Joseph DiMari


As a special education teacher, vocational evaluator, and later as a GED instructor, the author gained years of practical writing experience. Between careers, he fulfilled a long-held dream of many who have a love of reading and books, by opening a used bookstore in Omaha, Nebraska. Retired now from the formal job, he still occasionally produces works of fiction and non-fiction, as he has for most of his life...but fishes regularly.

Smashwords Interview

Have you always been interested in books?
Hopefully, my seventy-plus trips around the sun have led to a little wisdom…and certainly some regret. But, I think in regret lies wisdom. We learn and grow from it. And that’s what life is about: growth. Always growth.
I hesitate to ask someone what they do “for a living,” because I don’t think we’re necessarily defined by our jobs; especially in today’s world where fluidity is a growing necessity. I’d rather inquire about interests and passions; they define us more than anything else.
Contradicting the above, though, I’ll say that I have held many jobs from horse stall cleaner as a kid, to special education teacher and vocational evaluator, and finally as a GED instructor, before retiring and spending more time writing (okay, and a lot of time fishing).
But about midway in my life, I did get a chance to work at something that many of us book beagles only dream about. And that is…owning a book store!
I spent months collecting used books. I was first in line at countless garage sales, haunted St. Vincent De Paul, and obsessively attended Salvation Army bag sales. These were sales held not at the store itself, but at the Salvation Army warehouse. At the bag sales, you could actually fill up a grocery bag with books, piled on their freshly stocked warehouse floor, for a dollar a bag. And you weren’t limited to just a single bag, but as many as you could carry. You never knew what you’d find when the big metal hangar-like door opened promptly at 8am, and everyone poured in and raced to their area of interest, because along with books, there was stuff of every description. Sometimes there would be only a few tattered books. But on other occasions, stacks of boxes of unpicked-over books of all kinds waited to be sorted through. Speed was the essence, but the downside was keeping an eye on your bags while continuing your search. More than once, I turned around to find someone riffling through my sacks, and then innocently asking, “Oh, this is yours?” The scene made Black Friday look like a funeral reception. But, I really scored on most bag sale days and actually found a few rare books to boot.
And so, stocked with 7,000 used paperbacks and about a thousand hard back books (one of which was autographed by Sherlock Holmes himself – Basil Rathbone) I proudly opened The Phoenix Bookstore in the fall.
And then the realities of survival set in. There was no crush of customers. The furnace only sort of worked. And the 1984 winter was one of the coldest on record. Along with the building owner being slow to fix the furnace, the extreme cold caused the concrete walkway in front to rise, making access to the store possible only for the most slender of my patrons, since the front door could only be opened part way. I finally gave up on the landlady, took a chisel and hammer and carved out a path for the door, a task that didn’t exactly jibe with my day-dream aspirations of entrepreneurship.
After the year I (and my wife) had given it to start working, sadly the Phoenix returned to the ashes. In hindsight, the store was probably too small and the location not ideal, and, honestly, the storekeeper’s talent lay not in business.
Did I like the experience? I loved it. But not enough to try again. Soon after, I went back into what seemed to fit the best: education.
Why do you write?
Throughout my life, writing was always an aside that I enjoyed. Jotting notes on one experience or another. A line here, paragraph there, until finally I decided to go the whole course - writing a novel. And you're never sure that you'll finish the thing after the novelty wears off. Let's face it, putting aside possible superlatives anyone may possess - talent, imagination, creativity, etc. - writing is WORK. For myself, it meant a six month commitment, not including proofing. And more proofing.
And after you've written that first novel, the voice of challenge speaks again: Can you write another one?
You see, once you pull the starting rope and the engine is running, it's difficult to stop the momentum.
There's nothing quite like finishing a day's writing, and feeling you've done your best. And once the book is finished, to have someone read your work and actually say it's good (even if it is your brother) is really rewarding.
Much of the above comes from my website, Musings And Maxims. Please check it for more…well, musings and maxims.
Thanks for your time, and keep reading!
Read more of this interview.

