I very happy to start off this week’s Blog Ring of Power interview by introducing you to Cary Caffrey. I met Cary via science fiction author Heidi Ruby Miller, who introduced me to the Science Fiction Fantasy Saturday blog. After reading some snippets there from Cary’s novel, THE GIRLS FROM ALCYONE, I had to get it…and found it was even a better read than I expected!
Don’t miss the rest of Cary’s interview at:
- Part 2 @ Em – Friday, Oct. 26
- Part 3 @ Sandra – Monday, Oct. 29
- Part 4 @ Dean – Tuesday, Oct. 30
- Part 5 @ Terri– Wednesday, Oct. 31
CARY CAFFREY: I grew up reading vintage science fiction from the 60’s and 70’s, loving the works of Harry Harrison and Joe Haldeman, Ursula Le Guin, Andre Norton and, of course, Douglas Adams. I still think The Forever War may very well be the best Science Fiction novel ever written. If Ridley Scott ever gets off his can and makes this movie, we’re sure to be in for a real treat (favourite directer, meet favourite writer. Favourite writer meet… Well, you get the idea. Wild).
PART 1: ABOUT CARY
BRoP: When and why did you begin writing?
Cary: I wrote my first short story in 1984 (I was nineteen). I’ve always loved books and reading, and writing was something I’d always wanted to do. But my real reason for writing (okay, this is pretty silly) had more to do with my love of video games and my fascination with technology.
Back in the 80’s, I used to always go over to my good friend Andrew’s apartment to play Zork on his Apple II computer. For those too young to remember, Zork was an old-school text adventure – more like an interactive novel than a game.
It was about that time that my family bought their first computer – a hulking, mammoth-sized PC. Unfortunately, the only programs they had were some accounting programs and … a word-processor. So, with no adventure games to play, the only thing I could do on the computer (and I was determined to do something with it) was write my own adventures.
I spent that summer writing my first science-fiction adventure short story.
BRoP: Tell us about your early works—what was the first thing you ever wrote?
Cary: My earliest works were almost all stage-plays. I grew up in a theater-family. My first real job away from home was working as an assistant stage-manager. While I was in university, pretty much everything I wrote was for the stage – all comedies, pretty farcical stuff. I was also very lucky back then to have a few of them produced. You don’t get better feedback than watching your work performed on stage before a live audience. It was absolutely thrilling!
BRoP: When did you first consider yourself a professional writer?
Cary: In my second year of university I was frustrated by the projects being given to me: short stories, one-act plays, etc. I wanted to do something big. I persuaded an English teacher of mine, who was also a working stage and screen actor, to take on an independent studies project, my first feature-length screenplay.
After two semesters I’d banged out my first draft. With some help and some prodding from my professor, I submitted it to a production company as part of a script development program. They accepted it and purchased the option. The script was never made into a movie (it was bloody awful), but I had my first professional screenwriting credit (woo-hoo!), and a nice payday to boot. For a kid in university, that was pretty cool.
BRoP: What genre do you write?
Cary: These days it’s all about the Science-Fiction. I’m also working on an historical-fiction novel, but even that’s still pure science-fiction. That one’s proving to be really cool. I’m probably equally fanatical about history as I am about SciFi. Combining the two passions is too much fun. I’m very excited about it.
BRoP: If you couldn’t be an author, what would your ideal career be?
Cary: I don’t have much choice. I don’t think I’m wired for 9 to 5. I absolutely have to be working at something creative. If it’s not writing, it’s music. If not music, it’s graphic design. I also love photography. It’s do or die for me, boon or bust. These are the things I absolutely have to be doing (that, and role-playing video games. Argh!).
I have to say, I’ve been pretty lucky in life. My wife always accused me of having a horse-shoe hidden away (somewhere). Even when I put writing (temporarily) on hold back in the 90’s, I fell kind of ass-backwards into a career in the music industry.
So, if I couldn’t be an author…? (we don’t even want to think about that!).
BRoP: What format is your book(s) available in (print, e-book, audio book, etc.)?
Cary: Paperback and Kindle, both exclusively from Amazon
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/cary.caffrey
Goodreads author page: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13120464-the-girls-from-alcyone