I recently had the privilege of being interviewed by Judy Robinson of “Imagination Magazine”. Below is an excerpt from that conversation. The interview in its entirety will appear in June/July issue of the magazine, available on newsstands everywhere starting June, 6th 2015.
J.R. Congratulations on the publication of “Caitlin Star and the Rise of the Barbarians”.
J.C. Thank you. It is the most satisfied I have ever been with anything I have written. I always have said that I write books I want to read but nobody else has written them. So as a reader, this is my favorite James J. Caterino book.
J.R. I understand it is your tenth book?
J.C. Thank you and yes. Tenth published anyway. I figure I have about ten productive years left, so with any luck, I will be able to make it to twenty books before I expire.
J.R. Your legacy?
J.C. Something like that.
J.R. Ha ha well, I think you will be able to go on producing for as long as you want to do so. I just finished “Caitlin Star and the Rise of the Barbarians”.
J.C. And? Don’t leave me hanging now.
J.R. I enjoyed it. As a matter of fact, I loved it. There was something about this book—maybe it was the structure—that made it so light on its feet. And yet it still manages to retain the raw intensity of the previous two “Caitlin Star” entries.
J.C. Yes I do think part of it is structure. I really enjoyed doing the A/B parallel storylines setup. I also think, at least in my opinion, this book does a good job with the viewpoints. I was really happy with the voices of all the characters, especially the non-human ones such as Toby and Krell.
J.R. Yes, it really shows. Reading it I felt like I was in the hands of someone who knew exactly what was happening and was going to make sure I felt every second of the story in a very visceral way.
J.C. That is something I am conscious of during the writing process. What is the best way for me to get you into the scene and have you as the reader experience it the same way, and with the same intensity, as I do in my head.
J.R. Mission accomplished. You do that in all of your books. But that approach has drawn criticism as well. You have been accused of writing over the top and going too far.
J.C. Oh you bet I have. So be it. I would rather go too far than not far enough. Of course, the main objective is to just tell the story I want to tell. But if I am going to error, it will always be on the side of intensity. I would rather piss you off than bore you. It is better to be hated than to be ignored and ineffective.
J.R. That is a very Bull Mongoni like attitude.
J.R. I love how the Bull Mongoni philosophy fits in with Caitlin’s inherent love of animals and nature and her instinct to protect. What were the influences in creating her character?
J.C. A girl I once knew who was—like Caitlin—a formidable physical presence and an outstanding athlete. The Black Canary character from D.C. Comics, the strong female characters from James Cameron’s films, Kate Beckinsale from “Underworld”, and the comic strip character of Sheena.
J.R. I see a bit of all of those, especially Sheena in “The Rise of the Barbarians”. Caitlin is sort of a female Tarzan and Gunner a Conan. Do you see yourself as a modern day version of Edgar Rice Burroughs or Robert E. Howard?
J.C. That is a great way of putting it. They are huge influences on me as a writer, no doubt about that.
J.R. Is there a lot of you in the Gunner Star character?
J.C. Absolutely. He was constructed as my fictional alter ego way back in the original “Gunner Star” screenplay which eventually morphed into the novel published in 2004 that got everything rolling.
J.R. Speaking of screenplays, the “Caitlin Star” books are very cinematic, and in the right hands, will make for fantastic movies. Who would you like to see play Caitlin in the film franchise?
J.C. Blake Lively is my top choice right now. I have always loved her. I thought she had great acting chops, and she just proved it in “The Age of Adaline”, a wonderful film! Of course anyone who has seen “300: Rise of an Empire” knows that Eva Green would be a fantastic Caitlin. Rounding out my top three would be Olivia Wilde in her “Tron Legacy” mode with her hair blonde like it was in “The O.C.”
…to be continued…