Featured Author: Sergio Palumbo is an Italian public servant who graduated from law school working in the public real estate branch. He is also a co-editor, together with Michele Dutcher, of the new steampunk anthology, Steam-powered Dream Engines, published in March 2018 by Rogue Planet Press, an imprint of British Horrified Press. The first historical/horror screenplay written by him, titled “Tophet – An Ancient Evil,” completed in 2018, won an Honorable Mention Award at the 2018 International Horror Hotel Award script competition held in Richfield, Ohio. He has published a fantasy roleplaying illustrated manual, WarBlades. Some of his works and short stories have been published in Aphelion Webzine, Weirdyear, Quantum Muse, AntipodeanSF, Schlock!, SQ Mag, and in print inside thirty-five American horror/sci-fi/fantasy/steampunk anthologies, fifty-eight British horror/sci-fi anthologies, two Canadian urban fantasy/horror anthologies, and two Australian sci-fi anthologies by various publishers, with twenty-four more to follow in 2018/2019. He is also a scale modeler who likes mostly science fiction and real space models. Some of his little dioramas have been shown in some Italian (scale model) magazines like Soldatini International, Model Time, Tutto Soldatini, and online sites such as Starship Modeler, MechaModelComp, and others. Some sci-fi/fantasy/horror short stories by him in Italian have been published on Alpha Aleph, Alpha Aleph Extra, Algenib, Oltre il Futuro, Nugae 2.0, SogniHorror, La Zona Morta, edizioni Lo Scudo, Antologia Robot ITA 0.1, Antologia Il Segreto dell’Universo, Antologia E-Heroes, etc.
All of Sergio’s short stories are initially edited by Michele Dutcher, a/k/a Bottomdweller, who lives in a carriage house in Old Louisville, Kentucky, with her border collie, Daisy Dukes. She has a BS degree in elementary education from Indiana University with minors in theology and sociology and has been writing science fiction stories for about a decade.
Featured Author: Sergio Palumbo Interview
- How long have you been writing?
- What/who inspired you to be a writer?
- What genre do you prefer to write in?
- Describe your writing process. What comes first–character or plot? Do you “pants” it or outline?
- What is your daily routine as a writer?
- Are there any software tools, resources, or websites you use often while writing?
- What are some of your biggest challenges you feel like you have to overcome in your writing career?
- Do you have a set number of words each day or a goal?
- How much time is spent on “the business of writing” – queries, seeking an agent or publisher, marketing/sales?
- Do you prefer short stories or full-length novels in your writing?
- Can you give some us some insight into your story?
- What advice can you give other writers?
LHP: How long have you been writing?
Sergio Palumbo: Since the 90s, but at that time I only wrote in Italian…Now I prefer to directly write in American English.
LHP: What/who inspired you to be a writer?
Sergio Palumbo: The first authors I read in the above mentioned fields were A. Van Vogt, Heinlein, S. King, Lovecraft, E.A. Poe, and, well, that one named…Tolkien (of course!!!). And I never stopped reading them…eh,eh
LHP: What genre do you prefer to write in?
Sergio Palumbo: I usually, and only, write in the Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror genre, Steampunk/Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Erotica and Mystery Crime included, but no mainstream, ever…
LHP: Describe your writing process. What comes first–character or plot? Do you “pants” it or outline?
Sergio Palumbo: I commonly start writing about a setting – like a Desert Moon, an alien world full of ice, etc. – or a situation – like a man who had to go through a fabled, or ill/reputed, misty harbor, for example – and then the character/characters to be included, or to write about, come into play, and to my mind…But, at times, it is just the opposite, it depends, in a way…
LHP: What is your daily/weekly routine as a writer?
Sergio Palumbo: I usually write about 3 or 4 short-stories per month, plus one or two Flash Fiction for an online American magazine and webzine I am a member of (Aphelion…). For writing a full screenplay/script, it takes me about six/eight months, because this is a long, and very boring task, with a lot of rules to be followed, I mean about the camera shots to be made, the proper terms to be used, the point of view, the setting and so on…though I have completed only one script so far…
LHP: Are there any software tools, resources, or websites you use often while writing?
Sergio Palumbo: I have thousands of books at home, that I use as reference in the fields of History, Science, Literature and so on, mainly thanks to my parents that were a teacher(mother) and an engineer (father) and bought many texts. Then come into play all my books and manuals about my studies at Law School (though these are only useful when I work in the office as a public servant, of course…). Other than that, I make a great use of internet, and I really read a lot all day long, when I am not at work or am not watching some movies and TV series/attending sessions of RolePlaying Games or Wargames/Boardgames at my Club, if I am not just busy making scale models….
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LHP: What are some of your biggest challenges you feel like you have to overcome in your writing career?
Sergio Palumbo: I have really too many interests…and it is not always easy to find the time to follow all of them during a single week…
LHP: Do you have a set number of words per day you target? or do you set other goals to meet?
Sergio Palumbo: It depends…some Flash Stories are done in a matter of hours, and other longer stories require a whole week, though once I wrote a novelette within a day, because I really liked the setting and the events depicted there…
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LHP: How much time is spent on “the business of writing” – queries, seeking an agent or publisher, marketing/sales?
Sergio Palumbo: Well, once the story is done, I send it to Michele DUTCHER. She is a very kind American friend of mine who lives in Kentucky and always edits all the first draft by me. Then, finding a market is easy, especially by internet, though the replies I get, from time to time, are very different, and strange. It is really unbelievable to read some replies by mail that say, about the same story I sent, that this was the worst thing they ever read, or the most beautiful, and unusual tale they stumbled into…different heads, different opinions…In Italy we say, more or less, Two Italians, Three different opinions, and Four different political parties…eh,eh
LHP: Do you prefer short stories or full length novels in your writing?
Sergio Palumbo: So far I have only written down about 300 short-stories published in more than 100 Anthologies, a few novelette and one screeplay/script…A Fantasy novel is just a project so far, it would take too long, at least given my present situation and too many interests being on the way. Maybe one day I will put all of me in it, but not today…
LHP: Can you give some us some insight into your story?
Sergio Palumbo: I wanted to write about a sort of bloody crime story, but I knew I had to put something more in it. Anyway, it is a sort of different viewpoints for the female main character depicted, from the past and her youth to present times, as the story develops…but there are also a few things that woman still couldn’t know…
LHP: What advice can you give other writers?
Sergio Palumbo: Always write down, on computer, on tablet or on paper, all the good ideas that come to your mind. They can become handy later, or be improved in the following days!!! I am full of small papers filled with ideas of any sort, some days I have the time to put them on files and refine them, at times I simply do not…it is in my To-Do-List anyway…eh,eh
Sergio Palumbo authored “Toy Doll from Her Youth” for Terrors Unimagined on sale now.
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