by Lars Walker
My novels, I think, are essentially about heroism. I write of heroism with a spectator’s fascination—like a football fan watching Brett Favre play, analyzing what he’s doing, knowing all the time he’s criticizing a level of play to which he’ll never attain.
There’s no need to explain just here the sad shortage of heroes in my own life, and why it’s so important to me that there should be heroes around. I remember an older boy who defended me from a bully once in elementary school. I’ve had the benefit of very few such rescues in my life, and that boy’s image stayed in my mind, and eventually grew into Erling Skjalgsson, the hero of West Oversea and its prequel, The Year Of the Warrior. Erling is an actual historical character, a man who appeals to the modern saga reader because we’re told he helped his slaves earn their freedom. I want there to be many more such people in the world. I want to tell stories that will, perhaps, help people to become like that.
I’m not a hero myself, to my shame. When I think of heroism, my mind inevitably goes back to a day when I broke my word to a man, in order to seize what I thought was a better employment opportunity (for the record, it wasn’t). That memory still keeps me up nights.
So my hero, Erling, has to be a man who will pay any price to do what is right. In West Ovesea, he surrenders his political power and much of his property, in order to avoid doing a shameful act. Instead he sets out on a sea voyage to Greenland, which puts him on the road to the adventures of the story.
My personal voice in the book isn’t Erling, but Erling’s Irish priest, Father Aillil, the narrator of the story. Aillil is a man capable of heroism at moments, but he’s been a slave, and so lacks Erling’s high self-esteem. He expects less of himself than Erling does, and accomplishes less, and is ashamed of it.
But spending time with Erling makes him long to be more, and strive to be more. I hope it will have the same effect on my readers.
And, perhaps, on me.
Lars (pronounced Larce) Walker is a native of Kenyon, Minnesota, and lives in Minneapolis. He has worked as a crabmeat packer in Alaska, a radio announcer, a church secretary and an administrative assistant, and is presently librarian and bookstore manager for the schools of the Association of Free Lutheran Congregations in Plymouth, Minnesota.
He is the author of four previously published novels, and is the editor of the journal of the Georg Sverdrup Society. His latest release is West Oversea: A Norse Saga of Mystery, Adventure and Faith.
by Joyce Elson Moore
I’m frequently asked where I get ideas for my story plots. truth to tell, they can come from the most unexpected sources—a snippet of conversation, a tour guide’s mention of an historical personage, a painting, or almost anywhere. However, my inspiration for The Tapestry Shop was not so much my seeking out the story, as much as the protagonist came to me. Yes, an obscure thirteenth-century poet/musician gave me the idea for my upcoming historical novel.
Years ago, in a college textbook (my Grout, for those of you who studied music history), I saw a woodcut of Adam de la Halle, a trouvere, one of those poet/musicians in northern France. He was also called “The Hunchback”, and I wondered why, and if he were really hunchbacked.
A little research turned up his interesting history. He wrote secular music and plays, which are still performed, and one of them was Robin et Marion. Since his writing preceeded the English ballads about Robin Hood, many musicologists believe that his Robin et Marion was the first penning of the Robin Hood legend. Adam lived in northern France, and since he was the protégé of Louis’ IX’s nephew, it’s quite possible he went to the English courts, or that his play was performed there.
I wrote the book, and it won an award, but never sold. I went on to publish other books, but Adam haunted me. A few years ago, I got out the manuscript, completely changed the heroine, retitled the story, and sold it to Five Star/Cengage. It’s about conflicting beliefs, women in the crusades, and the university in Paris, but above all, it’s about two people in love and the obstacles that challenge them on their separate journeys to self-discovery.
Joyce Elson Moore is an award winning author of historical fiction. In addition to her novels, her work has appeared in major newspapers and national publications, poetry journals, and anthologies of selected writers.
After a brief teaching career, Joyce turned to writing full time, and has reached a widening audience with her books. Along with previous awards and contest wins, she was First Place winner of the 2009 PRLA award for best published romance. Her books continue to draw praise and rave reviews, some of which are posted on her website www.joycemoorebooks.com .
