Interview with Carl Alves, author of "Two For Eternity"


ABOUT CARL ALVES

carlheadshotCarl went to Boston University majoring in Biomedical Engineering. Carl graduated with a BS degree, and has since worked in the pharmaceutical and medical devices industries. He later graduated from Lehigh University with an MBA degree.
His debut novel “Two For Eternity” was released in 2011 by Weaving Dreams Publishing. His novel “Blood Street” will be published by True Grit Publishing in November, 2012. His short fiction has appeared in various publications such as Sinister City, Alien Skin and Glassfire Anthology. He is a member of the Horror Writers Association and has attended the Penn Writers Conference.
You can visit his website at www.carlalves.com.

    What inspired you to write your first book?
The genesis of this novel stems from a thought I had kicking around in my head for a long time – what would it be like to live forever.  If one lived forever, that person would have lived all over the world, would be able to speak a multitude of languages, would have performed every imaginable occupation and would have countless skills.  This in itself doesn’t make a story, so I had to create a foil for this character, someone who had similar skills and backgrounds, but was an evil entity.  The next thing I contemplated is what periods in history would make for interesting writing, and a number of time periods immediately came to mind.  As I began to research and write the novel, a theme started to develop in my mind, and that was to in my own way correct some of the incorrect depictions of history.  There is saying that he who wins the war writes the history.  What is taught in history classes is often skewed as a result.  I tried to use some alternative, non mainstream sources of historical events when doing my research.

What books have influenced your life the most?

The book that has most influenced me is The Stand by Stephen King.  That novel was so well written, so epic in nature, and had characters that came to life.  I read the book when I was in high school, and I remember when reading it that I never wanted this journey to end.  Whenever I picked up the beat up paperback copy that I had, I was thoroughly absorbed into the world that King created.  It was reading this novel that made me want to tell my own stories, not that I thought I could ever write anything at that level.


What are your current projects?

I work on about three or four different novels/short stories at any given time.  The one that I am most excited about is a novel that I have entitled Beyond Ragnarok, which is a post apocalyptic version of what takes place after the Battle of Ragnarok from Norse mythology. 

I am also gearing up to work on the edits for my novel Reclamation Mother Earth, a sci-fi thriller that should be out in early 2013 from Montag Press.  Needless to say there is never enough time to work on all of the projects that I have going at any given time. 


If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

That question is hard to answer right now.  In Two For Eternity I dealt with 12,000 years of history.  I did a ton of historical research for the novel, and did my best to be historically accurate, but I’m sure there are things that I didn’t quite get right.  Just the other day my father pointed out that in one portion of the story about the natives of Hispaniola eating cassava, a root common in the area, that I didn’t accurately portray the preparation of cassava.  I’m sure I’ll continue to get these sorts of things pointed out by readers.


What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author?

I pitched my novel Battle of the Soul to a few different editors and the feedback that I received about the concept behind the novel was great.  But when I actually submitted the novel to these same editors, for one reason or another, it was not quite clicking with them, which really disappointed me, because of all the novels I’ve written, this was probably my favorite one.  This made me reach out to R.J. Cavender to get some help in editing the novel.


What has been the best compliment?

I have received some great endorsements from writers that I really respect and admire for Two For Eternity and my forthcoming novel Blood Street, scheduled to be released in November, 2012.  They include Deborah Leblanc, Scott Nicholson, Ronald Malfi, Benjamin Kane Ethridge and JG Faherty.  To know that these exceptionally talented writers enjoyed my writing was both gratifying and validated my writing.


Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?

One piece of advice is to improve your craft.  I look at my early work and cringe at how awful it was.  The only way to get better is to keep writing, have your work critiqued by more experienced writers, and especially critiquing the work of others.   When you break down someone else's writing in detail line by line and detail by detail, you can see what works and what doesn't work.  It's an invaluable tool to improve your own writing.  The other piece of advice is to be persistent. Don't give up.  It doesn't matter if your story has been rejected a hundred times. It only matters that your story has been accepted once.


What is your favorite quality about yourself?

I think my best quality is my work ethic.  I work full time as an engineer at a pharmaceutical company, and I have two small children.  My wife is a physician and I frequently have to take care of the kids.  I write whenever I have the opportunity to do so.  If that means a few minutes here and there, then so be it.  I don't have time for a silly notion like writer's block.  I personally think writer's block is an excuse for not having the ethic to work hard.  I couldn't imagine telling my employers in my day job that I'm not in the right frame of mind to do my work.  Writing is like any other job.  It's work.  It's not glamorous.  It's not the romanticized notion that some people have.  You need to plant your butt on your chair and get to work.


What is your least favorite quality about yourself?

I tend to be a bit impulsive, which probably stems from not having a lot of time to do everything I want.  That makes me jump into things without always thinking about the ramifications.  I’ve made some rash decisions which I later regretted both with my writing career and life in general.


Is there anything else you would like to share?

Two For Eternity is the culmination of a decade long struggle of starting as a writing newbie, learning the craft of writing, working through mistakes and becoming a better writer.  I’ve had to endure an unending string of rejections with no seeming end in sight.  When I got an agent, I thought my problems were over only to discover that getting an agent doesn’t mean you will get published.  To finally get to see my book in print was very satisfying.  Every writer has to go through their own journey and overcome their own struggles.  I write because I love to write, and whether or not I ever got published would not deter me from doing what I love.

ABOUT TWO FOR ETERNITY

perf5.500x8.500.inddTwo for Eternity is a historical as well as a contemporary, fantasy thriller that takes many controversial interpretations of history.
From ancient Egypt and Babylon, through the time of Christ in Judea, spanning the Crusades, the Spanish Inquisition, and through World War II, Raiken and Vrag engage in inhuman battles of will. Vrag pulls the strings of malevolent leaders, and causes endless destruction and chaos. His immortal counterpart and enemy, Raiken, defends humanity and opposes him at every turn.
The stakes have never been higher, as Vrag sets his sights on the destruction of society. The twin brothers battle one last time to settle their score for eternity.

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