Hall of Information Interviews: Marc Cavella

The exploration of unique voices in story telling has returned with another Hall of Information Interview. Fellow author and story-teller Marc Cavella shares an insight into his world, from writing all the way to the niche but ever so interesting subject of politics in pro wrestling.

Q1. Let’s jump right in and start with writing. Where did story telling begin for Marc Cavella?

The first thing I really remember sharing with a bigger group was a class assignment that I wrote in sixth grade. We had to write a fake advertisement for a product we’d created. I ended up writing an ad about a machine that administered corporal punishment to children so parents wouldn’t feel guilty about doing it themselves, and it got a huge laugh from the class. (Bear in mind that we were sixth graders.) I remember that even our teacher was crying with laughter (and yet she still only gave it a B+). That’s probably when I first learned that something I wrote could have a cool effect on people.

Q2. Your latest book draws influence from an interesting subject– the politics of professional wrestling. This is a unique basis for a story and one I found highly enjoyable as fan of wrestling and reader. Please tell us more about ‘The Ballad of Ricky Risotto’ and what influenced the story?

“I’ve always been a huge fan of pro wrestling. I used to watch every show I could find when I was a kid—WCCW on ESPN when I would come home from school in the afternoons, WCW and NWA on the weekends, and all the old WWF shows like Superstars, Main Event, and Shotgun Saturday Night. So I’ve pretty much been watching wrestling for as long as I can remember—and I was an especially big mark for guys like Hulk Hogan, The Ultimate Warrior, The Four Horseman, and the von Erichs.

At the same time, I’ve always been the kind of person who wanted to learn about the history of the things I liked. So as I got older and the “business” became more exposed via the internet, and later, social media, I started to dig a little deeper into wrestling’s past: The people who ran those old regional promotions like Jim Crockett and Verne Gagne, how the old territories worked and competed with each other, and how the business itself had evolved from the carnival circuits that ran shows around the country at the turn of the century.

So all of that together really served to influence the story and let me combine a bunch of different aspects into one piece. I enjoyed the opportunity to write it.”

Interesting, as a kid and teen I was drawn to watching wrestling, it made for great entertainment and escapism. Today much like you I enjoy the political element just as much.

Q3. I think we can agree the more prolific days of pro wrestling are behind us but that won’t stop us from looking back. Are there any moments or stand out personas that you have been drawn to over the years? What names would consider to be all-time greats that would perhaps make up a ‘Mount Rushmore’ of the industry?

Man, that’s a great question. I was always a big fan of tag-team wrestling. The Hart Foundation was definitely my favorite, even though I couldn’t stand Jimmy Hart when I was a kid. (I have a great appreciation for him now, though.) I also loved teams like Legion of Doom and Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard.

The Legion of Doom

Stand-out moments for me will always include The Ultimate Warrior vs. The Honky Tonk Man at SummerSlam in 1988. I loved The Ultimate Warrior as a kid and when I heard that music and Gorilla Monsoon’s famous call of the match, I yelled so loud that my mother came in to the living room to see if I was okay. Watching The Undertaker toss Mick Foley off the top of the cage at Hell in a Cell is something I’ll always remember, too. I was watching that show with some friends, and I remember looking around the room and seeing everyone’s faces just absolutely frozen in shock and surprise. I didn’t think he’d survived that fall, and then he goes on to get thrown through the top of the cage and down onto the mat. Insane.

The famous Hell in a Cell match between the Undertaker and Mick Foley

As far as my wrestling Mt. Rushmore goes, the first name that comes to mind is Ric Flair, obviously, seeing as he was the biggest draw of an entire era and he was the total prototype for what a modern wrestler should be—fantastic at all aspects of technical wrestling, but one of the best promos of all time and a masterful storyteller. Bret Hart is always going to be up there for me, too. I read something recently that said he’d never injured an opponent in the ring, and yet his offense still looked stiff and believable. I think you’d have to put Hulk Hogan on there, as unpopular as he is with a large segment of the wrestling community, simply because of how big a star he was and how he helped to raise the industry’s profile so much during the 80’s boom. And as much as I want to say Andre the Giant or The Fabulous Moolah (as controversial as she is), I think you can make a case that Chris Jericho belongs up there as well, given that he’s had long runs as the top guy in multiple promotions working a variety of different styles for about twenty-five years now.