Some early reviews for The Tapestry Shop:
from Renaissance Magazine
brilliantly illuminates the nuances of daily medieval life . . . . is highly recommended
from Romance Reviews Today
. . . meticulously researched . . . Beautifully written, this is an excellent novel for the fan of historical fiction.
by Cheryl C. Malandrinos
My first children’s book, Little Shepherd, came out in August. While this story didn’t come from personal experience, it is based on something I know about—the Christmas story.
We are told to write what we know, which I’ve done a lot of over the years. I’ve written stories about grieving teenage girls who lost their mothers to cancer. That happened to me when I was 14. As a kid I wrote a Scooby-Doo type mystery. I’ve loved mysteries my entire life. Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys, Murder at the Pentagon, the Deputy Tempe Crabtree series, and more. I’ve read them and keep reading them. Scooby-Doo was a never missed cartoon on Saturday mornings while growing up, and thanks to the Cartoon Network I can still watch those meddling kids and their dog uncover clues and solve crimes.
But one thing I believe we all know more about than anything else is our family. We can tell you what we don’t like about each person; share all the annoying things they did to us over the years; talk about how years later we’ve reconciled our differences—or not.
My family has changed a lot in the years since my mother’s death. There have been marriages and divorces, births and deaths, and arguments and reconciliations. There are certainly some wild stories in there. When I talk to my friends about things my family did (sometimes I even get brave enough to share things I’ve done) the reaction is usually the same, “You should write a book about all this.”
The first manuscript I completed after embarking on my writing career was a story of three adult sisters who grew up in a dysfunctional household run by their ex-Marine father and neurotic mother. The sisters had remained rivals throughout the years. When the youngest sister is diagnosed with ovarian cancer, the sisters struggle to push aside their differences and work toward becoming supporters of each other, and hopefully friends.
I co-authored this story with my middle sister. It’s close in many ways to the relationship I’ve had with my two older sisters; though there’s a heavy amount of fiction mixed in to make it an engaging read—and to make sure we’re all still speaking with each other if it ever gets published.
The Sisterhood, as we titled it, is a story that is close to my heart. I hope that we get a chance to polish it and submit it to an agent one day.
I hadn’t planned on starting out as a writer for children, but again, I write what I know. As a life-long lover of books and the mother of three, I know a bit about children’s stories.
What do you know about that you could turn into a story?
Cheryl Malandrinos is a freelance writer and editor. A regular contributor for Writer2Writer, her articles focus on increasing productivity through time management and organization. A founding member of Musing Our Children, Ms. Malandrinos is also Editor in Chief of the group’s quarterly newsletter, Pages & Pens.
Cheryl is a Tour Coordinator for Pump Up Your Book, a book reviewer, and blogger. Little Shepherd is her first children’s book. Ms. Malandrinos lives in Western Massachusetts with her husband and two young daughters. She also has a son who is married.
Giveaway #1 is for those readers who comment on Cheryl’s blog stops during the tour. One comment per person, per blog, through the length of the tour. Giveaway #2 is for those who purchase a copy of Little Shepherd between its release date of August 21, 2010 and the end of the virtual book tour on December 17, 2010. Proof of purchase must be submitted to Cheryl via email at cg20pm00(at)gmail(dot)com. Please substitute the appropriate symbols for the (at) and (dot). Those are zeroes in the address, not Os. If you prefer to mail or fax a copy of your proof of purchase, please contact Cheryl via email for that information.
Additional rules and guidelines can be found at the end of this post.
