About the authors:
Joseph and Marisha Cautilli are probably the best father-daughter cyber punk-horror writers ever (maybe the only father-daughter combination).
Joe Cautilli has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Temple University. He has two master’s degrees. The first is in Counseling Psychology, and the Second is in Applied Behavior Analysis. He has a doctorate in school psychology. He is licensed as a psychologist in Pennsylvania and Delaware. He is licensed as a counselor and a behavior specialist in Pennsylvania. He is certified in Head Injury Treatment, and in Applied Behavior Analysis. He has worked for twenty five years in mental health, including owning his own company, and in the prison system, working with inmates with mental health issues. Joe has written numerous articles in psychology as well as in both the horror and cyberpunk genera. The goal of good cyberpunk, as he sees it, is to pull science and technology out of the lab and put it altered into the everyday world. In the horror genre, he strives to create realistic images of the darkest elements of human nature. When asked what his goals for a horror novel are, he states: “To leave the reader with a sense of paranoia and fear about the world. A good novel is one that the reader, to some degree, causes intrusive memories about the events in the novel later on, some sense of grief, or distress over character losses, and a feeling of jumpiness.”
Marisha Cautilli is seven years old and in the fourth grade. Diagnosed as gifted, she is currently completing the fourth grade curriculum at Pa Cyber Charter. Marisha has many gifts and hobbies. In addition to the regular curriculum (language arts, math, science, and social studies), Marisha takes gifted classes in creative writing, crime scene science, and noir films. She enjoys gymnastics, karate, and cartooning. She is an accomplished swimmer, archer, skier, guitarist, and keyboardist. She speaks both English and Polish. Marisha loves gaming on the Wii. Marisha’s primary joy in writing is historical fiction and fantasy, but has recently begun to take an interest in the cyberworld. When it comes to Cyberpunk, Marisha believes that the most important aspect of the plot is that people can believe they are part of the scene; they feel a sense of the character being trapped. She likes to develop the reader’s skepticism in what the characters are thinking and saying. She feels that the characters, thoughts, and feelings should be common enough for all to acknowledge. She especially likes to focus on mundane parts of characters lives that are often overlooked, but give clues to the characters emotional state. When it comes to horror, Marisha enjoys writing graphic images and shocking scenes. She likes the images to be quick and concise, like video games.
Both authors enjoy adding a sense of humor to the characters and the plot, as humor is often one way to cope with the horrific events that the characters are experiencing.
When did you first start writing?
Joe: I started writing in College. I wrote mostly technical articles in behavior analysis and behavioral psychology. I published many articles in those areas. At the same time, I wrote science fiction and horror stories, mostly for myself and my friends.
Marisha: I began writing at five years old. I wrote a book about my school characters at PA Cyber. It was called Origins of the Kid Council. I really liked it and liked writing. I liked providing a background for the characters that I was learning from everyday.
Read more of this interview.
What's the story behind your latest book?
Joe: Zombies vs. Robots for me was a great way to contrast two visions of the future: the vision of a progressing and improving society with an image of a society in decay. Particularly, I like the early scene in the book. It starts with one of the main characters of an ideal vision of the future waking from a nightmare. It is kind of symbolic of his denial and the situation intruding deep into his psyche trying to tell him something is wrong.
Marisha: For me, the story is about a team of friends and family bonding together to fight the end of the world from happening. Maybe they cannot save everyone, although Martin (a character in the story) would certainly try but they could save themselves and each other. Often they are not successful but then again in the end, none of us are able to keep death away forever.