Monday 17 October 2011

Dancing With Myself: LUCA VESTE interviews LUCA VESTE

Hello Luca.

Hi Luca.

So are we going to do the original joke about how it’s weird talking to ourselves, or the new post-modern switch were we make a point of not mentioning it?

Erm, I think we’ve already gone for something else to be honest.

So, for the purposes of this interview, can I be called Jeff…to save on confusion?

That would kind of defeat the object of talking to myself, wouldn’t it?

Hmm…can we call you Jeff?

What?! No. Can we just get on with it. I’ve got yoga at ten past.

OK, OK, sorry. So who are you then?

Apart from being you…I’m Luca Veste, a Husband to a loving wife, Father to two daughters, a mature student and a Half Italian, Half Scouse guy. I also write stories and review books in my spare time.

Sounds interesting. Tell me more about the reviewing, how did that come about?

Well, one day in June, a Saturday I believe, I set up the blog ‘Guilty Conscience’. I had two goals. Read things I wouldn’t normally read, and talk to Steve Mosby about his books. I achieved both of these in the first six weeks. It’s been all downhill since really.

And now you write. Isn’t it a bit of a cliché, book reviewer is actually frustrated writer?

Possibly. It wasn’t something I was intending on doing though. I just started by accident really. My Dad is the writer, I was more interested in acting than writing. I was interested in the writing world…

The ‘Writing World’? You can be so pretentious sometimes…

You’re one to talk.

What’s that supposed to mean?

Nothing. Anyway, I was always interested in books and the process, and the Internet gives you a level of access to some very gracious writers, who’re always willing to talk to readers and are generally very appreciative. So, in conversation with one writer, Charlie Williams, he sort of dared me to write a story entitled ‘Jeff, The Uninspired Vampire’. I did, and haven’t stopped since.

No, you haven’t. How many facials have we missed because of your damn writing…

Oh, great. Now you’ve destroyed my cred.

You never had any cred. I was the one with the cred.

Can we stop saying cred now. Spell check doesn’t like it.

So, what’s the latest with the writing thing, any luck yet, or can we get back to doing real stuff, like putting that shelf up?

Well actually, yes. I’ve just signed with publisher ‘Trestle Press’ who are releasing a collection of five of my short stories called ‘Liverpool 5’.

Why ‘Liverpool 5’?

Well, the stories are all based in and around Liverpool, England. There’s five stories, so Liverpool 5. It also happens to be the area of Anfield in Liverpool (L5).

What are they about? Am I in them?

Why would you be in them?

Didn’t take you long to forget the little people did it…

Listen, let me answer the first question. The stories are short pieces, mainly about Life and Death. I’m fascinated with death as a concept. As a staunch atheist, I am constantly aware of my own mortality. This has its good side though, as, if I want to interview a name such as Linwood Barclay, I email him and ask, rather than deliberating on it and not having the balls to do it. I decided in the last year, life’s too short to wonder what could have been. So, now I just do it. There’s a bit in a story in Liverpool 5 which sums up my whole life view these days, involves a piece of paper at a funeral and your whole life can be boiled down to that. Still waiting to hear back from Stephen King though…

Heavy stuff. Bet you’re great fun to be around…

Well my wife thinks so.

I wouldn’t be too sure about that.

What’s that supposed to mean?

Well, this seems to be as good a time as any to tell you. We’ve been having an affair.

You what?! Wait…I think I have to be OK with having an affair with my own wife.

Phew. That was close. So, what are your plans for the future?

Well, coming up soon, I’m putting together an anthology of short stories, called OFF THE RECORD, it features over thirty writers, with all proceeds going to charity. Based on the prompt of classic song titles, it’s going to be a great collection. We have some excellent names involved, Ray Banks, Helen Fitzgerald, Nick Quantrill, Nigel Bird, Neil White, Thomas Pluck, Chris Rhatigan, Les Edgerton, Sean Patrick Reardon, R Thomas Brown, Ron Earl Phillips, the list goes on and on…

Sounds special. Good luck with it all. Hope it all goes well!

Thanks me.

Finally, you always ask writers the same two questions at the end of your interviews, so here’s your chance…first, what’s your perfect writing environment?

In a locked room, with a large window. An overflowing ashtray and endless supply of Jack Daniels.

And your actual writing environment?

In my living room, having to smoke outside, and there’s no Jack Daniels because I have to get up in early in the morning, whilst my wife watches some documentary about nature or is asleep in bed, and the kids are asleep in their room.

Yeah…you think you’re wife’s asleep in bed…

Come here, ya little git!


  1. Ha ha - great fun! And L5 is a cracker, too. Highly recommended!

  2. So now we get to see the REAL Luca Veste... and he's a cool guy--the kind of guy you'd like to go have a beer with.

  3. Thanks all.

    And Les, we'll have that drink one day Sir.

  4. luca defines cool. Great taste also. Bet he'll buy the beer, Les. (maybe I'll take back the taste thing -- he put one of my stories in his antho)

  5. Loved this interview, Luca. Lots of fun.