10 Questions with Jay Caselberg
  1. If you could only read one book for the rest of your life, what would it be?

 

Hum. That’s difficult. There are so many to choose from, but one for the rest of my life? Finnegan’s Wake probably. Trying to find meanings would probably occupy me unendingly.

 

  1. Of all of the places you have lived in or visited, what is your favorite place?

At last count I have visited, lived in or worked in 72 countries, and of course countless many more than that if you count cities. Each has particular charms. I am quite comfortable where I live now, in Germany. It offers many advantages, but it’s different living somewhere and visiting it. I am still always drawn back to Sydney. There’s so much beauty there. For sheer awesomeness though, it has to be Angkor Watt. One of these days I’ll go back.

 

  1. Who is your favorite writer?

So many to choose from, so little time. I don’t have a clear favorite per se. Gene Wolfe is a master craftsman. James Lee Burke for his crime touching on Magic Realism and his sheer descriptive prose and characterization. Very fond of David Mitchell too. Hopefully we’ll see something new from him again soon.

 

  1. What is your favorite genre to write in?

 

I don’t have a favorite. The story tends to dictate. I’m a lover of Noir, so a few of my tales have a Noir sensibility. I like crime, so that creeps in. Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror, they are all there or blendings of them. Generally there’s a dark edge to the fiction, but that’s just what’s in the back of my head.

 

  1. What current writing projects are you working on?

 

Any short story or poem that bites me along the way, but right now I have a couple of projects underway. One is a future noir space opera-ish kind of thing. The other is something pretty dark. I’ve realized that quite a few of my tales are ghost stories. Well, this is novel length, and it’s kind of a ghost story, but kind of not.

 

  1. What made you start writing?

 

I am not really sure. I read a lot as a kid. We moved around a lot, so many of my relationships growing up were transitory, so books became the constant friends. Maybe I just realized I wanted to do that too. Give that opportunity to people. Later, and this was part of my teaching career as well, it was wanting to be able to play with people’s heads. That’s still there….

 

  1. What is your best quality as a writer?

 

I’m maybe not the best judge of that. I am told it’s atmosphere and characterization. I’m not sure any writer can reasonably assess their own work. There’s stories I love that people hate. There’s stories that I think are okay, that people love. It’s also different at novel and short fiction length. But all in all, I’m going to stick with those two.

 

  1. Which person do you most admire?

 

That’s really, really difficult to answer. Not sure that I think of people in terms of admiration. I may admire an achievement, or a creation or an act, but that doesn’t necessarily lead to admiration of the person. Does that make me a misanthrope? Maybe.

 

  1. How do you define success as a writer?

 

Readers.

 

  1. If you could invite five people to a dinner party (alive or dead, real or fictional) who would you invite?

Hmm. Interesting. Is it prompted by their characters or their foodiness? Hard to say which. Probably the polymath Einstein (as much for his movie work as for his brain). Marilyn Monroe (as much for her brain as her presence) Franz Kafka (cos you have to have a little weirdness at the table) Xenobia (Gotta love a strong woman) and Hannibal Lecter (because at least he’d appreciate the food and wine)

10 Questions with Martin Shoemaker
  1. Who has been your biggest influence as a writer?

 

The list is long; but if I have to choose only one, I would choose Jack McDevitt. After years of being so busy with work that I had little time to read for pleasure, A Talent for War rekindled my love for good old science fiction. And book after book, Jack has inspired me. And answered fan mail, inspiring me more.

Plus Jack started his career late in life, making his first sale at age 46. That convinced me that it wasn’t too late for me, leading to my first sale at 48. Jack gave me a cover quote for my novel, and I couldn’t be prouder.

 

  1. What was it like having lunch with Buzz Aldrin?

Heh. It was intimidating. I honestly didn’t recognize him. Our table at the ISDC luncheon was full of professionals in the space industry. They engaged in a lively debate about the best way to get to space; and there was one gentleman, very opinionated, who received a strange deference from the rest. Even when they clearly disagreed with him, they couched it very politely and carefully.

Then during the salad course, I leaned over my plate at one point to make sure I didn’t spill. I tilted my head sideways, and out of the corner of my eye, I caught his nametag: “Buzz”.

