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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Author Interview and Giveaway with Joseph Devon, author of Probability Angels

Hi, everyone!

I am pleased to participate in Joseph Devon's Probability Angels Virtual Book Publicity Tour hosted by NURTURE Virtual Book Tourz. 

About Joseph:

Joseph Devon was born in New Jersey and currently lives in New York. He's been a student, a nanny, worked at the Ground Zero recovery project after 9/11, and of all the things he's created he is probably most proud of the character Kyo. He writes a blog at and also enjoys photography, so he's also at flickr, and tumblr, and twitter too, and sometimes he thinks maybe he has too many social networking outlets.

Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook

Welcome to Darlene's Book Nook, Joseph! Please tell us a little about yourself (something different, not contained in your bio).

Something not in my bio? Hmmm...I actually kind of forget what’s in my bio. Here’s a random list of facts: I can watch an entire season of TV in one sitting if given the opportunity, I worked at the Ground Zero recovery site after 9/11 then as a nanny for five years, I recently discovered that martinis and edamame are an ideal dinner for me, I’ve gotten a lot of practice cooking and would say that I can cook nearly anything with some degree of skill, my favorite photography subjects are my nieces and nephews but only my family gets to see those pictures which is sad because they’re some of my best, I currently own a set of “Cats in Wigs Stationary” that was bought for me by some friends of mine, my New Years Resolution was to go bowling more. How’s that?

Do you have a specific writing style? Do you write an outline, or do you write more “by-the-seat-of-your-pants”?

I’ll turn to outlines only when I need to. In writing the Probability Angels books, for example, I have a lot of characters who are travelling all over the world as their stories intermingle. So I needed to put down some outlines just to keep time zones straight. I might write a scene during a sunset in Vegas because I like the effect, but then when I moved to Romania or Mount Everest I’d have to check what time it was there and factor in how much time had passed to make sure it all worked out. Otherwise, I usually start a book with a few powerful scenes in my head. They kind of invade my head to be honest and I can’t shake them. Once enough of these build up I know it’s time to start writing and then I try and do my best to steer my story from once big scene to the next.

Do you discipline yourself to write a certain number of words daily? Or do you ever have dry periods where you do not write? 

That depends on the current project. Right now I’m doing research and writing blog posts and short stories, so I like to tackle each of those individually. It’s fun to see if writing on a park bench is different from writing at my desk. But that’s for shorter works. For longer works I have a strict discipline. I do, also, go for stretches where I don’t write. I feel like some writers are worried that they’ll forget how to write or something if they don’t do it every day. That seems odd to me. I like to get some distance from the craft between larger works. I like approaching each new book feeling like I’m a different person inside.

What is your ideal writing environment? Do you prefer music or solitude? Is there a time of day (or night) that you prefer?

I need to be at my desk with my headphones on and my music on. I’ve experimented with other methods on shorter works, and had some success, but for novels, like I said in the last question, I need the discipline. Also, ideally, I get a good chunk of words out while my morning coffee is still in my system.

Are there any authors that influence your writing?

Oddly enough, one of the biggest influences on my writing has been Virgil’s Aenead. I read it in Latin back in high school and while I didn’t learn very much Latin in the process my teacher made us break down the sentences and really get inside Virgil’s poetry and use of language and word placement. I still look back at those classes when I’m rewriting sometimes and see if I can’t rearrange words or sentences so that they have a higher overall impact. 

Where did you come up with the idea for Probability Angels?

At the time I was working on a writing project where I wrote a new short story every two weeks for a year. By my third story I was completely out of ideas, so I stated toying around with a “Deal with the Devil” sort of story, where a character makes said deal and then at the end of the story there’s a twist and he winds up getting screwed over by the devil. You know, because he’s the devil. Only that started to seem not good enough, I had actually written a short story like that before and I try not to repeat myself, so I kept noodling on the idea. Eventually I started wondering if I could make this Devil character into the good guy in the story. Most of my best moments and biggest strengths have come from the worst parts of my life, so I became enamored with the idea of writing a character that deals in pain, but only in order to make others grow. That’s what the Probability Angels do, in a very simplified nut shell.

Your protagonist, Matthew, is a supernatural being. If you could have any supernatural power, what would it be?

