Interview With Author Lenny Cavallaro
Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
My first novel was TROJAN DIALOGUES: THE MEMOIRS OF DIOMEDES. This was followed by a novella, THE GREATEST CHAMPION WHO NEVER WAS. Both were later re-released in digital format on Kindle.
I have a couple of co-authored nonfiction credits as well. SUPERSTITION AND SABOTAGE presents Viktor Korchnoi’s account of his 1978 match for the world chess championship as well as an update written after the grandmaster’s demise. SOLVED: THE MYSTERY OF THE GENERAL ARNOLD was the first book to “solve” the riddle concerning that ill-fated Revolutionary War vessel.
I hope to get a publisher for TWO OEDIPAL PLAYS. These include a one-act HAMLET (with a very strange twist at the end) and the conjectural “completion” of ODYSSEUS ACANTHOPLEX, a “lost” drama by Sophocles. [Only thirteen lines remain, but we know the source material on which the famous Greek tragedian based his story.]
I am also a concert pianist and composer. Eleven volumes of my music have been published, along with another conjectural “completion,” this one to Bach’s unfinished masterpiece, THE ART OF THE FUGUE.
Otherwise: I practiced hypnosis and reiki professionally for many years. I have also boxed, competed in chess tournaments, refereed futsal (a form of indoor soccer), and run marathons.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
My series, THE PASSION OF ELENA BIANCHI is completed, although only the prequel (“CURSED LOVE”) and first two volumes (IF MUSIC BE THE FOOD OF LOVE and PARADISE REGAINED AND LOST AGAIN) have been published (all in 2022). The death of the publisher and demise of her company (White Bird Publications) leave things “up in the air” at the moment.
What inspired it? After my father’s death, I discovered a beautiful song he had composed. I also spent time along the magnificent Amalfi Coast in southern Italy. I was introduced to “soul fractions” and wanted to present this esoteric concept of reincarnation in a work of fiction. I believe that “literature” and “pornography” need not be mutually exclusive, and I wanted to discuss REAL sadomasochism and other kinks (as opposed to the sanitized presentations in FIFTY SHADES). Finally, I have been profoundly moved by the music of Beethoven ever since my childhood. THE PASSION is a love story with classical music, kinky sex, the Holocaust, the Mafia, the pscyhic/occult, “soul fractions,” and a 2,000-year-old curse!
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I tend to slip into trance and let the story evolve. I am often quite surprised by what emerges!
Much of my music has come to me in dreams. Similarly, some of my literary ideas, lines, and passages have been “dictated” to me through my subconscious mind.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
Many, including: Mark Twain (THE MYSTERIOUS STRANGER), Kurt Vonnegut (CAT’S CRADLE et al.), the Marquis de Sade (JULIETTE), Robert Graves (I, CLAUDIUS), David Lindsay (A VOYAGE TO ARCTURUS), Shakespeare (HAMLET, KING LEAR, MACBETH), Sophocles (OEDIPUS THE KING), Euripides (MEDEA), Robert Frost (almost all his poetry!), and T. S. Eliot (“The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” — my favorite poem).
What are you working on now?
I would like to see the rest of THE PASSION published, but I may have to self-publish.
Later in 2022, Fomite Press will release PAGANINI AGITATO, a novel by Ann Abelson “edited and revised” by me), and Russell Enterprises will publish SHERLOCK HOLMES AND THE MYSTERIES OF THE CHESS WORLD.
I am writing a novel that involves an “ibbur,” drawn from the Jewish belief in possession by a spirit. An “ibbur” is a benevolent spirit, unlike the better-known “dybbuk.”
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
I am frightfully new and ignorant about self-promotion, so I am still looking for the answer. Who knows? Perhaps Awesome Gang will help!
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Get used to disappointment and discouragement, but don’t let the external factors deflect you. The value of your creativity is not quantified financially, and many artistic giants labored in relative obscurity during their lifetimes.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
It came from a Zen master, and it is echoed by Serena, the psychic healer in THE PASSION OF ELENA BIANCHI: << When bad things happen, we should be grateful. When people hurt us, we should always express gratitude, for only the pain they give us can bring those parts of the karmic cycle to a close. >>
What are you reading now?
THE HOUSE OF THE SPIRITS (Isabel Allende).
What’s next for you as a writer?
Completion of the ibbur project, although I am actually more focused on getting the remaining volumes of THE PASSION… published or self-published — and marketed!
If you were going to be stranded on a desert island and allowed to take 3 or 4 books with you what books would you bring?
I would make a last-minute decision and draw from some of the titles that have influenced me!
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