What is your book about?
In a dark and ageless time where the world knew evil in many forms: werewolf, vampire, demon and dragons, Costa Calabrese has just uncovered the truth about his past. Some truths should never be revealed. When you learn you’re the son of the world’s foremost and feared hunter of demons life’s rules inevitably change. Now it is up to him to take up the role his bloodline demands and stop the evil from spreading over the land…whether he wants to or not.
Exploring the classic theme of good versus evil, Demon Hunter blends the highly popular elements of dark fantasy with the proven concept of high-adventure novels where believable, down-to-earth characters take the reader on a journey. It is the story about a nobody who becomes a somebody in the bloodiest of ways.
This is without a doubt the darkest idea I’ve delved into in all my years of writing. But at its core Demon Hunter is a story about human frailties. Costa, our hero, is plagued not only by physical demons, but mental ones as well. We’ve all had those little voices in our head trying to sway us from our path. It is those demons not faced that are the true danger.
How do you develop and differentiate your characters?
I pull from real life characters. People are different in many ways, tiny character traits can set them apart just as easily as monumental things. Its the little differences that make us unique as people so it becomes necessary to add those in to the characters you create.
How (or when) do you decide that you are finished writing a story?
The story decides for you. You let it run its course. The best endings are those that surprise you as the writer.
What is your goal for the book, ie: what do you want people to take with them after they finish reading the story?
I’ve never been after trying to send out some sort of message with my writing. I don’t want to change the world, I simply want to entertain. If some type of message is imparted between the lines of a particular story then that is great too. But more than anything I just want readers to be moved by the characters, engrossed in the story, and taken on a wild adventure…a little escape from reality…because that is why I like to read. That is what got me started writing in the first place.
What has changed for you personally since you wrote your first book?
I’ve grown as a writer, first and foremost. The longer you continue with your chosen craft you either get better or get out of the game. I feel as though I’ve gotten better, that I’ve found my voice.
Do you have a favorite snack food or favorite beverage that you enjoy while you write?
Red wine. I like a fine Merlot, Cab, or even a sweet red. It is soothing and relaxing.
What are you working on right now?
I have switched back to more contemporary work. I have two thrillers I’m working on at the moment. One is based in my hometown of Las Vegas. I’ve been waiting to showcase Vegas in a proper light rather than all the stereotypes you may have seen.
Do you have mental list or a computer file or a spiral notebook with the ideas for or outlines of stories that you have not written but intend to one day?
I have one of my old trapper keepers from school that is bursting at the seams. I keep getting ideas that get piled on top of more ideas. Not a bad problem to have by any means but I wish I had more time in the day to get to all of them!
What, in your opinion, are the essential qualities of a good story?
Relatable characters, a believable plot (even if its sci-fi or fantasy things should sync up), and description that is niether too short or too cramped and weighs down the story. I like a page turner. My time is limited so if the story doesn’t engross me within the first few chapters I’m going to put it away and move on to one of the other ones on my pile. Also, I’d like to note that alot of books these days are involving too many characters. More than five or so main characters and I’m going to get lost…and that’s even pushing it.
Who gave you the best writing advice you ever received and what was it?
To be honest I forgot where I heard this but the advice was “write for the wastebasket.” It has never left me. What it means is that the first draft is exactly that…the first draft. There will be many other drafts along the way so don’t get too attached to that first one. Just to take the pressure off imagine that you are writing everything just to toss it out so it doesn’t have to be perfect.
What advice you would give to an aspiring author?
Learn the ins and outs of your craft. That includes the business of it. You will be your own best marketing force even if you get picked up by Random House, etc. Learn the rules and then throw them out and make your own!
What words would you like to leave the world when you are gone?
Wow, that’s huge. I don’t know about words but I’d like to know that I made the world a better place for somebody just by being there for them. My words have always been “Live Your Dreams” Because life is short and dreams shouldn’t be dashed.
Have you written any other books?
I’ve written a lot, since I was eight in fact. The Crescent Set in the days when answers were taken at the tip of a a sword, two women will face adversity and find their calling battling as gladiators in a sport of death; Theater of Pain In the world of professional wrestling everything is over-the-top. Some competitors would do anything to make it to the top…even if it means murder; and Life Death and Back a paranormal thriller where in the wake of his death a man must come to learn what it truly means to live by helping a troubled young girl find her true path before its too late.
Describe your writing in three words.
Character driven suspense
Click here for an: Excerpt From “Demon Hunter: Saga” by Cynthia Vespia
Click here for an interview with: Costa Calabrese from “Demon Hunter: Saga” by Cynthia Vespia