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Meet The Writer: Joshua Pantalleresco

Josh: Say COOL.  Pigeon: Coo...  Josh: Fuck yeah. 

I was planning on writing a lengthy rap-style intro for Joshua Pantalleresco (friggin' awesome surname), but to be honest the photo up there is evidence enough. I know what you're thinking -- Josh is a badass! He has a talking pigeon! I know the feels, dude. That awesome duo up there is the epitome of "coo." If you're a reader of this disastrous blog (or a stalker) you might remember the first time I interviewed Josh. Or the time he interviewed me. Since then, my dude has been killing it with his writing endeavours and pigeon training, so naturally I get nosey and ask him stuff about it.


SK: Joshua! Josh! JP! Happy to have you on my blog again. It's always a pleasure because you were one of the first writers I connected with on Twitter. I'm going to jump right in with this one. Do you follow a system when you write a new story or do you wing it?

JP: It depends on the book to be honest. I accidentally wrote the Watcher, for example. By accident, I should explain. I wanted to do a longer poem. Not an epic poem, but just something longer than a page. I ended up writing the first poem, ironically titled “The Watcher” and liked it. I then asked myself what would happen next? So I wrote that. Liked it. Repeated the same question to myself. After I got to the fifth or sixth one I knew I had something here.
I didn't plan the Watcher; it kind of happened. Cool huh?

Stormdancer has a little of that, but not to the same extent. Going into it, I had an idea of some of the things I wanted to do. My big concern with that one was twofold: Continuity with The Watcher, and a legit question whether or not I had another epic in me. It turned out I had nothing to worry about.

I started the third one literally today. This one is more planned than the other two. Continuity is a big reason why. But also, I know how I want the story to end. To get there and make it work, I had to work on how they got there. I probably have the most detailed map of any book I've ever written here.

Yet I can say that there are still things I don't know. Won't know, dare I say until I write them. I think I need that. If I have it too planned out I get bored with it. If I don't know everything I can enjoy the journey a bit as well. I enjoy surprises, what can I say?

Okay, it’s time to get creative. Describe the color blue to me without using the word blue. 

Since I think of water I'll start down a stream of consciousness. I think of the Ocean. The waves are a light colour, and they are large. I kind of want to surf on them or to see if I can jump over them. I think of magic and counterspells, the pursuit of the intellect and the search for answers. I think serenity, contentment, and peace. Sometimes, in darker moments I see cold and ice, and a touch of a stoic nature. I think that part is a lie; seeking answers shows passion, the detachment is a defense mechanism. If the world knew the truth, maybe they'd wouldn't accept what is behind the mind.

Fear, uncertainty, wonder, curiosity, contentment, joy. Such is the nature of that colour.

Which fictional character would you want to be your roommate? 

R. Daneel Olivaw, Jilly Coppercorn, or Hal Jordan. Hal because he's damn near fearless and that's just awesome. Jilly is an artist and it'd be interesting to live with someone I could jam with. R. Danell Olivaw is the shaper of worlds. I've lived with people that might be robots, I think he would be more human.

What are you working on at the moment? 

Book 3, and a novel about autocorrect. If you hear me giggling like a school girl, it's the autocorrect novel. If you see me somber, it's book 3.

Name the top five tracks on your writing playlist. Go.

1. Up We Go – Lights
2. Gods of Speed – Finger Eleven
3. As Above, So Below – The Agonist
4. Oxygen – Thousand Foot Krutch
5. Octahate – Ryn Weaver
6. I am the Fire – Halestorm

Yeah it's six, but these are all awesome.

Let’s do a little roleplaying. Answer this next question as an original character of your choice. What is the meaning of life? 

The Watcher from my book The Watcher: there is more/for all I've seen/there is more I haven't/what lies beyond the ocean?/a new land/or do I just go over the edge of the world/I don't know/but each horizon exists/it would be wasteful/if we didn't go and find it/There is more

Who is your writing inspiration? I know the obvious answer is me but pick someone else for this interview. 

But you are my role model and paragon of virtue. If not you, then whom? Well, okay. I'll tell you, but you gotta promise not to tell anyone. Except your readers.

I remember when my dad took me to this bookstore called City Lights in London, Ontario, Canada. This bookstore is uber cool and one of the places that has character and amazing books. The first science fiction books I ever read were The Martian Chronicles and Foundation. Ray Bradbury had a sense of wonder and magic with each word he put on the page. For him, writing was a joy to behold and wonder about.

Isacc Asimov was just the man. Everything he writes is good. There is clarity, joy, questions, wonder. I'm not just talking about his fiction; there is an essay in a book called the Edge of Tomorrow called Euclid's Fifth. I still remember it like it was yesterday. I was thirteen reading high level mathematics and Asimov made me get it. At thirteen. I want to be able to be that clear myself. There's a real art to it.

Are people basically good or bad? 

Both. At the end of the day, people are all the same. We want to be loved and understood. We are also selfish; we tend to do things that favour us in spite of whatever consequences that may happen to those around us. We choose what we encourage in ourselves.

What’s your favorite piece of dialogue in any book you’ve ever read? 

Neil Gaiman's Sandman. He was playing an image game with a demon in hell. Each had to present a concept to the other, and The demon said “I am oblivion

We did this last time, but I’m interested in seeing if your taste has changed! Put your iTunes of shuffle and give me the first five songs that pop up. No skipping! 

My tastes have evolved. Sadly, half of what I listen to is still in a storage locker. Yes, I still buy CDs.

So to answer your question,

Send the Pain Below – Chevelle

Speeding – Lights

I Don't Want To Be Here Anymore – Rise Against

Speak a Little Louder – Diane Birch

My Hands – Leona Lewis

If you could say one thing to a person of your choice and then have it wiped from their memory, who would it be and what would you say? 

This is a hard question. I don't exactly hold back with anyone. Just ask. But if I wanted to say something to someone and have it wiped? I'd tell this one girl what I felt when I had the chance. I'd tell them they were a beautiful person. Even if they forgot I said it, they'd keep that feeling.


A delight as always, Joshua. Stormdancer is killing it. Make a terrible decision today and follow this incredible writer everywhere. Literally follow him everywhere, he's cool with that stuff.



Twitter: @jpantalleresco