Where to find Joseph DiMari online



True Stories Of The 50's Part Five
Series: True Stories Of The 50's. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 2,880. Language: English. Published: December 4, 2014. Categories: Nonfiction » Entertainment » Humor & satire
The rhythm of a south-east Omaha neighborhood is captured in these humorous vignettes of the 1950's.
Price: Free! Words: 2,310. Language: English. Published: January 17, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Psychological thriller
(3.00 from 1 review)
A man desperately seeks answers to an all-consuming question. Estimated reading time - ten minutes.
True Stories Of The 50's Part Four
Series: True Stories Of The 50's. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 2,490. Language: English. Published: November 26, 2013. Categories: Nonfiction » Entertainment » Humor & satire
(2.00 from 1 review)
The rhythm of a south-east Omaha neighborhood is captured in these humorous vignettes of the 1950's.
True Stories Of The 50's Part Three
Series: True Stories Of The 50's. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 2,570. Language: English. Published: February 2, 2013. Categories: Nonfiction » Entertainment » Humor & satire
(5.00 from 2 reviews)
The rhythm of a south-east Omaha neighborhood is captured in these humorous vignettes of the 1950's.
True Stories Of The 50's Part Two
Series: True Stories Of The 50's. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 2,760. Language: English. Published: January 23, 2013. Categories: Nonfiction » Entertainment » Humor & satire
(4.75 from 4 reviews)
The rhythm of a south-east Omaha neighborhood is captured in these humorous vignettes of the 1950's.
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 73,360. Language: English. Published: January 2, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » General
A paranormal, sleight-of-hand thriller that keeps the reader off balance throughout, as medium Chris Jansen finds himself drawn into a roiling current of evil.
The Second Chance
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 5,490. Language: English. Published: December 7, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » General
(4.00 from 1 review)
Science fiction and baseball, along with an ending that may surprise you? Be careful…the gauntlet is down.
The Great American Pee Fight And Other True Stories Of The 50's
Series: True Stories Of The 50's. Price: Free! Words: 3,770. Language: English. Published: November 28, 2012. Categories: Nonfiction » Entertainment » Humor & satire
(4.67 from 3 reviews)
You read it right; it's not "pie." The rhythm of a south-east Omaha neighborhood is captured in these humorous vignettes of the 1950's.
The Dawn Stealer
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 59,730. Language: English. Published: November 1, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Action & suspense
Quirky paleontologist, Laura Crisler, has always gone her own way. But, a find of epic proportions changes everything for her, as she becomes the center of a desperate life and death search to recover the only thing left in her world symbolizing unconditional love.
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 58,370. Language: English. Published: October 19, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Action & suspense, Fiction » Horror » General
Seven people on a routine business flight suddenly find themselves in death's grip at 13,000 feet, saved only by the extraordinary skills of their pilot, who crash lands the stricken plane in the Arizona desert. But reprieve is short as they discover the bleak canyon in which they have landed carries horrid secrets known only to its elderly resident.

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Joseph DiMari's favorite authors on Smashwords

Gerty So
Latest book: The White Rabbit. Published February 4, 2016.

Smashwords book reviews by Joseph DiMari

  • The Alien That Came on Dec. 05, 2012

    Hi Gerty, I liked your story very much. Your title has a clever double meaning, and I liked the part about taxes - so true. Thank you very much for taking the time to review my book.
  • Zombie Nights on Jan. 12, 2013

    Tom's characters are well-formed. I especially liked the uncle and his barbaring partner. I could visualize them right out of Mayberry. Good work.
  • A Guide To Get Thru Abuse on Jan. 25, 2013

    Very good work. Your honesty shows through in all of your writing.
  • The Red Flyer on Feb. 02, 2013

    Bob's writing reminds me a little of Hemingway's - uncomplicated, yet descriptive and emotion provoking. I hope he writes more.
  • First Kiss on Feb. 10, 2013

    Gerty, Another good story with a lot of feeling. I was afraid for you when you described Marty entering the pizza shop, and it's a good thing you had supportive friends around. You did the right thing by going directly to the police.
  • John Wayne (Mr. Farmer's Adventures, Vol. 1) on March 10, 2013

    From humor to graphic reality, this tale covers the full spectrum. Too often, such personal stories are lost in the wake of time. Good reading.
  • Angels Everywhere on April 07, 2013

    We need reminding that there is much more that lies beyond this physical world.
  • One More Time on April 15, 2013

    Good story. Good writing style, although could use some editing in places. Not sure why Elsie, as level-headed and strong as she appears, would need a therapist. Overall, however, an engaging read.
  • My Sadness on April 24, 2013

    Gerty, A very good read. As always, you write honestly.
  • My Dog on May 11, 2013

    Gerty, I'm sure Susie loved you and your family as much as you loved her. A good read.
  • The Good Old Day's on Feb. 19, 2014

    Gerty, I enjoyed reading your story. I know what you mean about the vhs tapes - I still have a cabinet full of them, and still watch them. Your story says to me; the most important things in our lives are our family and our memories. Good job!
  • Raven on July 14, 2014

    Gerty, you put a lot of imagination into this work, and the book cover is very nice. Good job!
  • Her Face Is Familiar on Aug. 11, 2018

    Nicely done. Says a lot for a short work.