Are there any new authors that have sparked your interest and why? A friend of mine, Gery Palazzotto. He is an ex-journalist and started to write crime stories years ago. Traditionally published. We discussed together about the writing process, and how rewarding it can be at times thinking about producing a book for others to read… For others to read… He cared about his readers. I knew already the pleasure of writing for myself and never thought about publishing anything. “For others to read” resonated in the back of my mind. I’ve read his novels, straightforward style, no embellishment, just good story telling. I thought that was the right approach: being a good story teller for others to read and enjoy.
What are some of the best tools available today for writers, especially those just starting out? Every book, literally. If you don’t have time to read you will not have the tools to write. Every book is a writing course in your hands. Today writers have access to tools that look after spelling, grammar errors, pace, convoluted phrases. But reading a lot beats them all. I also suggest two small books: “The Elements of Style”, by Strunk and White, and “Self Editing for Fiction Writers”, by Browne. This last though with the caveat: learn what you should avoid when writing, but hire an editor anyway.
What contributes to making a writer successful? I think I will answer this question after I become successful J If it means selling million books I wonder whether I’ll have an answer during this blog tour.
Anyway, to me successful writers are those who please their readers most of the times. It will not happen with the same reader and at the same spot in the book, but it happens here and there and makes that particular reader wanting to finish the book and read more of the same author. In order for that to happen, a writer has to be true to himself, if your heart is in your writing, readers will feel an heartbeat while reading and share the vision created by the author. Sometimes writers get lost in trying to be “literary”, they enjoy more their own writing and embellishment and lose track of the their main purpose: entertain the readers.
Do you have any advice for writers? Oh well, I don’t think I really have any advice to give to fellow writers. Probably I could attempt instead with aspiring writers, those who fear to make the last step and no one ever hear about. People talk about the “page turner” to describe a good story, something where conflict appears at every page, almost, and that scares a lot aspiring writers. There’s truth in there but it is not the end of it. I think a good story has to make you feel you are part of it, you turn the pages because you care and want to be reassured that something bad is not going to happen (or it is if you hate the character). A good story should make you laugh, cry, feel sadness and happiness, move you to tears, and lose track of time. It will not happen with every reader or at the same places in the story, but if it happens here and there, to some, even one, then the story has reached its goal to please a reader, allow him to escape and live in the same lucid-dream the writer used to create a different world. A good story will find its readers, so keep writing, don’t be scared, your readers will find you.
Do you have any specific last thoughts that you want to say to your readers? Being an Indie writer is difficult. Indie writers have a stigmata, they are considered to be lazy amateurs that do not deserve to be published. So…when you have found an Indie writer who gave you great reading moments, promote the book, write a review, suggest the book to your friends, comment on a blog, send a ‘thank you’ letter. Help that writer write another book.
What do you do to unwind and relax? Read, take a walk, help wife in the garden (ok, I admit it, this is her unwinding and relaxing, I’ve only a support role there), watching a movie with my daughter, playing with my cats, have a dinner with friends, or simply cuddling in front of the fireplace with wife on our large couch and let time fly by.
Genre – Science Fiction
Rating – PG13