Today’s interview is with Prince Cavallo, author of The Cenotaph of Dreams!
I hope you enjoy it!
1) What is your author name and in what state do you live (or country if not in the US)?
My name is Prince Cavallo and I live in the south of England.
2) What is the title of your newest book and what is the genre?
The title of my current book, which happens to be my first, is ‘The Cenotaph of Dreams’. It is a small book of short stories and is available through the Kindle Store (here’s a link to my page on Amazon in the UK and USA). I would classify the genre as Weird Fiction, Strange Stories, Speculative Fiction or maybe even Slipstream. That said, it’s not as science fiction as Slipstream might suggest, although there are certainly Science Fiction elements in some of the stories.
3) What is the book about?
‘The Cenotaph of Dreams’ is a collection of twenty-eight extremely short stories. Touching on subjects as diverse as the unexpected effects of exploration, a night in a prison cell, time travel, a family with unusual abilities and an abandoned Victorian swimming pool – what links them all is their innate strangeness.
4) Where did you come up with the idea?
I have been experimenting with flash fiction, on and off, for longer than I can remember, but I had no idea that it had a name until quite recently. I started writing these particular stories (all limited to precisely one hundred and fifty words) about two years ago and found the idea of combining the diverse nature of weird fiction with a tightly economical word count to be an interesting challenge.
5) How long did it take you to write it?
Although the stories are selected from the past couple of years (years which involved a lot of life), the re-writes and editing to my exacting standards are what took the most amount of time.
6) Did you learn anything from the project?
I realised that it takes an awful lot for me to be satisfied with what I’ve written; and that procrastination is a disease of the mind to which I am highly susceptible.
7) Do you have an author website and/or blog?
I do have a blog. I write articles that are generally related to my obscure interests, including (but not exclusively) forgotten literature, maligned architecture, un-popular music and anything else that takes my fancy. It can be found here.
8) Do you have any success tips to pass on to fellow authors? How about any great editors/cover artists?
Even though I cannot comment from the perspective of success (as of yet, but there is still time!), something I would like to pass on is this: – Write with all your creativity and re-write with all your concentration. Leave it alone and do something else for weeks or months, but keep writing and reading. Go back to it and edit it further (if you still think it’s worthwhile), then accept when the work is as good as it is going to be and either publish it or bin it!
Being my first book I decided to do the artwork and the editing myself. I think the cover art suits the subject matter quite well. I tend to find a lot of the professional book covers look quite similar in style and are not particularly interesting or striking enough to pique my curiosity.
9) What genres do you like to read? Are you open to reading new authors and reviewing their work?
This is a difficult one. Generally (and maybe unsurprisingly) I like to read things which are a little odd, although that is not necessarily confined to a particular genre. Stories which are revelatory or have an element of wonder are what appeal the most, but they are extremely hard to find. I do like to try new authors and would be happy to review their work, but I think my heart lies in the writing of the late 19th and early 20th century.
10) What is your favourite book of all time and why?
If I had to pick one book that I could read endlessly, it would have to be Edgar Allan Poe’s ‘Tales of Mystery and Imagination’. In particular it would be the leather-bound copy I inherited from my grandfather. It includes the fantastic, other worldly and rather gruesome illustrations of Harry Clarke. It was awarded to him by the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty for Meritorious Work at Naval College in the 1930’s. It has been in my possession since I was a teenager and for me it opened a door into The Weird. Thankfully, I have so far failed to find the exit.