Introducing Author David D’Aguanno

Posted on April 3, 2013. Filed under: Author Interviews, L.Leander Reviews and Interviews | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

SAMSUNGIf you love a comedic, witty mystery you’ll love this week’s author, David D’Aguanno.  You may know him best for his Brett character in Don’t Mess With Brett but do you know he has also penned a book that is very different and serious titled Why She Left Us?  I think you’ll enjoy learning about this writer and you’ll be glad you took the time to follow his interview. Be sure to leave a comment for a chance to win a free digital copy of Don’t Mess With Brett.  If you’d like to see my review of Brett Aerobicizes, the second book in the series, click here.

Interview with Author David D’Aguanno

by L.Leander

What is your favorite pastime (other than writing)? (you can only pick one) and why?

When I’m not writing (or reading), I’m usually listening to classical music. I have a huge CD collection, and because there are only so many hours in the day, there are many CDs I’ve heard only once and don’t even remember what they sound like!

Who are you as a writer?

As a writer – and particularly as a writer of the Brett Cornell series of comedy-mysteries – I view my role to be that of a person whose aim is merely to entertain. In other words, I sincerely doubt that anyone would want to read a “Brett book” in order to gain any kind of spiritual enlightenment. Escapism, a few laughs – That’s about it!

What are your thoughts on the Indie Publishing movement?

I think it’s wonderful, since it gives so many tremendously talented writers an opportunity to have their works read, instead of having to spend so much valuable time, simply trying to find an agent and/or a publisher in such a competitive area.

Have you ever ghostwritten?  Would you?  Why?

No, I haven’t, and I probably wouldn’t. As it is, I have so many various ideas floating around in my head that I need to get “on paper” that I probably wouldn’t have the time for it.

What is your favorite book of all time?  Why? 

Well, I probably have several favorites,  but one that stands out in my mind is “Sir Harry Hotspur of Humblethwaite” by Anthony Trollope. I recall how, when reading it, I said to myself,” I know where this story is heading,” only to find myself completely surprised by a tragic ending that left me emotionally devastated. Often, in a single phrase or a single sentence, Trollope was able to pull me into the minds and emotional states of his main characters. Amazing!

Do you believe writers need a degree to be successful?  Why or why not?

Having taught English in a public school for nearly 30 years, I find myself being somewhat finicky about spelling, punctuation, and the like. However, with a good editor and proper guidance, anyone should be able to produce a worthwhile piece of writing, even without having earned a degree.

You are camping in a tent in the woods.  A loud roar happens outside the flap to the tent.  What do you do?

Seeing as the mere suspicion that a spider or a snake may be nearby usually gets me nerved up, my imagination would go into over-drive at the sound of a loud roar, and I’d probably freak out completely!

What is your greatest asset?  Why?

My greatest asset as a person? Well, I’ve been told that I’m extremely compassionate, or “an old softie” (if you will). As a writer, I think that I have a knack for coming up with a story that moves along fairly quickly, for the most part.

What do you treasure most on earth?

It may sound like a stock answer, but I’d have to say: “My friends and family.”

What did you like to do as a child?  Favorite games, pastimes, friends, etc.

Being non-athletic as a child, I enjoyed mostly board games and word games, and my love of classical music, even at any early age, meant that listening to records or music on the radio took up a lot of my time. Oh, and writing little stories, too, of course.

What is the single-most important thing that has happened to you thus-far on your writing journey?

Finding out that there are so many ways of reaching potential readers with my writing has been an eye-opening experience for me.

How important is being successful as a writer to you?

Being successful as a writer is probably as important to me now as being successful as a teacher was, back in the days when I was doing that, assuming that “being successful” means being able to affect other people’s moods, attitudes, and lives in a positive way.

The genie is going to grant you three wishes.  What are they?

O.K., if I were to say that I’d wish I could feed all the hungry people in the world – or anything else along that line – I’d be lying. So, at the risk of sounding self-centered, I’d wish (1) that my Brett books could be turned into a TV series, preferably on HBO, Showtime, or Starz (I’m not too fussy, am I?),  (2) that my other novel “Why She Left Us” could be turned into a major motion picture, and (3) that I could live long enough to hear Brett’s quirky sayings become part of people’s everyday vocabulary. (You would have had to have read one of my Brett books in order to fully appreciate what I mean by that last “wish” of mine.)

You get one day to spend any way you want with whomever you want.  Describe the day (money is no object)

Wow! I’m afraid I can’t really answer that, only because I’d want to be able to spend the day with people I miss the most, and sadly enough, it would be physically impossible to do that (you can guess the reason why).

Who or what were your main inspirations for choosing a writing career?

A lot of my writing was originally done several years back, and it wasn’t until my cousin Darlene urged me to do something with the novels I had written that I actually decided to take on this so-called second career of mine. Without her show of confidence in my writing ability, I probably would be doing something else right now. Sad but true, now that I think about it.

Here’s a little more about books currently available from David D’Aguanno in his own words.