Great memories and moments. Of course I agree with all the names mentioned, that hell in a cell match is something I always use introduce those who have never watched wrestling before, it normally hooks them in…

Q4. And just briefly what’s your take on the current wrestling industry?

“The current generation is probably the most athletically talented, but I just can’t get into it like I used to. I think it’s gotten too bland for my tastes, to be honest. I don’t need a steady diet of chair shots and barbed wire, but once WWF became a publicly traded company, the corporatization really kicked in and it became very milquetoast to me as a whole. There are still some wrestlers who do great work both in the ring and on the mic, though.

Q5. Let’s talk books. Do you have any other works currently available and what can we expect next in terms of writing from Marc Cavella?

My first novel, “Tabernacle”, is available on Amazon and all other major outlets. “Tabernacle” tells the story of Edward Jones, an incredibly successful salesman who sells a product that none of his clients actually wants. I like to describe it as sort of a genre mash-up—it’s a dark comedy, but it’s also literary fiction with some suspense, noir, and neo-Western elements to it as well. It’s gotten some very nice reviews so far and I’m always glad when people tell me they enjoyed it. John Cena and Alexa Bliss make very brief cameos in it, so it has some ties to the wrestling world as well.

I’m currently working on some sequels. “Place the Flowers” follows Edward Jones as he eases into family life (sort of), but not without his own gritty twist to it. And I’m working “The Man from Coronado,” which focuses on Lance Sacramento, one of the wrestlers who appears in “The Ballad of Ricky Risotto.” I’m hoping to make a trilogy out of those wrestling-based novellas and release them as a paperback anthology in the summer of 2021.

Sounds like you have some awesome projects lined up for next year.

Here’s my recent review of ‘The Ballad of Ricky Risotto’

Check out Marc’s Amazon page here

Q6. What interests do you have outside of writing?

I love reading, certainly. I’m also a huge history buff, as mentioned previously, and that extends to lots of different topics beyond wrestling and sports. I’m very interested in military history—I love going to the national battlefield parks we have here in America, especially the ones dedicated to the U.S. Civil War—and I’m lucky enough to live in an area that has a lot of Revolutionary War battlefields and museums, too, so I try to go to those whenever I can. I also enjoy poker and other card games as well and spent way too much time in casinos when I was in my mid-twenties.

Q7. Tea, Coffee, beer or wine?

Coffee, personally. But even that’s a rarity. I tried to get into wine for a while but I don’t think my palate is sophisticated enough.

Excellent choice, my problem is I like all 4…

Q8. Do you have a favourite movie or go-to television series? Feel free to name a few and why?

My favorite movies are Goodfellas and Rocky. (I’ll argue to this day that the original Rocky is completely underrated, even though it won Best Picture.) They’re just very well-written stories about people who are on the edges of society, and I’m always a sucker for stories like that. Back to School starring Rodney Dangerfield is one of my favorite movies of all time as well and one that I quote way too often, as is Back to the Future. I also think Predator is a fantastic movie. People look at me like I’m crazy when I tell them that, but it’s actually an excellent sci-fi/suspense movie. As far as TV shows, I’ll go with my staples: Seinfeld and Frasier.

Great movies! Especially Goodfellas and Back to the Future although all you have mentioned are from an awesome era in cinema. I find myself quoting Predator a lot these days and Frasier of course is my go-to sitcom!

Q9. A hot topic over on Twitter these days, do you have any must read book recommendations?

I’ll always recommend “The Sun Also Rises”—Hemingway at his best. And Robert Graysmith’s “Zodiac” is one of the scariest nonfiction books of all time. If you dislike either sleeping or feeling safe, you should definitely read it.

Both excellent choices – the Zodiac film is a hidden gem also!

Q10. And lastly, a question I ask all interviewees. If there is one sentence of advice you give to someone with dreams of becoming a writer, what would you say?

“It’s going to be an incredibly challenging, difficult, and unpredictable road, but you can definitely succeed at it if you never give up.”

