Posts Tagged ‘dark urban fantasy’

„When dreams become books….“

 

The last interview took us to the USA and we stay there for a bit longer. This time I‘m happy to introduce to you author Scott Carruba from Texas. He started writing at a very early age when asked in elementary school to write a newspaper from another planet. Since then he has written poetry, short stories and book length dark urban fantasy tales like Dance of the Butterfly. His writing style can best be described as poetic and descriptive. Scott, I‘m able to relate to that, but not to your preferences in food like sushi. 😉 Nevertheless, it‘s now your turn to tell us more about yourself and your works.

 

  1. Please introduce yourself in 3-5 sentences.

My name is Scott Carruba, and I write books in the urban fantasy genre. I also have some horror short stories published. I have been creative writing since elementary school.

 

  1. What is the title of your current book? In which genre does it play and what is the story about?

Dance of the Butterfly and Sword of the Butterfly. They comprise a dark urban fantasy series about two powerful, rival families who fight to thwart a very real threat that most of humanity is not even aware of.

 

  1. How did you get into writing?

I received an assignment when in elementary school to write a newspaper from another planet. This sparked a serious creative urge that has not since abated.

 

  1. What can you learn about writing and what can you not learn?

I feel that writing represents communication which is key to relationships and interactions. We may use writing to tell a story, to illustrate thoughts, or in many other ways. Through this, you may learn a great deal from that person. However, writing is an exercise in making the abstract concrete; thus we may lose something in the translation, so to speak.

 

  1. What is your favourite task in the writing process and what do you not like about it (like writing blurbs for example)?

I most enjoy the beginning. There is something alluring to me, as if taking the initial steps into an entirely new world. Marketing is my least favorite aspect, though there are even parts of that I enjoy.

 

  1. Is there something that drives you crazy regarding the writing/ publishing process?

One thing that gets me is the continued missed mistakes even after multiple edits and sometimes by different people. I also do not care for the various requirements depending on publishing platform. It would be nice to have a standard.

 

  1. Where do you get the ideas for your books?

The main source of inspiration for my ideas comes from my dreams.

 

  1. Which of your written books is your own favorite?

I only have two published, so I will consider those. That is still a tough decision. I would probably choose Dance of the Butterfly. Again, it is a beginning, and I find those times the most enjoyable.

 

  1. Who reads your manuscripts first?

That is usually a toss-up between a close friend of mine and my publisher.

 

  1. How long do you revise your manuscript before you say, “Now I can share it with others?”

I probably go over my manuscript at least three times before the initial sharing. It then goes through more editing, beta feedback, etc., before publication. I do a great deal of self-editing and small changes to tweak things before I feel satisfied.

 

  1. In which genre would you like to write but haven’t dared yet? And in which genre would you never write?

I really enjoy science fiction. It may be the genre I turn to most for my own reading. I have written some unfinished works in that genre, so I suppose I have dared, but nothing I feel is ready for consideration for publication.

As far as never, well, I hate to say ‚never‘, but I feel no interest in writing romance.

 

  1. Are there writers you admire?

Plenty. H.P. Lovecraft is a huge influence of mine. For contemporary writers, I greatly admire China Miéville. His imagination never fails to enthrall and impress me.

 

  1. What is a successful author in your opinion?

One that is able to make a living primarily from creative writing.

 

  1. Regarding your books: Would you do it all over again in the same way? What would you change, if you could?

I would probably want to edit more, but then, I never feel there is enough editing.

 

  1. What do you say about the competition among authors, especially about the fact that some authors deliberately give bad ratings to others to spite them? Have you ever experienced something like this yourself?

I am very much against it, and I have made posts on my blog and other avenues of social media in regards to this. I do not consider other authors to be my competition, and I deplore underhanded and dishonest tactics. Thankfully, I have yet to experience anything like this towards me, but therein may lie hints to my relative obscurity.

 

  1. What was the worst, most annoying, least beautiful thing that has happened to you as an author and what was the most beautiful thing?

I’d say the most annoying was some criticism I received due to some sexual parts of my stories. The most beautiful was most definitely seeing the physical copy of my first published book.

