that they are the only ones left alive in their area. Everyone else has died, in their beds, at work, while driving their car, all at the same time, and all from the same unknown cause.

Their attempts to call friends and relatives meet with silence, their Internet searches indicate that the rest of the world has met the same fate. What killed everyone and why was he, his wife and daughter spared? These are questions they cannot answer, so they cope as best they can and plan for survival.

The book details their emotional journey, the way they adapt to their new circumstances and their search for other survivors.

Q: How long have you been writing, and when did you first consider yourself an author?
I wrote since I was able to hold a pencil in my toddler’s hand. I daydreamed and always had a fervid imagination. Writing was a way to make everything real. Those written words, though, were only for me. I never shared this with anyone, not even in the family. Being an author, has never been in my mind and readers are the only ones who can say that of a writer. At what point does a writer begin to function as an author? Being an author means also to be held as a standard of quality, and I do work toward that, the best I can and using proofreaders and working with an editor. I believe an author is someone who consider himself bound to a contract with his readers, to provide an enjoyable read, a plausible and cohesive story, with continuity in the narration and make readers fall into another reality, another dimension, and ‘live’ the imaginary world born in the writer’s mind and completed in readers’ mind. Everybody can write anything and be thus ‘writers’, not everyone believes in having to fulfill a duty, respect the readers, and become an author.

Q: How has your environment/upbringing colored your writing?
My father and my older brother read sci-fi a lot, so I grew up reading that, so all the big names mostly, from Isaac Asimov to Ray Bradbury, Ursula Le Guin, Frank Herbert, Larry Niven, Robert Heinlein, to name just a few and then other genres too, Tolkien, Stephen King, Tom Clancy and others. Italian authors, too, like Svevo, Calvino, Sciascia, and Greek mythology authors, the ones I used to hate at school and that are instead fantastic writers and authors. We live with myths daily, even if we do not realize it.

I was born in Italy but lived most of my life abroad, in France, Switzerland, and the US, and because of work traveled to many places. I’ve learned of different cultures and languages and appreciate all their differences. I see everything as multi-faceted and featuring several layers of understanding.

Q: What do you see as the biggest challenge for indie authors and what have you been doing to overcome that?
Going around the internet one finds gems and crap. We all know that. Same with books, and nowadays it does not really matter anymore if it is an indie or a traditionally published work: you find typos, grammar issues, in both. Unfortunately much more in self-published work though. Readers have started to equate self-published books to trash-published stuff.

With the (r)evolution of the publishing business, most small and medium sized publishers don't have the means to provide the same stringent level of qualities unless you, the author, are able to bring in million of copies sold each year. The vast majority of all others are left practically with the same resources as an Indie writer.

So, how to sift through the slush pile and reassure readers? There are groups of writers and publishing professional who try to put a term to that and sift for the readers to find the really good titles and the promising authors among the indies. Their strict standard of quality writing will ensure readers to get a finished and polished book in their hands. Most self-published work cannot even attempt to be listed on those sites as money is not part of the acceptance process.

Those are quite some criteria to be accepted, that work as an Occam Razor to establish whether a book is a valid read, or not. A caveat though: you might not like the story of the books listed there, but sure thing they are well written!

Because of the effort that goes into my writing, with proofreading and multiple editing with paid service, I was happy to have found these group of serious and dedicated professionals in the indie publishing environment.

If you write with passion—sweat and blood—and care for your readers, those intimidating criteria are the things you aim to anyway with your writing. You are in a contract with your readers.

My novel Daimones, Vol.1 of The Daimones Trilogy, has received both the Seal of Excellence the group and the Seal of Quality Writing of the group.
Q: What is the best advice you’ve been given?
To study and work with an editor ;)
Q:  What do you keep yourself busy with when you're not writing?
Thinking about the next chapter :) Seriously, doing multiple things, enjoying every moment of the day, reading, studying, spending time with family, observe, listen, see things and take notes.

Q: Which do you prefer, paper books or ebooks?
To each one their moments and use. A book—I hope—will never disappear, holding it creates a relationship with the story and the author that has no equal with en ebook. An ebook has practical aspects that are impossible with books. On holiday you can bring with you your entire library if you want to.

Q: What book are you reading now?
Sophocles: Oedipus Rex, Oedipus Coloneus, and Antigone.

About the Author:  Massimo Marino comes from a scientist background: He spent years at CERN in Switzerland, and at the Lawrence Berkeley Lab in California followed by lead positions with Apple, Inc., and the World Economic Forum.

He is also partner in a new Geneva startup for smartphone applications: TAKEALL SA. Massimo currently lives in France and crosses the border with Switzerland multiple times daily.

Massimo Marino is the author of the "Daimones Trilogy". The first two volumes, “Daimones”, and "Once Humans", are published as ebooks and paperback and available on Amazon, iTunes, Nook, B&N, Kobo and other major retailers.

His Amazon Author's page is:

If interested in more details about Massimo Marino, please see his full profile on Linkedin:

To connect with Massimo Marino, go to:
Facebook: --or--  


  1. Great interview love Massimo's writing soon to be reading book two Once Humans

    1. Thanks, Ch'kara. From readers' feedback, Once Humans is a better story. Maybe because of more characters, thus more action, interaction, and drama. : deserted world, as in Daimones, with only a few survivors you could count them on one hand, cannot bring hollywood action-movie stuff but a grim, somber reality, with solo frustrations and fears, a gathering of dark clouds waiting for the right moment to die.