And I can tell you exactly what went through my head at that moment: Don’t drop the fork do NOT drop the fork oh PLEASE DON’T DROP THE FORK!

 

  1. What current writing projects are you working on?

 

I have promised Baen a story set in the Today I Am Carey universe for their web site. I’m working on edits for my next novel, tentatively titled Mutiny on the Aldrin Express (coming in September from 47North). And I’m 50,000 words into Ulla: Martian Song Book 1, a revision/sequel to War of the Worlds.

 

 

  1. What’s more difficult, writing programming code or writing fiction?

 

That’s a great question. I’m going to say fiction. With programming, there are rules and tests to help you know when it’s right. With fiction, you just cross your fingers and send it out.

(All right, sometimes it seems like programmers do the same thing…)

 

  1. Is there an overall theme to your writing?

 

Every story’s different, of course; but if I have a recurring theme, it’s identity. Who are you, and how do you find your place in life?

 

  1. What is the genesis of your Blue Collar Space series?

 

It actually started as a role-playing game campaign. We never played it, but I drew up incredibly detailed maps of the Corporation of Tycho Under, and I wrote a history for it and other Lunar cities. When I sat down to write a story, I “borrowed” that setting. Then I wrote more Tycho Under stories. Then when I started writing other stories in the near future, it was just easier to reuse the same setting and add to it.

 

  1. What is your greatest accomplishment as a writer?

 

Readers telling me that when they read “Today I Am Paul”, they can feel that I understand them. Especially readers who identify with the character of Susan. When I wrote the story, I feared that I was kind of harsh with Susan; but readers tell me that Susan feels what they feel, and they thank me for understanding.

 

  1. How do you define success as a writer?

 

I’m tempted by the flip answer: “I’ll tell you when I get there.” But a more serious answer is what I often advise friends when they’re struggling with their writing careers. I call it the Five Years Ago You theory: if you could go back five years ago and show yourself where you are today, would Five Years Ago You be excited or disappointed? If the answer is “excited”, that’s success.

And that also means that success if a moving target. Five Years Ago Martin is pretty happy with where I am right now; but Today Martin has lots of new goals!

 

  1. Which person do you most admire?

 

There’s a doctor I know. For confidentiality reasons, he uses a pseudonym online, so I won’t identify him. He does psychological and medical care for really sick kids. Often terminal cases. He has to care for them and their parents in the worst situations I can imagine. He finds ways to keep their spirits up, to ease their pain, to console their grief. He watches little kids die, and then he goes out and does it again the next day because they need him.

I get tears just thinking about it. He’s stronger than I could ever be. Him and all the caregivers out there who fight battles they cannot win, but who refuse to give up. I admire them, and I’m glad they’re out there.

 

  1. If you could create a Mount Rushmore of the greatest science fiction authors, which four writers would you choose?

 

Only four? Grumble, grumble…

Let me start by taking the question very literally, meaning only science fiction authors. That means I’ll leave Tolkien off the list, even though I’ve read Lord of the Rings over twenty times.

First I’ll have to go with Robert A. Heinlein, for more titles than I have time to list here, so I’ll just hit two. The Moon is a Harsh Mistress is so revolutionary (pun unintentional). It’s my go-to vision of life on a colony. And “Requiem”, sequel to “The Man Who Sold the Moon”, is a perfect gem of a story.

Second I’ll say Harlan Ellison, who was the finest stylist I’ve ever read. There have been times when I was reluctant to pick up an Ellison book because I knew I wouldn’t be able to put it down until it was done.

Third I’m going to cheat: Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle in collaboration. Together they’re just about the perfect writer.

And fourth I’m back to Jack McDevitt, for all the reasons I stated earlier.

