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Monday, 27 June 2011

Meet Steve Emmett - Author of 'Diavolino'


Today, I am delighted to be able to chat to Steve whose Horror/Suspense novel, ‘Diavolino’ is published by Etopia Press.
If you haven’t read it yet, here’s a bit of background to the story:


The chance to build a dream home on a private island in Italy’s most beautiful lake offers architect Tom Lupton the fresh start he’s been yearning for. But when he arrives with his family on Diavolino, he finds the terrified locals dead set against his arrival. The island, whose very existence has been shrouded in secrecy for half a millennium, has a dark history that no one cares to remember, and as their opposition to Tom grows, so grows a brooding evil that will lead them to the very doors of hell…


Catherine:  Welcome Steve and congratulations on a riveting story. I couldn’t put it down!
Steve: Thank you. I really appreciate hearing from readers and it gives me a lot of pleasure to know that I've written something that's brought enjoyment to so many people. I set out to write a page turner and it seems I succeeded.


Catherine:  What made you start writing and when did you begin?
Steve: I started to write because I hated the business I'd been in for over twenty years. I knew that if I didn't change course, it would soon be too late. I made the decision at the end of 2008 and signed up for a novel writing course with the London School of Journalists. I had a brilliant tutor in the writer Margaret James and it was she who taught me how to be tight with words and get the story moving.



Catherine: When you start to write a story, do you begin with a blank sheet of paper and just dive on in there, or are you more of a planner?
Steve: My stories are born in my head. My brain is a kind of womb for fiction. Once there is enough to start writing, I get straight onto the computer. I don't really plan, the whole thing grows organically. I can't jot down handwritten notes because my handwriting is illegible and ten minutes after scrawling on paper I haven't a clue what it says. I hope I never lose my memory. Maybe that's why I now write every day to get things done while I can!


Catherine:  Apart from writing, I understand you’re also an actor. Would we have seen you in anything recently?
Steve: No, it's a new venture and it takes time - like writing. The first stage is to get some training and then try to land a few roles to give you enough 'credits' to get onto Spotlight which is a web where professional actors are showcased. I've done that pretty quickly. In the autumn those of you with cable/satellite might catch me in a programme about the Northern bank robbery on the Crime Channel. I also had leading role as a priest in Manus Dei, a short dark film which will be in a number of festivals and competitions over the coming year. I love it.

Catherine:  What are you currently working on?

Steve: I have a few things on the go, but mainly a horror novel based in and around a Scottish castle on the shores of the North Sea.

Catherine: What advice would you give to anyone who wants to get their story published?

Steve: First and foremost, never give up. You must be prepared to work hard. And don't let the naysayers get you down. I found there are a lot of wannabee writers who haven't been published who love to tell newbies that it's virtually impossible to get published. It isn't true. It's a slog, but if you want it then go for it. Of course, you have to be able to write! Get yourself feedback from people who know what they are talking about. I found Litopia.com a great help and recommend it to all writers whatever there level or ability. Accept criticism and digest it. And read - not just your genre, either. If you don't read, you can't improve.



Catherine:Good advice! Now for something more light-hearted: If you had your own TV chat show and could interview 3 people (living or dead), who would they be and what would you want to talk about?
Steve: Clive Barker, in my opinion the greatest living horror writer. I'd want to talk about the road to creating the Cenobites. Karl Marx; I'd like to see if we could revise his thinking to find a solution to the world's ills. David Cameron; I want to know why the hell he thinks he is remotely relevant to Britain in 2011.


Catherine:  Thank you very much for joining us today. Where can we find out more about you and, crucially, where can we find your book? 
Steve:  My blog: http://chukkienator.blogspot.com/
My Publisher: http://www.etopia-press.net/shopping/pgm-more_information.php?id=20&=SID
 and their blog:
 http://etopiapressblog.wordpress.com/2010/11/24/meet-author-steve-emmett-2/
 Diavolino is available from:
 Etopia Press: http://www.etopia-press.net/shopping/pgm-  more_information.php?id=20&=
SID
 Amazon.co.uk: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Diavolino-ebook/dp/B004NIFIC0/
 Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004NIFIC0/
 Amazon.de: http://www.amazon.de/Diavolino-ebook/dp/B004NIFIC0/
 Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/46082
 Diesel ebooks: http://www.diesel-ebooks.com/item/SW00000046082/Emmett-Steve-Diavolino/1.html
 Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/diavolino
 

Here’s an excerpt to give you just a flavour of ‘Diavolino’:

Before long, they were all back in the car with Paolo, hurtling down the serpentine road from Cortona to the main route that led back to the lake. Poggio del Lago rose in front of them; the sun glanced off the surrounding water and animated the pale stone walls of the old fortress.

