ABOUT CARL ALVES
Carl went to Boston University majoring in Biomedical Engineering. Carl graduated with a BS degree, and has since worked in the pharmaceutical and medical devices industries. He later graduated from Lehigh University with an MBA degree.
His debut novel “Two For Eternity” was released in 2011 by Weaving Dreams Publishing. His novel “Blood Street” will be published by True Grit Publishing in November, 2012. His short fiction has appeared in various publications such as Sinister City, Alien Skin and Glassfire Anthology. He is a member of the Horror Writers Association and has attended the Penn Writers Conference.
You can visit his website at www.carlalves.com.
How has your upbringing influenced your writing?
I am a first generation American. Both of my parents were born and raised in Portugal. I have also traveled a good bit in my life and I think that has given me a bit broader view of the world. I think that’s reflected in my novel Two For Eternity, which takes place all over the globe. Having more of an outsider perspective has also shaped the way I view history and news reporting, having seen varying points of view.
When and why did you begin writing?
I began writing when I was in high school. I thought I was reasonably competent at writing since I had been writing for my school newspaper (looking back now the notion that my writing from that time was good is a bit laughable), and I had some story ideas I wanted to develop. I never really saw it as a career option. In college I majored in Biomedical Engineering and dropped the whole writing thing for a while.
When did you first know you could be a writer?
I think it took the process of writing an entire novel that did it. When I was younger, I had stopped and started, never having been able to see the process through to the end. When I restarted writing years later, I was more mature and had the ability to follow through on my objectives. When I typed The End at the end of my first novel, that was when I knew I could be a writer.
What genre are you most comfortable writing?
I don’t stick to one specific genre. I write what I like to write, which often is in the horror/thriller genre. My horror writing tends to be very action oriented as opposed to being creepy. I am also drawn to fantasy of all types. I gravitate towards the supernatural, which gives me more room to explore and be creative.
What made you want to be a writer?
I am an engineer by trade, and what I do in my day job tends not be especially creative or exciting. Writing allows me to explore my creative side and build a world of my own making. I enjoy all aspects of writing from coming up with a story idea, developing characters, working through the plot in my mind, creating realistic dialogue, and revising what I have written. To me being a writer isn’t work and would never be that even if it was my full time job. It is my passion, what I enjoy to do. I would write even if getting published was not an option.
What do you consider the most challenging about writing a novel, or about writing in general?
I think coming up with unique ideas for stories is the biggest challenge. There is so much that has been written that it’s not easy to come up with something that is going to standout, and have people want to read it. There has been a million vampire stories written, so how can you write one that stands out and has a unique quality to it. Having said that, I’ve never read another book that is quite like “Two For Eternity”. The concept of two immortals who live their lives, die and are reborn, and also have supernatural abilities is one that I think is fairly unique. It has action and adventure, drama, romance, fantasy, history, a little bit for everyone.
Did writing this book teach you anything and what was it?
“Two For Eternity” takes place over a period of over 12,000 years taking place in various time periods such as Ancient Egypt, the time of Christ in Judea, the Spanish Inquisition and World War 2. I had to do a massive amount of research in order to get the flavor and customs of the times as well as historical details to make the writing look and feel authentic. For each time period I did an extensive amount of research, and that part was challenging because I had never done anywhere near that level of research. I learned so much in the process, more than I ever learned in any history class I had ever taken. Hopefully the readers of “Two For Eternity” will be able to learn a little, as well as be entertained.
Do you intend to make writing a career?
Fortunately, I have a really good day job that compensates me quite well. I work as an engineer at a pharmaceutical company, and it’s a job that I enjoy doing. For me writing is a great diversion that I have a passion for.
Besides a full time job, I also have two small children which occupy much of my time. I write whenever I have the opportunity to do so. Having so little time in which to write forces me to focus and be productive. If I was a full time writer, I think my writing would be unfocused. I do my best work under pressure, so it works well for me. Not that I wouldn’t mind have an extra three or four hours at night to do some writing.
Have you developed a specific writing style?
I think my writing style tends to be very visually oriented. I’m not big into flowery prose, and I like to keep the story constantly moving. I think this visual style stems from the fact that I don’t do any outlining, and instead I am constantly playing out my story in my mind as if I were watching a movie. I choreograph scenes, especially action and fight scenes, in my head, which creates this visual style.
What is your greatest strength as a writer?
In terms of writing, I feel that I write great fight scenes. It’s what I love to write most. I try to make them as realistic and visceral as possible, even when they involve supernatural characters with supernatural abilities. I cringe when I watch a movie or a read a story with a fight scene and my reaction is either ‘this could never possibly happen’ or ‘this writer doesn’t have a clue about what an actual fight would look like.’ Two For Eternity gave me even more latitude because my two main characters are superhuman in many ways, and therefore are capable of doing some fantastic things.
ABOUT TWO FOR ETERNITY
From ancient Egypt and Babylon, through the time of Christ in Judea, spanning the Crusades, the Spanish Inquisition, and through World War II, Raiken and Vrag engage in inhuman battles of will. Vrag pulls the strings of malevolent leaders, and causes endless destruction and chaos. His immortal counterpart and enemy, Raiken, defends humanity and opposes him at every turn.
The stakes have never been higher, as Vrag sets his sights on the destruction of society. The twin brothers battle one last time to settle their score for eternity.