Jen: Today we welcome C.Q. Scafidi to Book Talk. C.Q., will you please share a short bio with us?
C.Q.: C Q Scafidi currently resides in the New Orleans area. His lifelong pursuits in international business, transportation, journalism and communications have provided him with a wealth of information to craft this novel, where arcane ritual enables global domination for a select few.
A short synopsis of my novel…New Orleans, June 1997. The city’s dying of heat and dying on its feet as the port business shrinks and the powers that be carve up a vanishing pie. Steve Gorman, an executive for the APEX courier corporation, sees his colleague Andrew Sinclair disappear, carrying a high-value package containing a stone with miraculous powers… Steve gets the blame, quits APEX and loses his place on the city’s Trade Council. Suddenly he’s a “non-person”, but with the aid of glamorous Creole journalist Monique Chauvin and fey historian Louis Duplantier, he unearths an astonishing conspiracy involving time travel, the Templars, Freemasonry and Voodoo. If this “Brotherhood” can forecast events like Hurricane Katrina, millions of dollars could be saved-for the elect few, of course. C Q Scafidi’s murder story is in fact a stunning expos‚ of globalism, greed and ritualized gangsterism. His background in journalism and business at the World Trade Center give him a unique insight into the workings of mankind… and how human nature can be corrupted overnight by the allure of power. Read Time Couriers and you’ll see world events in an entirely different light.
Jen: At what age did you discover writing and when were you first published? Tell us your call story.
C.Q.: I was awarded a first-place prize from the American Legion for an essay I wrote in the 3rd grade entitled, What Freedom Means to Me. I sailed through my English classes while I struggled with Mathematics. I was first published as a publicist for Oil Mop, Inc. during the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill when, my press release regarding the cleanup operations was picked up by the Associated Press. I have served as a journalist for several publications and editor for an official NFL Weekly Publication, Gridweek. I made the leap to fiction writing in 2004. I had to place my writing career on hold during Hurricane Katrina for nine months. I then had to find a way to work the biggest news story concerning New Orleans into my story about New Orleans…it made a very nice fit.
Jen: Are there any other writers, published or not, in your family?
C.Q.: My mother is an unpublished writer and bibliophile who can quote obscure Oscar Wilde references.
Jen: How does your family feel about your career?
C.Q.: They are extremely supportive and provide much-needed constructive criticism, when others are not available.
Jen: Describe your writing in three words.
C.Q.: Historical, Suspenseful, Conspiratorial
Jen: How do you approach your writing? Do you plot or go with the flow?
C.Q.: I am extremely organized about my approach. I write in three acts. I typically use Third-Person Omniscient (God s view according to Alfred Hitchcock). I begin with plot concepts, characterizations (primary, secondary, and tertiary), a synopsis, and then an outline. After completing the outline I flesh it out, making each line item into a paragraph. These are the bases for my chapters.
I fully develop plot complications, conflict, and theme. I ensure every question posed in the first chapters are answered by the final line of the novel. I will also use a flow chart for my characters showing links and indicating characterizations.
Jen: What kind of research did you do for this book?
C.Q.: I spent four years conducting research for this novel. The City of New Orleans has a vast array of resources for conducting research on the 300-year shadow history of the city. I actually included a chapter where I describe my research at the Historic New Orleans Collection, through the actions of the main character.
Jen: Do you feel as if the characters live with you as you write? Do they haunt your dreams?
C.Q.: Absolultely. I feel as if I am taking dictation rather than writing when I get in the zone.
Jen: If Time Couriers was made into a movie, which actors would you choose to play the hero and heroine?
C.Q.: Hero: Steve Gorman- Shia LeBeouf; Heroine: Monique Chauvin – Marion Cotillard
Jen: What s the most interesting comment you have received about your books?
C.Q.: The story stuck in my mind for days after finishing it.
Jen: Who are some of your favorite authors and books? What are you reading now?
C.Q.: Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte…the finest example of the novel as an artform.
Currently reading The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton
I enjoy the female-penned classics. I also love historical fiction, in the vein of Dan Brown. I realize that these are opposite ends of the literary spectrum, but that’s what I like.
Jen: What’s next for you?
C.Q.: Osir IS RA EL ohim, a narrative that delineates the direct connection between Abrahamic religions (Judeo-Christianity and Islam) with Egyptian Pharonic Religion. Like Time Couriers it will be a fictional narrative set against the backdrop of Western Religious dogmatic evolution.
Jen: Where can you be found on the web?
C.Q.: Time Couriers was the recent recipient of two awards, Amazonclicks Authors Choice Award for March of 2009… http://amazonclicks.com/Authorschoice.html. Also, Time Couriers was the recipient of The NEW Covey Coverart Award for Most Eye-Catching Cover for June of 2009.
I am also a featured writer on the Red Room, Authors Den, and have links on various social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, and The Meadows. There are several other purchasing sites available by searching Title and Author together in your search criteria.
Jen: Is there anything you d like to ask our readers?
C.Q.: If you have the time, would you kindly befriend me on Facebook, Christopher Quintin Scafidi?
Jen: Thank you C.Q. for being a guest with us today. Readers, we have a signed copy of Time Couriers up for grabs. To enter the drawing, leave a comment for C.Q. To finish your entry, either leave your email address in your comment or send a message to email@example.com. The contest will end on Thursday, October 8.