Today The Flipside is featuring an interview with author John Mc Caffrey, who’s recently seen the release of his debut novella Nora’s Wish.
Thank you for taking the time to answer these questions John. Tell me, what does your significant other and family think of your writing career?
My wife Karen, has been supportive from the beginning. She takes a very active role in my writing, proofreading, and offering editing advice when I’ve completed a manuscript. If not for her, Nora’s Wish may never have been published. After completing it, I felt it was a bit too far outside my usual genre, but she encouraged (okay, encouraged is a bit too soft, she demanded) that I submit it.
Do you have critique partners or beta readers?
I’m fortunate to have a wonderful proof reader in my wife Karen. I’ve never really needed more than her attention to detail.
What one word best describes you?
Non-conformist. I’ve always followed my own path, whatever that may be. I’m not easily swayed by the traditional values of society. I hate television, find sports boring, have tattoos covering both arms, and ride my Harley to the Opera. I pretty much do what I like, regardless of what other people might think.
Is there a writer you idolize? If so who?
If I had to choose only one (and there are many) I would have to say Tolkien. The immense imagination required to create Middle Earth and all its lore still amazes me. I’m also a fan of King, Koontz, Matheson and Herbert.
Entice us, what future projects are you considering?
I have taken a break from writing short stories and am concentrating on larger manuscripts. I am currently working on a supernatural horror thriller that I hope to complete by spring, and have a fantasy partially outlined to begin once the current manuscript is finished. I was asked to collaborate on an anthology of horror stories next year which I’m still considering due to time constraints. It would be fun, but I’m uncertain if I can commit to it as of yet.
What are you passionate about these days?
Passion is the province of the young. I’ll settle for moderate dedication these days. However, on the days I can find enough energy and time, I’m passionate about my writing. I’m always looking for ways to improve it, and I find ways in the most unlikely of places: from observing people, to watching a movie or even quiet meditation. Writing is like playing a musical instrument, it requires years of practice.
Who is your favourite character in Nora’s Wish?
Ben, without question; his bitterness and cynicism barely hides the warmth that still exists in his heart. In the face of the tragedies of his life, he still holds on to his sarcastic humor. Nora sees through his façade, and not so much enables him to be the man he used to be, but to become the man he was always meant to be.
What was the hardest part of writing Nora’s Wish?
Besides finishing it? I would have to say exploring the loneliness that exists within older people. Not all, granted, but with many, far more than I realized before I began writing it. I dropped by a few retirement facilities while I was writing Nora’s Wish to get a feel for where Ben and Nora lived, and the sadness was obvious in the many faces I saw there. I didn’t know any of those people, but I hoped they weren’t forgotten the way Ben and Nora were in Nora’s Wish.
If you could tell readers one thing about Nora’s Wish that you think would interest them in reading it, what would it be?
That love can be found even when you’re certain it no longer exists, and that the greater part of magic is nothing more than the human spirit.
Using 10 words or less, tell me about Nora’s Wish.
Nora’s Wish is the story of two wasted lives saved.
Thank you John. Here’s some information about Nora’s Wish…
Ben Jameson is a bitter retiree residing at Willow Manor, a home for the aged or those in need of care, and has nothing more to do than await the inevitable conclusion of a life wasted. Forgotten by his family, his days are marked by the solitary existence of books, loneliness, and regret.
A chance meeting with a terminally ill resident named Nora, and her unshakeable optimism in the face of her eventual demise, rekindles emotions he was certain were gone forever. Nora reawakens his ability to love, and with her compassion and her companionship, he comes to realize that even a life as wasted as his own can be salvaged and, given the right incentive, is still worth living.
As Nora’s health declines, they both dare to hope that the magic of a strange pendant Ben purchased from an antique shop as a gift for Nora will overcome the odds, offering them more time with one another.
Nora’s Wish is available on:
Barnes & Noble (Print & eBook)
ABOUT THE AUTHOR — John Mc Caffrey writes tales of horror, the supernatural, science fiction, and fantasy. He was born in Illinois and grew up on the south side of Chicago. While still in grade school, he developed a passion for reading through the works of Tolkien, Poe, and Lovecraft as well as being addicted to watching Hammer Film’s at the local Saturday matinee. Today he lives in Northern Indiana with his wife where he writes in his spare time.