 

  1. How do you motivate yourself when things don’t go the way you want them to?

Creativity is often its own reward, so regardless of how things go, I will always create. I also just continue pushing, keeping up with the things I do and searching for new methods. I see no reason to stop, so I might as well try, try, and try some more.

 

  1. Why do you think some authors make it in the book industry and others don’t? Do you have any advice?

I think some make it due to obvious talent and deservedly so. There is also a lot of work required. This does not come easy. Some, though, seem to succeed due to luck or some marketing method. I don’t feel I am in much of a place to give advice, but I would say to at least embrace persistence and discipline.

 

  1. Many authors are reserved and shy, especially when it comes to readings and book fair appearances. You got any advice for them?

My approach is that there is no need to feel you may fail and end yourself as a writer. I also like to think of these things as something to be done to have fun. A lot of the pressure is self-imposed. And if you are approached for readings and appearances, it generally means they want you there. Take comfort in that and just do your best.

 

  1. Which authors and books do you think deserve more attention?

I have difficulty with this as I honestly don’t give out a lot of recommendations. I do reviews on my blog and other social media, and if people read those and feel it gives them reason to read a book, then all the better. A few authors I might recommend looking into are Carmilla Voiez, Marie Kammerer Franke, and Nicolajayne Taylor.

 

  1. Which books do you like to read yourself? Which ones would you never read?

I read all sorts of fiction and non-fiction. I particularly like Weird Fiction. I probably would not read romance.

 

  1. What are you dreaming of as a writer? Is there a wish you would share with us?

I dream of being successful enough to make a living as a writer. I’d also love to see my writing portrayed in other forms of media such as a graphic novel or animated series.

Thank you for the interview, Nadja!

I love to leave references in my work, Easter eggs, as it were.  Some of them are much less obvious than others.  The name of one of my protagonists, Lilja Perhonen, is one, a big one.  I also leave clues that are sort of homages to writers that have had a large impact on me.

Take this excerpt from my second book, Sword of the Butterfly:

“Wilbraham?” came the inevitable summons, the professor moving his head around as though in search of whom this may be, though nearly all of the small body of the class had by now been announced.

“Here, sir,” he finally spoke, his voice an odd mixture of deep, gruff, but with a scratch of break, as though of pubescence or merely suffering from some chronic allergy.

“That is a good, old name from England,” Professor Edwards remarked with utmost sincerity, then consulting his list, looking back up, “Pothos? That’s your first name?”

Pothos nodded, slowly, almost laboriously.

“Your parents must also be students of mythology to give you a great name like that,” the instructor carried on, letting his dark, bushy eyebrows rise as though throwing a question mark onto the supposition.

That alludes to what becomes a huge Easter egg.  It also references an experience I had back in college, but I wouldn’t expect anyone to figure that out.  The layers do begin to get a little complicated, and sometimes I forget why I crafted things the way I did.  Still, I think it adds to the journey, and I hope there are those who discover these things and feel the same.

If you’ve read my work and think you have some guessed, please leave a comment.  If you have not, then grab a book and begin the hunt!

My Amazon Author Page

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Well, we’re almost done with October. Let’s see what we have as we draw toward a close.

22: Publishing Tales – aside from some very rudimentary self-publishing and the occasional feature on a webpage, I did not get published until recently. I submitted queries to a handful of publishers, and before I could even figure out who would be in round two, I was lucky enough to find someone to publish my first novel. Thank you, Optimus Maximus.

23: TBW – To Be Written – I have several irons in the fire, as it were, which is usually the case. Once I complete the third (& likely final) book in my Butterfly series, I have two other novels to work on, probably three, maybe more. The two are vampire related, though they are not connected. Both deal with different ideas of how vampires began. I am looking forward to working on both. The third deals with wizards and dragons, but it is not a typical fantasy tale.

24: RP:Rejection stories – I made a lengthy post on this. You can read it here.

25: Horror Story – I grew up with asthma, horrible asthma. It nearly killed me once. I was in a hospital emergency room, and they were losing me, so they life-flighted me from that hospital to another one more suited to handle such trauma.

26: Scary-Awesome Bloggers – Nicolajayne Taylor, Meghan at  The Gal in the Blue Mask, and Patricia Statham at Books to Curl Up With.

