Photo: Christopher Magson
BY Rudy Mars (CMP)
Kalamazoo, MI — As part of his ever-mystifying journey as a writer, Andy Mozina cleaned out his home office in preparation for new work.
Since returning galleys a year ago for his first novel, Contrary Motion, Mozina has injured himself in an ill-fated ATV celebration, promoted his novel on radio and TV, performed several public readings, compulsively checked the novel’s sales rank on Amazon, and hovered over his email waiting for prizes and invitations. Now, he says, he’s ready to write something again, and to prove it he’s been spending several days cleaning his office.
“I had the county send over a dumpster,” he said while wearing a respirator that muffled his voice. “My office mattress tested positive for e coli.” He chuckled. “I found an uneaten grilled cheese sandwich with ‘Ch. 17’ written on it in black Magic Marker, wedged into an early CM draft. And I’ll be damned—it was stuck in there right at the start of Chapter 17!”
Mozina spoke with this reporter while taking a break from disposal duty. He sat on his front porch knitting a cape for his newborn niece with teal and magenta yarn. Visible through the dumpster’s open gate were several badly charred stuffed animals, a metal sculpture in the shape of the anarchy symbol, a rolling rack of terry cloth bathrobes in primary colors, hundreds of empty hand sanitizer dispensers, and a badly defaced life-size wooden statue of a man Mozina cryptically said “could be the devil”—among other items.
“The point is not that I recycled $14.30 worth of soda cans, though that happened, the point is that as a writer sometimes you just have to clean your goddamned office. I mean that metaphorically and just so I don’t forget it I’m also doing it literally.”
What’s next for the mid-list iconoclast?
“First, a novel about organized crime. Sort of a Sopranos meets The Godfather. Then I’d like to set something either in outer space or at the bottom of the ocean. Which I’ve never done. Some situation where, instead of kissing, the characters can only butt helmets.”
Mozina smiled to himself. “The creative juices are already flowing,” he said, lifting the incipient cape for inspection.