An interview with Edgar Cantero, author of The Supernatural Enhancements
My review of the book (in French)
Ritual question to start my interviews, can you define you in three words, just three?
Yes, I can. 🙂
What were your influences (if any) which helped you create such an astounding and original novel?
Well, I remember by the time I wrote it (2012, I think) I’d been reading a lot of classic ghost stories (M.R. James, Edith Wharton, Vernon Lee), as well as authors associated to Lovecraft’s circle, whose mass-market editions I collect for the pulpy covers.
I guess these and my usual overdose of movies and games made me want to do my own Gothic story, with a pop twist. So that’s The Supernatural Enhancements for you.
Honestly, I’ve never read such a book (I mean it as a compliment)! To build such a plot while using so many different narrative ways didn’t make you afraid? Did you have this extraordinary structure in mind from the beginning, or did it come to you alongside the writing?
Actually no, I didn’t plan that structure. And I never gave it much importance, really, so I was a little surprised that the format received such big attention from readers.
I know it was not planned from the beginning; I guess I managed to write the first chapter using only these ‘found documents’ and I thought I might be able to keep it going.
It was hard at times because often I wanted to reach into what a camera could not plausibly see, but that was also a comfortable restriction. If I’m allowed to do anything, there’s too many choices to make.
On the other hand, if the next scene MUST happen either in the bedroom, the bathroom, the music room or the kitchen because there are no more cameras, the right option appears clearer.
UK edition/ USA edition / French edition
The themes you’re touching in this story are so varied! Did you make a lot of research to give us so much pleasure? Do you like mind-games and enigmas?
Pleasure was mine! I don’t enjoy research very much; when it comes to writing a story, I’d rather make up the details than search for facts.
But on the other hand, I love wikisurfing. The ciphers were fun to document and/or devise, and so was the creation of a whole county in Virginia, but that’s only because I’m always hungry for junk knowledge and the tools were there; I rarely do any research for a book outside the Internet.
If I say this novel a an adult-oriented book but only for those having kept a part of their inner child in them, am I wrong?
Hmm no, I guess you aren’t. But I don’t give that much thought; I just write what I would like to read and I let the publishers decide who is the target.
I really would not mind being marketed as young adult fiction, as long as they didn’t edit out my sex jokes.
While you were young, were you the type of child who hides under his blanket with a flashlight to read a horror story, leading you to seek, by this novel, to honor these ways?
I was never much into serious horror really. I did read my fair dose of R.L. Stine as a kid, and Poe, but I wasn’t the kind of kid who would organize a sleepover to watch The Exorcist, like hardcore horror fans do at twelve.
Then again, Scooby-Doo was one of my favorite shows as a kid, and Alone in the Dark was one of my favorite games. And I miss that: the pure, unsophisticated formula they offered.
I know I wanted to start my horror book like that, with the old inherited mansion routine, using as many clichés as possible, because I’ve noticed that “adult” horror tends to skimp on those, like they’re a bad thing. I wanted to bask in the platitude of the premise.
Could we hope for a sequel to this novel, and find back these characters in the future?
I am hoping for that. Maybe not these exact characters, or not together, or not in the future. But I’d love to work on this series again.
That’s pretty much all there is: writing and drawing are the two things I’m good at, the two ways I can tell something. Writing is easier, I think.
My current job is with El Jueves magazine, based in Barcelona, where I do articles and cartoons.
I also drew the cover of my previous novel, Vallvi, and I recently finished a promotional comic for the Spanish edition of TSE.
This blog is made of words and sounds. Does music have a share in your creative process?
Pretty much, but I can’t remember an instance in The Supernatural Enhancements where music dictated a chapter. I can tell in my previous novel (Vallvi, in Catalan) it happened.
You have the choice between giving us your final word or talking about your favorite dessert…
It’s melon in coconut milk.
Catégories :Interviews littéraires