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An Interview with Carlo Antico


Carlo Antico was born in Sao Paulo, Brazil, but raised in the wonderful town of Jundiaí, a forty-minute drive from Sao Paulo. He is a journalist and a translator (English-Portuguese/Portuguese-English). He has written for a heavy metal magazine for eight years, had a local tv, radio, and magazine show called “Rock Forever,” which dealt with all things Rock and Roll. His first book, Straight and Lethal, a short story collection, was issued as limited self-published copies only in the USA. Even so, it won the NABE Pinnacle Awards for best short stories book in 2014. His second book was also self-published, this time in Brazil, through Editora Labrador (Labrador Publisher) in 2019. It is called Cinco Máscaras (Five Masks in English) and is his first novel. In 2022, he released another short story collection called Hey Hey Club, also through Labrador. Carlo is a bilingual writer; with the exception of Straight Lethal, he writes his books in both English and Portuguese.

Who/what made you want to write? Was there a particular person, or particular writers/works/art forms that influenced you?

I was very influenced by my household. My parents always read a lot, so I started reading at an early age and through my writing assignments in school, I saw I had a gift for it. I was about nine when I decided I wanted to be a writer, that’s why I thought of being a journalist: it gave me opportunity to write.

What inspired you to start writing this book?

I write every day. So I’m always looking for new ideas for books, even not knowing if they’re gonna be published or not. This one specifically started as a short story called “House Of Death,” which was about a house that brought bad luck to anyone who came to live in it. I started adding characters and, lo and behold, I noticed I had a novel in my hands, although the story in the book ended up a little different than the original short story.

Tell us the story of your book’s title. Was it easy to find, or did it take forever?

I usually come up with the title right after I have the idea. I don’t wait until I’m finished. This time as soon as I noticed the short story had become longer and the emeralds’ concept came to my head, it was a no-brainer.

If your book had a soundtrack, what are some songs that would be on it?

“Emerald” by Thin Lizzy, “American Girl” by Tom Petty, anything by The Traveling Wilburys, “Shipping Away to Boston” by Dropkick Murphys, “A Foggy Day (in London Town)” by George Gershwin, “Within You, Without You” by The Beatles, “Zombie Ritual” by Death, “Girls, Girls, Girls” by Mötley Crüe.

What other professions have you worked in? What’s something about you that your readers wouldn’t know?

I was a rock/metal journalist, wrote for a heavy metal magazine, was a producer and presenter of a radio rock show, participated often in a local TV rock show, and edited a rock magazine. I’m also a translator. I think a lot of readers wouldn’t know I’m a huge sports fan as well, I followed all the major sports leagues (NBA, NFL, MLB and NHL). I’m Brazilian, so obviously I love soccer.

What books did you read (for research or comfort) throughout your writing process?

For this one I did a lot of research online, especially about Direct Action Day and all the troubles that led to India’s independence from England. In my first novel, Cinco Máscaras / Five Masks, however, I researched flags of the world in the book The World of Flags by William Crampton and secret societies in The Mythology of the Secret Societies by J.M. Roberts.

What is one thing you hope readers take away from reading your book? How do you envision your perfect reader?

Fun and entertainment. Nothing else. I don’t aim for any deeper message or anything. I want people to feel entertained while reading it. The perfect reader is the one who prefers a physical book to a digital one! I’m kidding. But I’d like to think there are still readers out there who feel the same pleasure of holding a book in their hand and turning its pages as I do.

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