Welcome to the blog, Rui! Could you tell us a little bit about your novel?
Thank you! Era of the Spectre is a short story anthology. The themes are mostly dark and introspective, as I've focused more on character development than action and pacing. Each and every story has a supernatural element, slight though it may appear at times. I suppose we can fit the book under the - rather large and crowded - fantasy/sci-fi/horror umbrella, as elements from all three genres are present in most stories.
What led you to write this book?
I started writing when I was 16, for no real reason other than to give shape to fleeting ideas that roamed through my mind at night. I only began to take it seriously, so to speak, a few years later, while studying English Literature at college. I've always written short stories, so this book is a natural consequence of about 15 years of pretty sparse writing.
Is there a strong thematic connection between the stories in Era of the Spectre? How did you achieve this?
None of the stories or characters actually intertwine. What really holds the book together, in my opinion, is a pervasive atmosphere of nostalgia and helplessness, as well as the belief that something diffuse, a seductive evil entity, is permanently watching and ready to interfere with the characters' lives.
What was the biggest challenge you faced writing this book, and how did you overcome it?
Lack of time, basically. There were times when I would spend about a year without putting anything to paper, except for a few notes with sentences and ideas I would save for later. Sadly enough, some of them remain untouched and undeveloped as of today.
What is your best advice on writing?
Reading a lot will definitely help, but I'm quite partial to instinct and mood. I do acknowledge the importance of structure, planning ahead, etc., but my best writing comes in unpredictable spurts. Though I can edit and proofread in the noisiest places, true inspiration will only come to me in the right moments, which are, of course, rare and hard to sustain for long. I guess any part-time writer will understand this. It's dreadful when you have to leave your stories and characters behind so you can get on with whatever real life puts ahead of you, but that's how it works, I guess. Just being able to write a bit and share your work with the world is a true blessing!
Thanks so much for stopping by, Rui!
I'm a (sadly not full-time) 31-year old writer from Portugal, mostly dedicated to fantasy, sci-fi and horror. In 2007, I won first prize in the poetry section of the Gaia Literary Contest, with the poem Lágrima, written in my mother tongue. In March 2008, my short story Weird Chronicle was published as part of the anthology Bound for Evil by Dead Letter Press. My latest work, a short story collection called Era of the Spectre, has been published by Midnight Showcase Fiction (now Melange Books) in August 2010. I'm currently working on a longer story, perhaps a novelette, about a monolith which disrupts the life of an orderly, very disciplined tribe.
Rui Cruz can be found here and here.
Era of the Spectre is available at Melange Books and Lulu.
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