Today, we’re joined by the wonderful Luca Veste.
Luca, how did you come up with the idea of ‘Off The Record’? How did you choose which charity to donate it to? How did you manage to get so many great authors involved?
I was reading a fantastic anthology called ‘Pulp Ink’ (get your copy here: http://amzn.to/yBKmFF), which took prompts from the film Pulp Fiction for their stories, and got to thinking ‘I wonder if I could get even more writers involved in something similar, and all for charity.
The charities chosen came naturally. I know personally how much reading as a child influenced my life, so helping children with literacy was something high on my list.
I just asked people to be involved. I’ve been lucky enough to make some great contacts over the last year through my Guilty Conscience site, so I was able talk to the writers directly. Plus I have many incriminating photographs of these writers…
Where do you get your ideas?
Mainly from people-watching and filling in the blanks. Some characters came from my own family members, others from people I’ve seen on a bus or something. There’s a story behind every face I think. It’s up to your own imagination as to what that story is.
Why do you think focussing on short stories is a good idea?
I think it’s up to the individual writer. If you’re happy with the form, write them. I know of some writers who prefer the short story form, and excel at it. For me, it’s all a practise run really for writing something longer…something I’m doing now.
You’ve been involved with several anthologies, tell us more.
I’ve been very lucky really. I wrote a short piece for a Flash Fiction challenge for charity for Fiona ‘McDroll’ Johnson and Thomas Pluck, which was included in their ‘The Lost Children Anthology’ (click here to order your copy http://amzn.to/xSIrGD) for the benefit of two charities. That one is a really cool thing to be a part of, as there are some great names involved in it.
What inspires you?
People. As I said earlier, I’m a watcher. I’m obsessed with the hidden stories behind anonymous faces. I just try and tell them.
Do you have time to read at the moment? If so, what are you reading?
I’m constantly reading. At the moment I’m finishing Dominion by Matt Hilton (http://amzn.to/zrrb0M), which is a fantastic book. Next up will be Beautiful, Naked and Dead by Josh Stallings (http://amzn.to/x1mcGF). It’s been on my radar for a long time, but only just getting around to it. Really looking forward to that one.
Do you have a favourite author or one that has influenced you the most?
There’s a load of writers I love a lot, Les Edgerton is incredible, Nick Quantrill is fantastic always, Helen FitzGerald is astounding, Sean Cregan, Vincent Holland-Keen, and Howard Linskey is going to be a huge name…then there’s writers more well known like Stephen King, Neil White, Linwood Barclay, Harlan Coben, Mark Billingham, Val McDermid, who’s books I’ll always buy on release day…but my favourite author, is Steve Mosby. Without doubt. The more I read of him, the more I love his writing. He has an incredible way of telling a story, fantastic descriptive qualities…the guy is just excellent. Should be on everyone’s bookshelves.
How do you feel about the rise of digital books? Would you ever consider branching out into print-based publishing or do you think that is on its way out?
‘Off The Record’ is available in print, albeit more expensively! I think there’s room for both. I had a conversation with my Grandma the other day about Kindles. Let’s just say she wasn’t impressed. Print isn’t going anywhere for a long time. There’s room for both anyway. Ebooks have just increased the number of published writers that’s all. More stories = win for readers.
As a writer, what do you do well? What are your weaknesses?
No idea. I don’t think I’ve been writing long enough to discover either things yet.
Where can we find you online?
For all Off The Record news, http://www.guiltyconsciencepublishing.com And for personal stuff, http://www.lucaveste.com
What do you like most about writing? What do you dislike?
I love it all. The process of writing is a highly enjoyable one at the moment. I’m sure it won’t last though!
What are your hopes for the future?
Finishing the novel, getting an agent off the back of it, a seven figure deal from a big publisher, house in the Bahamas!
Failing that, just to keep being a part of the incredible community of writers that are online. They’re great people, and I’m proud and honoured to know them.
Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
Keep writing. Network, say hello to other writers, don’t be afraid to stick your head above the parapet. We’re all nice people.
Indeed we are, Luca – you in particular! I hope everyone will download ‘Off the Record’ – it’s for a great cause. Download your copy here: http://amzn.to/vbDHEY. Once you’ve bought your copy, head to Luca’s Guilty Conscience site for a brilliant competition! http://www.guiltyconsciencepublishing.com/2012/01/off-record-huge-competition.html
My thanks again to Luca for speaking to us!