© 2013 Clive Eaton
Dani J Caile is a teacher and proofreader currently residing in Budapest, Hungary. After a lifetime of reading clones and a decade of proofreading coffee table books, he has written 4 fantasy books, ‘Man by a tree’, ‘The Bethlehem Fiasco’, ‘The Rage of Atlantis’ and finally the fantastic 'Manna-X', all based on his own little neo-plantonic universe. For those who wish to experience Dani's writing, they can download 'TDX2' for free. When not writing, dabbling in Shakespeare, teaching English, proofreading, washing up, hoovering, and driving all over the place, he is busy with his loving and long-suffering family.
Book title: Manna-X
Brief Synopsis: God sends Graham Reader (aka the Grim Reaper), out on a mission to find Code 237-Manna-X, the Manna Machine after the Overlords warn him of an imminent (3000 year old) threat against the security of both the physical and non-physical realms. Will Graham find the fantastic yet deadly device before anyone or anything else does?
What do you do to relax when you are not writing?
Relax? At the moment there is no time to relax! Take every second as it comes, be impeccable. When my body seizes up or my mind explodes, then I'll relax…erm…well…okay, tai chi, hapkido, and lots of reading.
What, or who, inspired you to become a writer?
Clones. I wanted to read something new which wasn't a clone of a genre or a copy of a classic. I wanted to read something fresh, something entertaining yet had some meaning and purpose. There was a NaNoWrimo advert window somewhere and I clicked on it, and lo and behold, I was writing. When I was younger I'd always wanted to write but found that whatever I wrote was lame. The only thing that's changed now is that I can read what I write without going for a bucket.
What or who inspired you to write your current novel?
Two inspirations, 'Waiting for Godot' and 'The Master and Margarita'. Not that I'm saying that 'Manna-X' is anyway close to these two classics, all I'm saying is that they influenced the meaning under the craziness and silliness you can find in the book.
Tell us three interesting facts about your book which are not covered in the synopsis.
1) it tells you exactly what King Solomon considered treasures
2) it shows you why you should never jump off your roof to find out whether there is an afterlife or not
3) and that going through non-physicality portals can seriously damage your health
What research did you need to do for this book?
Tons. I had to read up about Moses, King Solomon, the manna machine, life back in 1200BC, how to spot an alien if you see one, and also why you shouldn't trust a hobgoblin with a tattoo needle.
Are any elements/characters of your book based on real life experiences or people you’ve met/known?
All of them. Of course, I haven't met God, but I've known a few people who think they are. All my characters are based loosely on myself or people I know. A part of 'literature' is to be as real as possible without it being real.
Tell us a little about your current work-in-progress.
Well, I've just finished 'Manna-X' and I'm expecting MASSIVE sales from that, at least sales I can count on BOTH hands. But I'm also involved in 'The Iron Writer Challenge', winning two challenges (11+15) (and also winning two of your caption competitions J). I'm 'Big Chief Editor' for creating a collection of the 500 word stories. I'm also thinking of making my own collection of short stories based on the Challenge's elements list.
What process did you adopt from inception through to the finished book?
There's a process? Sitting on the metro and writing down that first crazy idea that comes into my head, then watching it grow until that one idea becomes 50. A plot appears…and disappears…until one day it all comes together, and from a few thousand words scribbled down on a collection of old receipts and toilet paper, a book is born.
What do you need (or not need) around you whilst writing?
First I need mess, noise, and above all, confusion. I can't create ideas from 'nothing'. These things give me inspiration. Then after that I need 5 minutes on the computer in silence, then go and do my chores, then another 5 minutes, some more noise, etc. They say anybody can meditate on the top of a mountain. I can't.
What prompted you to self-publish your current book?
I personally know some editors. All they care about is profit and whether your books fit their expectations as to what the market needs. So I'm a self-publisher. If I was to be picked up by a 'real' publisher, with a little exposure, who knows what might happen? I'm not your usual clone.
What were the three biggest challenges you faced when writing your book?
1) When could I write it?
2) How could I write it (with only 2 fingers and half a brain cell left after writing 'Rage', my 3rd book)?
3) How was (am) I going to tell my wife I was writing (have written) yet another book?
Every author seems to suffer with writer’s block at some point. How do you overcome it?
Stop worrying about it. Live life and wait. An idea always pops up, maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow but soon, very soon…
What single piece of advice would you give to any aspiring writer?
Get a life. No, really. If you want to write, live life, forget about wanting to be a writer. If you were meant to write, you will, and enjoy the art. If you want to be a successful writer, well, I don't know the answer to that one. Still trying to work that one out.
What genre does your book fall into?
I guess it's comedy fantasy, they're all comedy fantasy. I keep getting readers telling me how similar my writing is to Douglas Adams, which can't be a bad thing. I just wished that some of HIS readers would find my books!
How did you get interested in this specific genre?
I tried to write seriously but I had to get a bucket. Then I realised that if I didn't take things seriously, it read a lot better. Much better. In fact, well, see for yourself.
You as a reader
Which three authors have inspired you the most, and why?
1) Ernest Hemingway - his 'sparseness' or 'iceberg' principle is fantastic, to give the reader just enough to entangle them into the story. No extra words, just the right amount.
2) Samuel Beckett - again, his writing has 'space' to allow the audience to imagine as they will. I completely believe in allowing the reader to use their own imagination while reading a book, and not be spoonfed.
3) Shakespeare - his writing is the finest form of entertainment there is. When I read Shakespeare, no matter whether a comedy or tragedy, I imagine the actors on stage, hamming it up for the laughs, throwing their lines out to chuckles and gurgles in the standing crowd. Shakespeare was the greatest.
What was your favourite book as a child?
A strange little book about a Russian mouse who could play the balalaika.
What is the best book you’ve read in the last 12 months?
'Crimson Yellow' by Aldous Huxley. It's fantastic. For a first book it's perfect, so funny.
What was the last book you recommended to a friend, and why did you think it was worthy of recommendation?
I think it was 'Journey to the Centre of the Earth', just because it was a fine example of classic literature.
Kindle (or other e-reader) or paperback, and why?
It would have to be paperback. Nothing beats an old smelly book in the hands, flicking through the pages, seeing that black ink on white or yellow paper.
Hollywood is calling
You’ve had the call from Hollywood and they want your opinion on who should play the leading roles in the film based upon your book. Who would you choose, and why?
I would have to choose Jason Statham first as Graham, as I would like to meet him. Not that he'd be impressed by me, I'd just like to meet him, shake his hand, tell him a joke, try to make him laugh. Al Pacino would have to be Satan, he's played the role so well so many times, and my Satan could expand on that.
The film of your book is now going to need a soundtrack. Which musician(s) would you want to write and play it?
If he was alive, Frank Zappa. Seeing as he isn't, Foo Fighters.
Drink – Dr Pepper
Meal – cigány pecsenye
Holiday destination – Lake Velence
TV programme – Lie to Me / The Sooty Show
Film – Silver Linings Playbook
Method of travel – Metro
Sport – Cricket (only Test matches)
How can people connect with you?
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