Happy Advent everybody! We now have our ten finalists, huge congrats to them and everyone who got involved ❤
This time, I bring Sergio Pereira to the table with his awesome titled book. Go check him out!
Check out my ongoing interviews for SPFBO5 down below:
First of all, tell me about yourself! What do you write?
Hi! The name’s Sergio Pereira. I’m a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa. I’m a copywriter by day as well as a columnist, screenwriter and novelist by night. I primarily dabble in SFF, with a leaning towards urban fantasy.
How do you develop your plots and characters?
It begins with an idea. A concept. From there, I dissect it into a basic beginning, middle and ending, as well as the core characters I want to introduce. While I do utilize some semblance of a plan, I believe the story and characters are the guide and you should listen to them. This is why the story inevitably turns into something different from its initial premise—and that’s okay.
Tell us about your current project.
The Not-So-Grim Reaper is a fantasy comedy that bridges the gap between Deadpool and Bill & Ted. It’s meant to be funny and serve as a tongue-in-cheek social commentary about how we view life and everything in between. You’ll laugh, shake your head, and relate to many of the protagonist’s struggles. In addition, it was a cathartic way for me to deal with the death of my pets. Maybe life doesn’t end after death and it’s only one part of the journey, you know?
Is this your first entry into SPFBO? If not, how many times have you entered?
Yes, The Not-So-Grim Reaper is my first entry into SPFBO.
Who would you say is the main character of your novels? And tell me a little bit about them!
The main character of The Not-So-Grim Reaper is Claudio Chillwell, as the story is told from his point-of-view. He’s a bit of an everyday young man trying to find his place in the world. He doesn’t want any drama or adventure, but would rather just chill and do his own thing at home. He’s like a modern-day Bilbo Baggins.
What advice would you give new writers on how to delve into creative fiction?
Ultimately, just do it. No matter what you plan on doing, you need to execute and do it. Too many people live with ideas in their heads, but never follow through with them. Once you do, though, always strive to improve and learn from what you’ve done. Create because you want to, not because of anything else.
What real-life inspirations did you draw from for the worldbuilding within your book?
The story is set in Johannesburg, South Africa, but I did tweak the surroundings a bit. I believe the city I live in is one of the most unique and diverse in the world, so it’s the perfect setting for the madcap nature of The Not-So-Grim Reaper.
What inspires you to write?
It’s a drive. Even the moments when I’m not writing, I’m still thinking about it. Maybe it’s actually a curse and I’m possessed by some a-hole demon.
What was the hardest part of writing this book?
To be honest, there really wasn’t a difficult part. Apart from juggling time between the day job and other writing projects, it was smooth sailing for the most part.
What is your routine when writing, if any? If you don’t follow a routine, why not?
Generally, I schedule time in my calendar for the different projects/articles I’m working on. I’m quite OCD about completing what’s in my calendar, so I find that once it’s scheduled, I do it.
What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?
I love the opening chapter. It set the standard and tone for the rest of the book. After I wrote it, I looked at it and said, “Well, I guess I’ll definitely have to finish this bad boy now.”
Did you learn anything from writing this book and what was it?
Yes, that I love Bill & Ted and Deadpool more than I ever knew.
Are you a plotter or a pantser? A gardener or an architect?
Plot the basics but with the freedom to chop and change as necessary. In other words, there’s a bit of order in the chaos.
It’s sometimes difficult to get into understanding the characters we write. How do you go about it?
I draw from real-life inspirations or examples. Of course, I’ll never tell the people, but most of the characters are based on people I know or met at some point in my life.
What are your future project(s)?
Yesterday, my collaborator and I finished off a historical horror screenplay that we submitted to a big competition. It’s a story that we’re immensely proud of and hope it sees the light of day. In addition, my latest manuscript is an oral history about a fictional horror punk band that’ll blend horror, fantasy and comedy.
What is your favorite book ever written? Who are your favorite authors?
Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett’s Good Omens. Gaiman is my favourite author and his team-up with Pratchett was a match made in Heaven (and Hell).
What makes a good villain?
Motivation. The stakes for villains don’t need to be world-ending all the time; they just need to make sense.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I’m big into movies, TV series, games, and comic books. So, I spend my time enjoying those things then writing about them.
If you couldn’t be an author, what ideal job would you like to do?
A politician since it’s a similar job. I could make things up and pretend I know what I’m doing when I have no clue.
You can travel to any planet or moon in the Solar System. Where would you go, why and what would you do there?
Saturn, because who wouldn’t want to grab a cosmic skateboard and ride those rings?
Pick any three characters from a fiction novel. These are now your roadtrip crew. Where do you go and what do you do?
Aziraphale, Crowley & Agnes Nutter (Good Omens). Well, I’d let Agnes tell us where we’re going and what we’re doing.
Finally, what is your preferred method to have readers get in touch with or follow you (i.e., website, personal blog, Facebook page, here on Goodreads, etc.) and link(s)?
I love to chat to people, so chatting to me on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram are your best bets. Mind you, I’m available on all platforms, so here are all the links: