Friday, November 21, 2014

Edward P. Cardillo - Author Interview

Edward P. Cardillo is an inventive author, coming at horror and science fiction from exciting and oblique angles.  His Automaton series is truly ingenious.  Personally, I've gotten to know Ed through our shared relationship with J. Ellington Ashton Press.  He never ceases to amaze me with his intelligence and wit.

Author's Featured Works

I Am Automaton (Severed Press) has won three Reader's Favorite International Awards and was also selection for Zombie Book of the Month in 2014.  He has written two additional follow-up books.

His book, The Odd Tales of an Old Man (J Ellington Ashton Press), has received effusive praise from critics and readers alike.  Midwest Book Review gave it 5 out of 5 stars.

Why do you write about dark and scary things?
It’s just the way I’m wired. Some people like roller coasters, some like haunted houses. I like writing and reading horror…and haunted houses. Not roller coasters, though. As a clinical psychologist, I’m fascinated with fear. It’s an emotion that’s crucial to the survival instinct, yet in excess it can bog down one’s life. Horror fiction is a safe way to feel the exhilaration of being the object of the hunt, the chased pray facing a superior predator.

What is your latest project/release and what is it about?
My latest release was “FeralHearts” (J. Ellington Ashton Press), an epic 6-author vampire collaboration with 6 characters and 6 alternate endings. Co-authored with Amanda M. Lyons, Michael Fisher, Jim Goforth, Mark Woods, and catt dahman, this was my editorial debut.

Six young people from different walks of life embark on a singles’ tour in Derosso, Italy, only to encounter a strip club in town that preys upon the men. Warned to stay away by their guide, two of the tourists give in to their curiosity and encounter the undead exotic dancers within. Lured by promises of untold carnal pleasures, these lonely hearts invite disaster on their group and the rest of the town. Wild and erotic, manipulative and vicious, these feral vampires are not at all romantic…they’re predators. 

Six different characters and six different endings, this tale is not for the faint of heart.

It is only for Feral Hearts.

When did you know you wanted to be a writer and how do you go about the writing process?
I’ve known I wanted to be a writer since I’ve been a kid.

It depends on the genre. For my more sci-fi oriented horror, I like to plan plots and subplots, and outline. Plot twists and action scenes need to be choreographed and red herrings convincingly executed. Then, of course, there’s the research on technology, weaponry, military protocol, politics, etc.

My pure horror/dark fantasy tends to be more organic, the source of my most potent elements being actual nightmares I’ve had. I appreciate a good nightmare. When I wake up in a cold sweat, I write everything down for use later. My wife can tell when I’m “on the jazz” with a good idea because I toss and turn and cry out at night. But make no mistake…I actually love a good nightmare. Once again, it’s the way I’m wired.

What advice do you have for other writers?
Write, submit/query around. As you’re doing that, write and submit the new stuff while submitting the old stuff. Keep writing. Submit that new material, and so on and so on, ad infinitum. Unless you have aspirations to publish through a big 5 house, if you write genre fiction, don’t worry so much about chasing agents. Query publishers directly if they allow it, but make sure you follow their submission guidelines to the nine.

Don’t be afraid to submit your work to contests. You never know. What’s the worst that can happen—you don’t win? My first two books in the “I Am Automaton” trilogy won Reader’s Favorite International Book Awards as unpublished manuscripts, the first book finishing in the same category with a NY Times Best Seller. That got me attention and helped me land a book deal with Severed Press. Book 3 won as a published book, making it an award-winning trilogy. While promoting “I Am Automaton,” I attracted the attention of J. Ellington Ashton Press, who snatched up “The Odd Tales of an Old Man” and commissioned “Feral Hearts.”

What is your favorite zombie movie and why?
The original “Night of the Living Dead.” I loved the stripped down, realistic sensibility. The movie wasn’t overproduced with uber special effects laden zombies with state of the art gore effects. The zombies looked very human, which I find terrifying.

What’s up next for you?
I’m wrapping up book one in a new zombie series for Severed Press that should be out the beginning of 2015. I’ve been teaching a fiction workshop leader at the Bronx Loaf Writer’s Conference for inner city youth, helping them develop their work and identity as writers. I’m continuing to grow my readership, and I’m enjoying interacting with old and new fans.

His Featured Works

Find Out More About Ed

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