Since I was born, I always preferred to go out at night. As much as i am active, during the day; I don’t mind staying in and being a homebody on my days off. But at night, when the moon is out, something magnetic pulls me to roam the streets. Sometimes I wander aimlessly; sometimes i sit on a dark spot and look up at the sky. Think about all what’s out there. Longing for the knowledge of the stars… What’s out there? Who could really tell anyways….
Andy Manaj (Andon Manaj) is an Albanian – American author who moved to the United States at the age of 18 with a huge arsenal of creativity in his mind.
And where did that arsenal of creativity take you eventually?
It all started with bits and pieces of scribbled paper. I upgraded to notebooks and then transitioned to my first release Burning the Midnight Oil.
You walked around and scribbled your thoughts?:)
How did this paper turn into a novel (that does not sound easy at all)?
Well, it takes time and patience and a really good concentration skillset. With all the thoughts scattered here and there, it takes a lot of bits and pieces to connect everything together. Just like a solid plumbing system.
Why do you like writing so much?
Ahhh, that’s tough to explain…
Late at night, when all things quiet down, my thought generator connects deep with the universe and the thoughts flow in. It’s like a magical river. Steady and slow.
How do you feel about magic?
I am not into magic more than into concrete explainable fiction. But I’ve read a few vampire and mythical novels. I am not shunning the genre down but I am more into an action scene filled with gunfire, rather than say…. a sparkling orb causing mayhem in Dystopian City.
So why did you compare Science Fiction to Romance?
In my humble opinion, those two genres go hand in hand together. It gets sooo boring to have 300 pages of fights and hunting down criminals. If 60% of the book is flourishing with bloody red romance, rather than the blackened tint of death, then the story pulls the reader much stronger in the gravity.
I am strongly opinionated concerning action movies.
Quote: I don’t want to watch movies, in which the Earth is threatened by freaking iron invaders from another planet. That is truly a disaster – who wants to see interior and exterior being destroyed by faceless monsters which appear from a different dimension. Who wants to see people running in the streets and screaming, and dying in a terrible way? Who likes green monsters, which can’t control their power, for the life of them? Who wants to see incessant battles, who wants to be constantly tortured whether the good guys will win…which is why I stayed glued to the action movie screen, because I expected some kind of revelation, when the good guys actually would win. Well, I got no revelation. I simply got unnerved.
You make a good point. The action movies of today are really crap
What then is your idea of action?
Old school Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, Van Damme – Guys that know how to kick ass in a classic way.
Well, I must have forgotten Conan, the Barbarian…
Indeed. John Rambo also. Gentlemen who knew how to kick ass without causing mayhem. Also, a recent movie that follows the classic action roots is Recoil.
Do you consider yourself to be a gentleman who knows how to kick ass?:)
I have been through in some situations in my life where it has been required to be. But in general, I am a gentleman who appreciates peace. That’s unless the situation requires it.
Now that we know your idea of action, what do you call good romance?
After a good night sleep, the gentleman raises up does his morning routine and then gets back to bed as he showers his partner with kisses while she is opening her eyes.
Set the scene on whitewater sandy beach with a private island, a beautiful small yacht, and a private seaplane just in case.
You seem to spend a lot of money on romance, haha!
Ohhh, not really. As a matter of fact, I enjoy minimal things. Being quite a private person, I don’t like to go big out there and be like “hey world!!! See that jet? That’s mine.” Or “beep, beep, look at the beauty that I am driving today!” No matter what I do to enjoy myself, I love doing it under the dark cover of the shadows.
Or under the stars…
Now…to the point
You wanted to talk about the merging of science fiction with romance. Go ahead:)
Well, let’s take for example the story of Lance Morgue who is the main character in my upcoming novel The Beast Within. He lives the lifestyle of a vigilante (takes care of the crime whether he gets a mission or just by walking into a situation), but as badass as he is, he still leads the sweetest romances that I’ve ever created. During the storyline, he dates several women. I came up with this idea because I would hate to have my readers and fans groan with “not another fight scene”. Therefore by infusing sex scenes and romantic activities and spreading them uneven throughout the storyline, the reader won’t be as predictable to what’s coming up next.
The beauty of it all is the possibilities that open up by merging them together. One moment the lead character and his girlfriend are climaxing and in the next his fingers are “pop-pop” triggering someone off the patio’s rails.
I see. They mix well…I already have cravings for your story;) Would you like to present it for my readers?
Of course! I would love to. It’s a story that I am currently revising but everyone is able to download a raw copy of the first draft in kindle. It is also available for Kindle Unlimited.
Behind the well-oiled machine that the United States government is, lays a set of bloodlines which was designed as a failsafe mechanism when things start to go wrong. Lance Morgue is just an ordinary man who unbeknownst to him, has strong ties to that bloodline. Follow his adventures…
Why is it titled The Beast Within?
Well, the main hero has an injury and unknown to him, he belongs to the elite blood that created the United States of America. Thus, he is taken to Area 51 for evaluation and training. Beast is the name of the potion that our alien friends inject him with. It provides health regeneration and also unleashes extraordinary power that flows from within his soul. Basically, my first thought was… What if we unleash powerful machine men that would activate under certain circumstances and they would have extraordinary power… hmmm.
And then make the lead character fight crime as a one-man army.
Or none of them? Tell us about your main character?
He is a really cool guy. Owns and lives in out of business funeral home which is his cover business. He drives a used hearse with a coffin in the back which contains a huge arsenal of military grade weaponry. As cool as he is, when the need to make a point arises, he gets really creative and throws his psychopathic cards open wide on the table.
Well done;) Now some more personal questions.
What’s the unprofessional side of Andy Manaj?
Hmmm. I like to lift weights, go out for long walks (where I end up reflecting on a certain issue, anyway). Living in Boston, I have so much to explore. Besides hanging out at my favorite spot in the Harbor, I might do a dash line to the Museum of Fine Arts, Planetarium at the Museum of Science, or chase unscrupulous squirrels at the Public Garden.
I have seen America’s unscrupulous squirrels -they not only don’t move out of your way when you walk the streets, but they even gaze at you as if you are violating their personal space and they are ready to jump at you for revenge. Sorry for the digression;)
Ahhh yes. That’s definitely true. Especially so, if you feed them with almonds. Instead of being grateful; they create a sense of competition and they try to outdo each other…
I once saw a man from Asia feeding the doves on the main square of my hometown – his face exuded such joy! What are the smallest things that make Andy Manaj happy?
Seeing kindness all around me makes me appreciate people and feel happy about them.
(Andy Manaj had to nap a little during our interview, so he napped in the course of several hours… and he woke up and apologized, then obviously fell asleep again. He woke up for the second time – and said that was final, so I had to greet him into entering the waking world again, and ask him if he had woken up alone.)
No hints, we are working…
Yes. Now regarding my attitude to romance.
Romance is a beautiful thing, but overdoing it leads to coating the daily routine with a dull sensation. That said, if I have to plan for it, I make sure that at the end my partner will get Wowwww-ed.
What is a coating, please? And how come – romance – a dull sensation?
A coating is like a paint layer
Oh, what I mean when I compare romance to a dull sensation is that if we’re romantic 24/7 with each other, then the relationship will its glory pretty quick and we will grow to hate each other.
So it’s better if a couple has romantic celebratory evenings twice a week and then regular evening for the rest of it.
How can a woman get you?
Well, that’s the biggest secret since the Big Bang.
How do you intend to make your readers happy?
I intend to make my readers happy but writing only quality material, listening to their feedback and setting up meetings and greet book signing events from time to time. Depending on schedule.
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