Name Fabio Scalini
Where are you from
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc
I have an odd education path: scientific high school, graduated in industrial design, but at the same time I studied 10 years of classical music in a “Conservatorio”. I’m a former classical musician, a former designer, a former a-lot-of-stuff.
I worked in many italian (and some european) orchestras when I was young. Later, I was a worker in a factory, a dock surveyor, a mailman, a 3D modeller. I always loved to work.
In the meantime, I wrote a lot. I started to write when I was 20’, during the long train journeys I made for reaching the orchestras. I quitted writing many times, but I always restarted. Working, playing and writing are my life since I was a teen.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
I’m out with my second novel, the Book Two of Mordraud. It’s the second volume of a fantasy saga that I began 13 years ago. I completed the saga in italian and now we are translating and publishing every volume one after another. I’m not the translator! It’s a professional translation. My english is very bad (sorry!). I presented the first volume at Comic-Con San Diego 2014. This year we presented again at SDCC the second one.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I started when I was 20’. I discovered that writing stuff on my notebook was a good way to manage the long train trips I used to do for work. I discovered in that moment, that I had many ideas that were sleeping inside me, older than I could imagine.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I’m not considering myself a writer right now. Writing is a continuous learning-mistaking process. Style changes so much. Even if one could reach success, the process is neverending. And it isn’t all. I could write well, but the audience changes and evolves every second. I can never be sure if someone may enjoy my stories. Writing is a challenge without a goal. If you define yourself as a writer, it means that you have decided to stop your growth and your research.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
I sincerely don’t know. Mordraud is my first story and it’s very long and complex. I started it when I was 20′ but the seeds of the story are much older. The name itself, Mordraud, was one of my childish obsession. Like an unknown man without a face and a past.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
I love to build brief, strong phrases. I try every time to clean all the useless toppings. I am not so good in environment descriptions, I think. I always find dialogues much easier. I want to be very close to the emotions of the characters.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
It’s simply the name of one of the main characters. My only goal is to describe their stories, and their dramas. Any other title would put the wrong flavour to the novels, and distract the readers.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Good question. Maybe, I hope that my readers manage to comprehend that my characters are more real that it could be imagined. And also, that my stories might hide a bigger, so much bigger scheme that will be clear only at the very end. I wrote the entire saga before publishing the first volume, so the story – for me – is over. No risk of unfinish the work. No risk of an eternal wait for an end.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?
I think my stories are very realistic. Ok, it’s a fantasy fiction, but it’s only the appearence. I talk of family dramas, difficult loves, death and hatred. No heroes, no rock-hard good and evil. Many readers pointed out that Mordraud’s life isn’t so different from their own experience. The only difference is the fantasy setting.
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Every time you write something, is always something of you. When you try to put someone other’s experience in a story, you are only putting your own remembrance of that. Writing is a personal matter. Even if you try to avoid that, you are only escaping from shadows, thus falling into even darker ones.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
I’m a huge fan of Jorge Luis Borges and Italo Calvino. Postmodernism shaped my mind in many ways. “Library of Babel” and “Le città invisibili” are right now my personal life goals regarding good writing.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Sci-Fi stuff. I love Sci-Fi, a lot more than fantasy. I’m reading “Roadside Picnic” and “Hard to be a God” of Arkady and Boris Strugatsky.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
I have to be sincere: no. I’ve no problem with new authors: I’m one of them! I don’t really have so much time to read right now…
Fiona: What are your current projects?
I’m working on the editing and “polishing” of the third and fourth book of Mordraud before publishing them. And I’m at the very beginning of a new story: I can’t tell anything about. It will be my next huge passion.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
My girlfriend. We are a couple and a teamwork since the very beginning of this crazy project. Almost 13 years.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
If my stories manage to reach success, well, probably. But like I said above, I can’t consider writing like a proper kind of work. It could end in every moment, even tomorrow.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
No, when something is done, is done. No regrets.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
Nothing peculiar. Only the boring of a train trip, and the surprise of finding out stories inside me that were only waiting to emerge.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Sadly, I can’t. Until I don’t speak of my new project, it’s only mine. It’s a beautiful sensation. I’m not ready to lose this mood.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Writing is a tough activity. When you can’t find inspiration, is orrible. When you are only in the middle, without seeing an end of the struggle, is orrible. Concluding a book is a powerful and cathartic experience.
