M.F. Soriano

Publisher info

M.F. Soriano got his first job at the age of twelve. In the more than two decades that have passed since then, he's worked as a nurseryman in a tree farm, a deckhand on a tall ship, a front desk receptionist in a psychological services center. He's been a bartender in Britain, an English teacher in Spain, and a drummer for a rock band in Mexico. Through it all, ever since he first sat down and actually thought of what he wanted to do for a living, he's wanted to be a writer.

Smashwords Interview

What's the story behind your latest book?
When I was a kid, my brother and I devoured Fantasy fiction, especially books from the Dragonlance line. I started to get serious about my writing a few years later, but by then I'd moved on to reading Literary (with a capital L) books, and most of what I wrote reflected that. I ended up going to college for a writing degree, and the program was all about Literature--very highfalutin stuff. By the end of my time at college, writing had become pretty tedious for me. I'd started writing a novel more than once, but I'd always gotten too bored to finish.

After I graduated, I took the time to consider what had made me want to write in the first place. I remembered the Fantasy fiction I'd loved as a kid--the way it had ignited my imagination, the sense of adventure it had communicated. I started reading it again, and came across authors I'd never read before, like Jim Butcher and George R.R. Martin and Patrick Rothfuss. These writers were doing very exciting things with the genre, moving it in directions I'd never seen it move. It inspired me.

I decided I wanted to try my hand at writing Fantasy fiction, and I started on my novel Blood Brothers. In the end, writing that book was the most fun I'd had writing anything, ever. It gave me a chance to let my imagination run wild, and to honor what had excited me so much about Fantasy as a kid, but it also gave me a chance to turn certain conventions upside down, and to take a Fantasy story to places I'd never seen Fantasy go. In particular, I loved having the opportunity to incorporate mysticism and altered-mental-states in a Fantasy setting, especially as aspects of magic, and to focus on the effects of race and class on character personalities.
What are you working on next?
I'm working on a horror series called Zombie City. But, just like Blood Brothers played around with certain conventions of the Fantasy genre, I'd like to think that Zombie City comes at the whole Zombie genre from a fresh angle. Perhaps most notable about the series is its setting: San Francisco. The current transformation that San Francisco is going through, from a city known for alternative lifestyles and immigrant communities to a city known for tech start-ups (which is basically the newest form of Big Business), is the key to everything that happens in the book. Really, it's almost like a parable about gentrification... with zombies. (It's also brutally violent and horrific, probably the darkest thing I've ever written.)
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Where to find M.F. Soriano online

Smashwords book reviews by M.F. Soriano

  • Deadlocked on Oct. 16, 2013

    What I loved about this book is the way the author handled crowd response. The story takes place when the zombie outbreak first hits the streets, and the author does a great job of describing the chaos that ensues. I got a very vivid sense of the protagonist/narrator being at the center of frenzied, panicked, faceless mobs of people--with so much going on that his mind can't take it all in. And yet the story is peppered with striking details that give you clear images, as though you're seeing it with your own eyes. It feels grounded, real, and terrifying.
  • Breakers on Jan. 27, 2014

    The quality of the writing is excellent--every sentence solid, every paragraph well-formed. It's a first-rate take on a pretty far out topic--alien invasion. Sometimes it got a little too focused on the characters' thoughts for my tastes, but I will definitely put it at the top of the list of sci fi books I've read in my life.
  • Blood of Nanking on Jan. 27, 2014

    An interesting blend of history and horror, with a satisfying supernatural twist. The author handles the different cultures in the story (Chinese, American, and Japanese) with a deft hand.