Russ lives in West Orange, NJ, with his wife, two children, and crazy dog, Simon, who may in fact be an alien himself. Russ is now at work on the final book in the Finders Keepers trilogy.
As a matter of full disclosure, readers should not be surprised if Russ spontaneously teleports in a blast of white light followed by screaming fluorescent color and the feeling of being sucked through a tornado. It’s just how he gets around — windier than the bus, for sure, but much quicker.
His latest book is the science fiction novel, Genius De Milo.
For More Information
- Visit Russ Colchamiro’s website.
- Connect with Russ on Facebook and Twitter.
- Find out more about Russ at Goodreads.
- Visit Russ’ blog.
About the Book:
Best pals Jason Medley and Theo Barnes barely survived a backpacking trip through Europe and New Zealand that — thanks to a jar of Cosmic Building Material they found — almost wiped out the galaxy. But just as they envision a future without any more cosmic lunacy:
The Earth has started fluxing in and out of existence, Theo’s twin girls are teleporting, and Jason can’t tell which version of his life is real.
All because of Milo, the Universe’s ultimate gremlin.
Joined by the mysterious Jamie — a down-and-out hotel clerk from Eternity — Jason and Theo reunite on a frantic, cross-country chase across America, praying they can retrieve that jar, circumvent Milo, and save the Earth from irrevocable disaster.
In author Russ Colchamiro’s uproarious sequel to Finders Keepers, he finally confirms what we’ve long suspected — that there’s no galactic Milo quite like a Genius de Milo.
For More Information
- Genius De Milo is available at Amazon.
- Pick up your copy at Crazy 8 Press.
- Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.
Would you call yourself a born writer?
For sure. Being a writer isn’t just what I do, but who I am. I started writing as a child, and have made a career out of it, as a journalist, media consultant, teacher, and author. Writing is in my DNA. I’ll be clacking the keys for as long as I’m physically able … or until they figure out that I’m actually a fugitive from another dimension and the intergalactic agency in charge of such matters finally drags me back to my galaxy of origin to face my day of reckoning.
What was your inspiration for GENIUS DE MILO?
My debut novel Finders Keepers is a scifi backpacking comedy … think American Pie meets Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. It’s loosely based on a series of backpacking trips I took through Europe and New Zealand, set against a quest for a jar that contains the Universe’s DNA. Genius de Milo is the second book in the trilogy, ramping up the stakes. Every key character gets their own personal arc, within the context of the larger narrative, where our bumbling backpacking heroes Jason Medley and Theo Barnes find themselves having to save the galaxy, when they can barely pay their rent!
One of my most trusted beta readers said — in terms of quality — that Genius de Milo reached The Empire Strikes Back level for sequels. I thought that was pretty cool.
If you like authors such as Douglas Adams, Terry Pratchett, Tom Robbins, and Christopher Moore, or movies and TV shows such as Harold and Kumar, Bill and Ted, Hot Tub Time Machine, Time Bandits, Groundhog Day, Quantum Leap, Northern Exposure, and Third Rock from the Sun, you might want to check out Finders Keepers and Genius de Milo.
What themes do you like to explore in your writing?
In each of the novels I’ve written — regardless of the specific plot — I am particularly excited about exploring the big questions: What does it all mean? Where do we come from? Is this all a dream? Is life random or is there some grand design? And then I juxtapose those themes with the smaller, day-to-day questions that we all face: How do I feel about my personal relationships? My bathroom is flooding so when is the plumber getting here? Is my Internet service working? Can I get the girl? Will my career ever amount to anything? When are we going to see the new Star Wars movie?
I get a real charge out of poking fun at ourselves — at myself! — by having the characters obsess over their daily struggles — some of them legitimate, some ludicrous — while the fate of the Universe hangs in the balance. And whether they know or it not, those same characters play a role in the grander role in the cosmic tale I’m telling, even as they are stressing out about getting to work on time so that their boss doesn’t rip them a new one!
It’s my way of exploring the key parts of my own personality. I think of myself as a diligent, hard-working adult, who takes my responsibilities seriously on all fronts, while also being a world-class goofball who likes to push the boundaries of being wacky right to the edge — and sometimes way over it.
How long did it take you to complete the novel?
From start to finish it took me about 18 months. But I’ve been thinking about and plotting the Finders Keepers series for the better part of a decade, taking notes, doing some ‘pre-writing’ and laying the groundwork for a spin-off series and several stand-alone novels (and short story collections) that will take place within the Finders Keepers universe. In addition to various other projects, I plan to be writing Finders Keepers tales for a long, long time.
Are you disciplined? Describe a typical writing day.
I used to write early in the morning, but I’m a dad now with young twins, so that’s really not an option anymore. These days, after I put my kids to bed, and have dinner with my wife, I head into my home office and write for about two hours. Then I walk the dog, clean the kitchen, and make my kids’ lunches for school the next day. Typically I’m up at 5 am, in bed by midnight. And then whenever I can I do research, and takes notes. And when I’m in the editing phase, I print pages, and then do line edits on page whenever I can steal the time, even if it’s on the train to and from work.
What did you find most challenging about writing this book?
Genius de Milo was the first time I’d written a sequel, so it was important to me that it work on three separate, yet interconnected levels: 1) as a satisfying, stand-alone, self-contained novel that new readers can thoroughly enjoy even if they haven’t read Finders Keepers, the first book in the series; 2) as the second novel in the Finders Keepers trilogy that not only continues but enhances the overall narrative and individual story arcs, and; 3) structurally as a launch pad for the final, upcoming novel in the trilogy that will conclude with the three-book finale.
Balancing those various elements was tricky at times, but it forced me to focus in a more defined way than ever before, so that was an exciting for me as an author.
What do you love most about being an author?
Several times in each novel I’ve written I’ve had that classic a-ha moment, where an idea just comes to me, seemingly out of nowhere, that works perfectly within the context of whatever I’m working on. I often have the feeling that I’m not actually the author of the novel, but really just the conduit for the tale conjured from the ether. It’s like my fingers are there to clack the keys, but someone — or something — else is the true author. It’s pretty wild.
Did you go with a traditional publisher, small press, or did you self publish? What was the process like and are you happy with your decision?
A few years ago I teamed up with Crazy 8 Press. We are a collection of successful authors and creators who banded together to publish our own works, in the way we intend, without the interference of a larger publishing house that would try to dictate the direction of our plots and characters, as well as the publishing schedule. This way we are in total control of our fates — for better or worse!
For me, it was an easy decision, because — and this is generally speaking — I would much rather give up the prestige of a big publisher — who may or may not support me in actuality — in favor of having total control over my books, working with other authors who I know have my back.
The book publishing industry is constantly evolving, where the traditional ‘rules’ no longer apply. It’s changing so fast, in fact, that what was true and real even six months ago might no longer apply today. To survive, and hopefully thrive, you need to be nimble, adjusting to the way readers like to consume the stories we write, and how they most prefer to interact with us.
For now, at least, in my mind Crazy 8 Press gives me a better shot to succeed than if I went down a more traditional path. Big publishers typically want something totally cool and original … as long as it looks exactly like something else that was a huge hit.
Where can we find you on the web?
Readers can find me at http://www.russcolchamiro.com, through http://www.crazy8press.com, as well as on my Facebook author page — www.facebook.com/RussColchamiroAuthor — Twitter at @authorduderuss, and Goodreads. My books are also available for purchase through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo.