21 February 2013

Book Savvy Spotlight on I. C. Camilleri

Bringing you exclusive interviews with authors featured in the Book Savvy Newsletter.
Our Guest is I. C. Camilleri*
Enjoy the interview.

Q1. Can you tell us a little about yourself and your book 'The Blake Curse'?
I was born on the 7th of February in Malta, an island in the middle of the Mediterranean. I graduated in Medicine and Surgery in 1993 and I moved to the UK shortly afterwards. And this is where I still live and work. Medicine and writing are my passion. The Blake Curse is my first published work. It is a psychological thriller and romance set in the beautiful city of Cambridge.

Q2. When you write what emotion do you seek to evoke in your readers?Passion and love. How could I not write about love? My Mediterranean roots compel me to do so.
 
Q3. Why did you decide to begin writing and how much time do you dedicate to your writing?
Medicine can be pretty stressful at times. Your patients become your whole life and how do you stop yourself from taking your work home with you? Some might jog or swim, others might play tennis....I'm the sedentary type and so I write. I go into my own beautiful world inside my head and craft characters and scenes. And I do this as often as I can.

Q4. What do you enjoy most about writing? And the most challenging?
I just love to mould my own world, filling it with different characters and breathing life into them. There are no such things as villains and heroes; everyone possesses that inbuilt thread of human goodness. Every villain can turn into a hero. And the converse is also true.
 
Q5. What inspired you to write 'The Blake Curse'?
My medical background has exposed me to various problems in our society, namely alcohol, drugs and that disregard for the sanctity of human life. I integrated these within the storyline and I have exposed their dark side. There are subtle messages neatly wrapped inside the fictional story.
 
Q6. If you were throwing a dinner party and could invite three fictional characters from 'The Blake Curse' who would you invite, and why?
Huh, wouldn't I just love to have my three fictional male characters breathing and walking through that door! There's Ben Blake, the handsome, clean-shaven, serious and talented British Intelligence agent; Jake Snell, the rugged, sporty and resourceful rogue; and the fun-loving Nick Blake, a minor character but just as powerful.
 
Q7. If you could see your book on the big screen which film director would you like to direct the movie and which actors would you like to see play the lead character(s)?
If only I could choose! Channing Tatum would be the Jake Snell (Enrique would do too had he been an actor) Josh Hartnett or someone physically similar to him would be Ben Blake. The Mediterranean goddess Emma and the exquisitely petite Sam...well, I'll let the men decide on the female characters. And any director who brought James Bond to life would probably be best suited since The Blake Curse has a lot of similar characteristics with perhaps a larger sprinkling of romance.
 
Q8. What are your interests when you are not writing?
I wish I could say cycling or swimming or something equally active, but I guess I can't lie. I should be promoting exercise but alas, listening to music and reading are my only other interests.
 
Q9. What is the first thing you did to promote your book once the publisher accepted your manuscript?
Promotion is probably one of my weakest points, but I try to adjust and learn from others more experienced than me. I had no online presence prior to publication and that was the first thing I tried to build.
 
Q10. If you had to pick just one book marketing tool that you've used to promote your book, which would you say has been the most effective?
I would definitely pick Twitter.
 
Q11. Do you do more promoting online or offline and which do you prefer?
Online is my preferred promoting tool.
 
Q12. Do you use social networks such as Twitter and Facebook to promote your books and have you had any success with it?
I have both Facebook and Twitter and I have joined sites such as Goodreads. I find Twitter the best of the three, very easy to use and there is a strong and helpful community of fellow authors and book-lovers.
 
Q13. Are you concerned about the effect of e-publishing on traditional books?
Oh yes, I would hate it if paper books were to go into extinction. Nothing ever beats the feel of a solid book in hand. It gives reading that wholesome feel. But that's my opinion; the younger generation might disagree.
 
Q14. Do you target your books at any particular market?
The romantic element might make it lean towards the female market but I've had positive reviews right across the board, young and old, men and women.
 
Q15. What kinds of feed-back have you received from your readers, good and bad?
Thankfully the good by far outweigh the bad as evident from the reviews on all sites. The fast-paced original storyline, the powerful characters and the moral issues raised were the highlighted positive points. And the negative has to be the turn of phrase used on a couple of occasions, English being my second language, albeit a strong second language. However this was a minor point which most agreed did not mar the story at all.
 
Q16. What are you currently working on and what are your future writing plans?
There is a sequel to The Blake Curse. It is on its second draft. And after that, who knows...but I will never stop writing, it's inbuilt and I feel compelled to scribble down the ideas that invade my thoughts.
 
Q17. Do you have any closing advice to aspiring writers or even fellow authors?
Write for yourself. The novel will have depth and character if truly written from the heart.

Thank you for your time. We wish you every success in your writing career.
 
 
*IC Camilleri was born in Malta. In 1993 she achieved her lifelong ambition and graduated in medicine and surgery. Shortly afterwards she moved to the UK where she still lives. Fictional writing has always been her passion, relieving her from the everyday stress of her demanding medical job. Her medical background gives her insight into the way different people think and react, thereby giving depth to all her fictional characters in her novels. The Blake Curse is her first published novel. 

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** Book Savvy is an e-newsletter of Pneuma Springs Publishing, featuring news and information about all published books and new releases with highlights about the authors behind the books. Look out also for helpful resources e.g. blogs, book reviews and of course, discounts, special offers etc.

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