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Like i said, I love Jorge Luis Borges and Italo Calvino. When I read their stories, I’m always overwhelmed by their ability to define a setting, a plot and beautiful messages in a few pages. You can find gorgeous sentences in their works. I love that.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
No, only in my dreaming.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
My girlfriend, and my best co-worker.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Finding the time. I usually work at night, or in the weekend. I need many hours to find the right mental mood. I’ve my methods to do that – for example, I need to find the right music. I write only with music around me. It’s not important the type: I don’t need hard sound for hard stuff. I need the right soundscape. When I can’t find the right sound, I usually create it by myself, digital-composing music that could be well-suited for the scene I have in mind.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
Writing is a great method to discover how many deviances and mess I have in my mind. And it’s a continuous process. Years pass, and I can’t reach an end of this. Thanks to writing, you learn a lot about yourself.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Maybe only one thing: if you want to begin to write, but you don’t know how, try to start by the end. Imagine the end, how you desire your last chapter, write it. It’s my technique when I can’t find the right beginning of a story.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Read through the lines! Mordraud is a long story, and it’s layered beyond the events of the plots. There’s something hidden. Like I love to say, “This is not a book of fantasy, but purely the description of a different world, hidden within a flash of your eyes”.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
I began to read at 4’. It was a terrible 80’s fantasy: the Lake of Blood, author I don’t know. There was a barbarian with an half naked girl near him. A lot of fake violence, and sex that at that time I didn’t figure it out. Loved that.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
I’m quite emotional. Music is very poweful on me. I can laugh and cry with a song in the right (or bad) moment. I have a lot of “key-song”, some of these are older than 20 years.
Fiona: Is there one person pass or present you would meet and why?
My grandfather that fought in the IIWW. It was an italian partisan. His nickname was “red devil”. Very cool: when i was young, I imagined him like a movie star. I never known him.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why ?
Wonderful question! Me and my girlfriend always joke about this. I want this phrase: “Visse nell’agio, morì a disagio”. In english it’s almost untranslatable. Like “lived in confort, died uncomfortable”. In italian is better, trust me.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?
No, I’ve no time for hobbies other than the writing. Sometimes I compose music. I love cooking pasta. Traditional italian way.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Last thing I saw was “True Detective”. What a masterpiece. But I haven’t TV in my home. Italian TV is so awful.
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
Food: well, I love pasta in many ways – I’m a good cook, I think. I’m quite a boss of traditional egg-based pastas like “tagliatelle” or “cappelletti” or “strozzapreti”. I live in Romagna, an italian region with a very strong tradition in pasta recipes. I inherited many of them from my grandmother. Here where I live, the “bolognese sauce” – what an horrible way to call that – is called “Ragù” and it’s kind of a ritual: 6-8 hours of very slow boiling, best quality beef and good red wine. Cooking relax me a lot.
Colors: I love every colors like I love black or white or grey. A complete rainbow is wonderful.
Music: There is so much music I love! From classical to industrial metal. It only depends on my mood. I have a quite extensive knowledge of music, as a listener and a performer too. One of the masterpieces that I can’t live without:
perfection in an unhuman scale.
In my novels I put a lot of music. Even the magical element is entirely based on music.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
Many other things, I suppose. Probably a worker somewhere. I try always to focus on the future.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
http://www.mordraud.com it’s the main website of my project, where you can find a lot of beautiful stuff like comics based on the saga of Mordraud, my musics, and also a short movie based on the events of the first book. The short reached the final stage at Comic-Con International Independent Film Festival 2014. Quite a goal for me.