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Ten +1 Questions with Author S.T. Campitelli

Readers and visitors,

Below you will find the answer to the Ten +1 Questions I do ask many authors to answer after I read their books. S.T. Campitelli is next in the list of Authors to put hands to a keyboard to answer those questions. I do hope you find his answers as interesting as I did.

Question 1: When did you realize first wanted to be a writer?

I have wanted to write for the longest time and have always had a strong interest in end-of-the-world stories, so I felt that if I ever got the story I wanted to tell, I would do it. For a long time I couldn’t really bring together a coherent sense of a story line, so although I wanted to write I didn’t really have a story. Once the elements for The Fall fell into place, story-wise, I thought, ‘Hey! Let’s do this!’.

Question 2:  How did your friends/family take the loss of your time as you wrote the book?

That hasn’t been an issue. I try to work a lot in hours where it doesn’t impact my family/friends, so, early mornings, lunchtimes at work, perhaps down times at night when the family is doing other stuff.

Question 3: What inspired you to write The Fall: Book 1 – Conversion?

This may come up in a few answers to these questions, but the whole post-apocalyptic genre has always fascinated me. I grew up in the 70s when the cinema had some brilliant major post-apoc movies on – Planet of The Apes, Soylent Green, Omega Man, Rollerball – those movies were absolutely compelling for me, but the one that blew the doors off, so to speak, was Mad Max 2, The Road Warrior, which just coalesced perfectly all the images of what a post-apocalyptic world looks like for me – the wasteland, the characters, the costumes, the hero and antagonists, and of course the cars. Brilliant. I tried to capture some of that vibe in The Fall, but I didn’t want it to just be another Mad Max type story, it had to be my own, so it is quite different.

Question 4: During the initial writing process where did you get the idea for the book and its characters? 

I have this interest in the idea of the isolated holdout – places in times of war or situations where there is an island of safety or sanity in a lost world, so the idea of the walled compounds, the ‘wallcoms’ was an early idea – a sanctuary in a sea of danger. A completely separate idea I had was that by that time, mid-21st century, our personal comms would be embedded in us, we wouldn’t carry smartphones anymore, they would be a part of us and that became the 360 concept. Somehow they then came together and became the base elements of The Fall. I wanted to have nuanced characters that weren’t usual and I have worked in the university system for 20+ years., so made John Bradley and academic, a hero who isn’t an ‘obvious’ hero, plus the antagonists the Headhunter, as I  have always been compelled by that intelligent-gentleman baddie, and the Alpha Kronenburg, the ex-policeman who we follow as an infected being. The inspirations for these characters didn’t really come from any one in particular but rather have shades of inspirations.

Question 5: Who were some of the authors that inspired you as a child growing up and their books? 

I read a lot of fantasy growing up and two big influences were Tolkien’s LOTR and Stephen Donaldson’s Chronicles of Thomas Covenant. Along with Game of Thrones a bit later, they perhaps gave me that love of the character-driven, big story arc. Later with more post-apoc stuff, Justin Cronin’s The Passage trilogy was just brilliant and Blake Crouch’s The Last Town were very both influential for me.

Question 6: What was the feeling like when you saw the first completed version of your book?

Great question. Umm, accomplishment, relief, very happy that I’d done it. A little bit of a feeling of ‘loss’, you get close to the book, it’s fun, it’s an adventure and it feels like it’s over in a sense. Until book 2 …

Question 7: Do you continue to write and in what genre? 

Yes, book 2 of The Fall, Reversion, is being written now.  

Question 8: Who do you imagine being the people reading your book?

Some of the material is a bit confronting and vivid, so it’s not a young readers’ book, by any stretch, but I think 16 and up would be good with it. Anyone who likes any elements of action, adventure, post-apocalypse, SF, military – it has those things. But then again, I’ve had people say to me, ‘I don’t generally go for this type of story, but I loved this!’ So, I hope it could have a wide appeal.

Question 9: Any good suggestions for those who want to try writing their own book?