A motor launch waited for them at the jetty. Paolo took the wheel and started up the engine. The diesel motor chugged away, and the vessel edged forward in a cloud of blue-gray smoke, forcing ripples across the otherwise still water.

“Are there any monsters in the lake?” asked
Alice, peering intently over the edge of the boat.

“No, darling,” said Tom, “there are no monsters. Only fish.”

“And not too many of those, I gather,” said Roger. “The water is shallow, about seven meters at the most, and centuries of overfishing have done nothing for the stocks, so they say.”

Tom stood in the stern and looked back. Poggio del Lago was the highest point for many miles, surrounded by agricultural lowland. The slopes below the old walls were thick with ancient olive trees that once must have reached almost to the shoreline. At some time, they’d been cleared to make way for the scattering of buildings that scarred a landscape otherwise unchanged for generations.

As they approached Diavolino, Roger pointed out the temporary landing. Paolo slowed the engine and brought the vessel alongside, leaping onto the pontoon with the agility of an athlete, securing the boat fore and aft.

“Where did you learn to tie knots like that?” asked Tom, climbing onto the pontoon.

“My father. He was a fisherman. When I was little, I used to help him.”

“You should have a talk with
Alice. She’s something of a knot expert,” said Elspeth. Alice ignored her and marched on, eyes fixed firmly on the ground.

“I thought you said something about temporary accommodation being nearly ready,” said Tom, his mind distracted by
Alice’s uncharacteristic temper. He reached out to her. “Alice, please don’t—”

“Everything we do here must be within the woods.” Roger was not to be diverted. “It has to make as little visual impact as possible. Follow me.”

Tom hesitated, distracted by Paolo, who was settling himself on an upturned log with a pack of Winston One and his mobile phone.

“I’ll be here if you need me,” said Paolo with a smile.

Tom ran to catch up with
Alice and took her hand. Dark veins laced the sand-rich earth. A fleshy, leafless weed formed a patchy covering over the surface. Tom had never seen such strange vegetation. The shadow of the towering canopy cast a darkness as they entered the wood, and Tom felt something astringent on the back of his neck, a creeping chill, like frozen pinpoints marching across his skin...
Here’s an excerpt to give you just a flavour of ‘Diavolino’:

Before long, they were all back in the car with Paolo, hurtling down the serpentine road from Cortona to the main route that led back to the lake. Poggio del Lago rose in front of them; the sun glanced off the surrounding water and animated the pale stone walls of the old fortress.

A motor launch waited for them at the jetty. Paolo took the wheel and started up the engine. The diesel motor chugged away, and the vessel edged forward in a cloud of blue-gray smoke, forcing ripples across the otherwise still water.

“Are there any monsters in the lake?” asked
Alice, peering intently over the edge of the boat.

“No, darling,” said Tom, “there are no monsters. Only fish.”

“And not too many of those, I gather,” said Roger. “The water is shallow, about seven meters at the most, and centuries of overfishing have done nothing for the stocks, so they say.”

Tom stood in the stern and looked back. Poggio del Lago was the highest point for many miles, surrounded by agricultural lowland. The slopes below the old walls were thick with ancient olive trees that once must have reached almost to the shoreline. At some time, they’d been cleared to make way for the scattering of buildings that scarred a landscape otherwise unchanged for generations.

As they approached Diavolino, Roger pointed out the temporary landing. Paolo slowed the engine and brought the vessel alongside, leaping onto the pontoon with the agility of an athlete, securing the boat fore and aft.

“Where did you learn to tie knots like that?” asked Tom, climbing onto the pontoon.

“My father. He was a fisherman. When I was little, I used to help him.”

“You should have a talk with
Alice. She’s something of a knot expert,” said Elspeth. Alice ignored her and marched on, eyes fixed firmly on the ground.

“I thought you said something about temporary accommodation being nearly ready,” said Tom, his mind distracted by
Alice’s uncharacteristic temper. He reached out to her. “Alice, please don’t—”

“Everything we do here must be within the woods.” Roger was not to be diverted. “It has to make as little visual impact as possible. Follow me.”

Tom hesitated, distracted by Paolo, who was settling himself on an upturned log with a pack of Winston One and his mobile phone.

“I’ll be here if you need me,” said Paolo with a smile.

Tom ran to catch up with
Alice and took her hand. Dark veins laced the sand-rich earth. A fleshy, leafless weed formed a patchy covering over the surface. Tom had never seen such strange vegetation. The shadow of the towering canopy cast a darkness as they entered the wood, and Tom felt something astringent on the back of his neck, a creeping chill, like frozen pinpoints marching across his skin...

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