Thursday, December 11, 2014
Author Interview A Very, Very Pasta Family New Year by Michael Ciccolini
Today's author interview is with Michael Ciccolini about his new children's book A Very, Very Pasta Family New Year.
1. Tell me about your book. How did you come up with that (story, angle, idea)? I’VE BEEN DOING A SERIES OF “HOLIDAY SPECIALS” FOR THE PASTA FAMILY BOOKS (www.thepastafamily.com) AND A NEW YEAR STORY WAS ON MY LIST. WHILE I WORKED ON THE PREVIOUS BOOK, I TOOK NOTES ABOUT A POSSIBLE NEW YEAR STORY – WHAT DOES A NEW YEAR MEAN TO A KID? DO WE REALLY WANT THE YEARS TO PASS AND ACCUMULATE? PERSONALLY SPEAKING, I WOULD LOVE IT IF CERTAIN MOMENTS IN TIME WERE FROZEN IN PLACE FOREVER, AND IT’S SAD THAT THAT’S JUST NOT THE CASE. THAT WAS THE EMOTION I BASED THE STORY ON. THAT OPENED UP AN ACTUAL THREE-ACT STORY FOR ME.
2. How did you get interested in writing this particular genre (historical novels, mysteries, sci-fi, children's books, etc.)? I GREW UP ON COMICS AND MOVIES, MOVIES AND COMICS. THEN MORE COMICS AND MORE MOVIES. THE PASTA FAMILY “GRAPHIC NOVELS” ARE JUST BIG, FUN SUMMER MOVIES DISGUISED AS COMIC BOOKS.
3. What kind of research did you do for this book? NO FACTUAL RESEARCH, AS THE BOOK IS PRETTY OUT-THERE, FANTASY AND COMEDY-WISE – BUT EMOTIONALLY, A LOT OF RESEARCH. I’M WRITING ABOUT A LITTLE KID, SO I HAVE TO EXPLORE AND ACCESS THE VERY STRONG FEELINGS (GOOD AND BAD) WE ALL EXPERIENCE IN CHILDHOOD. NOTHING JUST ROLLS OFF YOUR BACK WHEN YOU’RE A KID – EVERY EMOTION IS HUGE, AND EVERY NEGATIVE EXPERIENCE IS THE END OF ALL CREATION, UNTIL IT ISN’T. SO I GO BACK TO THAT PLACE FOR THE DURATION OF A BOOK/STORY.
4. What's a typical working day like for you? When and where do you write? Do you set a daily writing goal? SEVEN DAYS A WEEK, FROM 6:00 AM TO 1:00PM. I DO THE BOOKS SCENE BY SCENE, SO THAT TIME IS SPENT DRAWING IN PENCIL, THEN INKING, THEN COLORING, THEN PAGE PLACEMENT, AND LAST, DIALOGUE OR NARRATION. DIALOGUE IS ALWAYS LAST, BECAUSE A LOT OF JOKES OR OBSERVATIONS COME AT THE LAST POSSIBLE SECOND. IT’S JUST THE WAY IT SEEMS TO WORK OUT. I DO THIS AT A BIG MESSY TABLE AT MY HOUSE. SKETCH PADS EVERYWHERE, MY MAC, MY IPAD, PHOTOSHOP, ETC. I DON’T SET A DAILY WRITING GOAL, BUT I DO SET A PAGE GOAL: TWO FINISHED PAGES (DRAWN, COLORED, PROCESSED, DIALOGUE, CORRECTED) PER DAY. THREE ON A GREAT DAY. SO THAT’S FOURTEEN PAGES PER WEEK. IT’S A GOOD RHYTHYM THAT WORKS FOR ME, AFTER MUCH TRIAL AND ERROR.
5. What is the hardest part of writing for you? BEING HONEST. NOT BEING AFRAID TO GO TO PAINFUL PLACES TO ACCESS WHAT THE STORY NEEDS.
6. What’s the best thing about being an author? TELLING STORIES!
7. What are you working on now? I JUST FINISHED “A VERY VERY PASTA FAMILY PRESIDENTS DAY!” WHICH WILL BE RELEASED IN JANUARY, AND I’VE BEGUN THE NEXT BOOK, A NEW “GRAVY GIRL” ADVENTURE (ANNALEENIE, THE HEROINE OF MY BOOKS, IS A PART-TIME SUPERHEROINE, “GRAVY GIRL”. THIS WILL BE HER THIRD SUPERHEROIC BOOK).
8. What advice would you give aspiring writers? SHOW UP! MAKE DEFINITE HOURS TO WRITE, THEN SHOW UP DURING THOSE HOURS AND WRITE! DON’T DELIBERATE, DON’T HESITATE, JUST START. THE HARDEST THING TO DO IS START. BUT ONCE YOU START, YOU’LL BE AMAZED AT WHAT COMES OUT. ALSO, BE PATIENT. BABY STEPS. YOU’RE BUILDING A HOUSE, BRICK BY BRICK. IT’S NOT ALWAYS FUN AND SOMETIMES YOU WANT TO TEAR OUT YOUR EYEBROWS. BUT SHOW UP AND DO IT ANYWAY.
9. Do you have any favorite authors or favorite books? “REMAINS OF THE DAY” (THE BOOK, NOT THE MOVIE) IS THE BEST PIECE OF WRITING I HAVE EVER COME ACROSS. IF YOU HAVEN’T READ IT, BE PREPARED BEFORE YOU DO. IT WILL DESTROY YOU. IN A GOOD WAY.
10. What question have you always wanted to be asked in an interview? How would you answer that question? WHO IS YOUR FAVORITE ARTIST? MY ANSWER WOULD BE SAL BUSCEMA – HE’S A COMIC BOOK ILLUSTRATOR WHO BASICALLY DREW EVERYTHING AT MARVEL IN THE 1970S AND 80S. HIS WORK IMPRESSED ME AND IMPRINTED INTO MY DNA AT A VERY YOUNG AGE. HIS WORK IS EXCITING, POWERFUL, FUN, AND HIS STORYTELLING IS CRYSTAL-CLEAR. IF YOU JUST THUMBED THROUGH THE PAGES OF ANYTHING HE DREW WITHOUT READING ANY OF THE TEXT, YOU WOULD STILL KNOW EXACTLY WHAT THE STORY WAS, BECAUSE OF THE CLARITY OF HIS STORYTELLING. HIS WORK – ITS QUALITY AND ITS SHEER VOLUME – ARE EVEN MORE INSPIRING AND IMPRESSIVE TO ME AS I GET OLDER.
11. If you were writing a book about your life, what would the title be? “BREAKIN’ 2: ELECTRIC BOOGALOO.”
Thanks for you time Michael I've enjoyed your Pasta Family series for years now. I hope this gets the word out to more people.
If you want to get the latest in the Pasta Family series, just click here.