Monday, 10 October 2011

Interview with Luca Veste

Today I'm joined by Luca Veste, fellow blogger and now also writer, who has kindly agreed to answer some of my questions. Luca Veste runs the Guilty Conscience web site, where he reviews crime novels, but also publishes short stories. I know reviewing books changed quite a lot for me as a reader so I'm curious to find out if it had an effect on other reviewers as well.

To find out more about Luca Vest look up his blog and/or follow him on Twitter (@LucaVeste).

So who is Luca? 
Who am I? I'm 24601. (Shiny penny for anyone who gets that reference!) I'm a Half Italian, Half Scouser, Husband, Father and Mature Student, who reads a lot, talks about books incessantly, and now writes in his spare (HA!) time.

Why did you start reviewing books?
I always wanted to be a part of that 'world' of books. Reviewing them was, in one way, a path into the writing world. Also, I wanted to show appreciation to some authors, that perhaps they weren't getting elsewhere as much as I thought they should.

Would you say that becoming a book reviewer is something which has changed what you read and how you read?
Definitely. Once you have a review thing going, you get all sorts of offers. One book I would never have heard of if I wasn't reviewing was 'The Office of Lost and Found'. It's now in my Top Five favourite books. It hasn't really changed how I read really, although I do read more PDF and Kindle books on my laptop than I used to!

What’s your proudest moment as a book reviewer so far?
I have a few favourites. Interviewing Steve Mosby was something I always wanted to do. I've been a huge fan of his for a few years, so to get the chance to ask him questions, was a real thrill. I had Lawrence Block write a guest post which was very cool, and interviewing someone of the calibre of Linwood Barclay was fantastic. Also Sean Cregan week was great fun. Far too many really!

You are currently editing a anthology. Care to tell us more about it?
OFF THE RECORD is a collection of 37 short stories, featuring some of the best writers around. It's all based on classic song titles, so we have Ray Banks with God Only Knows, Thomas Pluck with Freebird, Les Edgerton with Small Change, and Helen Fitzgerald went for the Rolf Harris classic Two Little Boys, and so on...It's all for charity, and it should be available in time for Christmas. Short stories are a format that is often overlooked, but there is some exciting stuff going on out there in the online world, which is a great thing.

I also heard that you have your own little book deal. I’d love to know more about it. Is writing something you have always wanted to do, or did it come from chatting with all the writers? What do you write?
Yes, Trestle Press are going to be publishing a collection of Five Short Stories by me, entitled 'LIVERPOOL 5'. My Dad was the writer in the family really, more film than novel though, so it wasn't something I ever thought about. But, one day I was chatting to a writer Charlie Williams, who in an inadvertent way, kind of dared me to write a joke story entitled 'Jeff, The Uninspired Vampire'. So I did. Sent it to Charlie who thought it was good, so that kind of put me in the mind of giving it a go. I then wrote a story for the excellent 'Thrillers, Killers 'n' Chillers website, which surprisingly got accepted and received great feedback. And it's snowballed from there. I write about characters mainly, not genre so much. I like dialogue and atmosphere and try and show that in my stories. LIVERPOOL 5 contains 5 stories set in Liverpool, trying to show the city has much more than just The Beatles and the Football team (there's only one team in Liverpool, and they play in red) going for it. It's incredible to think, only four months ago, I hadn't even started the review website and now I'm releasing an Ebook!

Could you recommend a kick ass crime novel one simply must read? Also, what’s the best book you read so far in 2011?
The 50/50 Killer by Steve Mosby. An absolute must read. If anyone wants to know how to create tension, write plot and character superbly, mix horror with crime, and how a screwdriver still gives me nightmares, you must read this book. Best read of 2011 is a tie between Black Flowers by Steve Mosby (I'm such a damn FanBoy when it comes to him) and The Donor by Helen Fitzgerald. The Donor contains the best opening 100 pages of a novel, I've ever read.

Thank you Luca for taking the time to answer my questions.


  1. Tremendous. Glad you got in all the new stuff - LIVERPOOL 5, Trestle Press - that has happened since I interviewed you only last week! Wow, Luca, yer on a roll man. Long may it continue.


  2. Cheers Col. I love this site, so it's great to be on here!

    Thanks to Erik for the offer.

  3. Excellent interview, Luca! I have Mosby in my TBR pile and it sounds like I need to finally move him up. Congrats on all of your success.

  4. Thanks Sabrina, really appreciate it!

    Steve Mosby is going to start thinking I'm a crazed fan at this rate...I mention him everytime I'm asked about books. I just love his work, and want everyone to read him. He's a major inspiration to me.

  5. That was great, Luca. Good luck with Liverpool 5 (Man U 6), mate. Haha!!

  6. Thanks!

    And we'll see on Saturday...