Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief: Congratulations on the upcoming release of The Night Guard! For those who may be unfamiliar, how would you describe the book’s premise?
Carlos Cardoso: Thanks very much! Here’s the official book blurb:
In a forgotten Eastern European country, Andrei celebrates his 30th birthday by himself in a tacky nightclub. He has achieved nothing in life and he's finding it harder and harder to pretend that it doesn't bother him. His brother, his parents' pride, offers him an unwanted gift—a job as a night guard.
Across town, Andrei's future boss Niko is also celebrating his 30th birthday, but in an exclusive nightclub. His fabulous entourage have turned up to party with him, but they can't relieve Niko's terminal boredom. That is until he lays eyes on Noor, an exotic beauty that is much more than she seems. As Noor takes Niko down a dark path, Andrei is dragged along first as a pawn, later as a victim. For the first time, Andrei's decisions could mean life or death for himself, his family, and his friends, as a shape-shifting, supernatural predator hunts him across Europe to London.
BD: What can you share with us about your creative process in bringing the story to life, and what (or who) have been some of your creative influences?
CC: I started with a memorable moment of my life—arriving in London without a job, friends, or plans—which I then amplified and dramatized through Andrei and his own personality. This being a thriller and all, it was mostly about getting Andrei in trouble and forcing him to change and grow because of it.
BD: If given the opportunity, do you foresee expanding the world of the book or its characters into subsequent stories?
CC: Not necessarily the characters in this book, but I see The Night Guard as being book 1 of a series called Human Dregs. All the books will be about people on the fringes of society, invisible to most of us, and thus vulnerable. I do want book 2 to be a more collective book than TNG which had a single protagonist for the most part.
BD: At Fanbase Press, our #StoriesMatter initiative endeavors to highlight the impact that stories can have on audiences of various mediums. How do you feel that Andrei’s story will connect with and impact readers?
CC: There are millions of Andreis around the world. Young people who are stuck with nowhere to go in their lives and without any hope and prospects. When Andrei is forced out of his rut, he’s thrown into a situation where he’s seen as expendable, easily-replaceable labor. I’m sure readers will find plenty to relate with.
BD: Are there any upcoming projects on which you are currently working that you would like to share with our readers?
CC: There’s a novella I’ve been working on since the beginning of the year whenever I took a break from The Night Guard. It’s called If a Tree Should Die, and I’d say it’s more of a folk horror tale than a thriller like TNG. Here’s a blurb of it:
A young woman is found dead in the forest, yet, when the authorities come back to collect her body, she's gone, having walked away on her own two feet. Rowan believes she's the woman he loves, but when he comes to the forest to find her, he meets others who think the same, and none of them are wrong.
BD: Lastly, what is the best way for our readers to find more information about The Night Guard and your other work?
CC: Between my Twitter presence and my website (http://www.carloscardoso.uk/), readers can keep up to date on what I’m doing. On my website, you can also find a way to subscribe to my mailing list and short stories I’ve been publishing online. Thanks!