10 Questions with Lillian Csernica
  1. If you could only read one book for the rest of your life, what would it be?

 

SNUFF by Sir Terry Pratchett

 

  1. You describe yourself as a Japanophile? What does that mean to you and what attracts you to Japanese culture?

The paradoxes in Japanese culture intrigue me. On one hand, they celebrate the ephemeral beauty of the cherry blossom. On the other, their educational system is so harsh and competitive that students who fail their exams often commit suicide. What I enjoy most about the history of Japan is its transition from the Tokugawa Shogunate period of martial law to the Industrial Revolution brought about by the Emperor Meiji determined to modernize Japan. This feudal archipelago in the Pacific became a crossroads of strategic interests for the world powers who already foresaw world war looming.

 

  1. Do you outline prior to writing your story, or do you work out the plot as you write?

 

It depends on the story. Novels require some thinking to sort out the cast of characters and their motivations. With short stories, I tend to get an idea for a main character or a scene and run with that, then build the rest of the story around it.

 

  1. What’s the most interesting, little known historical fact you have ever come across?

When the Tokugawa closed Japan to the West, a delegation of samurai on its way back from Spain were locked out of their own country. Some of the samurai ended up in Mexico. There is evidence to suggest that the samurai’s interest in Kabuki may have influenced the designs and colors of masks worn by lucha libre wrestlers.

 

  1. Is there an overall theme to your writing?

 

I am fascinated by cultural intersections, both in real life and in fiction. One of the most common points of meeting is the ghost story. Much of my nonfiction reading is about folklore and the supernatural elements found in other cultures.

 

  1. What made you start writing?

 

I needed somebody to talk to, so I started writing in an ordinary spiral notebook. I recall doing that as far back as first or second grade. Like many writers, I come from a dysfunctional family, my mother’s second marriage. When other family members were fighting, I was writing, running away from home inside my own head.

 

  1. What are your favorite things to collect?

 

Ghost stories. Wind chimes. Bookmarks.

 

  1. Is there any subject that is off limits for you as a writer?

 

I’m not sure how to interpret the question. Is there a subject I refuse to write about? Or is there a subject I can’t bring myself to write about? The deaths of children, especially babies, upset me terribly. I lost my first son to miscarriage. I have to limit my exposure to the daily news because the resulting rage and grief is very draining.

 

  1. What is your best quality as a writer?

 

I can be relentless about my research. I want to write for my most intelligent reader, the one who will spot it if I get an historical detail wrong. As far as technique, I like to think I’m good at dialogue.

 

  1. If you could pick one other author to collaborate with on a novel or story, living or dead, who would it be?

Tanith Lee or Seabury Quinn. They know how to put the “weird” in weird tales.

10 Questions with Mark Rossman

1.)  How did you get started as an audiobook narrator?

 

Several years ago I received an audiobook as a Christmas gift. While working out at the gym one day I decided to pop in my earphones and began listening. After a few minutes I thought to myself “Hey, I can do that!” So, that is when I first caught the itch to narrate audiobooks. The more I looked into producing audiobooks the more seriously interested I became.

Since then I have produced and narrated over 80 audiobooks in various genres, most of them can still be found on Audible and Amazon.

Actually, I have been active as a voice artist for a long time. I began by working for various radio stations while in college and producing commercials or voice ads as a freelancer for advertising agencies. I have also narrated numerous documentaries for a number of outlets, including the Discovery Channel, National Geographic, TLC, The History Channel and several others.

Audiobooks were an entirely new challenge for me. It was an avenue I had yet to venture into and I was anxious to give it go. Depending on the type of book, producing and narrating an audiobook though can be extremely time consuming and can get very involved. To be good at it you have to genuinely enjoy doing it, be devoted to the project and of course, it helps if you actually enjoy the book you are narrating.

 

2.) Is there any genre of fiction that you prefer narrating?

I enjoy narrating most all genres, both fiction and non-fiction. But if I had to choose one genre of fiction in particular, I would have to say I love telling ghost stories. I love the mysterious, the paranormal and the incomprehensible. That was what made “Battle of the Soul” such an enjoyable book to narrate. It was a book I probably would have read on my own anyway.

Since my voice sometimes comes across as being deep and dark I often get asked to do various voices for video games. And I almost always end up playing some dastardly bad guy, evil villain or gruesome monster type of character.

With audiobooks I always seem to struggle with the question: would the listener prefer the book to be read straight, absent of any hint of drama or interpretation?  Or would the listener rather enjoy hearing the elocution of a professional voice talent with all the little nuances and acting that entails? That is one of the first questions I try to answer before delving into the production of an audiobook.

That being said, with Carl’s “Battle of the Soul” I was able to make up my mind rather quickly. After reading through the first few chapters I knew right away how I was going to tackle the narration. “Battle of the Soul” was literally screaming for the drama and I could easily visualize the characters up to that point. But I also knew it was going to be a major challenge to carry it through to the end. I thoroughly enjoyed telling that story because it was so well written. It is a great story, with great characters, antagonists and protagonists. It is also full of compassion for the fellow man (or woman), which makes you as the listener feel good. I just didn’t want to screw it up. But I digress…

 

3.) What current projects are you working on?

 

At the moment I am working on the narration for another audiobook about the Kennedy family entitled “The Kennedy Curse: Shattered” written by Les Williams. The book is non-fiction which requires more straight reading rather than the previously described drama. It is about the various members of the Kennedy clan and the tragedies that befell them. It also delves into the conspiracies surrounding some of those tragedies.

 

Some people believe the bad fortune the Kennedy family endured was due to a curse. At one time Bobby Kennedy even said: “Somebody up there doesn’t like us.“ 

This particular book about the Kennedys, and there have been many, sets out to disprove ’the curse’ theory and shows us that Joseph Kennedy was, in many ways, the architect of his own terrible suffering. The book portrays the Kennedys as a troubled and dysfunctional family with a distorted view of the world and their place in it. It is full of interesting insights that are thoroughly researched and also very well written. The audiobook is due out in March 2019.

So much for the plug…

 

Aside from that audiobook I recently finished an image video project for Birkenstock – the nature loving shoemaker – which should go online soon. I also do a lot of narrating and voice work for the German auto industry on a fairly regular basis. New and equally interesting projects tend to pop up nearly every day.

So, you could say, the studio is almost like a second home to me. I spend a lot of time breathing that stale air in that soundproof recording booth.

 

4.)  Which person do I most admire?

That is a tough question to answer and I spent a lot of time thinking about this one. First, I must say, I admire many different people for many different reasons. But if I had to choose one present-day living individual – and I may be sticking my neck out here a little – I would have to say Vladimir Putin. Here’s why.

Despite all the demonization, vilification and threats that have been thrown at Putin and Russia over the past few years and all the unverified accusations he has been confronted with, Vladimir Putin has maintained a very cool head. Putin’s humanity and self-control, has maintained peace despite the aggression and provocative actions against Russia coming from the West. In my view that’s admirable. Vladimir Putin has accepted insults that in the past would have resulted in all-out war. That is the sign of a true leader.

Whether we like it or not Russia is a major world power and needs to be regarded and respected as such. Whatever happened to diplomacy?

I admire Putin for keeping his cool and for not losing it while under tremendous pressure and attempting to resolve issues rather than escalate them.

My grandfather once told me “if you can keep your head while all those around you are losing theirs and blaming it on you, you are a much better person.” If I am not mistaken, I believe my grandfather was actually attempting to quote George Bernard Shaw with that statement.

Let us all just remain cool. Remember there is no winner in a nuclear war.

 

5.) What is the most challenging type of accent to master?

 

I personally do not have too much difficulty picking up or copying a particular accent if I actually take the time to seriously study and practice it. To be honest though, I am not sure I have actually mastered any of them. Of course, some accents do come much easier than others and I can’t really explain why that is. For me I think it may be because I have travelled a lot and have been exposed to so many different regions, cultures, languages and peoples. In other words, I’ve been lucky to be able to pick up some accents and dialects through osmosis, if you will.

Each voice artist develops his/her own method of acquiring accents. My method is quite simple: I listen to them intently over and over and over, usually one or two sentences at a time until I feel comfortable with my own rendition of the same sentence(s).

But to get back to the original question, I find trying to do a good British accent is the most challenging simply because even though English is my mother tongue I am simply not British and there are literally dozens, if not hundreds, of different British accents and dialects.

