Hello and welcome to my blog, Author Interviews. My name is Fiona Mcvie.
Let’s get you introduced to everyone, shall we? Tell us your name. What is your age?
Emmanuel J. Bancesco. My author’s name is E. J. Bancesco. I’ll be 66 years old on June 1st.
Fiona: Where are you from?
Born in Bucharest, Romania.
Fiona: A little about your self (i.e., your education, family life, etc.).
I’m an architect by profession with a degree earned in Bucharest in 1975. I immigrated to the States in 1983. I studied Advanced Painting at the SMFA in Boston, from 1998 to 2003. I am married, and have one daughter who lives in South Africa where she does NGO ( humanitarian work).
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
These days, my news spring mostly from my work as an architect; the company I’ve been with since 2005 has offices all over the world and most of my projects are, and have been abroad: Spain, UK, China(lots of China), The Middle East and most recently Mexico City.
Literarily, eight months after the publication of my two novels I am at long last getting into a healthy rhythm of promoting and marketing my work as a writer. It’s a huge tedium; thankless work for which Inaturally lack the patience. However, on 17 May a new review of my first novel, Adrift, will be published on major social media venues from a highly reputable source. Reason to smile and hope.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
It came from reading. Everyone will recognize the truth in that. I loved books very early. In Romania of the sixties and seventies one source of fun was passing around banned publications, including books by contemporary western and dissident writers, but one could find true joy in the European classics which were available in more than honorable translations. This, I could realize much later, of course, when I got my hands on War and Peace, The Master and Margarita and especially Wuthering Heights(and there were many others). So yes, books inspired me to write, and I suppose they fed my visceral urging to tell stories of my own. I was eighteen when I started writing.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
The notion was preposterous to me for a long time, but once one of my manuscripts was awarded a contract, and shortly after the other one as well, I began flirting with it, with the idea that I am a writer. However, I don’t accept I am one. I can’t. Storyteller is more likely, or if you will, an author—the author of two novels. For writing is supposed to fill one’s figurative space; it’s supposed to leave little room for anything else. And I am not there. Not yet, anyway.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
Adrift. That’s the first one. It’s a bildungsroman—a story about the trials and tribulations of developing spiritually and emotionally, and for me, as someone once said, by the age of sixteen I had enough raw material for a novel. So to answer, I began writing from inside the memories of my golden boyhood.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
It was a sentence I wrote in the novel’s overview that decided the title for me: … …and it is the novel’s objective to invite reflection upon the transient and biased nature of memory and to propose that life’s major decisions mustn’t be influenced by longings and regrets, lest we become adrift—and lost—on a sea of illusions.
The sentence is ok I suppose, but the title, I don’t like at all. It was a misfire.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
I listen to the language and respond to what I hear as music. Also, since I’ve been drawing and painting since forever and therefore am a visual bloke—I tend to draw and paint with words.
As for the challenges, sure, literary fiction demands a profound understanding of the society within which one’s story unfurls, and so, if one doesn’t know how to treat social issues or to examine the human condition with a modicum of useful philosophy, one will fail miserably and should be better off keeping one’s day job.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Some events are fictionalized and dramatized in the most liberal of fashions, but the emotions were shamelessly stolen from real people—myself included.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
Travel is one of the two best ways to learn, to develop as a human being. The other is of course, reading.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
The artwork for the first novel is my own drawing. The cover design was mainly the work of my editor’s team from All Things That Matter Press.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Many, but for nowI will revert to the sentence I quoted from the overview of Adrift:… and it is the novel’s objective to invite reflection upon the transient and biased nature of memory and to propose that life’s major decisions mustn’t be influenced by longings and regrets, lest we become adrift—and lost—on a sea of illusions.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest? Who is your favorite writer, and what is it about their work that really strikes you?
Writers I admired in recent years are Kazuo Ishiguro, Amanda Coplin, Donna Tartt, and many others. I wince for not mentioning more of them.
My favorite writer—this is another difficult one, but for the sake of moving I’ll name one—is Tolstoy, for embodying the spirit of a nation, for being keenly conscientious of it, and yet, for remaining a thinker of universaland timeless breath. Scott Fitzgerald reminds me of him, not for the style, of course, but for the sheer of freedom of prejudice with which he observes the world.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
A friend who was also a work colleague for some years. Her name is Susan. She was my first reader. I was amazed with the generous attention she gave to successive drafts of my first manuscript. Making corrections, giving me developmental advice, wanting me to succeed.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
These days I am trying to promote what I’ve written so far. If it works, then yes, I will dare look toward the horizon.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
The Scarf. That’s my latest. I would be even more economical with words. I would think longer on each of them, and strive to find the shortest possible paths to the maximum of meaning.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
Yes. Economy, like I just said, and intricacy. Intricacy of the plot. I actually believe that for adults, a story must be complex, multilayered, but told as simply as possible. An old French writer said something like that once—I forget who; I thought he was spot on. He wrote romans policiers—detective stories.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
Adrift spans several decades so the main character would be represented by a boy, an adolescent, and a fifty-year-old man. I were to name the lead as an adult, I’d say Vigo Mortensen or Rupert Penry-Jones.For The Scarf I would think of Logan Lerman.
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
One – Build up interest in your name as an author before you get published.
Two – Write a biography for every character in your story. Invest each character with a burning desire for something.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
For all the media flooding us with information and stories, reading remains the absolute best way of self-development. Reading, and none other. So read.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
The Poldark novels byWinston Graham.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
No. But Wuthering Heights was the first book that made me cry—I was but a boy.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Words make me laugh; conversations between people who don’t understand each other’s words or language.
I get misty eyes from music. Despair and loss make me cry.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
Eleanor of Aquitaine, to see for myself what was it about her that enthralled an entire medieval Europe.
Maybe Joan of Arc, too.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
I like stamps. I miss skiing and fishing.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
For TV, BBC Masterpiece Theater, Game of Thrones, Big Little Lies.
For films, everything that is exceptionally made. Mostly movies based on great novels.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
French food, blue, baroque, jazz, some electronica.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
My name, spelled correctly.
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
My website is http://www.ebancesco.com/
I am concerned that a blog might take too much time to keep going, for I am employed and often travel to say nothing about long office hours. Besides, I don’t really know how to make one. I need help to create it and to keep it alive.