Interview with John Agostino

What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Social media is great. I never imagined I'd have a Facebook page, (I actually have six), a Twitter account, a blog, a My Space page and all the rest. You name it and I'm probably on there. It's great exposure and almost always free!
Describe your desk
Laptop with wireless keyboard and mouse, adjacent monitor so I can Google things while I write, and that's about it---used to have dictionary, thesaurus, and Chicago Manual of Style within arms reach, but that's all available online now. Besides, I don't like clutter. It's distracting.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
Born in Brooklyn, NY, but moved to South Florida when I was still a small boy. The New Yorker in me was mostly passed down from my older siblings, and from summer vacations back north. The South Florida kid who never wore shoes during summertime and always had a tan because he spent all his waking hours outside is actually the subject of my upcoming novel "Naranja Lakes." I'll finish it eventually.
When did you first start writing?
Dabbled in writing years ago, my first manuscript was a Science Fiction blockbuster complete with new worlds and new creatures and all kinds of cool stuff. I got a little over a hundred pages into it and discovered it was hard work making up all this stuff. It's been sitting on the shelf since the mid-nineties. I picked up again in 2005 when an idea came to me in church of all places. I guess I wasn't paying much attention to the sermon. I took the idea and ran with it and ten months later I had "Distant Relatives." Wow, what an accomplishment, that's when I learned that I didn't know how to write.
What's the story behind your latest book?
Awesome! It's based on the legacy of the greatest inventor the world has ever known, Nikola Tesla! When Albert Einstein was once asked how it felt to be the smartest man in the world, he replied, "I don't know, you'll have to ask Nikola Tesla." It's a really unique story with several throughlines and a colorful cast of characters that all get intertwined and reveal themselves in the end. I think you'll enjoy it.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I knew deep down that my work was good, but the rejections just kept coming. I think more than anything I just wanted the world to read my work. What good is a great book if nobody has access to it?
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
When your at that point in the story where you don't know where to go---I mean you know where you have to get to, but you don't know how to get there. You're stumped. Maybe for a day, maybe for a week, maybe for a month, but then you figure it out, and it all makes sense, and the moon is in the seventh house, and Jupiter aligns with Mars, and the world is good again. Then you race across the pages to finish your story!
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yes, it was back in the tenth grade, I wrote my Thanksgiving Essay from the point of view of the turkey, So while all my other classmates were writing about what they were thankful for, I was presenting the doom and gloom of being a turkey during November. The teacher liked it and even suggested I become a writer. If i'd had only started back then.
What is your writing process?
Blast out as many pages as possible until the jolt of inspiration fades or the eyelids won't stay open. Jot down a few notes about where to go next and then go to bed. The next day I'll edit what I wrote and pickup where I left off.
What do you read for pleasure?
A lot of books on writing, and mostly thrillers.
Published 2013-10-01.
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