The fun part about the Probability Angels is that they have to learn their powers. Wait, no, that’s not the fun part, the fun part is that because their powers are learned they can pick and choose to some degree what they’re able to do. And they’re constantly discovering new abilities, so there’s no real strict definition of what a supernatural power is. At any rate, the ability to travel quickly, in any form, would probably be my choice. I hate airline travel; it’d be nice to be able to see the world without having to deal with that.

Can you tell us about your current or upcoming writing projects?

Probability Angels is the first book in a trilogy. The second book, Persistent Illusions, is going on tour in a few weeks. The third book I’m researching now, so that will be my next big writing project.

You indicate in your bio that you enjoy photography. What was the coolest photo that you ever took?

I went to Central Park once a week for a year and took a photo of The Mall from the same spot every time. Then I put them all into a collage. I love the final outcome, but the annoying thing is that nobody ever gets to see it. The real size of the collage is about four feet by three feet, so you can see it on your computer but it loses a lot of its impact. I have a lot of other favorites, though. They’re all up on my Flickr Photostream.

What book(s) are you reading now?

A history of the Roman people and then I’ve got a history of clothes to read. Both research.

Do you have any specific last thoughts that you want to say to your readers?

Read for fun and don’t let anyone tell you you’re reading the wrong things. Art is there to be enjoyed first and foremost.

Oh! And I always have two contests running at my site. One is for if you spot a typo in any of my published works. The other is a yearly Fan Art Contest. Great prizes and great fun.

*Fun Facts*

Favourite music?  Currently? Taylor Swift...(ahem).

Dog-lover or cat-lover? Dog lover.

Vanilla ice cream or chocolate? Vanilla. Chocolate is for cakes.
If you could meet anyone in the world, alive or dead, who would it be and why? Taylor Swift (see above).

I can't live without my... Rubiks Cube.

The craziest thing I ever did was... run away from home and drive across the country with my friends one summer.

If I could take an all-expenses paid trip anywhere in the world, I would go to... any Tuscan vineyard.

 Thanks so much for joining us today, Joseph! It was a lot of fun getting to know you better!!

Two lucky winners will win a copy (one paperback and one e-book) of Probability Angels.  A winner from Canada/US/UK will receive a choice of paperback or e-book. An international winner will receive an e-book.


Matthew knows that he died twenty years ago. He has, after all, been bouncing around New York City ever since, causing mischief and having fun as a supernatural being. But recently some problems have been cropping up: not only is he hallucinating things in garbage cans, but his mentor doesn’t think he’s working up to his full potential, his best friend can’t offer any solace but drunken confusion, and his wife is dying in Central Park.

See, the past twenty years haven’t meant a thing because now it’s time for Matthew to make his second choice and become a tester of humanity.
And that’s all before the zombies show up.

Come explore the world of Matthew and Epp and see what a samurai from Feudal Japan has to do with the course of modern physics, what a two-thousand year old Roman slave has to do with the summit of Mount Everest, and what a dead man from Brooklyn has to do with the fate of the world.

To enter the giveaway, please fill out the Rafflecopter entry form below.

This giveaway is open to entrants worldwide until 12:01 AM EST on March 14, 2012.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Participants

March 1st – Jaidis S. @ Juniper Grove
March 2nd – Farrah K. @ The Book Faery Reviews
March 2nd – MK @ MK McClintock Blog
March 5th – Inga K. @ Me And Reading
March 6th – Bob Mi. @ Beauty in Ruins
March 7th – Darlene G. @ Darlene’s Book Nook
March 8th – Morgen B. @ Morgen Bailey’s Writing Blog
March 9th – Meredith Al. @ From Meredith Allard
March 12th – Miranda Wh. @ Ricochet Reviews
March 12th – Beverly G. @ Everyone Loves A SiNner
March 13th – Jaidis S. @ Juniper Grove
March 14th – Laurie J. @ Laurie’s Thoughts & Reviews
March 14th – April R. & Wendy @ My Book Addiction and More
March 15th – Bobbie @ Nurture Virtual Book Tourz™ Blog


  1. Enjoyed the interview. Thanks for posting! :)

  2. Great interview. I loved the answers Joseph gave.


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