An autographed copy of Little Shepherd
Angel figurine printed with the Serenity Prayer
A Little Shepherd sticky note pad
Little Drummer Boy 2010 Hallmark Keepsake Ornament
Gift of Peace 2003 Hallmark Keepsake Ornament
Retail value of Giveaway #1 is $65 (rounded to nearest dollar)
A ”Sparkling Angel” scented jar candle from Yankee Candle
An angel gold and silver lid topper for the candle
An angel tea light holder from Yankee Candle
A Little Shepherd sticky note pad
A Jim Shore Nativity Star hanging ornament
A Jim Shore Holy Family hanging ornament
A $25 Amazon.com gift card
Retail Value of Giveaway #2 is $97 (rounded to the nearest dollar)
Here are the rules and guidelines for these giveaways:
1) For Giveaway #1 you must leave a comment on the hosting blog with a working email address for the author to contact you if you win.
2) For Giveaway #1 only the first comment with your working email address is used to determine eligibility (one comment, per blog).
3) You are eligible to win Giveaway #2 if you purchase a copy of Little Shepherd between August 21, 2010 and December 17, 2010 and provide the author with proof of purchase via email, mail, or fax prior to December 19, 2010. Little Shepherd is available at the Guardian Angel Publishing website, Amazon, Barnesandnoble.com, and at indiebound.org.
4) All giveaway winners will be selected using Random.org.
5) Prizes will be shipped via USPS with appropriate insurance. The author cannot guarantee receipt before December 25, 2010.
6) Author, blog hosts, and Pump Up Your Book are not responsible for lost or damaged goods.
7) The same person cannot win both giveaways.
Although it is not a requirement for eligibility, Cheryl asks that you consider following the blogs who host her during her tour and also the Little Shepherd blog.
Good luck to all who enter!
By Nancy Lennea
First of all, I want to thank Lisa for hosting me today. Second of all, I want to discuss a topic that many readers ask and authors answer in several ways. One of the questions I get the most from readers, and fellow authors, is “where do you get your ideas?” The simple answer is that I follow the age-old adage, “Write what you know.” The last time Lisa hosted me here on her blog, I explained how my parents inspired me when I decided to write. Many aspects of my younger years manifested into my contemporary romance debut novel, SECRET LOVE MATCH.
My latest book, DESTINY’S MOUNTAIN, was released today by Red Rose Publishing. Many ideas for the story stemmed from memories of my college years. The New England town my school was situated in lay beside a beautiful river and at the foot of glorious mountains. My memories of hiking in those mountains and swimming in that river became integral parts of my romantic suspense, DESTINY’S MOUNTAIN.
However, one aspect of my life bellowed like an angry muse and urged me to add it to my story. After my children were older, I trained for and became an emergency medical technician. I volunteered my services to my rural town’s medical squad and responded to medical emergencies and motor vehicle accidents…anything 9-1-1 sent me to. I joined the ranks of the local fire department along with my husband. Together, we battled forest fires, chimney fires, and devastating house fires.
Many years later, an opportunity to join the ranks of the 9-1-1 emergency medical dispatchers arose and I sailed through the interview process, preliminary tests, and then survived months of intensive classroom training. On-the-phone training came next. I discovered every call to 9-1-1 in the state of New Hampshire came into one, small room. Calls for help made on cell phones came in from bordering towns in Maine, Massachusetts, and Vermont because they hit some of our state’s towers, so we learned how to get appropriate help for them as well.
I learned many things, including how many types of emergencies were handled by each town. And how they handled them. Several towns were staffed by volunteers, so I sometimes had to stay on the phone during a twenty minute medical emergency until these responders woke, dressed, scraped ice off their vehicles, and sped along, dark, snow-covered roads.
I handled desperately ill callers, victims’ family members, teary children calling for help for an unconscious parent, strangers attempting CPR on a beach on Christmas Day, a woman needing help after she delivered her own baby. Alone. These calls were different every single time. Some sounded silly, others unwarranted, but I was there to answer each and every call.
After nearly nine years, I retired when my husband and I sold our home in New Hampshire and moved closer to family in North Carolina. This doesn’t mean I stopped thinking about the job. Whenever I hear a siren, or watch an ambulance speed by, I remember my part in sending them out. I remember how I felt on the phones and I still miss the wonderfully dedicated people who still protect my former neighbors. DESTINY’S MOUNTAIN contains secondary characters that are paramedic-firefighters. I include them because they are important…to me and to my heroine, who is rushed to the hospital near the end of my book.