Do it. Give it a go, but you must be open to growth, feedback and change. It’s not easy, it can be frustrating, but incredibly rewarding. I love doing it, writing, and if it is something you are drawn to then give it a go.

Question 10: When not writing how does you like to spend your time?

Reading, movies – addicted to both. Netflix doesn’t help.

 

The + 1 Question 

If you had any one place in the world you could travel to for a book tour, where would that place be, and why? 

Europe. Haven’t been there yet. Been to Japan multiple times and many other parts of Asia and the States, but yet to get to Europe. So, if someone wants to sponsor me for a book tour, get in touch!

Below are a few Links of Interest:

 

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Posted by on June 21, 2018 in Interview

 

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The Fall: Book 1 – Conversion by Author S.T Campitelli

As one looks around in in the entertainment world for moves, comic books, TV shows, and even much of the literary world there is something unique. You find that many of the stories involving a post-apocalyptic world focus either on North America or Europe. There have been newer tails that bring us to places like Africa and even India. However, there is not much, that I found, that deal with “The Land Down Under” or better known as Australia. This is at least till I was given the opportunity to read the book The Fall: Book 1 – Conversion by Author S.T Campitelli.

The book opens up in a future that Is not too far away from the present day. It starts innocuously with a man driving out to check his property. He comes across a strip of land that has gotten a great tear in it as a meteor landed and plowed a crater into the ground. Unfortunately for this man, and humanity there is some type of cosmic hitchhiker that will bring Australia, and the Earth, to its modern day end. Its effects will not immediately be known but this older man will shadow what is to come. A wild animal bit will not heal as a man give himself shots of antibiotics as he travels home. It is only when a friend stops at his home do we get a sense of what happened, and Humanity is in for just as much as a shock as that friend. A friend who will find out that opening a door can be a big mistake as the other side could have something infected who sees you as “lunch”.

The Fall: Book 1 – Conversion will take a jump in time and lead us to a walled city. A place where survivors from a massive infected outbreak now live by somewhat strict rules, but they are safe. They will take patrols out into neighboring areas searching for the needs to help their community survive. As we learn more and more about those inhabitants we find not just great friends, but family dynamics, and of course greed. The inhabitants will be a mixture of military to civilians with each member having their job to do.

Author S.T. Campitelli does a very good job in not just introducing his characters but giving us great storylines for them. You find yourself starting to sympathize with their situation as well as either hoping for their success, or downfall in some cases. Along with the character development there is futuristic technology utilized in this book that easily could be real today, if not in a few years. This makes the book even that much more enjoyable as you find yourself envisioning the items being used. In all truth some of the items in a home could be things you ask your voice assisted device to do for you within the next few years.

The story will move at a very good pace and you will notice that the chapters are named around the primary character in each.  It is why you will find many are named for the leading character, father, and husband John Bradley. He is an educated man who goes out into the wasteland around to find those things the walled city needs. He is also one who cares for many and gets involved in a major operation that is going to be overtaken within the book.

There are also chapters such as Dustin Callahan, The Headhunter and Alpha Kronenburg that are just hints of the protagonists within the pages of the book. These will be names that readers will come to find have their own agenda’s and those in the city are at times just in their way.

The Fall: Book 1 – Conversion will introduce the reader to what remains of the civilization that was at one time Australia. It will give readers insight into a part of the world that is often left out of the decision during apocolyptial events. It will also give the reader a chance to ponder what would they do to survive such an event. Would they find themselves banned together in the city, trying to survive on their own, or just well that’s a question you must answer yourself. Of course that will all come if you allow your imagination to take you within the events of the book.

 
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Posted by on June 18, 2018 in Reviews

 

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Ten plus One Questions with Author Rosanne Dingli

Rosanne DingliRosanne Dingli is a native of the small island country of Malta.  She was living in Malta at the time the country became its own country after becoming independent in 1964, and immigrated to Australia in 1982. She got a great education and is able to speak three languages and has had a variety of jobs. She has been a teacher, lecturer, and numerous other jobs but writing is one role she has done well. She has written multiple novels, collections of short stories and some poetry. As a person reads her first novel Death in Malta you will see how much she loved her native Malta and her new home Australia.