27: Best Writing Candy – if I am going to eat candy while I write, it needs to be some kind of dark chocolate, maybe with ginger or chili in it, but definitely dark chocolate.

28: Book Babies – I don’t know what is meant by this prompt, soooo, I am going to skip it.

And there we are! I’ll wrap up Oct next week and bring us into November. Thank you all for being here, and if you are interested in my writing, please visit my Amazon Author Page for my books.

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October is just zooming by. A lot is going on, and it can be difficult to stay focused, but let’s roll with the third week of IG Writers month and see what we get.

15: Fav. Scary Read – Okay, this is timely. It by Stephen King. I enjoy horror stories, but they rarely actually scare more. I usually find them to be darkly entertaining, but to experience real fear whilst reading one is uncommon. I have read a few stories recently by some independent authors that gave me some trepidation and fright. Thank you Carmilla Voiez and Jeffrey Kosh. The Exorcist also scared me, but It is my favorite. I love the novel, and I have read it several times.

16: Writer Foods/Fuel – Coffee. There is no specific food I associate with writing. In fact, I rarely eat while writing. There is always a drink on hand, though, and it is usually coffee.

17: Author Crush – I don’t really have one.  There are several authors I’d like to me, but no crushing is happening.

18: Page 13 of your WIP – I made a post about this on my Twitter. Feel free to check it out.

19: Book Dedication – Dance of the Butterfly is a tale that very nearly did not happen.  It took time to take  hold and even more time to truly blossom.  Were it not for the ceaseless help of a very dear, close friend, it would not have been done.  In a very real way, it parallels that relationship, taking from that story to add to its own.  For this, I deeply thank you, Jane.

20: Killed Darlings – I am not sure I like this one being here. A killed darling generally comes with a shock. If I say who has died in my books, then the shock is gone. If you have not yet read them, you would not be emotionally invested, anyway. Suffice it to say, there are some. Read to find out.

21: Plot-Twist – I love these. Both of my books have a few and the third will as well. I enjoy setting things up and having a few different twists and turns happen throughout. I also like to use red herrings, and one in my first book is layered with some subtle referencing. I have even followed patterns in my series, so that, in itself, becomes a clue.

There we are. I hope you have enjoyed this third week of IGWriters month. Please do visit my Amazon Author Page for my published works. I’d love to have you as a reader.

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And it continues …

So, I feel stupid. The IG in IGWritersOct is for Instagram. I don’t use Instagram, just set up a meager little account. I’ll have to get more into it, but I digress.

8: BRAINstorming – another one I am not sure what they mean, but basically, my brainstorms generally come from dreams. I pull from my dreams for a great deal of my inspiration. My urban fantasy series began from three different such experiences. My other form of brainstorming is more deliberate, and it happens when I really focus on the story and maybe talk it out or plot it and see what I may be missing or what can be added. Completely unexpected ideas have come from this, and I value the technique.

9: Writing Adventures – Yes, I can do that. Ah, but maybe they mean adventures that happened to me because of writing. I had my first convention as a published author at this year’s Scares that Cares. That was very exciting. I got to meet my publisher face to face along with other authors and friends. It was a great weekend.

10: Mental Health & Writing – I would say that writing can be very therapeutic. The way I write, though, it can also be difficult. I really get into my writing, and sometimes it spawns unpleasant feelings. There are some scenes that once I wrote them, I had difficulty editing them. Once edited, I don’t read them again.

11: Handwriting Sample – I am going to pass on this one. I rarely use handwriting for anything at all in my life.

12: Pantser or Plotter – I do both. I generally plot out the major points, then I fill in the blanks and details with stream-of-consciousness writing. That seems pretty much by the seat of the pants.

13: Writing Rituals – I don’t really have one of these, though my writing usually does not get done without some coffee on hand. I sometimes choose very specific music to help, and then it is on low volume.

14: Dead Manuscripts – Oh, boy, do I have these. I have thousands of pages of unpublished poetry, short stories, even novels. Most of those are incomplete, but there are two that are complete and one that was about 95%. Looking back on them, very few seem worthy of resurrection.

And that’s another week! I hope you enjoyed, found something thoughtful, or in some way found value here. Thank you for reading. Comments and questions are always welcome, and if you are interested in my published works, please visit my Amazon Author Page.

