Zen N Facebook page
1) Q. Will there be a hard
cover version of Zen N?
A. Currently Zen N is published by Xlibris and hard
cover books require over 100 or so pages. The author is looking into the
possiblity of a second edition in hard cover with a larger typeface and
pictures of the original hand written pages of Frog, Harry and Silence, but
this will most likely not be until next year , if at all.
2) Q. Who edited Zen N?
Norman J. Schoonebeek did all of the editing of Zen N. Because of the nature of
the contents often having a Zen type of play-on-words and play-on-logic, the
publisher's editors would not have known, in many areas, how something "should
have been" punctuated or formatted, or if something was in a correct tense or
not. This was most crucial with the story Silence, as the dialogue shifted
between characters within the same paragraph. Traditionally a seperate
paragraph is used for each character or person, to make it more obvious who's
talking or when the character talking shifts from one to another.
3) How long did it take to
write and publish Zen N?
A. The individual stories typically took one or two
days to write. Frog, Harry and Silence were written in Norman's senior year of
college 1978-79. Brainstorm Blizzard was written in 1995.
The contents of
the collection of stories has gone through many changes over the years. In the
early 80's there were several other essays but their significance has
diminished over the years.
There have also been several transformations of
the medium in which the stories were recorded.
Frog, Harry and Silence were
originally hand written in college spiral notebooks. Brainstorm Blizzard was
written on a personal computer.
Eventually Frog, Harry and Silence were
retyped with a typewriter onto paper and then later retyped into computer ASCI
Itext files and then MS Word files.
The latest MS Word version submitted to
Xlibris had simple formatting as per the submission intructions.
production staff set it into their book format. The formatting and layout
changed a bit, so there were quite a few adjustments to get it to the final
The editing and proofing process took about 3 weeks once the
original manuscript was submitted to Xlibris.
The toughest part of editing
for Norman was studying puncuation rules for quotation marks since he didn't
give them much consideration in the earlier versions. Quite appropriately,
Norman used "The Owl at Purdue" free writing help and teaching
4)Q. Will Zen N be translated
to other languages?
A. The author does not think so. The Zenlogical and
whimsical nature of the English version would be lost in
5) Q. As a selfpublishing
author do you ever wonder if anyone will actually read your book?
6) Q. The introduction seems
kind of dry, lacking humor or creativity. Why?
A. The introduction was done
under an extreme time constraint. It was done quick-n-dirty.
7) Q. Is the author married,
single, straight, gay? Any children, pets, vices?
A. The author is single,
straight, never-been-married, no children, no pets. He drinks more coffee than
is probably legal, should anyone care.
8) Q. Is the author always a
nice, friendly, happy person?
9) Q. What exactly is the
meaning of your short stories?
A. You shouldn't ask. It will ruin the
surprise. There are straightforward academic explanations for the significance
and meanings and "points" of the short stories. The author will provide said
explanations in due time but with the book only just being launched, as we
speak, they would contain too many spoilers and that would, well,... spoil
10) Q. Any other books or
authors that influenced your style or ideas?
A. A couple of other authors
and their books influenced my mildly satirical tone found in some parts of the
stories. Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. and The Breakfast of Champions, Douglas
Adams' The Hitchiker's Guide To the Galaxy series, Pissing in the
Snow by Vance Randolph and Tom Robbins' Even Cowgirls Get the Blues.
They all, whether intentionally or not, express cynical perspectives of
authority, traditionalism and normalism, in perhaps an existential way, but
expressing creative and humorous accounts or imaginings of the absurdity of
life doesn't provide solutions and the Zen N stories were written with more of
a goal of enlightenment than entertainment or political or social
11) Q. Why is the man on the
cover of a Zen book a medieval wizard or Alchemist?
A. The wisdom of
Buddhism, Zen and Hinduism was not meant to be limited to monks. It is a
description of the basic nature of all people and life itself. The picture on
the cover of the book was a pencil drawing given to me by my mother for my
college graduation. The artist is unkown to me. It's just a pretty cool
drawing, I think. The wizard is definitely someone with a very deep commitment
to finding the essential truths about life and reality..
12) Q. What music do you
listen to? What are you currently reading?
A. During the 3 weeks of grinding
out the final publication of Zen N I was reading James Paterson's Sail
and Michael Crichton's Timeline. I listened mostly to music on the
Connecticut radio station Star 99.9 FM to help keep my emotional tone up and
my reality grounded in "this world". The very last day that I worked on
proofing the final galley version for approval and the green light to print the
Author copy of the physical book, I listened to a CD repeateldy, given to me by
my step sister one Christmas of Atlanta's Star 94 FM radio
station'sStudio Sessions Volume Two - All Access featuring: Avril
Lavigne's complicated, Goo Goo Dolls' slide, Shakira's
underneath your clothes, Train's drops of jupiter, Jewel's
break me, Uncle Kracker's follow me, Johm Mayer's no such
thing, Sheryl Crow's my favorite mistake, Dirty Vegas' days go
by, Kid Rock's picture, Alanis Morissette's that i would be
good, Default's wasting my time, and Sister Hazel's running
13) Q. Did you realize that
the "N" was a "Z" pointing up vertically when you picked the title Zen
A. No, but when I realized it, it was a "wow, that's cool!"
14) Q. Did you make any major
changes in the stories during the 3 weeks of production?
A. After I
submitted the manuscript I thought of the section in Brainstorm Blizzard
about "R" and "C" and the Quick Start instructions. I really liked it and
included that change in the 1st Galley corrections. Other than that, the only
significant change was changing the title from Cured- Brainstorm II to
15) Q. How come there's no
table of contents?
A. It just didn't seem necessary. There are only 4 short
stories and they are very, well... short. Also, life doesn't come with a table
of contents. So, when you read Zen N each story is meant to flow right into the
next. They support each other
synergistically somewhat like a
gestalt. The effect of the reading experience
reminds me a tad of how the computer game Half Life was designed. It was the
first 3D computer game that would load each new level without breaking away
from the in-game environmental scene.
16) Q. What are your favorite
A. Lost and Grey's Anatomy (as of 2009), Warehouse 13 (as of
17) Q. What is your favorite
A. I can't pick out one favorite. I love many genres: adventure,
action, sci-fi, love stories, drama, thrillers, mysteries, comedy, fantasy,
satire. No need to pick out a favorite.
18) Q. What is that snake
A. The same day I completed editing the final galley of the book Zen
N, I went for a walk at the Holtsville Ecology Park after sending off my
correction sheet by email, to get outside in the fresh air and unwind. This
snake crossed my path. How's that for an odd coincidence? This was taken with
my phone camera, a Verizon MOTO W755.
Zen N is a
trademark of Maroon Lagoon Enterprises Ltd.
Xlibris digital version