Interview with Author Stuart Cavet

Stuart Cavet

I am thrilled to have interviewed author Stuart Cavet, who shared with us details of his writing life, his book ‘Something Kind Of Strange‘, which was released on 27th February 2023, and answered a few fun questions. This post contains affiliate links.

Stuart Cavet

Stuart was formerly an international lawyer, living and working across Asia and the Middle East. He now lives and writes in London. He has had short stories and flash fiction published in various journals, and in 2022 he won second prize in the flash fiction category of the QuietManDave competition run by the writing school at Manchester Metropolitan University. His debut novel, Something Kind Of Strange, is published through Amazon.

interview picture 2023


1) Where did the inspiration for your book come from?

I was sitting in a coffee shop in Dubai, where I was living at the time, and as I looked outside, across a busy highway to a whole row of skyscrapers, I thought: what if I had the whole city to myself? what if I was completely alone in one of the most modern cities in the world? And about the same time, I was listening to Desert Island Discs a lot, and I would often wonder how any of us – as citizens of the twenty-first century, with our specialised education and our consumer lifestyles – would survive on a desert island compared with someone from, say, the eighteenth century like Robinson Crusoe. I think these two things fed into each other.

2) How did you plan out the plot?

Up to a point the plot took care of itself. I had to put myself in the position of the protagonist, Adam Walker, and ask myself: what, logically, would I do if I woke up one day to find that everyone – including my wife – had mysteriously disappeared and there was no power and no technological means to find out what had happened or to call for help? And what would I do the next day and the next. I had to keep pulling on that thread.

There was, of course, the issue of mental as well as physical survival, especially dealing with the mystery of why everyone had disappeared in the first place. I had also to think about how the city would be affected by being depopulated – no power, no air conditioning (in Dubai!), no running water, no working sewage system, no working petrol pumps, that sort of thing – and how that would increasingly affect Adam. In the end, I had two folders full of notes, ideas, research, etc.

3) When did you choose the title for your book?

I think it was while writing the first draft, maybe a little before. I did have a different title in mind initially, but a television show then came out with the same name! That turned out to be fortunate because it made me realise that the initial title closed off some of the mystery in the book and that what I needed was something more open.

4) How did you come up with the names for your characters?

That’s an easy one. It’s really a single-character story, although other characters do briefly appear through flashbacks, memories, dreams etc. I chose Adam Walker for the main character because Adam is the name of the first man (in Christian theology, of course), and in a number of languages ‘Adam’ or variations on that word mean ‘man’.

I wanted him to be universal, a kind of archetype, though having very much his own distinctive personality. Likewise, with his surname, Walker – walking is one of the basic human actions, and I was thinking along the lines of ‘homo erectus’.

5) Can you give us a hint to any sections that you removed?

I removed plenty. Over a dozen full drafts, I removed about 20,000 words. But then, having identified key plot points, I probably put in another 20,000 words (or more!) to develop them. Some of the things I removed include redundant description of landscape and the detailed process whereby Adam calculates his petrol reserves and requirements – things that could be cut altogether or significantly simplified.

6) What made you choose this genre?

It’s not a ‘genre’ book. It follows a very simple idea and has fun with it without regard to any particular rules or formulae. I was intrigued by the initial idea and by seeing how far I could take it, and I enjoyed having the freedom to do with it just what I wanted.

7) How long did it take you to complete your book?

The writing process took approximately 18 months. As I mentioned, there were a dozen full drafts, and that was writing pretty much full time. I then spent about another 18 months trying to get representation with an agent but ultimately went down the self-publishing route. So about three years altogether.

8) Can you describe your book in three words?

Strange psychological mystery.

9) What’s the hardest part of being a writer?

For me, as a self-published debut novelist, getting read. The standard way to get a readership is, of course, to persuade someone to be your agent, have the agent persuade a publisher to publish you, and then have the publisher persuade the public to read you. Up to a point these are things over which you have limited control. All you can do as a writer is write the best book you can. After that everything depends on a host of subjective decisions, however ‘good’ your book. And when you go the self-publishing route, it’s extremely difficult to market yourself credibly to a wide potential readership.

10) Why should our readers pick your book up?

It’s about identity, relationships and our grasp of reality – and though that might sound a bit heavy, it’s strongly plot-driven, with plenty of humour and action, and all in the highly cinematic setting of Dubai. Oh, and did I mention the live shop-mannequins? or the trolls? or the plague-rats?

Something Kind Of Strange by Stuart Cavet

Something Kind Of Strange

Author – Stuart Cavet
Pages – 494
Release Date – 27th February 2023
ISBN 13 – 979-8379263423
Format – ebook, paperback


Adam Walker awakes one Dubai morning to find that everyone has disappeared. Even his wife. Overnight and without warning it seems the entire city has been evacuated, leaving only him behind. And with the power down, the internet inaccessible, and the telephone, radio and television all dead, he cannot rely upon technology to find out what has happened or to call for help. Is some catastrophe about to strike or is he the sole, freak survivor of a catastrophe that has already struck? And should he sit tight at home to await rescue or venture out to seek safety and normality and his wife? As Adam grapples with his situation, struggling to survive both physically and mentally, he is forced to reflect upon his relationship with his wife, his sense of identity and what is and is not real.

Something Kind Of Strange is a literate and imaginative psychological mystery/thriller leavened with humanity and humour. Like a modern-day version of Robinson Crusoe, it asks the question how might a twenty-first century person survive stranded and alone on a desert island when that desert island is the city?

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Fun Questions

Talking Owl Interview Pic 2023

1) Do you have a writing buddy (i.e. a pet)?

No, it’s definitely a buddy-free zone.

2) Do you have any writing quirks?

Most of my quirks are un-writing-related! These probably don’t count as quirks, but I would always write facing a wall (less distractions) and always aim to write 2,000 words a day (got to have a target); and though I did sometimes have music on, I was definitely more productive in a quiet environment (it’s not just that the music itself can be distracting but the choosing and the changing of the music!).

3) Where do you write?

This novel was written at a desk in a spare bedroom.

4) Your book has been made into a movie, you’ve been offered a cameo role, what will you be doing?

One of the live shop-mannequins!

5) A talking owl has just finished reading your book, what’s the first thing he says to you?

‘Why are there no owls in your book?!’

Author links


A big thank you to Stuart Cavet for sharing his writing life with us and for a wonderful interview.

The above links are affiliate links. I receive a very small percentage from each item you purchase via these link, which is at no extra cost to you. If you are thinking about purchasing the book, please think about using one of the links above. Thank you.

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