Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
Most of my life was spent in the streets of Brooklyn, New York, in the Bensonhurst section. I was surrounded by "characters," some good, some bad, but always interesting. What was "normal" to me, probably wouldn't be to someone who grew up in a small town. Thus far, my personal experiences have had a strong influence in my stories.
When did you first start writing?
I would have to say the first time I thought about writing as a profession came after I received an "A" on a short story entitled, "Golden Tuna." I was a high school freshman and the teacher who bestowed that grade was known as one of the toughest teachers in school. She had me read my piece aloud to the class. When I first started reading, my voice wobbled, but when I looked up and saw the students paying attention to me, I overcame my fear. When they applauded at the end, I was hooked.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Since I'm not a notorious criminal, or well-known celebrity, I figured it would be futile trying to attract an agent. Why waste my time?
What do your fans mean to you?
There's nothing better than receiving an e-mail from a stranger letting me know I touched them in some way. Actually there is something better...becoming friends with them on a social media site and developing a relationship.
What are you working on next?
I have a couple of things going on right now. I've been researching the Civil War period for the past year for a historical fiction/paranormal novel that's been screaming to be written. With me being a Yankee living in the South, I've found the local history fascinating. I've also been toying with the idea of publishing some letters I recently discovered written between my father and godfather when they were in the Air Force in fifties...very entertaining stuff.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
My family. And if I don't get up quick enough, my sweet Malti-Zhu will make sure I do.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
When my father died, besides broken hearts, he left behind thousands of books, magazines and movies. He was a film buff and baseball fan. He always said he wouldn't live long enough to read all his books or watch all his films. He also told us they were "worth something" and to not just "throw them out" when he's gone. I felt his legacy was in danger of getting ruined by being left unattended in the damp basement of our Brooklyn home. So, recently we moved everything down here to Roanoke. I'm in the process of cataloguing everything, and perhaps creating a website and/or on-line store. It's quite an undertaking, but I feel I must do this. I'm certain the materials will wind up in the hands of those they are supposed to wind up in.
What do you read for pleasure?
I love non-fiction books and my taste runs from celebrities to true crime and eveything in between, especially memoirs. I love to learn something when I'm reading. For novels I prefer historical fiction, suspense, and paranormal. It's also not uncommon for me to pull out some poetry from Rimbaud, Baudelaire, Yeats, and Poe.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I love my Kindle because I only use it for reading. I don't want to be distracted with "shiny things" like I am when I'm using my iPhone.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Actually, none. I depend on the kindness of strangers to recommend my books to their friends. Word of mouth is the best marketing I could hope for.
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