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Carlo F. Sente

Interview with

Carlo F. Sente

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

In my school days, social media were called “letters”. Mine were always a bit more extensive… Some years later, I was sixteen, the French Embassy awarded my essay on Jean-Paul Sartre´s “Nausea” the first prize in a literary contest. This was a great surprise and definitely fused my interest in writing.

How long does it take you to write a book?

Part One of my trilogy Sword Shatterers took about three years. Now able to concentrate more on writing than before, and reusing scenes cut from Part One, I finished the second book in two years. It is presently undergoing thorough editing and should be ready for publishing in early 2023. A reasonable goal is two more years for Part Three.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?

You jot down a plot, a bunch of characters, give them a world and each one a developmental arc, and write… Somewhere down the middle of your new novel, lightning strikes and you swap or throw out characters, change their world and their destinies. Your book has taken over the reins, and the surprising and exciting news is, your characters have just come alive.

Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?

I haven´t heard many readers´ voices, yet, but now and then appears a new review or post on social media. I was thrilled when one sympathetic lady wrote: “Intriguing, full of emotion and anticipation, full of surprises, human and captivating. In short, quite wonderful. If anything ... I realized I had come to understand the temporal universality of the human heart.”

Does writing energize or exhaust you?

Writing, researching, rewriting a dozen (or a hundred) times, polishing editing… It´s a tough, time-consuming, and lonely work, especially when you have a family, an estate to manage, and many other interests! However, the grateful task of leaving something enriching for posterity is worth every minute spent at writing.

What is your writing Kryptonite?

I suffered no writing block, up to now. The only things that worry me is getting my history wrong and publishing a serious error, or unintentionally offending a reader.

Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?

I do not favor the commercial approach of only delivering what the readers want. My books belong to commercial literature, but with an original voice, and a literary touch offering opinions on different themes of life to my readers, which might not always be their own.

What authors did you dislike at first but grew into?

At what point do you think someone should call themselves a writer?

Anybody who writes and publishes is a writer. The future will filter those who will stay from those, whom the world will forget.

What do the words “writer’s block” mean to you? 

Are there therapeutic benefits to modeling a character after someone you know?

What comes first for you — the plot or the characters — and why?

I first choose a historical period and build a world. Then I outline the plot and the characters, at the same time, as both have to evolve and grow under the specific circumstances of their world.

How would you describe your book’s ideal reader?

How much research did you need to do for your book? 

Tell us more about your book/s?

My dear wife passed away in 2021, so I now live with my two sons and my dog, and surrounded by a horse family, on a historic estate called De La Fontaine in the southern German Eifel. Our inspiring region offers rolling hills, forests, rocky valleys, meandering rivers with green meadows, all dotted with tiny villages and ancient castles. It has seen five-thousand years of documented human habitation, yet kept its natural beauty and health, hopefully for many many more years to come…

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