It's already nearly the end of the very first month of the year and I'm only putting on my first post of 2013! Where does all the time go?
In my defence though, I must say that I have been hard at work writing...ok, ok, I know its not like I'm down the pits, mining for coal, but it does require a certain level of effort you know.
I have also been busy sorting out other things to do with writing - arranging author talks, writing synopsises, selling books to the library - and so on. I'll tell you more about those later.
I have also been interviewed by www.indieauthorland about my books. You will soon be able to see it on their website but in the meantime, here it is.
Tell us about your book
The Owners, Volume I: Alone and The Owners, Volume II: Storm Clouds, are the first two volumes of a series of ten. They have been likened by some readers to Avatar and the Lord of The Rings trilogy but are not truly like either. I think it is the fact that they draw the reader into a world that is at once unknown and yet strangely familiar, that brings about this comparison, helped along by the sometimes whimsical but always endearing characters and the overwhelmingly difficult situations they find themselves in.
Volume I sets the scene for Loni, a fourteen year old Human pet and her Owner the Eyon, OwnLoni. They both live with OwnLoni's baby Eyon, Little, who is Loni's only true friend and confidante. Far, far away, lives the boy San, also a Human pet to an Eyon Owner.
The story takes both of these Humans on a quest to find out the truth about their circumstances and forces them to confront fears and insecurities they did not even know they possessed.
Volume II is in effect a prequel and shows how the situation of Volume I came into being. How a combination of destiny, nature and circumstance combine to devastating effect.
The Owners books are beautifully simple tales of the necessity of human identity, woven intricately into a struggle between what is right and what is more right; between one kind of love and another. They centre on the concept of what it means to be human, with all the emotional and physical frailties this entails and subtly examine how humanity can so easily be lost and at what cost to the soul.
And yet there is a lightness to the books - a sense of hope, which shines through the darkness and the despair, to illuminate the enduring spirit and unfettered heart that exists somewhere within us all.
What genre is it?
Broadly it falls under the category of science fiction and is suitable for all ages. That said, I think there is a common misconception about genres and sci-fi in particular. In fact the best praise I have had from readers of The Owners, have often been the very ones who will adamantly state that they “don’t like science fiction but really loved this story!”
What kind of readers will it appeal to?
Anyone and everyone who enjoys a good read. There is something in these books for everyone.
Like the layers of an onion, the book can be dissected to reveal a multitude of strata - veins of philosophical thought, threads of moral and theoretical conundrums – or simply sliced and diced for the pure simple enjoyment and entertainment of a good story, well told. It is all there for the taking.
How long did they take to write?
To physically get the words down on paper and then published as they are today? A few years.
And yet that is not the whole truth. The truth is that they took a lifetime to write. It took every experience in my life from birth to the present day, the ups and the downs, good and bad and the successes and failures…it took all of these and more to write these books.
Every feeling of love I have ever had the luxury to cherish, every heart-rending event in my life, every time I have been forced by life and circumstance to try to see the funny side of something near catastrophic…all these have been channelled into my books.
To my mind, I could not have written these books had I not lived this life.
What was the most challenging part of your creative process?
Finding the space and the time to be able to write without interruption.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I live in Bromsgrove now but am originally from Scotland. I lived in Glasgow until I was eighteen then moved to England.
I have done some work in musical theatre and have a degree in education but have worked in such diverse environments as chip shops, bingo halls and veterinary surgeries, so have had a rather hodge-podge, checkered career.
Have you got a blog where readers can keep up with your work?
Yes, my blog is carmencapuano.blogspot.com and you can also find me on facebook and on twitter.
My website, carmencapuano.co.uk, is still under construction but I hope it will be up and running soon as I have lots to say!
Where can people buy your book?
The books can be bought from Amazon.com, Waterstones or WHSmith or alternatively you can contact me direct if you want a signed, personalised copy [also a little cheaper than through the outlets above].
The Owners, Volume III: Dark Side Of The Sun is due out soon and work has already started on Volume IV, so I’m keeping busy!
Why ten books?
The story started off as a single, stand-alone novel but by a third of the way through, I realised that it required a follow-on book. The characters demanded some resolution to their problems and I was too drawn in to leave them.
Because of the way the story comes to me [in its own time and at its own pace] I was as caught up in it as if I were reading it, rather than actually writing it. I needed to know what happened to the characters in the end and how their situation arose in the first place. So by the half-way point of Volume I, the story had developed into a trilogy and by the end it was a full series!
Volume I creates a different world to the one in which we live and Volume II shows the very first steps on the path to that new world. Volume II is in effect a prequel.
The books which follow, show how every decision made, reverberates into the future, every slight change has both a cause and an effect…and eventually a repercussion…and leads the reader right up to and into the world of Volume I.
Tell us more about the world your story is set in.
In Volume I, there is a sun and a moon, night and day, light and dark…it is similar to the world we live in today. But the landscape is different. There are huge marshy areas and many lakes and rivers, which makes the land lush and green and different to our conurbations of cities.
There are people in abundance but not living independently or in family groups. These people are kept as pets by the Eyons, large feathered-bodied creatures which have human faces but which speak their own screechy language.
The human pets are loved and cared for by their Owners but they have no freedom of will, no choice over their own destiny.
San and Loni are human pets too but they are different to the norm. Not content to accept things as they are, they strive to find the answers for the questions no-one else will ask. They want to know why things are as they are.
Volume II is set just a little into our future and shows the world very similar as it is today …before natural storms devastate the Earth and begin its journey to the world of Volume I.
If this series is not similar to Avatar or Lord of The Rings, what is it similar to?
It has a familiar and yet unfamiliar world, humans who are the same and yet not the same as us and non-humans who are not so dissimilar to ourselves as to be totally alien. There are no space ships or laser fights, nor is there teleportation or any overtly strong science fiction elements, that would make it unpalatable for those who do not enjoy science fiction. And yet the series is science fiction.
The books have a unique appeal – non-SF readers will enjoy them for the characters and the situations they find themselves in, whilst SF readers will enjoy them for the lavish world that is created within their heads, filled with non-human creatures and pet humans.
I do not think the books are really similar to any other books but I do think that they can be enjoyed across the board, regardless of the genre readers usually prefer. And that is something that is very rare indeed.