A little bit about my books:

Brett Cornell is meant to be taken more as a cartoonish type of character rather than a real person. In fact, if such a person really did exist, most people wouldn’t have anything to do with him, and any self-respecting woman would surely stay clear of him, despite his good looks. The novels themselves are over-the-top and tongue-in-cheek, so that anyone expecting a serious and intricately plotted murder mystery (as in Hercule Poirot or Sherlock Holmes, for example) would be very disappointed. Provided you don’t take the character of Brett Cornell too seriously, though, you should probably find the novels engaging and amusing and totally unique.

My novel “Why She Left Us” is radically different, written in a somewhat experimental style, and involving characters who are meant to be viewed as real human beings who have sincere and deep emotions and several of whom suffer greatly through acts of betrayal, loss, and revenge. If I can move readers emotionally in this novel, then I will have succeeded in doing what I meant to do in writing this novel.

Here are some links to check out this author and his books.  Be sure to leave a comment below to enter the drawing for a free digital copy of Don’t Mess With Brett by David D’Aguanno.

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Introducing Author Michael Cavallo

Posted on February 18, 2013. Filed under: Author Interviews | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWell, everyone.  You won’t want to miss this week’s zany interview with author Michael Cavallo, the author of Michael Did What?  You can read my review of the book here.  Mike is a funny guy and the great lengths his character goes to to prove to the world how wonderful he is makes for a light read.  I found myself laughing more than once.  You will too. (Be sure to check out the links at the end of the interview – Michael has a money-saving coupon for you!

Interview with Michael Cavallo

by L.Leander

What is your favorite pastime (other than writing)? (you can only pick one) and why?

I don’t really have one. Life just kinda gets in the way. I’m married, with two kids, a house, and that keeps be busy. Aside from writing and marketing, “Michael Did What?” I’ve been mentally kicking around a few ideas for my next book. For now, “Michael Did What?” takes most of my free time. That, and trying to keep those little cups on top of the NyQuil bottles. They’re always disappearing, and it’s up to me to restore order to the medicine cabinet. Can you consider that a pastime?

Who are you as a writer?

Simply put, I’m really just going for a laugh, and there are few rules to that. (One is to refer to bad 80’s TV shows a lot. What the heck was Hart to Hart about anyway?)  I’m trying to keep the reader a little off balance so they never really know what to expect. I like to use a variety of techniques, each in a different way, and without a discernible pattern. I like to hit the reader with a joke about F. Murray Abraham and two stalks of celery when they least expect it.

What are your thoughts on the Indie Publishing movement?

As a writer, I think it’s awesome. It gives every author an opportunity, which is all one can ask for. It’s also a ton of work, and full of scams. (The Ultra-Golden-Ruby-Premium Marketing package will help you to sell 3 million books in the first 3 days alone! By Thursday, Lindsay Lohan will be cast in the movie version, provided she posts bail! Just send $400 now, and an address where your groupies should loiter!)

I’m self-published on Amazon, so I’m more familiar with that than the others, but I did do my homework. It takes so much time and effort to get your book noticed, but if it’s good, it will be shared, and you’re on your way. Competition is tremendous, as even the most popular writers give their books away for free or 99 cents from time to time. It can be rewarding though, once you invest the time and effort into learning how to utilize the industry, and filter out the nonsense.

As a reader, it can be just as much work separating the good writing from the not so good. You can find some good work in whatever niche you’re into, and you may have to sift through a lot of titles. I’m not sure the world needs a 450 page tome dedicated to the proper storage of garden hoses, (and 67 ways to coil them!) but at least the choice is there. Worst case scenario, you’ve wasted a dollar.

Have you ever ghostwritten?  Would you?  Why?

It isn’t something that I’ve really considered, but I would love to do it. I think I’d have a great ability to help someone crystallize their thoughts, and inject some humor into their story. I understand Fidel Castro’s English isn’t so good, and, let’s face it, he isn’t known for his humor. I could help to soften his image in his golden years. This could be a win-win for both of us! Do his henchmen read this blog? Maybe then I’ll have henchmen too. That’s when you know you’ve made it.

What is your favorite book of all time?  Why?Little.Happy.Michael

I’m not sure I have an all-time favorite book. If I had to pick one, Our Dumb World from the Onion would probably be it. Who satirizes an atlas, anyway? Brilliant! Probably a million one-liners in that book. Also America, the Book, by John Stewart. Great sound bites, blurbs, ridiculous comments in a spoofed textbook. A textbook I can scribble in if I want to! I guess I see these as revenge from years of Catholic grammar school.

Do you believe writers need a degree to be successful?  Why or why not?

Of course not. A writer only needs a bunch of crap bouncing around inside of his head, a need to get it out, and the means to do so. See those people wandering around Manhattan muttering to themselves, oblivious to the world around them? Those are unwritten books, trying to get out.

You are camping in a tent in the woods.  A loud roar happens outside the flap to the tent.  What do you do?

