My Dog Tim and Other Stories – Author Interview – Garasamo Maccagnone

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MY DOG TIM AND OTHER STORIES

is an anthology of Garasamo Maccagnone’s finest works. The anchor of this collection is “St. John of the Midfield”. With newly added scenes, “St. John of the Midfield” is an almost mystical story of Bobo Stoikov, one of the world’s greatest soccer players, who escapes death in communist Bulgaria to find the American Dream. Due to severe injury during Bobo’s escape, he is unable to play once he arrives in America. Though he finds peace and happiness in simply coaching soccer to youth travel teams, his eccentric ways of teaching and his success lead to a hate-filled rivalry, and eventually, his death.
Other stories in the anthology include: “My Dog Tim”, an ode to the author’s beloved childhood pet; “White Fang”, a tale of revenge that has more do with orthodontia than Jack London’s infamous dog story; “The Note Giver”, the story of a mysterious old man who arrives at St. Isidore’s and turns the congregation upside down by handing out notes that sting the individuals with truth and insight on their own bad ways; “White Chocolate”, “Goalie Boy”, and three vignettes.

Hi Garasamo,

Welcome to Paperback Writer.

Thank you. Thanks for taking the time to listen to me.

Q: Will you share with us how you came up with the idea for this book?

In the last year or so, I had written a couple new short stories. I felt it was time to compile my best works from over the last decade or so. My Dog Tim is simply a collection of that body of work.

Q: Do you plan your stories first with an outline or does it come to you as write it?

With a novel, an outline is essential. In my case, I finish the complete story in my head and then create the outline of chapters afterward. Once the outline is finished the hard task of writing follows. Writing daily, I stick to the roadmap until the story moves to the proofreaders, or editors.

Q: Do you know the end of the story at the beginning?

Yes. I won’t start a piece of work unless I know the complete story. I don’t want to be piecing anything together.

Q: Do you have a process for developing your characters?

I put together a character synopsis on all my major characters. Much like you write for a sitcom, or cast for a reality show, in my head, I need to know all the traits of the characters, and I must be consistent in their presentation.

Q: It is said that authors write themselves into their characters. Is there any part of you in your characters and what they would be?

Of course. A part of me is always in the central character or narrator. It’s my belief, that in their minds, Shakespeare was Hamlet, Styron was Stingo, and Fitzgerald was Nick Carraway. Like any writer, I’m no different.

Q: What is your most favorite part about this book?

I suppose, it’s the variety. There’s one novel included, which is called, St. John of the Midfield. The story sort of starts out innocently, much like your typical sports theme book, but then enters, through an assortment of threads, into a dark world. Goalie Boy, White Chocolate, and The Note Giver, follow suit and are equally tense. White Fang hopefully makes one laugh and My Dog Tim, as I’m told, forces you to bring out the tissues. There’s a little something for everyone.

Q: When in the process of writing your book did you begin to look for a publisher?

Self-publishing is open to anyone. You could write a phrase on a napkin with a crayon and any self-publisher will take you on. At this time, I can’t see spending any time trying to find a traditional publisher. I’m convinced, no matter how good you are, or how hard you search, your efforts will be in vain.

Q: What struggles have you had on the road to being published?

In the past, when I was much younger, I sent work in and it was always turned down. Today, some of that same work receives high marks from critics and is purchased by customers around the world.

Q: What has been the best part about being published?

A few times I’ve been to public events and people have chased me down to sign a book of mine that they’ve purchased. It doesn’t get any better than that.

Q: What do you want readers to remember and carry with them after reading your novel?

Though I use religion thematically at times and never run from my Catholicism, I have little regard for the fakery and superficiality of organized religion. Most people don’t realize that the Bible is an amalgamation of sex, violence, warfare, poetry, and philosophy. Most of the great generals of modern times have studied the Old Testament battles in the war schools of their youth. Yes, David wrote Psalms, but he also killed every male in Saul’s lineage. The writer of Psalms had Saul’s six grandsons crucified and he left their corpses baking for days in the sun so all the villagers would fear him.

Our religions, our lives, our heroes, are contradictions or paradoxical. My stories are no different. Reading them, you might think you’re getting one thing, when in fact, you’re getting something totally different.

Q: Do you have plans to write another book?

I just started a novel entitled, The Thousand Pound Man.

Q: Would you care to share with us how the virtual book tour experience with Pump Up Your Book Promotion has been for you?

Everyone at PUYB has been very professional. This is my third tour so you know they’ve taken care of me.

Q: Where can readers find a copy of your book?

Amazon, Borders, Barnes and Noble. All my books are sold on-line.

Q: Do you have a website for readers to go to?

www.garasamomaccagnone.com

Thank you, Garasamo, for sharing your book and characters with us today. It has been a pleasure and I hope you have had a successful virtual book tour.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

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

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