Wonderful advice and a great interview. Thank you Marc Cavella for taking the time to give us an insight into your world.

You can find Marc over on the Tweet machine and check out his awesome site where you can find out more.

And so the bell rings on another Hall of Information Interview. Thank you for joining us. See you in the next one!

Weekly Ramble #13

Hello friends. Today’s re-blog is an important look back at an early Weekly Ramble about an author who serves as one of my greatest influences. This past week saw the 11th anniversary of Michael Crichton’s passing but his legacy for me will always live on…

Lee's Hall of information

Crichton has been gone 10 years. Something I  learned yesterday on the anniversary of his passing. Sometimes we are too busy in the world to stop and reflect, sometimes we just have to step away to think about life and how one day we are here the next we are gone.

More recently I have been too damn wrapped up in getting my 4th book published that I’ve lost my way a little, I’ve lost who I am whilst trying to be what I want to be. And learning of this poignant anniversary brought back a memory that carries everything I stand for. I’m not being dramatic and I am not trying to take anything away from a world renowned writers passing this is more of a tribute than anything and its also truth. When you speak from the heart and when you speak truth, people truly listen and care. 

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Book Review – Darke Awakening — Mullen Crafts

Hello friends. Today’s Saturday Re-blog is a recent and rather glowing review of my 6th book Darke Awakening from the awesome blogger Nicole from Mullen Crafts. Make sure you give her post a like and blog a follow…

Book: Darke Awakening: Embrace The True Darkness (Available on Amazon)* Author: Lee Hall Darke Blood is back and throws in your face all manner of things that go bump in the night. When I was last immersed in the world of Dark Heath, the vampiric threat had been mostly eliminated, Blake Malone had gotten the […]

Book Review – Darke Awakening — Mullen Crafts

Weekly Ramble #83

Okay so things are actually looking really good right now which is both weird and oddly satisfying. With everything I have thrown at this year in authoring and blogging just short of the kitchen sink, it might have worked. Seeing plans come to fruition albeit successfully is a somewhat liberating feeling both personally and for the wider world. Its also rather new territory. We’re not there yet, but just days from this year’s epic conclusion for me…

Authors and creators have a place in this world, even if said world does appear to be falling to shit, rising back to better and then down to shit again. Riding that wave has presented those who want it with an opportunity and a learning curve. That opportunity is something I fell ass first into and since dusting myself off and trying to get back up, several hands of several truly wonderful supportive people were there to pull me towards somewhere I’d never imagine; satisfaction in this constant battle to get your work read as an independently published author.

People have actually taken on my work, they have responded to those efforts, there are even those, although just a handful that have pre ordered a book that represents all of my story telling efforts up to this moment. This is such a far cry from efforts previous feeling like they fell on deaf ears. People are out there and they have my back, this is both heart warming and emotionally gratifying. From the dramatic ride of high’s, lows, reversions to zeros and everything in between this next book resonates that journey and reflects everything I’ve ever been through. The characters who are a diverse range of souls are going to have to band together in order to find some kind of resolve, like me finding you, loyal reader, a supporter and ally in this deal whom I am nothing without. It’s complicated, fun, surprising and now satisfying – all words that I use to describe this wider journey, the latter only really appearing recently.

Of course I’m not done yet, and perhaps I never will be, maybe that’s the secret. Marathon runners are always looking to better their PB and maybe that’s what I will always look to do, except I’m chasing the words, trying to get better, trying to get home. Either way recent times as an author in 2020 are worth smiling about, there isn’t much to be happy about these days, perhaps I’m lucky and the satisfaction will wear off, until then wish me luck, although that’s only a portion of the path to success. Consistent, creative content is what has really driven it, along with my work being accepted into open arms of those who have supported me. Thank you and bring on next week, the most important book release of my life.