Now on to her responses to the Ten Plus One Questions:

 

Question 1: What inspired you to write Death in Malta?

I knew my first novel had to be atmospheric and meaningful – so something about my birthplace was ideal. What better than a Mediterranean island full of history, secrets, and engaging characters? My protagonist is an Australian novelist, so seen through his eyes I could portray the island just as I remembered it, set sometime in the seventies or eighties, perhaps. I used nostalgia, history, and the magic of authentic locations to pull the reader in.

Question 2: Is there any significance to the name names of your main characters?

I always think very carefully about names – it’s important to have good memorable ones, that are not too ordinary, and yet not too strange. The meaning is usually abstract: complicated or complex, historic, or related to something about their features. They must also be authentically linked to the location.

Question 3: During the writing process did you find yourself thinking about any of your memories?

My memories of historic locations, yes. I rarely, however, include anything private or intimate such as my life events or particular feelings, even if my writing triggers memories. I find that my imagination is enough to conjure up a good story. Having said that, however: authors cannot escape their own particular way of composing a story out of what they know and understand intimately.

Question 4: What were some of your favorite books growing up?

I liked the novels of John Dickson Carr, Daphne DuMaurier, Georgette Heyer and John Fowles. And do you know what – I still do. But I have added a great number of others since my youth. I particularly like AS Byatt, Annie Proulx, Robert Goddard and Ian McEwan.

Question 5: Do you hear from fans of your books, and if you do what do they say?

Yes – social media makes sure that my readers follow me and make comments and observations, which I find can be either very helpful and flattering, or sometimes a bit too close for comfort. But there are ways of avoiding conflict or disagreement. Any contact is seen as friendly, and I welcome it.

Question 6: What was the feeling like when you saw the very first printed version of your book?

I can’t remember, because it’s a long time ago. Death in Malta was my first novel (2001) but it certainly was not my first book. My collected published and awarded poems came out in 1991, and I also edited a collection for the centenary of a Western Australian country town. Since 1985, individual pieces of mine have appeared in anthologies, literary supplements, magazines and journals all over Australia and on the internet, so being in print was a known feeling by the time my first novel was published. Mind you, receiving a box of books is always a good feeling – I’ve just opened five new ones, with copies of five of my books, so my hallway is now full of my writing.

Question 7: Do you continue to write?

I am now a full-time writer. Most people know that authors have to supplement their income with other jobs, so since 1985 I have worked as editor, lecturer, teacher, heraldic artist, graphic artist, EIC, travel consultant, cook, and more. Since giving up teaching in 2008, I have managed about a book a year. 2015 will see publication of my fifth novel.

Question 8: What is the message you want people to take away from the book?

I do not weave messages into my fiction. There is always a main premise, of course, which I hope readers pick up as they go, and there is always enough ambiguity in my main premise for readers to fill it with their own concepts. People always put their own meanings into ambiguity. I find that an excellent thing, because they invariably come back for more of my work, because they feel they can relate to it.

Question 9: If you could envision a future for your main character, what would it be?

I rarely do this. It’s up to the reader to concoct and imagine one. Most of my protagonists are men, who would probably go one with much of the same as in the novels and stories I write. According to Luke, my second novel, brings my only female protagonist to my readers. I think I might bring her back in another, so she does have a future. There is a supporting character in my second novel which returns in my fourth. He might even come back a third time, but I do not think of it as his future.
Question 10: Who are those in the dedication of the book, and their importance to you?

I nearly always dedicate my novels to my husband, because he is my first reader and most avid fan.

 

The + 1 Question:

If you had any one place in the world you could travel to for a book tour, where would that place be, and why?

I love Venice, and it would be fascinating to have a book tour there, even though it’s highly unlikely, since all my books are in English and getting them translated is a very difficult task. Even though I speak good Italian, translating is a specialist undertaking. Venice is a city I have returned to many times, and I’ve used it as a location in much of my writing. It has a particular atmosphere, and the people are quite unique.