Because I actually wrote this story while working among my fellow dispatchers, and because several stepped up to the plate with their honest critiques of my story ideas, I have dedicated this book to all the men and women of New Hampshire 9-1-1. I can’t think of a better group of people who have taken on the challenge to learn and use amazing tools—which change over time with added technology—only to help during storms and national disasters when they would much rather be home caring for their own families.
Just last weekend, a 3.1 earthquake struck central New Hampshire is a very populous area. Hundreds upon hundreds of phone calls were made in the wee hours of the morning, all carefully, compassionately, and quickly routed to local police and fire. My former co-workers and the dozens who have joined their ranks since my retirement, got the job done. Without them, DESTINY’S MOUNTAIN would not be as exciting and as picturesque as it is. I invite your readers to visit my blog and website for more excerpts or…just buy the book!
In a quirky college town surrounded by the mountains of New Hampshire, new art history professor Jacob Oliver hikes a trail on a crisp September morning. He contemplates his life. Divorced, and forced out of his job with the Boston Police due to a horrific accident, he spots a naked woman beneath a majestic waterfall. Escaping, he falls and re-injures his knee.
Destiny Blake heard a noise. Someone is on her mountain. She finds a handsome man sitting in the mud. Love blooms and lust consumes them after she helps him to the safety of her cabin. Soon assumptions tear them apart, leaving her vulnerable to the unwanted attentions of other men.
When Jacob decides he cannot live without her, he must save her from a madman who chases her up her mountain through the cold, snowy darkness of a November night. Ghostly voices push Jacob onward, while another spirit’s voice urges Destiny to fight back. Pain, hypothermia, and death threaten as the sun rises. Can Destiny and Jacob make it off Destiny’s Mountain…alive?
Good Lord. Will he ever stop thinking of Destiny? She invaded his dreams each night, causing him to awake hard, hot and ready.
He’d reach for her in the dark, but every dream ended the same. She’d smile her sweet smile of pure innocence then fade into mist. And he’d awaken with a curse on his lips. To regain control of his body and his thoughts, he ended up pacing his bedroom until dawn.
“How can she still have an effect on me? It’s been two Goddamn months!” Jacob’s very personal war with sleeplessness showed signs he was losing the battle. His hallway mirror reflected the dark circles under his eyes. Sometimes he nodded off in class.
She’s just a woman I slept with. We’re practically strangers.
Shrugging off such painful thoughts, he set the alarm and then locked the front door. As he stood on his porch, he recalled only a fleeting reunion between them. When he caught her picking out a paperback book at the drugstore, her scent had filled his nostrils. His eyes locked on hers. She’d met his stare and he’d lowered his lips toward her luscious mouth. If Destiny’s friend hadn’t called out, breaking the spell, he may have taken it further—a dangerous proposition.
He couldn’t get her out of his head.
“Passion and love will save her.”
“Damn you! I certainly don’t want you in my head.” This time, he directed his sharp retort at a faceless, feminine entity who urged him to action. Exactly what she wanted him to do, she never said, but she alarmed him enough to stay watchful.
He had a horrible thought. Was Cindy Nelson the woman the voice referred to? No, she couldn’t be the one. Cindy lay cold and stiff in the county morgue. No one could help her now. If she was the woman the voice demanded he help, he’d failed her.
Nancy grew up on New York’s Long Island then attended college in the beautiful mountains of New Hampshire. She worked during college in their dining hall while earning a degree in art education. After meeting her husband there, they raised her family in a small, nearby town. She volunteered as an EMT/firefighter on their small fire department then worked for the State of New Hampshire as a 9-1-1 Emergency Medical Dispatcher. Retired from public service, Nancy now writes full time, lives in North Carolina, and is a member of Romance Writers of America, Heart of Carolina Romance Writers, Fantasy-Futuristic & Paranormal Romance Writers, Celtic Heart Romance Writers, and Sisters-in-Crime. She also writes paranormal romance, such as her recent release, DRAGON’S CURSE, as Nancy Lee Badger.