‘I know every mile will be worth my while. When I go the distance, I’ll be right where I belong… ‘

Blurb Reveal – Book 6 – ‘Darke Awakening’

Coming this September (that’s rather soon!), my 6th book and sequel to ‘Darke Blood’ and the next story in the Order of the Following Series;

Darke Awakening: Embrace the True Darkness

Here’s the blurb…

Darke Awakening blurb announcement

Of course any critique on the grammar/structural front is welcomed, I can’t really change the content in terms of the story as it’s already written… either way, I hope you are ready for what I hope is going to be quite an event. 13 or more sales on release day is considered a win. It will be available for Pre-order soon – I hope some of you will at least think about supporting this one. 

More information about the wider Order of the Following Series can be found here. All three of the books that precede this one are discounted to 99 cents in most territories. If they are not available where you are and if you promise to leave a review, I will send them to you free of charge. The book cover shall be revealed soon! 

Rock and roll, peace out and thanks for tuning in!

The Order of the Following Banner

Weekly Ramble #56

Lots of things to do. Lot’s of writing things to do. 2020 is here and it’s going to be a busy one! Welcome back to my Hall of Information blog, things went a little quiet over the festive season – people were busy and  I got engaged but now I am back to my regularly irregularly scheduled blogging efforts!

I say irregular because as a blogger I’m not particularly organised, there are many bloggers who have more planned posts than appendages, I do not. I am quite simply an in the moment person and when inspiration strikes up so does my writing and the same goes for how I write books and plays. Unless I have a real rigid source material I tend to make things up as I go along for most of the part. In most projects I have a few outlining moments and probably a finish, the rest I just create. Some people call this being a ‘pantser’, personally I’ve never liked that definition, in story telling my style could be defined as being a ‘chancer’ much like many of the characters that are within. This style has indeed worked quite well for me so far, the stats for last year were through the damn roof – thanks for reading!

And what big plans do I have this year? Well it’s cliche to say it could be a big one, if not the biggest yet. My main writing endeavours are split 50/50 this year. Half of my time I will be spending putting together what will be my 6th independently published book! Those who do tune in to my social media efforts will know I announced ‘Darke Awakening’ quite close to Christmas day. Those who were really paying attention will know that I decided to green light this project earlier last year after 3000 plus people downloaded ‘Darke Blood’. You can check out my basic teaser here. 

The other 50% will be spent shaping and editing my dream project (the one that got me into writing) ‘Jack Thorn and the Maverick Prophecy’ a science fiction legacy story about robots in the future – think real world Star Wars in the future with hints of The Terminator, Buffy and Transformers… If all goes well I will be querying literary agents with Jack Thorn later in the year! You can read some here…

Of course in less than a month my third on stage play will premiere and I have already drafted the fourth one so look out for more stage stuff! For people who live locally to me you can buy tickets to see that show here.

Most probably my most important efforts I shall share with you last. Indie book reviews! Yes I am back and ready to review indie books. Last year I did 40 and this year I hope to do 41 – a moderate aspiration but realistic. Again if you tuned in I cast out my indie book bait and hook into the twittersphere last week and got an amazing response of book rec’s from some awesome authors. Watch out for reviews soon!

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So what have you got planned this year? Answers via the comments section but if you are shy, GOOD LUCK! and thanks for reading… 

Peace out. Happy New Year!  

400 Followers/ 5th Book Announcement

It’s been nearly a year since I seriously considered walking away from writing and blogging for good. We all have those moments where we question the path that we are on and whether or not it’s ‘worth’ continuing.

The real honest truth is I wasn’t happy with where this journey of writing was heading. You could say it was down to lack of ‘sales’, reviews, followers and even readers; this was especially so after churning out 4 books in 2 years and not having much to show for it. That story telling fire inside of me began to fade.

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Even now I still don’t know what I really want from writing and maybe I’ll never know. All I actually know is that I want to tell stories and that is something I love doing. Even back last year when that fire in me almost died I never stopped writing, even during my most darkest of hours last year, whether it was my next stage play or a book, the truth is, it put me back together in a sense and I did a lot of soul searching. I eventually accepted that my ‘success’ as a writer isn’t actually down to me, it’s down to everyone else, and then came the ultimate realisation;

It doesn’t matter if I ever reach a pinnacle moment of success in writing, I do this because I love it,

and 

If I can’t help myself as an author then why not help others? 