If I went into a pub in say Manchester in the UK and started using my fake British accent it would stick out like a very spoilt pint of lager and I would probably get laughed at out into the street. “You bloody well got that right, mate!”

 

6.)  What advice do you have for beginners in voice narration?

Understand what you are narrating and if you don’t understand it, then at least act like you do. If you don’t understand what you are reading then chances are those listening won’t understand it either.

The point I am trying to make here is ‘do your homework.’ Become familiar with the topic and practice reading it out loud to your self. Read it in front of a mirror over and over again or into a recording device and play it back and listen to it. Find things you can improve upon. Practice by toying with the different ways you can say things and find the one way that works best for you.

Anyone can read out loud, but not everyone can narrate. Like anything it takes time and practice. You have to really want it, desire it more than anything else and learn to trust your natural instincts when telling a story. Never talk down to people. Fine-tune and hone your communication skills by simply talking the story, talking as you would with people you know, like you are telling it to a friend or neighbor.

One of the biggest challenges in narration is trying to figure out what the author is looking for in a particular character or trying to capture the overall feeling for his/her work as a whole, in other words interpreting the text the way the author originally intended. That is sometimes a mystery and real guesswork. But it is also a big part of the overall challenge of narrating, especially audiobooks of fiction.

 

7.)  How did you wind up living in Germany?

The simple answer is…it just kinda worked out that way. I just sort of got stuck here. But that of course requires a bit more explanation.

I first became exposed to Germany, and Europe, as an impressionable 16-year-old exchange student when I spent a year living with a German family near the city of Cologne. Originally from Portland, Oregon and having spent most of my childhood in the Pacific Northwest I soon found myself in an exciting, but foreign place far away from home. But the experience of a year abroad turned out to be a life-altering eye-opener for me.

While at school I had developed a keen interest in world history and international affairs and had an insatiable appetite for learning more about it. Essentially I fell in love with Europe and at the time it seemed like the ideal place to be. Every nook and cranny in Europe was just oozing with history.

After my first year abroad came to an end I knew I wanted to return to Europe at some point. In fact, I did return several times, mostly as a backpacking student tourist. Then upon graduating from Washington State University with a degree in communications and journalism I applied for and received a grant to study in Germany for another year, which I did. This led to a number of great opportunities, one being in the field of international broadcasting.

To cut a long story short, I became a director and correspondent for an award winning European TV news magazine program (European Journal) that aired all over the English-speaking world, including on PBS for several years. During that time I also met a German girl who eventually became my wife. Our son is now an English and PE teacher at a German middle school.

Being where I was at that stage of my life everything just sort of happened the way it happened. I never planned it that way.

 

8.) What type of voice work do you find most enjoyable?

 

For me the most enjoyable voice work is being able to tell a story from beginning to end. The length doesn’t really matter. It can be in the form of a 30 second spot, 1-2 minute long image film or a 90-minute documentary. To me it is the art of story telling that I enjoy, grabbing the attention of the listener and not letting go until the end.

Even though I truly relish narrating audiobooks and documentaries I will narrate virtually anything at any length as long as it comes with a genuine storyline, essentially anything with a beginning, middle, and an end. To me narrating – telling a story and getting paid for it – is my personal dream job.

 

9.) What do you see for the future of audiobooks?

 

Wherever I go I see a lot of people moving about with headphones, with listening devices of some kind and earplugs stuffed in their ears. I view that as a very good sign for the audiobook industry. It is an industry that has shown incredible steady growth over the past several years and the trend seems to be continuing. I recently read that audiobooks are the fastest growing segment in the digital publishing industry and the United States continues to be the biggest market for the audio format. There is also a big youth movement when it comes to audiobooks and nearly 50% of all listeners are under 35.

 

That being said I often get the feeling that people don’t read anymore. Maybe this is due to the time factor involved here. Everyone has busy lives and no time to read. We are always on the go and multi-tasking has become a way of life. Why read it when an audio version is available? You can consume the same content while driving, walking the dog or working out at the gym.

I often get asked to lend my voice to material that is not traditionally suited for a voice artist. For instance, on numerous occasions I’ve been asked to record my voice to user’s guides and user’s manuals for assembling a piece of furniture, a home appliance or some newfangled gadget. That is what made me stop and think: “Don’t people read anymore?” That would have been unthinkable years ago. Nowadays following instructions read to you by a canned voice is not so uncommon.