First, I unzip the flap as patiently and gingerly as possible, sometimes taking upwards of six hours, so as not to draw undue attention upon myself. If the roaring still persists, I will then attempt to distract the roarmaker, usually by screaming like a little bitch. I do this as I make a bee-line for the cooler, and bravely attempt to liberate as many cans of beer as possible, while cursing myself for not finishing them the night before. I will then head towards the car, which, because of the Rules of Scary Movies, is wwwwaaaaaayyy off in the opposite direction. Immediately thereafter, I drop one of the cans, and am faced with a dilemma: Continue on, and enjoy the juice of my labor in the comfort of my ’72 Pinto? Or do I risk it all to go back for the lone ale, reminding myself that people are sober in China? Being as eco-conscious as I am, I make an about face to rescue the lone straggler. This is when, as the Rules of Scary Movies dictate, that the hideous beast emerges from the brush, and the race—full of close-ups, and in slow motion—begins for real. Realizing that if something works, you should stick with it, I then enter Phase II of my plan, namely, screaming like a BIG banshee. The higher pitch and frequency of this brilliant and manly plan usually works to perfection, and within moments I’m sipping a cold one from inside my car, while the defeated monster fogs my window with his rapid panting. All that’s left to do, as the camera pans back, is give that squirrel the finger. Fade to black, roll credits.*

*No squirrels were hurt during the answering of this question.

What is your greatest asset?  Why?

That’s easy. My sense of humor. I’ve learned to find the humor in almost any situation, including the most difficult ones. That’s not to say you can avoid your responsibilities, or neglect to do the tough things that need to be done, but I always try to find a way to laugh while doing them. Many people may feel that you can’t be serious about something and maintain a sense of humor about it at the same time. They feel it’s either/or. I’ve laughed in the dentist’s chair, emergency room, and funeral homes. If I can help other people to laugh while in those situations, that’s even better.

What do you treasure most on earth?

That’s a bit tougher. I’d have to say life itself. The process of life, of growing and evolving. Just watching life unfold, and taking from it what you can, and being thankful for it. Most people can look back on difficult times and see how it made them grow, and then appreciate it. If  I can accelerate that process, and experience gratitude during the difficult times, then I’ve taken a tremendous step. I have done that. The trick is to do it consistently. That, and pepper-jack cheese. The mild cheese is deliciously offset by the spiciness of the jalapenos. It’s like there’s a party in my mouth.

What did you like to do as a child?  Favorite games, pastimes, friends, etc.

I played hockey a lot, usually as a goalie. There’s was nothing like it. When I’m focused, nothing else exists except that puck. I wouldn’t feel cold, or tired, or worry my car insurance is due. Time would sometime slow down, and I’d see the play a few seconds before it unfolded. Other times, it would speed up, and I’d have no recollection of plays after the game. The outside world would just cease to exist.

What is the single-most important thing that has happened to you thus-far on your writing journey?

I’d have to say the confidence I’ve gained, just learning to open up a bit, and put myself out there. You immediately set yourself up for criticism, and need to understand it comes with the territory. And this is just from a simple joke book, it’s not like I’ve published my personal memoirs. Of course, the positive feedback  helps too.

How important is being successful as a writer to you?

I enjoy making people laugh, so that is my primarily goal. If I can do that, and  make a few bucks, even better. What I don’t enjoy is the constant work promoting, and marketing the book. In a perfect world, I’d have an army of minions to take care of that.

The genie is going to grant you three wishes.  What are they?

Well, the most obvious answer is for world peace, but I don’t want to sound like a desperate Miss America contestant.  Another would be for my kids to get along, but this would not be possible without supernatural intervention. They could rule the entire Earth, and they’d still fight. Stuff like:

One son: “This is MY ocean! Why don’t you go play in the Atlantic?!?”

Other son: “But I saw it first! I want to play here!”

Either son: “Moooommm!”

The other two wishes? I don’t know. Can I donate them to charity?

You get one day to spend any way you want with whomever you want.  Describe the day (money is no object)

Money is no object? What about resurrecting the dead? If that isn’t an object, then I’d go drinking with Jim Morrison. I would describe the day in great detail, but unfortunately I’d have no recollection of it. Trust me, we had a good time.

Who or what were your main inspirations for choosing a writing career?

I’d have to say Douglas Adams, and Dave Barry. Dave Barry could write an article about any topic, and take it in any direction within 3 paragraphs. No matter where he went with it, it was hilarious. Adams too, but he’d build a full novel around it. I also have a tiny (3 inch square, hardcover) book on my desk about the New York Mets. I don’t know the title, but it’s the crappiest book I have ever come across. About 30 pages, with one ‘fact’ on each page. The thing is, the facts aren’t even impressive. Stuff like, “Mike Piazza hit 2 doubles against L.A. on August 9, 2001.” From a major publisher, with a price of $7.99. An average fan could do better right of the top of their head. I’m not sure where I got it, but keep it as inspiration. If this book can be published and sold, I can challenge the Bible.

Readers, I hope you’ve enjoyed this interview as much as I have.  Please leave Michael a comment to let him know you stopped by!  If you’d like to find out more about Michael Cavallo (who wouldn’t?) check out his links below:

Michael.Did.What.eBook.03Amazon:
CreateSpace (Paperback) https://www.createspace.com/3991243
(Coupon for this paperback at CreateSpace, $1.00 off with code C75DXRC3)
Page a Day Calendar from Printed Owl:
Apps/Widgets from Printed Owl:
You Tube Radio commercial:
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