Ridgecrest native publishes first book

Ridgecrest native publishes first bookBy LAURA QUEZADA

News Review Staff Writer

If the book title “Blood Moon” and the cover image of a wolf howling in front of a full moon bring to mind werewolves, you are on the right track. Joseph Battaglia, author, set out to create an original mystery, saying, “I want to be original as you can be with a werewolf book, which have been written since the beginning of time. But I like to think I put my own twist on it putting in cliffhangers and adventures that put my own flavor on it.”

Battaglia sets his story in Crystal Falls, Michigan, a real town. Rookie FBI agent, Simon Munson, requests an assignment that nobody else will do. He finds himself in Crystal Falls to solve a cold case of multiple murders. He says, “Nobody knows who it was. It could be a serial killer, it could be Satan worshipers. What he finds out is something more sinister and he gets drawn in and entangled.”

Two of the scenes were particularly difficult for Battaglia to write; one about a death, the other around circumstances leading to an adoption. “Those two things were usually not my cup of tea to write about, but I’ve been told you have to go out of your comfort zone when you are writing. Your bad guy has to actually be bad. I had to push the limits somewhere in some places and still try to remain tactful because kids or teenagers may read it.”

Becoming a novelist was Battaglia’s adapting to the reality of the marketplace. As one of the first to graduate from Cerro Coso’s Digital Arts Academy, he had his sights on becoming a creator of video games. He tells us, “What I didn’t realize was that every college was doing animation academy and how to make your own video game classes. So the field was flooded. When I saw that Amazon was offering to publish your own books, I started taking the video game ideas and turning them into books.”

He plans that “Blood Moon” be the first of many. “I have over 30 video game ideas. Some will be stand alone, but ‘Blood Moon’ is the first of four stories. I want to write a bunch of books with different phases of the moon, have different characters, but have them inhabit the same theatrical universe.”

Early childhood experiences fueled this Ridgecrest native’s imagination. “My mother was a Navy secretary. My father worked on base; he also was a reel-to-reel guy at the drive in movie theater. I was introduced to movies I probably shouldn’t have seen at a very young age,” he laughs. “That got me into science fiction, blood and guts, and vampire stuff.”

Victory Books Publishing edited his book and helped him upload it to Amazon. “Blood Moon” is available at Red Rock Books and online from Amazon.com

Courtesy photo: Joseph Battaglia holds his book, Blood Moon, in front of the local author bookshelf at Red Rock Books.

Story First Published: 2021-09-03