Thanks!

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So, this month is IGWriters month. I wish I could tell you what the IG stands for or what brought this on, but here it is. Take a breath, and let’s dive in.

1: INTL Coffee Day – great! I love coffee. I generally drink a Vietnamese instant coffee during the week, so that is international, assuming INTL stands for international. If you want to learn about a quite exotic coffee, I suggest kopi luwak. It’s expensive and partially digested! Give it a try, and let me know how it is.

2: Your WIP – I am currently working on the third book in my dark urban fantasy series. It will be different from the first two, and it will probably be the end of the main story.  Here is an excerpt:

It is a large man, his suit jacket open, clothing showing disheveled, torn, bloodstained, and if the darkly-coated butcher knife in his fist were not sign enough, his eyes bleed out with a strange, red hue.  Those orbs see Lilja and the other three, and he roars out, eating a few precious seconds before he launches himself at his prey.

3: Writing Tools – I use a computer. I began with a typewriter. I have hand written a few things, but for the vast majority of my writing, I have used a keyboard of one type or another.

4: Writing w/ animals – I am not sure what to say on this one. I don’t use animals to write, and I don’t have a pet. No cute pics of a cat trying to get my attention as I tap away at the keys.

5: Author Bucket List – This was another one I was not entirely sure about. I suppose my author bucket list is to someday make a living as an author. I’d also like to visit the regions in Europe that I used as inspiration for the setting of my first two books.

6: What makes you smile – a lot does, actually. Spending time with my family usually leads to a great deal of laughter. I also love talking to my readers. That will often get a smile on my face.

7: Your favorite character – Another tough one. I suppose this is meant to mean a character of my own design. I am going to ignore the obvious and look to a minor character who still played a big role and choose Interpol Inspector Gaspare Duilio. He is a corrupt officer who ends up playing a part in all three books. Not only do I find him an interesting and many-layered person, but the experiences he has and how they shape him allow him to show further depth and have a larger impact on the overall tale.

And that is it for the first week. I hope you enjoyed. Feel free to leave any comments are ask any questions you may have. Please also visit my author page and read my books! Thank you.

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Since I got into this independent author/publication thing, I have met a lot of others also involved, whether other writers or publishers, editors, promoters, etc., etc. A lot. It’s easier to get published now and to reach a potential audience with all the amazing tools we have available to us. I used social media to find my publisher, and I am grateful for it. It’s a small group of us, and we’re still learning and getting started, but it’s an amazing journey, and I like to think we’re all helping each other.

But it doesn’t stop there.

With the social media explosion, it is easier to find others, whether colleagues, agents, audience, or whatever the case may be. It also means a lot more out there. It can become white noise. I hate to say it is like separating the wheat from the chaff, because that sounds elitist. There may well be a suffering of quality, though, as these very vehicles are used to increase the quantity. This means a huge supply. There is certainly demand, but it becomes an issue of getting the potentially fleeting notice of that audience. Look here! This is me! Buy my book!

This could lead to a situation within the independent world of a lot of cut-throat competition. I will not take this approach. I feel like we are all in this together, and those of us making sincere efforts to share our creations and enrich the world with this art ought to cooperate, not compete. I share the works of other authors and try to help promote blogs, events, groups and other methods of just opening the lines of communication and awareness.

I feel very strongly that this is the way to go about it. There is so much wonderful work out there, we might as well bring as much as we can of the whole world to the buffet and let them pick what they want.

Help yourself. Help us. Help each other. Tell your friends about it. And read, read, read.


Please feel free to follow me on My Facebook Page or check out My Amazon Author Page for my published works.

Thank you.

Follow the Butterfly

I think sometimes people get an incorrect impression of my book merely from the name, Dance of the Butterfly.  Sounds romantic, doesn’t it?  It has ‘dance’ and ‘butterfly’ in it.  It must be a romance.  Well, it does have romantic elements.  There is a relationship that buds and blooms as a core plot point, but it is not just about that, and it is not all nice and flowery.  There is some splatter. Quite a bit of it, actually.  I am not one to often pull punches.  I got myself in a bit of hot water during a poetry contest many years upon years ago, because I don’t feel the need to overly censor.  I have since learned more of a balance between raw and refined.

