Sunday, January 20, 2013

Author's feature: Linda Talbot on Dani J Caile: HEAVEN, HELL AND THE SEARCH FOR SATISFACTION

The first feature ever on this blog! Linda Talbot, fantasy author of Gift of Green Fire, a strange collection of short stories, and brand new Time Trance of the Gods (Book One), another collection of short stories based on ancient Greek Gods and mortals, was very kind to create this feature about me and my writing. It made me think about a few things...Hope you enjoy it :-)


Dani J Caile has a bustling and bizarre imagination. It erupts with a host of earthly and otherwordly beings that one would expect to collide with baffling incoherence.
But beneath the wayward events and a humour that moves from pertinent to playful pun, lie clear concerns for humanity.
His novella Too Dull to Die, a free Smashwords edition, relates the fate of Guido, who is returned to Earth after death for another go at living because he has experienced no passion, pathos or even memorable moments.
"Guido is based on myself," admits Caile, "but without the life."
Guido eventually confronts God and accuses him of not caring about humanity. But it transpires God has left man to his own ends. And when Guido queries the point of the bible, God points out HE did not write it. If he had there would have been more jokes.
Says Caile, "Just imagine if there was a God, because I think no one can prove or disprove that point, if he loved you, wouldn't he want you to grow and take responsibility for your own life, like a true father over his children? In my opinion, man is responsible for his actions, whether there is a God or not."
In his third book The Rage of Atlantis, he considered the obstacles people put in the way of fulfilment and personal responsibility and how people seek scapegoats to increase the influence and feed the desires of those in power.
His influences were diverse. He explains,"Rage stemmed from thoughts of 9/11, Hungarian politics, dolphins and the hatred found in Marilyn Manson's 'Holy Wood.'
"What can we do to live fulfilling lives? Change? People find it hard to change. All we can do is live as impeccably as possible, I guess."
Caile's characters comprise a motley community. As well as hapless man, there are curious creations from hobgoblins to dolphins who talk. And there are often elements of extremes; good and evil, heaven and hell.
"It's easier to write in extremes and easier for the reader to understand the message given," he says, "Of course life is not black and white, but very, very grey. Hubble can see colours but the universe only sees black and white, life or death. You can't plead with the universe for a second chance. It's black and white, like life. You either do something or you don't. "
In his book  The Bethlehem Fiasco, a man is alone in the desert looking for answers. Is the influence he may subsequently have over people, beneficial or  likely to lead to conflict?
Caile believes, "I think prophets are fantastic people. The Bethlehem Fiasco attacks the disciples, not Christ. Belief is a very good thing, it gives you a purpose. Religion is another matter - money, power, control over the masses. Christ, Buddha, were great men but what came after them was corruption and greed."
But, for all the obstacles and pitfalls, this author believes everyone can live a fulfilling life. "Find your real priorities, motives and desires. The goals may be large or small. For instance Grint, a hobgoblin in  Man by a Tree, my first book, thinks a fulfilling life is eating and sleeping."
How do Caile's characters emerge?
He claims, "All my characters and ideas come from my surroundings. Someone says or does something or my mind spots something 'not quite right' or suddenly sees something or someone in a different light. Characters become composites of people I have 'experienced.'"
When asked if he once believed in fairies, he replies wryly, "How can you not believe in fairies? I have two living in my home. They put sugar and sweetness in my life. Actually, it took me six months to realise that the background picture on my computer was changed to a fairy scene of flowers and mushrooms by my daughter. Besides, wouldn't the world be a better place with fairies? Now Leprechauns - you have to watch out for them!"
Caile was brought up in Cambridgeshire, England and now lives in Budapest. What will he write next?
"My next book is in connection with the Manna Machine, the mythical device which fed the Israelites for 40 years, but the story will be set in the present. I'm still working on the plot and characters but once that's done, give me two months and it'll be complete."
His fans will no doubt delight in more offbeat fantasy and food for thought.

Linda Talbot
Gift of Green Fire
Time Trance of the Gods (Book One)

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