Quintette of Questions: Donna Mazza

Today I’m asking Donna Mazza 5 questions about her latest book!

1. What’s the name of your latest book – and how hard was it to pick a title?

My latest book is called Fauna. It started life as a short story called ‘The Exhibit’ but it soon outgrew the title as it moved past the exhibition of de-extincted animals that was its namesake.  I had wanted a more complex title with more words in it but when I finally settled on Fauna , nothing else seemed to fit. In the end, the title and my name have a delightful symmetry on the cover of the book and I can’t imagine anything would suit it better.

2. If you could choose anyone from any time period, who would you cast as the leads in your latest book?

As I was writing Fauna , I realised it was a very visual work and would make a great movie. I imagined Sam Worthington as Isak because he seems gentle and isn’t extremely handsome but he’s alright. If he’s reading this I do apologise!  Isak is from South Africa so I think Sharlto Copley would be wonderful and he has the best accent for it.  He has already made movies about aliens (District 9) so he’d be quite comfortable with my not-quite-human baby. Essie Davis, who was the mother in The Babadook, would be great as Stacey and she’s had that experience of being a panicky mother under threat.

3. What five words best describe your story?

Poetic – Raw – Maternal – Prescient – Empathic

4. Who is your favourite fictional team/couple?

They aren’t fictional but they are legendary – Percy Bysshe and Mary Shelley are my all time favourite couple. I mean she wrote Frankenstein and he was the most passionate and sublime poet of all the Romantics – what’s not to love?

5. What song reflects a theme, character, relationship or scene in your book?

When the family go on a doomed holiday to the South West of WA they sing along to Ed Sheeran’s ‘Galway Girl’ and it brings back memories of when they met, before they had children, especially ones that weren’t really human! 

About Fauna

A compelling near-future literary novel, psychological thriller and family drama set seventeen years into a very recognisable future, Fauna is an astonishing psychological drama with an incredible twist: What if the child you are carrying is not entirely human?

Using DNA technology, scientists have started to reverse the extinction of creatures like the mammoth and the Tasmanian Tiger. The benefits of this radical approach could be far-reaching. But how far will they go?

Longing for another child, Stacey is recruited by LifeBLOOD®, a company that offers massive incentives for her to join an experimental genetics program. As part of the agreement, Stacey and her husband’s embryo will be blended with edited cells. Just how edited, Stacey doesn’t really know. Nor does she have any idea how much her longed-for new daughter will change her life and that of her family. Or how hard she will have to fight to protect her.

Fauna is a transformative, lyrical and moving novel about love and motherhood, home and family-and what it means to be human.

Buy Fauna

About Donna Mazza

Donna Mazza is a writer and academic whose debut novel, The Albanian (Fremantle Press, 2007) won the TAG Hungerford Award. Her short stories, poetry and other works have been published in literary magazines and she was recipient of the Mick Dark Flagship Fellowship for Environmental Writing at Varuna Writers Centre for her short fiction. Her short story ‘The Exhibit’, which was the seed of her new novel, was joint winner of Westerly Magazine’s Patricia Hackett Prize.

Her poetry is featured on several public art works in Western Australia. Donna teaches at Edith Cowan University and lives in a small country town in the South West with her family, including many chickens.

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So many book launches and author talks have had to be cancelled, I’ve decided to run as many Quintettes as I can to share some great upcoming work – and let you stock up on things to read while we’re all self-isolating.