Odd Tales Of An Old Man is an anthology with a difference and an awesome offering from this brilliant author Ed Cardillo. Connor and his brother Sean have started to feel detached and separated from their mother almost as though
they are all living different lives so when she introduces them to her dying father, at first they are less than enthused. But slowly as their grandfather regales them with scary and terrifying tales told in the form of a series of anecdotes, the brothers begin to warm to the old man and his stories.
I really loved this, thought the concept was an original and a clever one and thought all of the stories included within simply sublime. From tales of a wicked fairy who gets more than he bargained for when he invades someone's home to the tale of a boy who befriends a monster and the story of a soldier who finds himself confronting his fears in a moment of courage, all of these nifty little shorts entertain, amuse and send a little shiver down the spine.
With this collection, Ed proves what a versatile and talented writer he really is and I will certainly be picking up more of his work when I get the time!
Books/SS: I Am Automaton: A Military Science Fiction Novel, I Am Automaton 2: Kafka Rising, Shadow of the Automaton: I Am Automaton Book 3, The Odd Tales of an Old Man, The Vampires of Exeter, The Devil Is In the Details, Lycanthroship and more to come…
Links to author pages and websites and Amazon page:
What genre(s) do you write in and why?
I enjoy writing science fiction, horror, and dark fantasy because they are an entertaining way to tell a story using horror/science fiction/fantasy elements for escapism as well as metaphors for social commentary. I also enjoy scaring the hell out of people whenever possible.
What is the I Am Automaton series about both on the surface and down deep?
On the surface, this series is about the military using zombie drones to kill terrorists. Down deep, this series is about the great boogeymen of the modern age—terrorism, war, economic recession, government stripping away individual freedoms—and how brave souls deal with “the new normal.” It’s about the cost of war on our heroes as well as our enemies, the importance of family, and the dangers of cultural apathy.
What was difficult about penning this?
There is the death of an important character in I Am Automaton book 1. Shortly after it was written, my mother passed away suddenly. The characters’ feelings of grief and loss, the anger and sense of feeling lost, are very real and raw. They came from a very real place.
What is the best part about being a writer?
The best part of being a writer, to me, is when a reader/critic is entertained by my book, really “gets” my book, and connects with it on a deep level. Whether communicated in a review or related to me verbally, I live for those moments. Winning two international book awards was pretty awesome, too.
What advice do you have for new writers?
While you are hunting for an agent/publisher, keep writing your next novels. Your first completed may not necessarily be your first published. When your first is published, all of the others might (and likely will) get snatched up as well. That’s what happened to me. Publishers and readers want to have a relationship with their authors; they want to know that you’re not a one-book wonder.
Do you write for yourself or for readers?
I write the books that I want to read but, for one reason or another, are not written (or are not written the way I would like them to be written).
Do you ever use dreams/nightmares as a basis for writing?
Some of my most frightening content comes from nightmares. I also dream about having meetings with my characters in my living room where we discuss their character arcs and plot developments.
What is difficult/frustrating about writing or being a writer?
The marketing component is the most frustrating and my least favorite part of being a writer. To me, it involves too much gimmickry and takes me away from writing.
What have you learned from fans/reviews?
A writer begins to get a sense of their voice from their beta testers/fans/reviews. Writing is a very projective exercise, where authors reveal elements of themselves and their values to their readers. It is so personal and subjective that it can be difficult to see all the nuances when one is knee-deep in creating it. Reviews offer an outside perspective.
How is your writing evolving?
My writing style has definitely become leaner, more direct. I’m also getting better at anticipating reader questions, critiques, and problems with character, plot, etc. and fix them prior to beta testing.
Do you like to write a series or stand alones? Why?
I have come to realize that I love writing series because I can really follow the lives of characters that I, as a writer, have become attached to. A series gives you the free reign to develop mythologies, plots/subplots, and characters in-depth, taking my readers on a journey. It allows for greater investment in character and story.
Who, of your characters do you most want to hang out with?
The villain of the I Am Automaton series, Kafka. He’s an intelligent, complex villain who is an iconoclast. Although he’s a bad guy, you kind of understand where he comes from and you empathize with his dissatisfaction with politics, the economy, etc. He just doesn’t give a shit about conformity or the status quo, he’s refreshingly honest, and he’s got a wily sense of humor. I’d love to go out drinking with him…I’d just have to bring bail money.
Do you outline and plan or wing a book?
I am a meticulous planner. My novels are multi-layered, involve plot and subplot twists, and are largely allegorical. I initially take notes on basic ideas and characters as they come to me. Then I compose a skeleton outline or framework. I research locations, technology, etc. Then I spend a month or two “layering:” adding details, twists, red herrings, etc.; “storyboarding” key scenes. Then I sit down to write and modify the framework as I go. I like to make sure my symbolism works on the levels I want, and I’m fanatical about logical consistency of characters and plot.
Do you get “writer’s block”?
My muse is a whimsical, temperamental creature. I know some writers espouse creating a regimented writing schedule, but if I’m not feeling it, I won’t do it. If I force my writing, it comes out terribly. When I feel it, I have to ride the wave, capitalizing on the bout of inspiration in between my psychology practice and spending time with my wife and son.
Will you be prolific/ are you?
Well, let’s just put it this way…this is my first year of being published, and by the end of the year I will have published 4 novels with 2 publishers, have appeared in 2 anthologies, and have participated in one collaboration.