How can my readers buy your book?
DESTINY’S MOUNTAIN releases today and is available for download from Red Rose Publishing. The buy link is: http://bit.ly/a4NOHE
Visit my website at: www.nancylennea.com
Visit my blog at: www.nancylennea-inlove.blogspot.com
by Sally Koslow, author of With Friends like These
For marriage, brides and grooms start with nothing less than the Ten Commandments to find practical suggestions for keeping things afloat. (“Thou Shalt not Commit Adultery.” Just saying.) When we become parents, we’re smothered with advice. But with friendship, rewarding and as essential to good mental health as it may be—which medical studies confirm—we’re basically on our own, trying to parse this complex relationship from that first moment when some two-year-old creep in the sandbox steals our shovel.
At the bookstore, the non-fiction shelf about friendship has never held much sway for me. The best insights I’ve gotten about friendship have been in novels because, as a wise man I know once said, if you want to tell the truth, you write fiction. This is why I hope you’ll read With Friends like These, my tale of four “achingly real” (that’s Publishers Weekly talking) women who find their close bonds unraveling after ten years.
When the women in my new novel became friends, they were single. Now there are three husbands, one boyfriend and a couple of kids, which add layers of complications to friendships that were once as clear and golden as a glass of Chardonnay. When opportunity presents itself, should the women do what’s right for their friend or their family? Their loyalties start to conflict, and since none of these characters is perfect (who is?) each woman justifies her own behavior. Guilt, regret and, yes, forgiveness enter the picture.
I decided to write With Friends like These inspired by a bad patch with a good friend. A few years ago, my husband and I hoped to move. The morning after I saw what I was sure was my dream home I described its perfection to a pal. Later that day, our bid was accepted and a contract, drawn. But sooner than you can scream “No!” my friend’s boyfriend made a play for the very same place, thanks to the inside information she shared.
Crash, bam, betrayal! Let’s just say this put a serious crimp in our friendship. And yet, once again, we’re friends.
Readers have shared with me that With Friends like These made them think hard about friendships in their life, those that nourish them every day as well as ones that got snuffed out due to careless actions. Have you ever been or had a less-than-perfect friend? Then this, my friend, is a book for you.
SALLY KOSLOW is the author of The Late, Lamented Molly Marx and Little Pink Slips. Her essays have been published in More, The New York Observer, and O, The Oprah Magazine, among other publications. She was the editor in chief of both McCall’s and Lifetime, was an editor at Mademoiselle and Woman’s Day, and has taught creative writing at the Writing Institute of Sarah Lawrence College. Her latest release is With Friends Like These. The mother of two sons, she lives in New York City with her husband. You can visit Sally Koslow’s website at www.sallykoslow.com.
With Friends Like These is available for purchase at http://www.amazon.com/Friends-Like-These-Novel/dp/0345506227
by Sam Hilliard
Years of cross-country running greatly influenced the character of Sean, the young missing murder witness that Mike Brody searches for in the The Last Track. Fearful of capture, Sean runs ever deeper into the Montana wilderness. Like Sean, I’m no stranger to covering long distances through dense woods. Back in high school, I ran cross-country, and I still run to this day (though much less seriously).
Preparing for races back then meant regular sessions running over the most grueling terrain Upstate New York had to offer. My teammates and I did not seek these harsh conditions out of a love for twisted ankles and shin splints. No, we did this because we never knew what the next invitational course was going to look like, especially in the snow or rain. We just assumed a healthy mix of steep inclines, breakneck descents, and general slop awaited us.
While we may not have known what rigors the course might demand, we could anticipate it would be either very cold or very wet or both. Competition rules required that all members of a cross country team wear the same uniform during a race, without exception. Such homogeneity made identifying teams easier for both officials and competitors. The problem with this well-intentioned bit of regulation is that the odds of all the teenaged boys on the team remembering to bring matching thermals or tights to wear under the uniform were extremely unlikely. Somebody always forgot part of their gear or packed the wrong color. At least we all suffered together.
