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Brookfield native fills up bookshelves

May 19, 2014

"The old cliché is really true. Do what you really love, and something will pan out."

That's the advice of a Brookfield native who spent the first two decades-and-change of his life on a direction that one would not have expected to lead him to work as an author.

Andrew Mozina was a resident of Brookfield throughout the entirety of his childhood. He attended Linfield Elementary School and later graduated from Pius XI High School in Milwaukee. Afterward, he attended Northwestern University and majored in economics. He later began law school.

Now, Mozina has his second work of fiction hitting the shelves.

"Quality Snacks" will be a collection of short stories that its creator says are for people who may be trying to find meaning in their day-to-day lives.

"It's stories about people who want something extraordinary in their lives; they want something, sometimes something absurd," Mozina said.

"Quality Snacks" will join "The Women Were Leaving the Men," as Mozina's pair of published works in fiction. He has also published a work of literary criticism but describes himself now as "pretty much a fiction writer."

Still, the current Kalamazoo, Michigan, resident is the first to note that his rise as an author was not always the most likely destination for him.

"The irony for me was that I did the conservative thing in college, which was to get an economics degree and go to law school," Mozina says. "But I wrote for a humor magazine in college and took some writing workshops and really liked it."

Mozina left law school after one year and eventually earned his master's degree in English from Boston University. He later earned his doctorate from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri.

"I don't think there's any point to just settling and trying to wedge yourself into something you're not passionate about," Mozina said.

Mozina credits one specific teacher with having helped to cultivate his love for writing at an early age. As a sophomore at Pius, he was in Greg Frederick's science fiction and fantasy class.

"It was always a pleasure to have Andy in class," Frederick said. "I think he could have probably done anything that he set his mind to. I was pleasantly surprised when I heard he had gone back into writing."

Frederick noticed Mozina's abilities as a writer when the latter wrote a spin-off of the Ray Bradbury fictional work "A Sound of Thunder."

"It was very well written and very clever," he said. "Andy was just a brilliant kid. It was so good that I thought Bradbury should see it. I found his address and sent it off. Bradbury wrote a very nice letter back to Andy on his personal stationary. That was a memorable moment for me in my teaching career."

Mozina also clearly recalls the same writing exercise.

"That was pretty inspiring, even as a kid while I didn't maybe quite grasp who (Bradbury) was at the time," Mozina said.

Frederick eventually moved on from Pius to work at Marquette University; however, the two have kept in touch.

"Quality Snacks" hits shelves Wednesday, May 21, and even more from Mozina may be on the way. The Brookfield native noted that he recently finished his first novel and is working on getting it published.

"He's certainly a great product of Brookfield," Frederick said.

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