What is one thing people wouldn’t usually know about you?
I may not look the type but I enjoy watching cartoons. Also, I never really drank alcohol.
How important are the names of your characters?
It varies from character to character. I always strive to pick an appropriate name for my main character. First and foremost it has to fit his/her role into the novel, better yet, it has to have a fitting meaning. You’ll probably find out that the name “Benjamin” is a rather important hint to understand Benjamin’s role in That Which Must Happen.
Secondly, it has to fit a character’s appearance. Whenever we meet someone we have never met before, we do relate a name to his appearance, even though we don’t know what his real name is. So, if I name a middle-aged, bald-headed man Giselle, chances are something will not quite click together.
However, I do tend to pay less attention in naming secondary characters whose role is very limited.
How did you choose a title for your book?
That which must happen is one of those phrases we could use to describe Wyrd. This is a very old English noun from which “weird” originated. Now, if we were to describe someone as weird during the IX century, what we would actually be saying is that he’s able to control fate.
And who was able to control fate, one might ask? Why, the Norns; the three beings of Norse Mythology able to rule the destiny of Gods and men. Or as one might know them, the weird sisters in Macbeth.
What I think is truly important to understand is that Wyrd is not the inexorable fate we’re all acquainted with, rather, it’s an occurrence, an event that sets in motion yet more events, all interconnected to each other. So it’s not an end point, it’s a crossroads.
Are there any occupational hazards to being an author?
Commas, semicolons, plot holes, typos, brusque and/or repeated noises, people wanting to talk to you at the most inopportune of times. Isn’t that a thrilling life?
Who would play you in a film of your life, and why?
Russell Crowe. Alternatively, Tom Hardy. Why? Well, to begin with, they’re both awesome. Such as myself. Maybe a bit gruff, yes, but that comes with the charm.
What is the biggest challenge you faced when writing your book?
The biggest challenge I faced was after I finished writing it. Meaning, the first round of editing. I’m not saying it was a total mess, but close to. Luckily, after a few months I managed to shape everything to a more than acceptable level. This was beneficial to me because I picked up two or three more tricks of the trade. Fast forward another few months and I had built enough courage to send it to an editor. Fast forward to a few months ago and the book was ready to be published.
Another challenge would be the one I faced before writing it. I wasn’t quite sure I was going to make it, and yet here we are.
Do you have any hints or tips for aspiring writers?
- Always, always leave your book alone for two/three months after you finished writing it.
- After that lapse of time, read it.
- Make the necessary edits.
- Leave it alone for another month or two.
- Read and edit again until you’re truly satisfied with your book.
- Never be truly satisfied with your book, always look for ways to improve your prose. Don’t be afraid to experiment.
If you aim to write the perfect book you’ll end up with a very good book (In the worst of cases). If you are content with writing an Ok book you’ll probably end up with a less than mediocre book.
Are you jealous of other writers?
Not particularly. As in every other line of work everyone specializes in their own niche. There’s the criminal lawyer, the medical malpractice lawyer, the intellectual property lawyer. So, if I cannot write as John Doe, then John Doe will not able to write such as I do. There are instances where one could be awed by someone else’s writing. In that case just read their book and try to learn something from their prose.
Where do you find your inspiration?
Music has always been a great help. I would say it’s been crucial so far. For every single chapter in my book I had a different tune I would listen to. It helps to set the mood for the whole scene and kicks the creativity to sky-high levels.
Other than that, I think it would be safe to say that “inspiration” is all around us. A simple gesture, say a fortuitous glance between two strangers, is enough to outline and write an entire book. It’s up to us to pick the little details and make them into a bigger whole.
What was the most important thing you learned at school?
All of them, minus some probably. Knowledge is knowledge, and even if you’re never going to use a particular notion in your life, it puts some distance between yourself and mediocrity. As a plus it enables you to understand. “The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.” Hence it is reasonable to work to better that situation.
Have you had to learn new skills and tricks, or attempted impossible feats in order to get a book finished?
Funny thought: when I started writing That Which Must Happen I thought I wouldn’t get past page 1. A few hundred pages later here I am. In fact, about ten years ago I said to a friend of mine, “I could never write a book. I’m just not able.” How quickly can things change.
What is the strangest thing you have ever had to do to promote a book?
Log onto Facebook. Other than that it’s been as I expected it. Lots of hard work, very little rewards. The important thing is to not get yourself down because of it. Broad shoulders and onwards.
Which book would you like to have written?
None of those I truly enjoyed. Simply for this fact: I would not be able to reproduce them as they were originally crafted.
Take Pirandello’s The Late Mattia Pascal, would I be able to recreate the identity crisis he so convincingly and effectively conveys in his writing? I might get close, but I would never be able to hit the mark such as he did. The same goes for Eco’s The Name of the Rose.
What is your favourite film or TV moment of all time?
If I would have to pick just one film (as I have many favourites), that would be Master & Commander. Nearly every frame in that film is a work of art, and each of them could be very easily displayed in an art gallery. Not to mention the top notch acting.
As for TV moment of all time I’m going to pick the second episode of Ripper Street’s third season. Obviously I’m not going to say what happens in the aforementioned piece of art.
Tea, coffee, water, juice, beer, or wine … what do you prefer when writing?
Tea. In fact, tea beats them all at any time and anywhere. There’s that pleasure a cup of Earl Grey gives that a coffee could never provide. That statement is fruit of my objectivity. Case closed.
Are there any habits you wish you didn’t have, and if so what are they?
Being a perfectionist. At times it gets in the way of leading a more laid back life. Yet I’m not sure I would like to get rid of it, after all it’s what induces me to challenge myself and go out of my comfort zone. Also, it’s what keeps me awake at night until I’m satisfied with my work. That is rather detestable.
If you could commit the perfect murder, what would you do with the body?
What would seem most logical would be to make the body disappear. However, the perfect murder would entail the absence of any evidence. The absence of a body is in itself evidence, someone is bound to notice. Therefore, I would do absolutely nothing with the body. That’s because the “perfect murder” would have to look like a natural accident.
Yes, I have given this far too much thought. Who hasn’t?
You can find That Which Must Happen in paperback and Kindle format here: :
You can meet Sebastiano on his website here: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18472419.Sebastiano_Lanza/blog
WHY ‘THE THURSDAY THRONG’?
These posts are called The Thursday Throng in honour of the throng that waits eagerly outside the book store when a new author is doing a book signing event or appearance. On this website it takes the form of a ‘Meet the Author‘ online event with some information about our author’s latest book and an interview. If you would like to take part in the Thursday Throng then why not visit Thursday Throng Author Interview Guidelines to find out more.