Author’s Spotlight: Anthony Di Angelo Interview

Anthony Di Angelo, author of Sicilian Roulette, A Haunting for Christmas, and Descent into the Hallway of Madness.

1. First, introduce yourself a bit. What is your name (or pen name) and where are you from?

My name is Anthony Di Angelo and I’m originally from a small town in British Columbia, Canada. I moved to northern Alberta over ten years ago for work and hope that I can return to B.C. eventually.

2. Next, tell us a bit about your most recent work. Is this your first published book? What is it about and what genre would you classify it as?

My most recent book released is Sicilian Roulette. It is my third published novel, yet it is actually the first book I’ve ever written. It is a crime/drama saga based within the world of the mafia. It is an action packed story with a strong romantic subplot to balance the violence.

3. Tell us a bit about your main character; what are they like, how did they come about, and what are some of their strengths and weaknesses?

My main character for this novel is Alvario Di Sano, a young, frightened boy on the run and forced to live in exile. He yearns to be an artist, a filmmaker, a writer, a painter. He is extremely intelligent and cunning, but is something of an introvert. He is very street smart and great at reading people, yet is naïve when it comes to women. I drew from my own experiences to create Alvario. Though I certainly do not hail from the same streets or criminal background, many traits of Alvario are based on myself as a younger man.

4. What was your hardest scene to write in this (or any) book?

The hardest scenes for me to write are honestly sex scenes. My stories all explore romantic relationships and sex is a big part of it. I struggle to make the scene poignant enough without it becoming too graphic. Just enough to get my point across and remain tasteful.

5. Did you go the traditional route when publishing your book or did you choose to self-publish?

I have tried to go the traditional route. Last year, however, my agent recommended with the pandemic forcing her contacts to close up shop for the time-being, she suggested I self-publish. She said I have great talent and shouldn’t have to wait reveal my work to the world.

6. What would you say is the most difficult part of your writing journey and what advice would you give to other writers?

So far it has been the marketing aspect. I sometimes feel like a needle in a stack of needles with so much incredible talent out there and everyone is after the same goal. It is very tedious work to market yourself all on your own and hard to find the right venues to advertise especially with so many scammers on the internet these days. Most days I spend merely marketing and am not able to focus on the actual storytelling. As for offering advice, well, I’m still trying to make something of myself so I haven’t found the perfect formula thus far for success. I would say just keep plugging away. If you have a story you feel needs telling, then get to it, and don’t stop until you’ve reached that last word.

7. Do you want each book to stand on its own, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?

I would like my books to stand on their own. I drop little connections between each story that only people that know me personally, or people that pay close attention to detail will pick up. Not connected to the flow of the story or the narrative, just peripherally as a sort of nod to my other work.

8. What are some of your favourite authors and books and what inspired you to become a writer in the first place?

There are a few authors I quite enjoy, as millions of others do as well. Like movies or television, with books I am a fan of all genres so there are so many to choose from, one can’t pick a favourite. The one author that has influenced me most, I would have to say, would be Mario Puzo, author of The Godfather. His method of storytelling was so descriptive and captivating, a true master of the craft.

9. What would you say has been the best way to market your books?

I am on Goodreads, Facebook, and Twitter. So far the bulk of my connections have been on Twitter. There is an amazing amount of support from the writing community. There’s a lot of positivity and I’m steadily building my network on that platform. I am always looking for new avenues to venture down as I forge ahead.

10. Are there any tropes, clichés, or writing styles that you dislike and, if so, what are they and why?

If you look hard enough, you’ll find clichés or something to dislike in any story, whether written by a famous or unknown author. I focus more on the overall stories I read rather than pick it apart. If the story has an interesting flow and grabs my attention then I’ll be sure to finish it.

11. Do you read reviews of your book and, if so, how do you handle negative feedback?

I do read each review. I haven’t received a bad one as of yet. I have had some constructive criticisms and suggestions from other authors and those who have read my work. They may have found some parts of the novel early on that I didn’t see and brought it to my attention. I’m sure it won’t be easy to read once I do get a negative review, but I’ll try to use it as a way to improve future works.

12. What are some of your quirks as a writer? Do you like to plot everything out or do you prefer to just “wing it” and see where the story takes you? Do you listen to music when writing and, if so, what do you listen to?

I like to have a very skeletal outline of my novel before I start writing. Usually I dream a dramatic scene, which typically ends becoming the ending of my novels. Then from that dream, or ending, I backtrack and try to tell the story of how the characters reach that conclusion. Like I said, I do work from an open outline, but generally I go where the story takes me. I feel it has a more natural flow to it that way. I end up with many sleepless nights, however, as I often wake up in the middle of the night having to take notes from a dream I’ve had. I do enjoy listening to music while I work. Usually just in the background to drown out any other distracting sounds. For scenes when there is a lot of action or anger, I’ll play something with heavy guitar, hard rock type stuff. Then something softer when it comes to the romantic or emotional scenes. Then movie scores when it comes to something eerie. Music is an essential part of every scene and helps me build the effect I’m trying to achieve.

13. What is the best advice you’ve ever had when it comes to writing and what advice would you give to new writers?

Like I said earlier, if there’s a story you feel you need to tell, sit down and get it done. My aunt is also a published author and she has given some tips as I move forward. But the best advice, though it might sound somewhat generic, is believe in yourself and don’t give up.

14. What’s next for you? Are you currently working on any new books or stories?

Well I have three novels out at the moment and am currently working on the sequels for two of them. I plan on making each of them trilogies. Hopefully one day soon the restrictions brought forth by the pandemic will ease and I can get to experience book fairs and meet readers to promote my work that way, but until then I’ll keep plugging away at finishing my current works in progress. I also plan on writing a separate series that is comparable to Game of Thrones. I am also looking at writing a script for a television series.

15. Finally, feel free to plug your social media, website, and links to Amazon, GoodReads, and other relevant sites below, and detail any current offers available for your book/s:

Thank you so much for allowing me to blab on and on about myself. I greatly appreciate it.

My debut novel, Descent into the Hallway of Madness, is a dark and twisted psychological thriller. When a killer begins his reign of terror over the city, two broken detectives must overcome their demons to stop the death toll from rising. But nothing is what it seems….

My second novel, A Haunting for Christmas, is a modern day take on a timeless classic. It is a cold, spooky tale, mixed with all the warmth of the Christmas season. The story is a chilling tale of paranormal mystery with a dramatic and emotional conclusion.

My third novel, Sicilian Roulette, is an epic crime saga with cinematic appeal. It’s an action-packed story of betrayal, danger, lust for power, and revenge. Some debts can only be repaid with blood.

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