05 October, 2014

#Interview :: J.Cafesin, #Author of Disconnected

Writing fiction is intoxicating,” author J. Cafesin said in a recent interview. “Fully engaging. Hot. Sexual. Physical. Mental. Spatial. Virtually touching real as I enter the scene, and I’m a million miles from solitude.”
J. Cafesin is a novelist of taut, edgy, modern fiction, filled with complex, compelling characters so real they’ll linger long after the read. Her debut novel, Reverb, has been called “riveting; compelling; an original and unique read,” by recent reviewers. Other works include her fantasy YA/NA short story series, Fractured Fairy Tales of the Twilight Zone—“5 Stars. Great read for YAs, and even some not-so-young adults.” Her second novel, Disconnected, called “unabashedly unafraid, completely honest writing,” released July 2014.
Her essays and articles are featured regularly in national publications. Many of the essays from her ongoing blog have been translated into multiple languages and distributed globally: http://jcafesin.blogspot.com
J. Cafesin lives on the eastern slope of the redwood laden Oakland Hills with her husband/best friend, two gorgeous, talented, spectacular kids, and a bratty, but cute Shepherd pound hound. Find her on FacebookTwitter, and Goodreads.
When did you first realize that you wanted to be a writer/ a storyteller?
No bolt of lightening, or seminal moment made me 'realized' I wanted to write. I've always been a storyteller. So is everyone else, really. We all make up tales, tweak reality to suit our needs. I just write them down.
How did you come up with the idea for your current story?
Reverb is reality—tweaked. It's about most men I know (or have met along the way)—into their own heads, their jobs, their toys, sports, whatever, but not so much into extending that devoted attention to their partner. James, the main character in Reverb, is a master musician, more into his career than the people in his life. To change this basic character flaw in him (and most men), he needed a seminal event to connect him outside himself. Reverb takes James on the ride of his life, the journey his evolution from solipsist to integrated awareness, awakening his ability to truly love.
What is your favorite scene in the book?
ONE SUMMER DAY on the patio of Elizabeth’s saltbox beach house with James, on the Greek island, Corfu...
...She meets him outside three minutes later. Long shadows from the short pines stretch across the deck. James sits on the bench, slouched against the house, crossed­legs stretched out in front of him. His arms are folded loosely across his stomach, hands lay against his sides. He squints against the blinding light of the setting sun. She lifts the camera and aims it at him. Click. He looks up at her. The insolent glare is back. Click. She doesn’t think she got it. Don’t check now. Keep the camera on him.
“Knock it off, ‘Lizbeth. Enough already.” He squints back at the sunset.
Click. “It’s not. I need to burn through a lot of shots to pull a few great ones. If I can’t dazzle with a subject like you honey, I shouldn’t pursue the arts.”
He laughs, to himself, shakes his head. “So, how will you know?”
Focus on his iris. Sharpen the forest green. More. There. Click. “Know what?”
“If you’re any good.” His question cuts, though she doesn’t think he meant it to.
She stops shooting, holds the camera to her side. “I have no idea.”
“Exactly. It’s subjective. You’ll never really know.” He looks at her. “That plagued me for the longest time. It’s part of what drove my obsession. Do yourself a favor ‘Liz. Don’t ask yourself if you’re good. And don’t expect to find out through other people. Ask yourself if you enjoy the process. If you do, if it engages you, excites you, sparks your imagination, then keep doing it.”
Once again she’s humbled by his insight. He’s right, of course. She smiles. “Thank you for today.”
He grins, nods. “Did you challenge yourself?”
“Did it excite you?”
“Did it ignite you?” His smile broadens.
“Do you crave it even now?”
“Yes.” She smiles, blushes, looks away. He’s right again. She does. She’s framing his face through the lens in her mind as they speak.
He studies her. Smiles, then laughs. So does she. He squints at the remains of the orange ball as it sinks into the sea. His tiger­eyes twinkle behind his long, dark lashes. Click.
Why is this your favorite scene in Reverb?
This question plagues me still. And I read this excerpt time and again to remind myself why I write, in those moments when pursing a writing career feels arduous.
What is your most interesting writing quirk?
I drink 10-­15 cups of black tea a day, between 8:00a.m. and 2:30p.m. while fine (fiction) writing, then switch to Diet Coke when I get the kids, until 5:00 when I go running. I live on caffeine.
What is the best piece of advice you have received, as a writer, till to date?
Ray Bradbury, the SciFi author, once told me to write because I love the process of writing. I'm lucky, or not, depending on how you look at things, that I can't resist twisting the reality at hand for the more engaging, satisfying scene I conjure in my head.
What is the best piece of advice you would give to someone that wants to get into writing?
Write! A LOT! The more you practice getting what is inside of your head out on the monitor, the better writer you'll become. Don't write to become famous. It's unlikely at best, no matter how good an author you are, unless your relatives work at Random House.
If you were to be stranded on the famous deserted island, what three things would you carry?
A Ham radio and a power source, as in batteries. And fresh water.
Can you share with us something off your bucket list?
To be read by millions, as I write to be read.
What do you have in store next for your readers?
The Power Trip, hopefully out beginning of summer next year. Four Stanford students implement an online game where players manipulate other students to do things unconsciously. 
Is there anything else you’d like to share with your readers?
My hope, my desire as an author is not only to entertain, but give readers something to consider, and characters to remember, long after the story ends.
James Whren is brilliant, beautiful, rich, and taken—with himself, or more precisely, his genius for creating music. Desired by many, committing to no one but his muse, on the eve of his brother’s funeral, his father inadvertently turns his life into a living nightmare, and James is left abandoned in hell with no one real to save him.
Until Elisabeth, and her son, Cameron.
Reverb is a love story, a psychological thriller paced with romantic suspense. Spun from The Magus (John Fowles), also about a man who learns to love someone other than himself, and way beyond 50 Shades of Gray (EL James), Reverb is told like Crime and Punishment–modern, clean, edgy, verging on sharp. Like nothing you’ve read, guaranteed.

Ever drink too much, eat too much, indulged in excess? Ever fall for someone you knew you shouldn’t?
Rachel was an artist, an obsessive, straddling the line of addiction. She sought what most women did—to be successful, married and in love, have healthy kids. It was hard enough attracting a man when she wasn’t heroin thin and perfectly chic like most L.A. women, sparkly but not too bright, as her mother insisted females need be. But in the 1990s, finding a man looking for an equal partner, wanting a woman beside him instead of behind him, seemed the impossible dream.
Then along came Lee…
Disconnected reads like a modern Jane Austen—taut, smart, historical lit chronicling the coming of age for the last of the baby boomers with the displacement of classic gender roles at the end of the 20th century. Rachel and Lee’s tumultuous relationship is reflected in the land of perpetual sunshine imploding with rapid growth, racial tension and violence. Disconnected is an L.A. story, an addicting contemporary romance, and like the city itself, embodies a very sharp edge.

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