(Is this thing on…?)
Hello? I hope I still have an audience. I’ve made the faux pas of not blogging regularly, so I know my readers have gone off to look at pictures of cute kitties and people falling into their own wedding cakes.
However, I hope to have some folks return to my blog, because I really do have some cool stuff to impart. I’m starting out with my interview of Armando Minutoli, whose work encompasses both book and screenplay writing. After this, I hope to do more interviews and such like. This was something I was going to do at the start of 2015, but never got around to doing it. Hopefully I can rectify the situation this year.
Okay, I’m going to stop rambling (hahaha) and get to the point now.
(To be honest, some of this interview was taken from another one that was published on Smashwords in June of this year.)
When did you first start writing?
I started writing in 1990 when I returned from a Pilgrimage to a small then-Yugoslavian (now Bosnia-Hercegovina) village named Medjugorje, where the Blessed Virgin Mary has been appearing to visionaries since June 1981. Because of the wonder I experienced there, I was inspired and compelled to write about my miraculous experiences.
I’ve been there too–something definitely going on there.
What were your personal experiences in Medjugorje?
Broken inside, I was in search of God. Friends recommended that I visit Medjugorje, referred to by many as a “Place of Miracles.” The Blessed Virgin Mary was appearing to young Visionaries. I witnessed many miracles both privately and with other pilgrims, what I call “kisses from heaven”. Experiences that sparked spiritual growth and emotional healing in me. A profound confirmation of God’s existence and His unconditional love for all of us.
Wonderful! My experiences there were very positive too.
What are you currently working on?
This year I published two works of fiction: “The Hester Street Kids” (Historical fiction—NY Mafia in the 50’s) and “Schism, Something Is Amiss in Heaven Again!” (Spiritual fiction), both of which have been receiving Five-Star Reviews.
Presently, I am writing a screenplay adaptation of a vampire novel with a religious impact of faith in God. And, in discussion with film producers interested in producing the The Hester Street Kids, film adaptation, which I also wrote.
Also I’m seeking producers interested in doing the film adaptation of “Schism.”
Hopefully the author of said vampire novel will get her rear in gear and get to working on her part (hurr harr…)
Can we get a brief synopsis of your more recent books?
“The Hester Street Kids, A Story about Immigrant Life In New York Under The Hands of The Sicilian Mafia….” This is a historic Drama/Thriller. Set in New York’s Little Italy in the 1950’s, this character-driven drama is mysterious, sensual and driven by a female protagonist. It weaves lies with love, treachery with truth, and explores the ultimate meaning of moral fortitude, honesty, passion, and loyalty.
Wonderfully written! I enjoyed it immensely.
“Schism, Something Is Amiss In Heaven Again!” Hopefully it will give the reader some insight into the major questions about God , His existence, and our free will. Encased in an entertaining story line with dynamic characters.
It is a really terrific book. Editing it let me really explore the story line and the characters. I highly recommend it.
Which one of your books would you recommend first, and why?
I recommend my latest book; “Schism, Something Is Amiss In Heaven Again!”, which I believe addresses questions of faith, trust, and free will in an entertaining, uplifting, and hopeful way.
What is your favorite genre to read? To write?
I love thrillers with strong, heartfelt characters. I also enjoy fiction and non-fiction that feed my thirst for knowing God.
A very worthwhile pursuit.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
It is exceptionally difficult to secure a literary agent or traditional publishing company today. Just to get them to read your work is a miracle in itself. Frankly, I think that the publishing industry is having a collective nervous breakdown. Expenses are high for them, so they direct their focus on the works of writers who already have some public prominence, i.e. a film celebrity or a cable news pundit. So many wonderful, informative, and entertaining stories go by the wayside waiting to gain their interest.
I agree wholeheartedly. This past year, I have read some fantastic work, and I hear from many authors who have the same problem. Their literary jewels stay in the box, as it were, because they can’t seem to hit the market on their own.
What have been the challenges of self-publishing your work?
Like any new venture, self-publishing requires learning-curve and money to secure specialists. There are many factors in preparing and marketing a book for publication: accounting, commissioning editors, marketing, production editors, digital formatters, distribution, sales. And, freelances hired on a project basis: indexers, translators, proofreaders, copy-editors, project managers, jacket designers. I was fortunate that I had many of the skills, and with the help of friends was able to complete my book projects… the pressure, however, is enormous.
That is a lot of work. Small-press publishers have the same problem, which many of their authors don’t seem to understand. But that’s a story for another day.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Writing gives me the opportunity to meld my varied life experiences into entertaining fiction that delivers a message. All of us have something to share .. writing is my vehicle for that.
That’s what I enjoy about it too.
What do your fans mean to you?
It is enjoyable and edifying to know that my written words have touched the reader in some way. Adding to the scope of their world in some way. Maybe challenging them to look at things from a different frame of reference. Causing them to think, adding their own input into the story…kind of a collaboration between the author and reader, in effect causing the story to grow with greater dimension.
What else besides writing keeps you busy?
Assisting my wife in her ministry of recruiting and sustaining seminarians to the Catholic priesthood. Also, I recently became a member of The Knights of Columbus and intend to join my brother Knights in related outreach ministries.
Very worthwhile endeavors. Best of luck with both!
You are a native New Yorker who has relocated to Florida. Was it much of a transition?
Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, where everything is pretty much at one’s finger tips (the publishing industry, the film industry, the arts etc.), it was difficult to adjust to South Florida’s laid-back atmosphere. But the weather (with the exception of hurricanes) for me, like many others, is a big factor. Sun most every day, no frost, snow, etc. And, miles of beaches…
I could take that sort of weather as a vacation spot–but I love rain.
What is your general outlook on life?
I believe that to have a happy life, one must focus on the positive things and gifts in one’s life, including friends, family and the country at large. Taking one day at a time…. With the realization that God always makes it good. “But for the Grace of God Go we!”
Thanks, Armando. I appreciate you taking the time to answer my questions…and being patient enough to wait for me to finally publish them.
Here are his social/buysites: