The following is an online interview I had with a member of my Facebook Group for book promotion for science fiction and fantasy. I noticed the cover which is both in my opinion, simplistic, but looks good and wanted to know more about it.
1.) Can you give me a short biography about yourself and how you got into writing? (Personal picture will go here)
I work mainly as a technical translator from English and German to Italian. In my 49 years on this planet I have lived in Italy, Spain, France, Switzerland, Israel, Denmark, and now back to Spain – for now. “Impermanence” is my first novel, or rather ‘novelette’, since it’s quite short.
2.) Can you give an expanded description of your book, the characters and the world that it is set in?
It deals with a future world where everybody is immortal. Men became extinct because of laziness in procreating, and women found a way to become immortal (although the word they use is ‘permanent’) through systematic maintenance and replacement of organs and complete copy of brain data on PC every day, so even if your body is destroyed to the last atom, they can still rebuild you as new. In this world, no children are born and nobody ever dies.
Then ‘impermanence’ appears, meaning that people are found lifeless with no way of bringing them back to life, and they need to find a way to deal with this issue, lest humanity little by little disappears.
3.) What can you tell us about the characters that we will read about?
Although they are immortal, their lives are not too different from ours. They get up and go to work, they cultivate friendships, they have their pastimes and entertainment, and so on.
About specific characters, I think it would be more interesting for the reader to discover them as they go.
One thing I can say is that they reflect the varied ethnic composition of the present world: Hawiya is African, Baxti is East Asian, Ezrat is native North American, Zoun is Central-Northern European, and so on.
4.) Your book cover is interesting, how did you come up with the artwork for your cover?
I tried to contact some professional illustrator for my book cover and couldn’t find any satisfactory solution. I chose the current cover as ‘provisional’, with a symbol meaning infinity interrupted and straying away towards the unknown, or perhaps being originated from the unknown: infinity interrupted, or immortality broken, or ‘impermanence’, exactly the title and main theme. I just found the symbol on the Web somewhere, and provisional became final.
5.) I am big into a book’s deeper meaning and themes; what can you tell us without any spoilers about the theme of your book?
There are three main themes. One of course is immortality: how would your life be if you and everybody else were immortal? First of all, ‘time’ takes a whole different meaning when it’s infinite. How do you think about the past and the future when they are both endless? Do you count the years? What does ‘history’ actually mean? The rules of society must also be different; for instance, sending somebody to jail for a certain period of time as a punishment for a crime doesn’t make much sense: you just take away a small part of their time, but everybody has an infinite amount of that.
The second theme is related to a women-only society. Without much testosterone around, and without competition to impress the other sex, what kind of world can we expect? More peaceful, maybe? Yes, probably – yet it still makes you wonder how this kind of reality would be.
The third theme is seeing our current society in the eyes of evolved beings. They even think that they are a whole different species from us – they call themselves ‘humans’ and us ‘hominids’. Concepts like wars, racism, or obsession with money and sports are totally unknown to them.
6.) Can you give a favorite paragraph or page to show your writing style (hopefully this doesn’t give away too much)?
First things first, I wrote the story in Italian – my native language. I was very lucky to find an excellent translator in Sarah Jane Webb. She did an outstanding job in conveying the spirit and the rhythm of the original version. Being a translator myself, I know exactly how hard it is to find a good one! That said, a short excerpt follows:
“So what about the hominids?” resumed Hawiya, going back to her starting point.
“What can I say,” replied Baxti. “They brought about their own extinction, who knows how many thousands of solar cycles ago, by rendering this planet uninhabitable, a condition that persisted for a long time after their disappearance. Their economy was based on fossil fuels, which goes to show how reckless and primitive they were: far more similar to animals than to us humans. Little by little they poisoned the air, making life on the planet impossible for themselves and for many other species, some of which became extinct even before the hominids did. Once they were gone, Earth gradually repaired the damages it had suffered: habitability was restored relatively soon, and after a while we arrived.”
7.) If someone were to start writing, what advice would you give them and what obstacles did you face when you first started and how did you overcome them?
I think that there are many potential excellent authors that do not write out of shyness, or get paralyzed by a blank page. I believe that we all can tap into a great source of wisdom and creativity that is beyond us and over us, we just need to trust ourselves to access the source, plant the ideas as seeds in our minds, and be patient until they start developing. Sometimes I need to write a chapter at least 5 or 6 times in my head before I can start writing it. I found out that going for a walk in the woods or a swim is a great way to let your mind do its job.
8.) What helpful tips for marketing would you give to someone who has completed their first book that you have learned so far?
Hard to give advice here. Sometimes it’s a matter of luck, and hitting the right target by chance. Anyway, trust your potential, believe in what you did, and be prepared for (and impervious to) rejection from publishers or bad reviews from readers, because inevitably you’ll get plenty of both. As for specific channels, having strong social connections helps a lot, and being able to invest money in advertising helps somewhat. The bottom line is, don’t be afraid to invest energy in promoting your work, and believe in what you have created.
9.) Please provide any links to where someone can purchase your book, any personal blogs or websites for your book.
The book is available on Amazon in Italian, English, French, Spanish, and Portuguese. Soon I will add German and Indonesian. You can find links to the various version on my author page at https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B074QTWJ7Q
The Russian version is available on Smashwords (ebook only, for now) at https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/744936
I am still evaluating options for publishing the Arabic and Hebrew versions. It has a lot to do with properly rendering right-to-left text.
In any case, you can contact me via http://www.danielfrisano.com or http://www.translatorscafe.com/cafe/SendMessage.asp?M=Linguist&LID=51644, or else via the usual social networks.