And so I got to work. What started out as an initial plan to review a few indie books in order to get some reviews for my own stuff exploded before my eyes.

People, good people, bloggers, writers, reviewers and everyone else in between started to take note of my efforts. It turns out the answer to all my writing success woes stood right in front of me, don’t be an island and my actual success doesn’t matter. Enjoy the ride, enjoy the creating and now above everything enjoy the words of others! I couldn’t list the sheer amount I have learned from reading fellow indie books!

My motives for reviewing indie books changed from a vain attempt to get more book sales to an unconditional act in supporting story tellers who deserve to be read. On that journey I have found all of you, loyal wonderful followers who are now 400 strong.

To get an appreciation for how much this has quickly exploded, I celebrated 200 followers for this Hall of Information back in March! In that time that following has doubled.

My whole faith in this and all of my creative fire has been restored this year because of people like you. And so it is with that in mind I would like to officially announce my next book release will happen this December. I’ve decided to do this super last minute for a few reasons but the only reason you need to know is that I am releasing book number 5 for all of you; followers, readers, supporters and everyone during this journey that has become my friend. It is you guys that put my faith in this back together. 

‘The Ghost Beside Me’ is a totally unique paranormal romance written in the style of a diary that see’s a paranormal sceptic convinced to believe in not only the forces that aren’t of this mortal world but in love also, that is in order to no longer be alone. Whether or not you find companionship in a ghost or a physical being isn’t the point, love doesn’t discriminate, even in mortality. Even if people are ‘gone’ they never leave us. 

It’s kind of a Christmas story as well and in a sense I think Christmas ghost stories are far better than Halloween ones, there’s more of a meaning to them. Although I think it has potential to be incredibly powerful it is quite short, I’m talking less than 15,000 words in length but it’s still a book.  

I promise you’ll be hearing a lot more about ‘Ghost’ soon; this is a completely solo project apart from Design for Writers who will providing the awesome cover art. I am soon going to reach out to a few people for a beta reading opportunity.

To everyone who follows this blog, all 400 plus of you, thank you, rock and roll man! 

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Sunshine Blogger Award Nomination!

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A big-time thank you to Megan of a Geeky Gal who nominated me for the Sunshine Blogger Award. Let me just take this opportunity to speak about Megan’s awesome blog which is an incredible array of all things geek, she also talks about some very important subjects such as mental health and self reflection, I am especially fond of Megan’s  ‘Monday Musings’ section. She is a great supporter of my blog and tweet machine efforts which is very much appreciated. Without that loyal support my stuff wouldn’t reach the heights it has done as of recent. 

geekyAnd so this is the 3rd award nomination the Hall of information has received this year but what are the rules for the Sunshine Blogger Award?

The Rules:

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you and link back to their blog.
  • Answer the 11 questions the blogger asked you.
  • Nominate 11 new blogs to receive the award and write them 11 new questions.
  • List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post and/or on your blog.

Questions as asked by Megan: 

What song do you think makes people remember you?

That’s a tough one because my perception of myself compared to what others think of me is probably way different. But saying that to some people I might come across as self assured (I tell myself that in the mirror everyday…) so I am going with ‘Chesney Hawkes’ ‘The one and only’. This song is the epitome of early 90’s cheese…

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What character would you choose to be your best friend?

batman

I’m not really a best friend type of person, I have a cluster of close friends all of which I am close to but if we’re going with any character then it has to be Batman; unless I can be Batman, Batman would be my best friend. We would hang out in the Bat cave and brood, get Alfred to make us sandwiches, he would take down the bad guys and it be would cool. 

What book do you need to read/game you need to play/show you need to watch still?

I really need to read ‘Good Omens’ by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. The television adaption was awesome and I’ve only heard good things about the book. 

I also really really need to play ‘Red Dead Redemption 2’ I have heard it’s the most epic of games out there, it’s on my birthday list… 

In terms of shows, I really need to watch the final season of Orange is the New Black which should hopefully drop any day now – that is my top Netflix binge recommendation…

Have you smashed any personal goals recently?

Funny you should ask that because this year has been my most record breaking ever in terms of writing and blogging!