So, I see that as a very good sign for the future of audiobooks, even if it is only a handbook or a user’s manual.

 

10.) If you could invite five people to a dinner party (alive or dead, real or fictional) who would they be?

 

1-Mark Twain, aka Samual L Clemens, American author, humorist and social observer. I love his perceptively sharp wit and keen eye for the obvious. I oftentimes even quote him when appropriate.

Here are two of my Mark Twain favorites:

‘Patriotism is supporting your country all the time and your government when it deserves it.’

And…

‘It is easier to fool the masses then it is to convince the masses they have been fooled.’

2-Peter Ustinov – writer, actor, director, raconteur and multi-talented voice artist. I worked with him briefly many years ago on a production for PBS commemorating German composer Johann Sebastian Bach. I was most impressed by his unique cultural versatility. He spoke 6 languages fluently – English, French, Spanish, Italian, German and Russian – and he was proficient in accents and dialects in all of them. He was amazingly gifted and a true gentleman.

3-Walter Cronkite – a journalist, broadcaster and TV news anchor of the Edward R. Murrow genre who became the voice of truth for America. A TV journalist you could trust and always look up to and one who never talked down to you – an honest down-to-earth communicator. He is dearly missed in the mainstream media of today.

4-Dr. Paul Craig Roberts – an Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate. He has had many university appointments. He has written several books and internet columns which have attracted a worldwide following. He is known for his candor and integrity, a good citizen who truly loves his country.

5-Hugh Hefner – He is an amazing publisher whom I simply admire for his accomplishments. There is perhaps a smidgeon of envy mixed in there as well. What red-blooded testosterone-driven male wouldn’t envy his accomplishments? He founded his famous magazine for men with $600,- in 1953 and built it into a multi-million dollar entertainment empire. Actually, I would invite him to dinner just to see if he arrived in his pajamas… and to count – and ogle – the bunnies clinging to them.

 

Note: The invitations are in no particular order. Naturally, there are quite a few other individuals I could have easily added to that dinner guest list but I will have to save that for another occasion.

10 Questions with Carson Buckingham
  1. Who has been your biggest influence as a writer?

I guess that would depend upon which genre we’re talking about.  For my humor writing, definitely Mark Twain.  His Sketches New and Old are the most hilarious pieces of writing I have ever read.

 

For the children’s books I write, it would have to be P.L. Travers, Roald Dahl, A.A. Milne, J.M. Barrie, and Astrid Lingren.

 

Though I am primarily known as a horror writer, I hate to categorize my work as such; mainly because when most people think of horror they think of blood, gut and veins in the teeth kind of writing, and what I do is fairly far removed from that.  Not that gore doesn’t have a place, it certainly does—but not so much for me or my audience.  I write paranormal suspense, which is a bit more psychologically-based and thus somewhat more subtle. At any rate, biggest influences for me would have to be: Shirley Jackson—The Haunting of Hill House is a masterpiece; Bentley Little—our writing styles are similar; and Charles L. Grant.  But the writer from whom I learned effective character development was not a horror author at all—Maeve Binchey.  Read a book or two of hers and you’ll see what I mean.

 

 

  1. What do you prefer to write: novels, novellas, or short stories?

 

It’s sort of comparing apples and oranges and bananas.  I enjoy writing all of the above—and whether the piece turns out to be a short story, a novella, or a novel just depends upon how long it takes to tell the story I have in mind.  I never really know for sure when I begin.  All I know at the start is how I want the story to end, and I write to that.

 

  1. Who is your favorite writer?

 

Only one?  Here, in no particular order, is the list: Ray Bradbury, Michael McDowell, Terry Pratchett, Susan Hill, Sarah Blake, Edward Gorey, Charles Addams, Matthew Costello, T.M. Wright, Anne Rule, John Irving, Melissa Marr, Edgar Allan Poe, Dan Simmons, Michael Crichton, early Dean Koontz, early Stephen King, as well as the other authors I’ve previously mentioned.

