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Interview With Mayra Calvani, Author Of Dark Lullaby

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Author Mayra Calvani lives in Belgium and has been writing since she was twelve years old. Calvani writes children’s book as well as adult fiction. Her most recent novel, Dark Lullaby, is a paranormal thriller. Calvani recently took time out from her busy schedule to answer a few questions:

Please describe your latest book in 15 words or fewer:

Dark Lullaby is about an astrophysicist facing a moral dilemma: does the end justify the means? A full blurb, excerpt, review quotes and the book trailer can be found on my website.

Where did the inspiration for this book come from?

I’ve always been very interested in moral dilemmas and in the concept of a higher good. For instance, is it okay for a man to steal in order to have money to save his little girl, who is dying? In the case of Dark Lullaby, I went a step further: is it okay for a man to kill for the higher good? As far as the location goes, I lived four years in Turkey, so this was a big influence. I was intrigued by the stories I heard there about the cin (jihnn), and by the fact that so many people believe in them. I was familiar with the setting, language and culture, so this was a big help. Besides that, I’ve always loved reading about astronomy and cosmology, so I really wanted my protagonist to be an astrophysicist. My brother happens to be an astrophysicist, so I was already familiar with the particulars of this profession. This is the first novel I write with a male protagonist, and I have to say it was very interesting getting inside the head of a man.

What do you want your readers to take away from this book?

A few hours of suspenseful, interesting and eerie entertainment.

Where do you like to write your books (in bed, a coffee shop, an office)?

I have an office, though since I bought a laptop earlier this year, I have been working on the dining room table, in the company of my golden retriever. I like to work in a quiet environment devoid of people and telephone calls. I need to be alone when I’m working on a book, though I usually love atmospheric music for inspiration. I love violin music, and also soundtracks from various movies. For instance, I wrote Dark Lullaby while listening to the soundtrack of The Village. I would just listen to it again and again; I can get obsessive like that and never get tired of the music. My desk is filled with Post-its, thesauruses, notebooks, etc. Not the most neat, organized desk. I try to keep a balance of chaos and order. If I really need inspiration, I’ll light a candle or even whole candelabra. I love candelabras! I also have my violin close by and when I get stuck, I play a little to get rid of writer’s block. Once in a while I drive off to a café to write — ironically, in this setting the noise doesn’t bother me; on the contrary, the change somehow energizes me and fuels my creativity.

What is your favorite book, and why?

Albert Camus’ The Stranger. Because it is very short yet very powerful.

What book are you currently reading?

Magdalena Ball’s Sleep Before Evening, which I will be reviewing soon. A beautifully written, dark portrait of a seventeen-year old drug addict.

What are you working on now?

I’m currently working on three different projects: editing and polishing my middle grade manuscript, preparing a proposal for Harper Collins, and trying to finish a paranormal novel already under contract with Zumaya Publications.

What one tip would you give to any of our readers who want to become writers?

Only one tip? Don’t allow anybody to get in the way of your dream.

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