To amp up for the release of our very first short story collection, Reading Glasses, we’ve sent Steampunk Granny Marie Gilbert out to interview our contributors.
Marie Gilbert is a ghost-hunting, zombie-fighting, steampunk comic book superhero in disguise as a grandma from South Philadelphia. She blogs about television and film for Biff Bam Pop and Go Jane News, and served as co-editor of Tall Tales and Short Stories from South Jersey. Her book Roof Oasis, an the first in a series of apocalyptic tales with a twist, now available. You can read more about her adventures at her not-so-top-secret online HQ, Gilbert Curiosities.
Our first interview is with Bruce Capoferri, author of “The Malocchio,” an original fairy tale based on the legends of “the evil eye.”
Marie Gilbert: What got you started in writing? What was your inspiration to take pen to paper? What authors inspire you?
Bruce Capoferri: I have always been a story teller. But I have to credit Miss Shepherd, my eighth grade English teacher, for recognizing it and encouraging me. I wrote a short story entitled “The Paradise Lost Affair” that she edited and submitted to a teacher’s magazine and got published. I wish I had gotten a copy of it, because it was the first time I was recognized for having some talent. I must also blame – I mean, thank – my fantastic coach and brother-in-law, Glenn Walker, for coaxing me into putting my stories down on paper and submitting them to magazines. My wonderful wife, Barbara, introduced me to HP Lovecraft, Phillip K Dick and a host of other fantasy and science fiction writers. Barbara is a children’s librarian and constantly supplies me with a wide variety of fodder for my imagination.
MG: What type of stories do you enjoy writing?
BC: The first few stories I got published were autobiographical. I truly enjoy documenting my slightly askew memories of growing up next to my Italian grandparents in Elm, NJ. But fantasy and science fiction is right up there as well. I guess it’s because I can make my characters say and do whatever my devious mind dreams up. I am in the process of finishing the last few chapters of my first novel, and I’m enjoying wreaking mayhem and chaos so much I’m having difficulty reaching the conclusion.
MG: Where did you get the inspiration for this story?
BC: The inspiration for ‘The Malocchio’ sprang from the Italian belief that someone can impart bad luck upon a rival or enemy with a malevolent glance. Over the years I have also heard this curse referred to as ‘The Maloiks’ or ‘The Maloikies’. But, no matter how you may pronounce it, my story takes this old world superstition to a more deadly level.
MG: You mentioned that you are working on a novel. Could you tell us a little about that?
BC: “The Children of God and Men” sprang from a conversation I had with my cousin, Sandy Core, at a family reunion. She mentioned that a short story I had written, titled “Hitching a Ride on Borrowed Time,” reminded her of an excerpt from the book of Genesis in the Bible. It portends that Angels (known as The Watchers) were sent to Earth by God to supervise the development of man-kind. But finding the women of men attractive, the Angels took as many of the women as they wanted for wives resulting in the births of giants and men of renown (also known as Nephilim). In my research I discovered the banned ‘Book of Enoch’ and then really became intrigued. The book allows me the opportunity to explore comparative religions and how world-wide myths and legends have shaped multi-cultural beliefs. If you enjoy reading stories about conspiracy theories, ancient alien influences and Native American prophecy mixed with apocalyptic action, you will love my book. By the way, did I mention it is also a dark comedy?
MG: Thank you Bruce for doing this interview.
BC: Thanks to everyone at South Jersey Writer’s Group and Hypothetical Press for publishing my first story, and making my dream a reality.
Read more about Bruce here. And don’t forget to pick up a copy of Reading Glasses: Stories Through an Unpredictable Lens on September 24, 2014!