 

  1. When did you first decide you wanted to become a writer?

When I read Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury. If I were to aspire to write exactly like someone else, it would be Mr. Bradbury.  While reading his work, I will frequently come across a sentence or an entire paragraph that I will reread or read aloud, just to savor the beauty of the language he’s used.  He was such a maestro with words that they can absolutely break your heart sometimes—a consummation devoutly to be wished.

 

  1. What current writing projects are you working on?

 

I am finishing up my fourth novel.  I was stuck for a while, because I realized that the ending I had originally envisioned for it would not work—but now I’ve figured out how to fix it.  The working title is The Traveler and it is a paranormal suspense novel about evil and redemption.

 

  1. What type of scenes do you most enjoy writing?

 

Anything with dialog.  My work tends to be dialog-heavy, as I prefer to get my    point across with a conversation rather than laboriously spelling things out in     narrative.  This makes my work very streamlined and probably faster to read.

 

  1. What made you start writing?

 

I knew from childhood that I wanted to be a writer, and began, at age six, by writing books of my own, hand-drawing covers, and selling them to any family member who would pay (usually a gum ball) for what I referred to as “classic literature.”  When I ran out of relatives, I came to the conclusion that there was no real money to be made in self-publishing, so I studied writing and read voraciously for the next eighteen years, while simultaneously collecting enough rejection slips to re-paper my living room…twice.  When my landlord chucked me out for, in his words, “making the apartment into one hell of a downer,” I redoubled my efforts, and collected four times the rejection slips in half the time, single-handedly causing the first paper shortage in U.S. history. But I persevered, improved greatly over the years, and here we are.

 

  1. How do you define horror?

 

Horror is the aftermath of terror.

 

  1. Is there any subject that is off limits for you as a writer?

 

Extreme gore.

 

  1. If you could invite five people to a dinner party (alive or dead, real or fictional)

who would you invite?

 

Real people:

Nikola Tesla – a brilliant man who is one of my heroes.

Albert Einstein – another brilliant fellow who, when asked how it felt to be the    smartest man in the world, replied, “I don’t know—you’d have to ask Mr.     Tesla.” Einstein is another hero of mine.

Mark Twain – He’d be the life of the party.

Leonardo da Vinci – another genius who I suspect had a great sense of humor.

Earle W. Munson – my father, who has been dead since 1991 and whom I sorely miss to this day.

 

Fictional people:

Severus Snape (Harry Potter)—would love to learn to make potions

Dracula (Dracula by Bram Stoker)—so long-lived that he would be interesting to talk to from the historical standpoint.

Death (from Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series) Again, long-“lived” and interesting.

Dr. Fingal O’Reilly  (Patrick Taylor’s Irish Country Doctor series) A curmudgeonly physician who I would love to chat with about the world of medicine.

Owen Meany (A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving)  Read the book and you’ll understand why Owen would be most worthwhile to meet.

Appearance on The Sample Chapter Podcast

I was recently interviewed  by Jason Meuschke and I read a chapter of my novel Battle of the Soul on The Sample Chapter Podcast.  Check it out at http://www.podcastgarden.com/episode/carl-alves-battle-of-the-soul_133918.

Reconquest: Mother Earth now on sale for 99 cents

Reconquest-Mother-Earth_FRONTCOVER_V2

 

Now’s your chance to get Reconquest: Mother Earth for 99 cents on Amazon.

Out Now: Conjesero, the new supernatural thriller from Carl Alves

My new novel Conjesero is now available for purchase.  Get your copy on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or Kobo.

 

The Cover version 2 print size-nook

Become a Character in my upcoming novel Conjesero

Manticore 2

Ever wanted to be a character in a horror novel. Now’s your chance. You can enter to be a character in my upcoming novel Conjesero by answering the question, “What is your all time favorite movie monster?” Anyone who enters will go into a drawing and the winner gets the privilege of possibly getting eviscerated in my next novel.  Email me at carlalves@comcast.net with your response.

Blood Street Halloween Sale

My novel Blood Street now on sale on Amazon for #99cents. Get some good #Halloween reading at Amazon.