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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.

BY Rudy Mars (CMP)

(Kalamazoo, MI) — In an act of self-promotion that has raised eye-brows even among fellow writers and drawn concern from the counseling community, Andy Mozina declared his debut novel Contrary Motion a “Must Read” for Father’s Day.

The novel is about a divorced harpist in Chicago preparing for a symphony audition. A main plot line is the harpist’s relationship with his troubled six-year-old daughter.

Mozina made the dubious self-recommendation during a recent interview while sitting on his front porch dressed in a cardigan, dress pants, and wing tips.

“The father-daughter relationship in this book is super touching,” Mozina claimed. “And there are plenty of insights into good parenting. If I weren’t me, I’d buy this novel and give it to myself for Father’s Day.”

Other writers questioned Mozina’s attempt to exploit the holiday.

“I once leafleted a juvenile detention center to promote my gardening book,” said Malcolm Broad, author of Ten Tips for (Secretly) Growing Your Own Marijuana, “but I would never stoop this low.”

“Whenever I see one of his Facebook posts about his novel, something inside of me dies,” said Jean Chodorow, a children’s book author. “Shoot me if I ever do anything like this Father’s Day thing of his.”

Stephanie Regal, a family therapist in Kalamazoo, recommended that readers think twice before drawing parenting insights from the novel.

“I would never diagnose someone just from reading about them in a book, or, for that matter, because they’ve written a certain book,” she said. “I guess I would just invite people to proceed with caution in this case.”

For his part, Mozina welcomed the skepticism, saying “it comes with the territory” of writing–and of fatherhood.

“Being a father isn’t easy,” Mozina asserted. “Sometimes it all boils over and you have to go in the woods and bite a tree or fire bullets into the air with the handgun you purchased to protect your family. But if you stick with it, and nothing too bad happens, eventually your kid will move out, and your work will be done.”

It was a lot of fun to talk with Audrey Nowakowski on Milwaukee Public Radio’s “Lake Effect” program.

Here’s the interview.

BY Rudy Mars (CMP)

Milwaukee, WI–On Wednesday morning, author Andy Mozina appeared on a local TV talk show posing as an authority on the “modern male psyche.”

The overly excited Mozina repeatedly interrupted his interviewers by exclaiming “yes” or “exactly!” to whatever they said. Offering one of his patented, off-the-cuff insights into the human condition, he asserted, “Everybody struggles with stuff.”

The topic of the segment was ostensibly contemporary masculinity, but the sales-hungry writer quickly steered the conversation to the fact that The New York Post had declared his novel a “must read.”

Click here for the complete interview.

 

I don’t know if they have any enforcement powers, but I like the idea that the New York Post is asserting that apparently everyone “must read” Contrary Motion. They don’t mention a deadline, so I’m assuming the sooner the better.

 

Very grateful to Dan Kaplan at BOOKLIST for this friendly (starred!) review of CONTRARY MOTION!:

http://www.booklistonline.com/Contrary-Motion-Andy-Mozina/pid=7883760

I’m very grateful to Zinta Aistars for a wonderful conversation about Contrary Motion. Please check it out here:

http://wmuk.org/post/between-lines-andy-mozinas-contrary-motion