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Saturday, December 7, 2013

Up Close And Personal with Manuela Cardiga (interview)

Get up close and personal with Guilty Pleasures author Manuela Cardiga

Today I am happy to announce that Manuela Cardiga has taken time to answer some questions for us! Now here are a few questions that she has answered. Enjoy!!!!!!!!!

1. Can you start off by telling us a little about yourself?

I don’t really know where to begin. The first significant things that spring to mind? I’m a working mother of one (anyone who’s had more than one has my unending respect), I am compulsive writer, I am an unrelentingly cheerful and bouncy optimist (irritating). I love reading, I love music, I love cooking , I love to eat, I love my life. Oh autobiographical thingymmagig? I was born in Mozambique (East Africa); raised in South Africa and live in Europe. I wanted to be a writer and an archeologist; but ended up being a fashion designer/ graphic designer/illustrator/copywriter. Now I am a writer! (did I mention I talk a lot?)

2. Give us a brief overview of Guilty Pleasures:

Briefly: a red-hot narcissistic compulsively healthy-living control freak - Lance Packhard -  who happens to be a bankrupt sex-therapist (writing a book called “Sensual Secrets of a Sexual Surrogate”) gets hired to impregnate a woman who just loves food. Millie Deafly. She’s not interested in men, let alone someone like our hero. So in order to get close to her, he gets himself hired as an assistant to the Chef at Guilty Pleasures - a dinner club belonging to our heroine - and her partner, Serge. Serge used to be a prostitute in Istanbul, a fluffer in skin-flicks in Vegas and is now a Master Chef in London. He’s also a homosexual black dwarf with major personality/sensitivity issues. Every night a new set of crazy guests come to the Guilty Pleasures to pig out, and poor Lance (as his alter-ego, a geeky but sexy Will) finds himself sucked in to a riotous world of eccentricity and sensuality quite unlike anything he’s ever experienced. He suddenly finds himself falling madly in love with his “subject”… and about to be outed as an imposter! If you want to know how it ends, read the book! (It’s really funny) Every chapter opens with “advice” from Lance’s how-not-to book, and closes with excerpts from Millie’s diary. I had an obscene amount of fun writing this book. I hope my readers enjoy reading it.

3. So I love music almost as much as books.  Do you think your characters or books have theme songs?  What are they??

YES!!! I love music too! I had a struggle during editing, because I had included references and sometimes snippets of lyrics that I had to remove? Lance is a Neil Diamond fan, Millie is addicted to 80’s and 90’s music (Brit-pop), Hendricks is a Goth…There is music all through my book! Crazy thrash metal stars, pop singers, lascivious cello players, classical pianists…Serge is a blues and jazz man (modern and classical). He digs Charles Mingus “Moanin’”. Millie’s theme song? In my head it was “She’s a Star” by James (most of the book I could soundtrack from James); she evolves to Springsteen’s “Secret Garden”. (Lance goes from “Sweet Caroline” to “I’m a Creep”.)

4. Can you give me your top 3 favorite authors that you would go screaming fan over if introduced to?

That is so not fair! Only three? Living or dead?
Living…George R.R. Martin (major fan since a novel called Fevre Dream), R. Scott Bakker, China MiĆ©ville, David Eddings, Ursula Le Guin, Julian May, Dan Simmons (that’s more than 3 and I could give you a whole page)…Dead? Jane Austen, C.S. Lewis, Dickens, Shakespeare, Keats, D.H. Lawrence, Anis Nin, Agatha Christie…LOVE Agatha!

5. If you could compare yourself to any fictional character who would that be?

Me? In my own book or other people’s books? In mine, I think I’d be George: stubbornly romantic in the face of opposing evidence…In other people’s books? Maybe Viola in Twelfth Night. Or Eliza Bennet in Pride and Prejudice. I’m a tenacious survivor. I never give up. Funny, all the characters I relate to are defined by humour, and common sense (except George).

6. Talk us through the cover art of your novel.

That was a lot of fun! The Writers’ Coffee Shop attributed me a graphic designer: a lovely enormously talented Lady called Thaigger Tigger Lillie. She asked me what I wanted? So I said…you tell ME! Read the book, then knock yourself out, have fun! And she did. Isn’t it fabulous? The man is just sooo yummy…

7. Where did you get the inspiration from Lance Packhard’s character?

I didn’t…He just showed up: shaved chest, silk thong, hyper dedicated (you might say obsessed) with healthy food and the body-beautiful? I was horrified! I absolutely adore a man with a deliciously hairy chest -not TOO much, Chewbacca can stay home… Lance is so absolutely not my type of man. Yet, somehow, he grows into a good man. He has the one innate quality that is so very hard to find: a capacity for love, kindness, tenderness. He listens.

8. If you were planning your perfect aphrodisiac recipe, what would it be and why?

Let me tell you a secret…There are no “perfect aphrodisiac recipes”! The secret is eating with someone who awakens you in every way: your heart, your mind, your sensuality. So the perfect aphrodisiac recipe? The main ingredient is the guest…You can serve pizza, or baby quail stuffed with wild rice and pine-nuts in a port-wine chocolate and orange zest sauce. The intention is what spices the dish, tantalizes the palate and arouses desire! Serve what ever you serve with fire in your eye and a pout promising kisses.

Well there you have it! Up Close and Personal with Manuela Cardiga. Hope you enjoyed and remember her book Guilty Pleasures is now available at all your favorite online retailers such as B&N, and Amazon. You can also get her book at the publishing website! Have fun and look for more exciting things from Manuela Cardiga  

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