 

 

ROSANNE DINGLI
Author of The Hidden Auditorium,
Camera Obscura, According to Luke, Death in Malta,

Counting Churches – The Malta Stories, The Day of the Bird,

The Astronomer’s Pig, Making a Name, The Bookbinder’s Brother,
and All the Wrong Places
http://www.rosannedingli.com
http://rosannedingli.blogspot.com

 
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Posted by on September 16, 2014 in Interview

 

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Death in Malta by Rosanne Dingli

Death+in+MaltaMalta is a small, and I mean small, country in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea. Its location is about 60 miles south of Sicily off the boot of Italy. The country is often a dot on maps and many have not really heard of the country. People may not even realize that the Maltese Cross is a symbol used for Veterans of Foreign Wars and often by Fireman. It’s an island I have a lot of interest in due to its rich and fascinating history and the fact my father was from the country.

Thus when I saw author Rosanne Dingli’s book, Death in Malta, I know I’d want to read the book. As I read the description of the book and saw a character shared the same last name as me, Micallef, I knew I had to read the novel even more. As I read the novel I came to find that Micallef is not the only name found in multiples within the Maltese phone book.

Death in Malta will take the reader into the world of fictional author Gregory Worthington as he comes to Malta to write his next great novel. Worthington is a writer of suspense novels and has the ability to write vivid stories that disturb some, and one of those people is his estranged wife Maggie.

As Worthington gets settled on the main island he will find himself meeting many within the small village he chose to live in. These people range from the local bar keeper, the local clergy and the blacksmith. The great thing about Malta’s past for this Australian author is at one time the country was a British Protectorate, thus many speak English. This will help him with the people, and eventually lead him to a story. A story that he will find is right underneath the roof of the small home he rents.

There is a story within the village of a young boy who one day just disappeared.  This is something that is a rare occurrence on the island and especially in a small village. People searched for the boy and he was never found. Worthington will use this as a basis of his book as he learns about the homes previous occupants. A simple wine maker and his wife who seemed a bit mad, and who had one point may have harmed her eldest son. A woman who was heard yelling at the boy leading to run from home for long stretches at a time to avoid her wrath.  She even went as far as locking the boy within a dark underground storage area to teach him a lesson. It’s this mystery that gets the writers creative blood boiling and will lead him down a path; he should possibly lie within the history of the islands.

Among the people the writer meets will be Doctor Phineas Micallef who has moved to the small village as he escaped one of the larger cities. The question will be did he escape or was he forced to leave. At a social gathering at the doctor’s home he will meet a woman, Patricia, who will take his breath away. She will help him explore the island more, help him find himself, and help him learn more about Maltese culture.

The book has no real time frame mentioned but as Worthington’s computer seems to have a dot matrix printer it must have been in the 1970’s or early 1980’s.  You get the understanding of the type of printer when there are references to perforated sheets from the printer and need to tear pages apart. This does not distract at all from the story and just puts it into a bit of perspective.

Author Rosanne Dingli does a tremendous job in pointing out the culture of many of the Maltese people. She also takes the reader deep into the psyche of the people and the customs on the islands. You will find yourself marveling at the people and what could be their “quaint” customs. You learn about the homes, festivals and most importantly the way they drive. I say this as I witnessed some of those driving skills on a visit to the island and it can cause a passenger to be a bit nervous.  The use of the busses is also mentioned and they are just as reliable and inexpensive today as the period of the book.

What really comes through in this book is not just a love of Malta, but for Worthington’s love of his homeland Australia. Dingli does a beautiful job of telling the readers about both countries, never truly painting either in a bad light. You get the feeling either place is one you would want to visit or live. As you read about the travels and searching for truth on the main characters story you wonder what happened to the boy. You discover the great character devlopment and find some great interactions and how one culture can differ from another.  You wonder about the reactions of others within the book and what mysteries may lay under the earth of this small country that is so full of history why did he chose this story. The only way to find out is to read Death in Malta, and the great addition to the novel is at times we get a peek into the story that Worthington is writing which adds to the suspense of the book.

 
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Posted by on September 10, 2014 in Reviews

 

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