I’ve never sold so many books or got as many views on this humble blogging operation until this year. Of course none of that would be possible without my loyal and ever growing following, so a tip of the cap to you all, and here are the numbers…

growth

views

If someone wanted to understand you, what should they read, watch, and play?

This is going to seem like a shameless self book promotional response but it’s kinda the truth. If you really wanted to understand me or know who I am then my third book ‘The Teleporter‘ contains more about me than anything else. The MC ‘Kurt Wiseman’ is probably the closest to my own personality than anything else I’ve written. 

teleporter logocreated by

In terms of watching; you would probably find a lot of my understanding in life aligns with the values of ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ – a show that got me through some tough times way back when and I’ll happily admit my first real hero was Buffy! 

Double answer for playing: 

My all time favorite game/series is Half-life. Not only is it unique; the main character doesn’t say word throughout, its also action packed and based upon science that is very similar, even eerily similar to where I work in real life, but without the violence, aliens and apocalypse. Not to mention the g-man…

If you really, really wanted to understand me, then you would have to sit opposite me whilst playing a game of Monopoly, I straight up become ruthless!  Money and property hungry to say the least, but if you beat me, I’m tamed for life… and slightly resentful… 

List your favorite fandoms and one character from each that you identify with.

As mentioned I am a big fan of Buffy, but the wider universes created by Joss Whedon that some call the Whedon-verse is certainly my jam! Firefly in particular had a huge influence on me and my story telling. I would like to say I identify with witty and sometimes sarcastic pilot ‘Wash’ played by Alan Tudyk.  

semi muscualr

What are three things that you are enjoying right now?

I am currently enjoying:

  • The rather hot weather over here in the UK which is normally notorious for being mundane, but this summer has been bright so far! 
  • The amount of awesome content on Netflix, if you haven’t got it, then you should!
  • These questions, they rock! 

What is your favorite YouTube channel?

joe rogan

I have a rather weird specific taste when it comes to YouTube, it’s either podcasts or failarmy that I tend to frequent but for the sake of this question I’ll say that I enjoy Joe Rogan’s podcast which is full of all kinds of subjects, from exercise advice, motivation, conspiracies and even history. I recommend it! 

List three of your favorite songs right now.

AC/DC – Back in Black 

Foo Fighters – Everlong 

Elton John – Rocketman

What are some ways you practice self care that others might consider different or weird?

Yoga and walking are two sure fire ways that get me out of most troubles these days. Walking is great for near enough getting my mind through everything along with yoga. Both of them as a combination are great for self care…

Angry – go for a walk

Sad – go for a walk

Back hurts – go for a walk

Writers problems (there are too many to list) – go for a walk 

Bad day – go for a walk 

Ate too much – go for a walk 

Injured – yoga and then maybe a walk…

Wanting to exercise but cant be bothered – yoga and walking… 

What is the hardest part about blogging?

The biggest challenge I face in blogging is creating good content. If you have material for good content, you will always have followers. I guess right now I have plenty of ideas, so its going relatively well, some ideas are inspired by the fact people will read my stuff.

I think a lot of people are disheartened when they start out thinking that nobody is reading their blog. This stuff takes time to gather momentum – my advice is to begin, follow others, interact and produce stuff that people want to read; try to make it inclusive to the reader. 

The bloggers I would like to nominate for the Sunshine Blogger Award are: 

Joe Campling @ Joe the poet

Sean C. Wright @ Seanarchy

Jaycee Lynch @ Thinking Moon 

Emma @ simplyemsblog

Michaeljordahl 

Little Fears 

Blair @ Feed the Crime 

And any other blogger out there who wants to take part!

My questions for nominees:

  • Why did you start blogging?
  • Who is your go-to blogging influence/blogger that inspires you?
  • Name 3 music albums that shaped your life?
  • Is there something out there who you think is underrated?
  • Which season of the year do you prefer and why?
  • Name a television show or film you couldn’t live without?
  • What are you currently reading?
  • What are you currently writing?
  • Name something you don’t like but ‘everyone’ else does?
  • Do you have a profession outside of writing/blogging?
  • Name a place you’ve always wanted to visit but never have?

 

Thanks for reading folks!