CHEW ON THIS! has been nominated for a Splatterpunk Award and I have the exclusive skinny with the authors.
Author de Jour: Mark Scioneaux
Nikki Noir: You’re featured in a food anthology, so let’s get this out of the way first: What’s the weirdest thing you’ve put in your mouth—I mean weirdest thing eaten ;)
Scioneaux: I am an adventurous eater and foodie, and find that the best way to know and appreciate culture is through food. As a result, I will try anything at least once, and though there have been times I haven't cared for the dish, I can still appreciate the reasoning and history behind it. Personally, I love organ meats. Duck and goose hearts grilled with grapes and brushed with balsamic vinegar reduction is heavenly. Sushi...anything raw. Sweetbreads are some of my favorites, as is foie gras. But the weirdest may be this delicious Hungarian brown stew I had once made with potatoes and large pieces of tripe (intestines), and while it was absolutely delicious, there were still moments when the tripe would squish in between my teeth and the gag reflex had to be brought under control.
Noir: Tell us about your story in Chew on This! and what inspired it.
Scioneaux: Originally it was for a carnival-themed anthology that I had been invited to write for with another publisher, about 8 years ago. For reasons unknown, the anthology was cancelled and my story went back in the draft folder. When I saw the call for this anthology, and a chance to work with the wonderful people of Blood Bound Books, I knew I had to polish this story to fit their anthology. This story was a joy to write, and when I started writing it, I didn't know where it would go. I just knew it had to be different than what the reader expected going into it. When the twist came half way through, it was a complete surprise to me and I ran with it. The rest is publishing history.
Noir: If you were a spice/seasoning, what would it be?
Scioneaux: I like big, bold flavors. For a spice, I would be allspice for my love of Jamaican Cuisine, or Chinese Five Spice. Shamelessly, I would also be Pumpkin Spice because I adore October and all things Halloween. My current hobby is making interesting spice rubs for smoking meats.
Noir: What’s the scariest real-life, food-related situation you’ve been in?
Scioneaux: One evening I was eating chicken wings with a little too much zeal, and while stripping the meat off a bone from the flapper portion, I inhaled and the bone shot down my throat. I had to freeze and basically stop my breathing so the bone didn't go further. I reached in my mouth and was able to pinch the end of the bone with my fingertips and pull it out. Was a terrifying moment, but I still eat chicken wings today...just with more care.
Noir: What does literary success look like to you?
Scioneaux: Just knowing the stories I have created are being enjoyed by people around the world means so much to me and is so humbling. I don't have a background in writing, but I have always been a storyteller and entertainer, and writing has allowed me to reach so many with my words and has also resulted in close friendships with those in the community.
Noir: If there’s one thing you want readers to know about you or the mission of your work, what would it be?
Scioneaux: I would want them to know that my work contains themes of things I have either experienced or am currently experiencing. The things I write are usually deeply personal and disguised within the story. Ultimately my job is to entertain the reader and when that person finishes my work, I hope they have enjoyed their time spent. I write for fun and I hope the reader experiences the fun that I have put into it.
Noir: What’s your next project and where can we stalk you?
Scioneaux: I have a novel coming out in 2021 with Source Point Press, but I can't reveal many details as things are still very new in the process. I will also be working on another project soon and that info will be coming out in the next couple of weeks. Again, sorry for the secrecy but things are new in 2021. As for me, I am on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. I tend to focus more on Facebook than the other two. I have an author's page as well that I need to knock the dust off of.
Get your copy of CHEW ON THIS! here