I remember running over snow-covered fields with ice hanging off my laces, dressed in a singlet, shorts, a pair of mud caked socks and some racing shoes, thinking the next mile might as well be one hundred. I also knew the only way out of it was to finish. No matter how uncomfortable it was, in the end, the problem was temporary.
So I worked that experience into Sean. Though his stakes are much greater than mine were, he uses a similar technique to persevere. As he becomes lost in the woods, disoriented by lack of food and water, he stays centered by remembering that his problems will pass.
As long as he can stay ahead of the killer.
Sam Hilliard arrived during a very scary period of the 1970s. Currently, Sam resides outside New York City with his girlfriend, and an army of four cats—one feline under the legal limit. His first book, The Last Track: A Mike Brody Novel, a mystery/thriller, released this year. When he’s not writing, he’s the Director of IT at an all-girl boarding school where he gets to observe world-class drama firsthand and that’s also the reason he studies Krav Maga and Tai Chi.
by Steven Verrier
Very interesting. You come up with a few themes to be addressed, a few conflicts (possibly) to be resolved, and an alternate world in which your story is to take place. And then, months or years later when the story is written, you look back almost in amazement at how many details from your own life have seeped into the story.
In my second novel, Plan B:
Those are just the first ten shared details that come to mind. There are a lot more.
I don’t recall setting out to apply any details from my own life to Danny’s. I guess the point here is that the line separating real life from fiction is often difficult, if not impossible, to see. When I write, I try to let my characters lead the way and express themselves as best suits them. If I learn along the way – or afterwards – that a character has a lot in common with me, or sees things as I do, there’s really not much I can do about it.
There’s one thing I want to make clear, though. Plan B takes off – his life starts to unravel – when Danny, unable to make it to the restroom – pees on a school locker. I never did that, and I don’t plan to.
Steven Verrier, born in the United States and raised in Canada, has spent much of his adult life living and traveling abroad. Publications include Plan B (Saga Books, 2010), Tough Love, Tender Heart (Saga Books, 2008), Raising a Child to be Bilingual and Bicultural (Hira-Tai Books of Japan), and several short dramatic works (Brooklyn Publishers). Currently he is living with his wife, Motoko, and their five children in San Antonio, Texas. You can visit his website at www.stevenverrier.com.
By Kelly L. Stone
I’m not one of those writers who typically gets ideas for stories from reading the news or hearing about an unsolved murder case. Usually my ideas come to me via dreams. But once I had an unusual situation that combined both my dream world and an actual deserted house that resulted in a 10,000 word short story. Here’s how it happened.
My family owned a secluded waterfront lot that bordered another property that had a 120-year-old empty house on it. It was pine green, nestled behind sand dunes, and shielded from the harsh sun by oaks that draped moss covered braches over its roof. One window had an intriguing shade perpetually pulled up, as if the occupants had been looking out and simply gotten called away for a moment. I used to walk down the beach and gaze at the house, wondering who had lived there and what their lives were like back in the early 1900’s.
The empty house set my imagination on fire. The result was that one night I dreamt that I was in the back of a row boat, being ferried across the bay toward that green house. In the front of the boat sat a young woman with carrot-red hair and wearing a Victorian style dress. She was on her way to that house. As an observer in the dream, I knew only three things: her name (Riley), she was coming to the house for a purpose known only to her, and the secret to her trip could be found in a small tin box she carried in her bag.
That was it. When I woke up the next morning, I wrote all this down. I was enchanted by this mystery woman who was coming, in my dream world, to live in what I now called “my” house. That night, I asked my mind to give me more.
It did. Over the course of the next week, I got via a dream the next “scene” of the short story. Riley was an unusual woman for her day. She was unmarried and fiercely independent. She kept old letters in a tin box that she took out and read every night. She had an imaginary lover. Eventually, my mysterious Riley made a dangerous trip across the sound to a real Civil War fort in the area. There was an item there that she was determined to dig up, and dig it up she did, despite the hurricane that was coming. Around night eight, my mind gave me the final scene—Riley had found what she was looking for and she was leaving for the mid-west to continue her adventure. Her secrets had all been revealed.
