Speed dating with fiction: local writers share their work

Several authors from around British Columbia will be sharing their fiction in a writers showcase at the Central Library on Feb. 23. Michele Amitrani, Joan Boxall, Maggie Edwards, Janet Hudgins, and Japhy Ryder will read snippets of their works at this event.

Amitrani is a prolific fiction author who has written several dark fantasy and science fiction stories as well as short stories like Glass into Steel and Not that Fairytale. His most recent work isLord of Time.

Old world to new

Cover of Lord of Time by Michele Amitrani | Photo courtesy of Michele Amitrani

Amitrani was born and raised in Italy. He lived there until he was 23 years old and he brings the formidable histories of his home country to the complicated and mysterious worlds present in his stories.

“When I walk beside the Colosseum or the Fort Imperiali, I know I’m walking on ancient ground, sharing paths with the ghosts of Julius Caesar and Augustus, Virgil and Cicero,” says Amitrani, “That says something about me, about my writing style. I’m drawn by ancient things because they speak a language you have to decipher to really understand. You have to pay attention and be willing to immerse yourself in the past.”

Amitrani’s books and stories provide the reader with that full immersion because of his meticulous attention to detail. His endless imagination allows him to spin entire worlds and supernatural existences out of a single thought. He does not want the reader to skim over his writing; he wants his words to shake the hyperactive-brain of today into paying attention.

“It’s 2020. The attention span is short and getting shorter,” says Amitrani, “But if I can get you to stop on a page, to go back and re-read a passage that spoke to you, your tribute of time is the best compliment you can give to me.”

Trials & tribulations of self-publishing

Michele Amitrani, writer. | Photo courtesy of Michele Amitrani

Amitrani has always loved fanciful worlds of paranormal beings. He does not have a favorite supernatural being that he likes to write about, but enjoys the larger process of building multi-layered plots and universes. Not surprisingly, his influences include exceedingly creative minds like J.K. Rowling, George R.R. Martin, and J.R.R. Tolkien. A deep bond between author and character develops when Amitrani brings his imagination to life.

“All the fictional people inside these worlds are my literary heroes,” says Amitrani, “They are my friends, and my mentors and my enemies too. They taught me that reading a book is not merely looking at the words on a page. It means building up character and discovering yourself.”

Amitrani made it his mission to get his stories out to the world, throwing traditional literary agents and publishers to the wayside.

“Self-publishing a book that resonates with the reader is hard, and it’s a lot of work,” says Amitrani, “There’s more to it than you can imagine. Publishing a story is not the end of the process. It’s just the beginning.”

He admits that he often procrastinates due to his need for perfectionism in his writing, but he hopes to shake this habit in 2020.

“Procrastination is the death of creativity,” he says, because the mind cannot work at its full imaginative power when it is clogged with deadlines and publishing dates. Even when publishing dates are set by Amitrani himself.

2020 challenge

In a bid to challenge himself and his writing, the author is doing his own 12X2020 challenge. He pledges to his followers that he will write and publish 12 stories in 2020 (one every month) and all stories will be free to read and open to comments.

“I let my stories tell me where they want to go,” says Amitrani, “Every story I write is different. It has its own needs. Sometimes I can keep to myself most of the things I know about the world. Sometimes I need to go deeper, describe better, make you feel more.”

Amitrani is excited about the challenge that lies ahead and the anticipation of new worlds that will spring from his fingertips.

For more information, visit www.vpl.bibliocommons.com/vents/5dfbad45f357d12f00850dbb