In that vein, I have been posting snippets of the final climax of my book, and things do get bloody.  Allow me to share another …


One of the guests lies on the ground, in a growing pool of the red liquid, another guest atop him. The larger man above is savagely stabbing into the prone body of the other, holding a torn piece of metal, having been drafted as an improvised weapon. Each stab into the left side of the victim’s torso produces more spurts of fresh fluid, the attacker painted with it, giving him even more of a horrific, demented look than his own expressions and actions already convey.

“He’s killing my husband!” a nearby woman screams, her own shrieks part of those making up the cacophony, though if the lack of resistance on the part of her spouse indicates anything, he may already be dead.

The guards point their weapons, nearing the terrible happening.

“Get out of the way!” Duilio commands, and the other party-goers and workers do just that, clearing more area around the attack.

“Do something! Do something!” the woman, rushes over to Duilio, her heels clicking on the pavement.

The guards look to the inspector, and Duilio spares a short moment of assessment, then, “Stop him.”

Gunshots blast out, causing more screams and dispersal of the crowd. The attacker is quickly removed from atop his victim, crumbling away and to the ground, flopping to his back as the firing ceases, his breath coming out ragged and wet.


So, there you go.  I hope you enjoyed it, and I hope it whet your appetite for more.  If so, please visit my Amazon Author Page to buy any of my publications.  Thank you.dotb-twitter

I have been slowly making a series of posts that follow along the plot of my first novel, Dance of the Butterfly.  These are all to hopefully entice new readers through the vehicle of some contextual hints.  I hope it has been working, and I hope those of you who do decide to read my book enjoy it.  In that vein, let’s have another taste, shall we?


“Maybe we ought to just kill the girl,” speaks a voice, the tone one of calmly discussing the possible mowing of a lawn.

“No, no, that should not be done.”

Gnegon looks up from swirling his glass, the clear contents not interrupted by any ice or other flavorings, the expensive vodka not so delicate as to change its subtleties of taste from this mere motion. He also wears a very fine tuxedo, looking all the world like he is ready to head to an evening of celebration and entertainment, which he is.

He fixes his narrow eyes on the inspector, the Interpol man also dressed very nicely, more so than his usual daily flair, also holding a preparatory drink in advance of this evening’s festivities.

“Why not?” he asks, then after a short moment, “Do you like this girl, Gaspare?”

Duilio smirks, a subtle curl to one side of his lips, “Oh, no, she is exciting, to be sure, but she is not exactly … my taste. Perhaps if I were twenty years younger.”

The two share a short laugh at this.

“No,” Duilio repeats on the tail end of the shared chuckling, “The vigilante will come again.”

“How do you know?” the crime boss presses, any trace of levity gone from his features.

“A hunch,” Duilio finally answers.



Will this trap work?  Find out what happens in Dance of the Butterfly, the first book in my urban fantasy series. For 18+ readers.

“Overall, I think this book is an excellent read, and I couldn’t praise it enough.” – Uncaged Book Reviews

Please visit my Amazon Author page for all of my published works.

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“There is sufficient lack of blood volume for what is expected in the human body,” she repeats.

He throws up his hands, scoffing, turning away. The other gives her something of a sympathetic look. She is not needful of either reaction.

“Detective Pasztor, I am the coroner. You are the detective,” she reminds him.

“I know that,” he snaps, turning, glaring at her, “What did the killer do with it? Are we dealing with a vampire?”
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The savage serial killer continues to plague the City. Is it some sort of human-animal hybrid or worse? The carnage left behind is unsettling, confusing. The local police have no idea how deeply this goes.


One of the core elements to the plot in my first novel, Dance of the Butterfly, is something of a murder mystery.  It is not handled in the traditional sense, mainly because it is only one of the myriad facets making up the overall “secret” within the story.  It was very enjoyable exploring this vein of the tale, especially leaving out all the little bread crumbs for readers.

I humbly invite you to see for yourself in Dance of the Butterfly, the first novel in my urban fantasy series. For 18+ readers.

Dance of the Butterfly – print version
Dance of the Butterfly – electronic editions

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