The story was never published (although I tried). And that house is gone now, bulldozed down to make way for “progress.” But whenever I walk by that area of beach I still imagine Riley’s green house, and think fondly of the young Victorian woman who gave me a story.
KELLY L. STONE (www.AuthorKellyLStone.com, www.ThinkingWriteBook.com) is a licensed counselor who started a successful writing career while working a full time job. She is the author of a novel, GRAVE SECRET (Mundania Press, Sept 2007) which was called “powerful” and “well-written” by Romantic Times Book Reviews. Her first book for writers, Time to Write: More Than 100 Professional Writers Reveal How to Fit Writing Into Your Busy Life (Adams Media, January 2008), reveals the time management secrets of 104 professional writers. Time to Write was nominated for The American Society of Journalists and Authors 2008 Outstanding Book of the Year award. Thinking Write: The Secret to Freeing Your Creative Mind (Adams Media, October 2009), describes how to use the power of your subconscious mind for maximum creativity. Her third book for writers; Living Write: The Secret to Inviting Your Craft Into Your Daily Life, will be released by Adams Media on Sept 18, 2010. Email Kelly at Kelly@KellyLStone.com
by Garasamo Maccagnone
The easiest story ever to purge its way out of me was my latest release entitled, The Note Giver. After a long sabbatical away from daily Mass, I began attending a local rural parish four or five miles from my house. After a month or so, an older man began frequenting the early Mass, usually a few minutes late, and always partaking in a sort of odd ritual.
The man would splash holy water on the back of his ears three times before genuflecting and entering his pew. After watching his eccentric behavior over time, my interest sparked and I consciously became aware that the man might be a compelling character in a story at some time.
On a night in October, I received a call from an estranged in-law that my father was dying. Estranged from my father and my entire family, you can imagine the difficulty of arriving at the hospital to see your father hooked up to the various support systems, while your family members stare at you with antipathy. Though my father survived his surgery, an infection raged inside of him and his doctors thought that he would not survive the night.
Oddly, the next day at Church, when the Mass had ended, the story came to me in an instant as I prayed in the darkness for my father. As if it was meant to be, The Note Giver was written in a matter of hours when I returned home. The computer keys practically typed at their own accord as the words rushed out of me. Somehow, the sighting of the eccentric man at Church and my father’s bout with death all came together and forced a story out of me that, a few months earlier, I had not even a thought about composing. I suppose it was meant to be.
Garasamo Maccagnone studied creative writing and literature under noted American writers Sam Astrachan and Stuart Dybek at Wayne State University and Western Michigan University. A college baseball player as well, Maccagnone met his wife Vicki as a junior at WMU. The following year, after injuring his throwing arm, Maccagnone left school and his baseball ambitions to marry Vicki. After a two year stint at both W.B. Doner and BBDO advertising agencies, Maccagnone left the industry to apply his knowledge of marketing in a new venture in an up-and-coming industry. Maccagnone created a company called, “Crate and Fly,” and turned it from a store front in 1984 to a world-wide multi-million dollar shipping corporation by 1994.
In the mid 90’s Maccagnone decided to fulfill the promise of his writing career, by first penning the children’s book, The Suburban Dragon and then following up with a collection of short stories and poetry entitled, The Affliction of Dreams. His literary novel, St. John of the Midfield was published in 2007, followed by his For the Love of St. Nick, which was released in 2008. Maccagnone expanded the original version of For the Love of St. Nick and had the book illustrated for a new release in June 2009. My Dog Tim and Other Stories is a literary anthology of the author’s best work.
Garasamo “Gary” Maccagnone lives today in Shelby Township, Michigan, with his wife Vicki and three children. At this time, he is researching the location for his second novel, tentatively titled, He Lay Low.
You can visit Gary online at www.garasamomaccagnone.com