Normal interview service has resumed this month! I hope you had a lovely Easter. I spent a few days in London, but I was home in time for the chocolate.
Please welcome Luciana Cavallaro to my blog. I haven’t know Luciana very long, but she’s such a supportive reader of my blog and many others I couldn’t wait to invite her over.
- Award-winning author of The Labyrinthine Journey and The Guardian’s Legacy
- Nominated for book awards in the Action/Adventure, Thriller/Suspense and Historical Fiction genres
- Drove her first car at the age of three
Luciana’s alter ego is a high school teacher where she plugs away educating teenagers the merits of reading and ancient history. She often looks for a brick wall to bang her head when faced with disinterested looks from her students. She’s also a historical fantasy and thriller/suspense author, who creates fast-paced, action-packed series for her readers.
Born and raised in Western Australia, residing in Perth, Luciana loves to travel and since getting her passport at the ripe old age of twenty-four has toured parts of Europe, a legacy of her Italian heritage. She enjoys being active, going out with friends, reading and tries to grow her own vegetables. She dreams of travelling again and visiting the ancient sites that inspired her stories, that is when she’s not spending time being an unofficial stunt person and knocking herself out in the process.
Welcome to the Fountain Pen, Luciana.
Hi Annalisa, thank you so much for the invitation to be on your blog, it is such an honour!
Tell us a little more about yourself.
This question is always the hardest to answer! My heritage is Italian and I am first generation Australian Italian. I live in Perth, Australia. Where, I hear you ask? Yep, most people have never heard of Perth, we’re on the opposite side of the country to Sydney. I grew up in a small country town where my parents still live. I studied education and ancient history and still teach high school students. I drove my first car at the age of three and climbed a tree at two. I still drive but don’t climb trees any more.
How did your writing career begin?
It was accidental, literally. I had a series of car accidents (I must preface here, none of them were my fault), the third one was traumatic. I began writing to try and rid of some of the demons I was dealing with. My first attempt at writing a novel was searching for sense of place and belonging, and full of anger and angst (burnt the manuscript, it made good tinder). My second attempt, somewhat better (actually it was terrible), led to the Servant of the Gods trilogy. From memory, Search for the Golden Serpent had over twenty drafts, or was it more …
What do you hope your readers take away from your work? What are you trying to achieve?
Foremost, I hope they’ve enjoyed the stories and feel immersed in the narrative. I try to create settings and characters where the reader feels as if they are part of the story, and invested in the plight of the antagonist’s journey. I also hope they have learnt something new from my works, be it something unusual I’ve taken from the mythologies or some historical backdrop I’ve included. For instance, did you know Pandora never opened a box, it was an urn. A pithos, a large storage jar which was used for wine, oil and grain was mistranslated into the Latin word pyxis, meaning ‘box’. The person, who made the mistake, was Erasmus of Rotterdam. I love finding odd and small gems of information like that when researching.
I wonder how many other things in history we’ve mistranslated and have a completely different take on now?
How do you approach a new project? Are you a plotter or a pantser, or somewhere in between? Where you do get your ideas?
I tend to test a new idea for a story. First, I brainstorm to determine whether the story has any ‘legs’, and if it does, then I develop it further. When writing a series, you need to have the overarching story in place, otherwise you become unstuck and the story meanders into the digital ether, and that doesn’t help to resolve the challenges the characters face. Hence, this leads me to your question as to whether I’m a plotter or panster, I’m more in between. I set my book into scenes with dot points but have very little detail, that’s up to the characters. They tend to dictate how the story goes, I have very little control over them! It can get annoying sometimes.
Some of my ideas have come from articles I’ve read or from research I’ve done. Servant of the Gods was born from my fascination with the mythology of Atlantis and my research into the Minoan culture. The Coin of Time series evolved from a Greek coin and the short story I wrote and included in an anthology published some years ago. Another story I’m ‘working’ on (I started the story, but it’s been shelved due the need to complete CoT series) came from wanting to write about a story about strong and influential women from ancient history. I will return to finishing the story once CoT is done.
Tell us about your most recent publication.
My latest book, Minotaur’s Lair, is the third book in the Servant of the Gods trilogy. It concludes Evan’s journey to the past after being pulled from the 21st Century by his father, Zeus, to recover ancient relics once belonging the Mother Goddess. Zeus and his siblings foresaw their demise and the coming of a new god, a Christian god, and they wanted to stop that from occurring. The gods cannot stop the birth, the books explain why, and only a son of Zeus along with fellow Atlanteans, can prevent the rise of a new god. I am quite stoked the book was nominated for a book award in the Wishing Shelf Book Awards.
Is there anything you need to have with you when you write? A tool of the trade, a mascot…?
Music. I need to listen to music when I write. The genre changes according to what I’m writing. With the Servant of the Gods trilogy, I listened to the soundtracks from Gladiator and Troy. The tracks helped me visual the time period and set the tone for the era. With the Coin of Time series, I listen to Bond, Sash, Temples, the soundtracks from U.N.C.L.E. and The Boat that Rocked. As the setting for the series goes from Perth to Europe, contemporary music works really well.
What’s next for you?
I’ve just emailed a copy of Book 2 in the Coin of Time series to my beta readers and waiting to hear back from them, and now writing Book 3.
Thank you for visiting today, it’s been fascinating to learn more about you. Hopefully you won’t have to wait too long for your beta readers!
Thank you, Annalisa, it was a pleasure speaking with you 😊
11 thoughts on “Interview with… Luciana Cavallaro”
That’s a pretty unusual catalyst–beginning to write due to a series of car accidents. Wow.
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It is a bit! I used to write when at high school, and let it go when I went to university. Taking up writing after the car accidents was a different way of journalling. It helped to divert the negative feelings.
Thank you for reading!
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That’s why I love these interviews – you discover all sorts of interesting facts about people. Every path has been different.
Hi Annalisa and Luciana – how interesting to hear your back story. I can understand your imagination wandering along your own ancestral journey – bringing ideas to the fore – and oh the translation of texts from centuries, let alone millennia ago, are brought into the language of the translator at their time and in the light of their own knowledge – so I can easily imagine Pandora’s box was not a box … illogical in the light of ‘day’ – but as per Erasmus found out. What fun – your students must appreciate your way of helping them with history. Thanks – great to read – cheers Hilary
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Hi Hilary, Thank you! I must admit my cultural background did have an influence. I was always interested in where my family came from and whether we have Greek bloodlines, which is entirely probable.
While we know much more today thanks to technology, there is still a lot we don’t and never will. How exciting is that!
Thank you for reading, Hilary 🙂
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Hi Hilary! A famous mistranslation/”typo” in Britain was Boadicea which has become Boudicca.
Thank you, Annalisa, for having me here today!
Hi Luciana, sorry it’s taken me so long to get back to this interview! You’re very welcome.
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Hi Annalisa, not a problem. I know what its like when you’re flat out busy 🙂
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I can’t believe I missed Luciana over here for so long. Your interview, Annalisa, is excellent. I learned a lot about Luciana I didn’t know (began writing to rid heself of demons from a car accident). I love that you love traveling, Luciana. I’ll add: Besides Europe, you made your way here to America which is where I met you!
Looking forward to your upcoming book.
I love seeing all the connections between writers! I’m glad you enjoyed the interview, Jacqui.
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