Author Interview: ‘Wokeistan: A Novel’ by Tony DiGerolamo

About the Book:

President Trump has just been inaugurated for the second time. The students at Upstate College are not happy. Led by one charismatic person of color, of African, Indigenous, Pan Asian descent who is a differently-abled Muslim-Atheist, they obliterate the college experience forever.

Wokeistan is a satire: Politics, media, corporations, feminism and the relationships between men and women. In a world where anyone to the right of Fidel Castro is considered a fascist, one college professor will try to save his school.

Read this book before it’s banned, because nothing escapes Wokeistan.

 

Add to Goodreads

 

Purchase Links:

Amazon – UK / US

 

Author Interview:

1: Tell us a little about yourself and what got you in to writing?

When I was in first grade, the school held a short story contest. The prize was a free coupon good for a McDonald’s cheeseburger. I kept winning every month until the school asked me to stop entering the contest to let other kids win.

2: Do you have a favourite time and place where you write?

Probably on top of a chair made of hundred dollar bills with Hooters waitresses bringing me cheeseburgers and iced tea. But until that glorious day, my house and whenever is fine.

3: Where do your ideas come from?

The Idea Factory. It’s this great service in Camden, NJ. For $19.95 they send you an entire packet of ideas in an envelope. Worth every penny. From that and from the nightmares I get eating too many cheeseburgers.

4: Do you have a plan in your head of where the story is going before you start writing or do you let it carry you along as you go?

I tend to work a premise like an improv scene. (I did improv for about 15 years in Philly.) Sometimes, I like to have an ending, then start and drive the premise to the ending. It sort of depends upon the premise. For Wokeistan, we knew the ending. We tried not to get there too quickly. There was so much rich material for satire.

For Wokeistan, Christian and I split up the work. Christian is great with the details, especially about the various communities in the book. I’m more of a bang-it-out-and-figure-it-out later kind of writer. Lots of mistakes!

5: What genre are your books and what drew you to that genre?

Most of my work is comedic in some way. I’ve written a ton of comic books and screenplays, so it pretty much runs the gamut. I like stuff that’s fun to write. Even horror should be fun in its own way. But if I had to narrow it down, I would say comedy, sci-fi, fantasy, horror, some drama— Wokeistan: A Novel was a bit of a departure because the characters were so grounded in reality, even though it’s a satire.

6: What dream cast would you like to see playing the characters in your latest book?

As a screenwriter, I often see every story as a movie. I have most of the novel already cast in my head. Dr. Mondel would be Jason Schwartzman, no question. Professor P is definitely Brian Cox, for his gravitas. I would love to play the dean or at the very least, Franklin. Fawkes is definitely Bill Hader. He’s got the comedic chops for it. Most of the students would have to be young and very new actors, obviously.

Quite frankly, Hollywood wouldn’t make this movie now. They’re the exact people that would be screeching about this book and calling me names for it. Typically, Los Angeles movie producers aren’t really into taking risks. Once the tide has turned against politically correct culture, then they might scramble for it. We’ll see.

7: Do you read much and if so who are your favourite authors?

Hunter S. Thompson and Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. would be at the top of my list.

8: What book/s are you reading at present?

These days, my favorite creators are on YouTube. Right now I’m reading the Gulag Archipelago and it’s really good. Jordan Peterson recommended in several of his videos.

9: What is your favourite book and why?

Hmm. Grimjack by Jon Ostrander was pretty good. Had a 75 comic book issue arc pay off that was pretty impressive. Breakfast of Champions and Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas were both great. I don’t know. Who could pick a favorite? What does that even mean?

10: What advice would you give for someone thinking about becoming a writer?

Um, don’t do it? You’ll probably suck at it and no one will even tell you. Seriously, you’ll show stuff to your friends and they’ll just tell you it’s great. Or worse, they’ll inject their own ideas into it. Then you’ll try to hire someone to edit your stuff and they’ll either do the same thing (because you cheaped out and picked the cheapest editor, who is really just another frustrated writer) or they’ll tell you you’re great to get more work from you.

If you want to become a writer, you probably don’t understand what being a writer IS. It’s lots of lonely, sitting around time thinking about stuff you wished you didn’t think about. Then you start noticing things about life and other people (like that people placate you when you ask them to read your work) and you realize the creative world is just a crap shoot. There are guys with talent, then there are guys with talent and luck and then there are guys with talent, luck and marketing skills and then there are guys with talent, luck, marketing skills and connections.

You probably don’t want to write. You just want to bask in the afterglow of having a hit book and get paid lots of money.

Most people don’t want to write. They want people to think they’re a writer because it sounds cool. They want to sit around and appear smart, drink Scotch and have an excuse to smoke while using a vintage typewriter. They want people to like them.

Then, in those terrible alone moments, these same wannabe’s look at the blank screen and they know. They know they’re empty and most of their brain is full of other people’s opinions, but they’re desperate to keep up that charade. That’s usually when they hire a guy like me to ghostwrite for them. They spend most of the time yelling at me, complaining that I charge too much and telling me I don’t know what I’m doing. The reality is, they resent me. They hate I can do the one thing they can’t.

So if you want to be hated and broke when you’re alive, become a writer. People will love you after your dead though.

If you’re a writer, you’re probably not reading this. I’ll probably read this a few dozen times because I wrote it and I like to bask in my own cleverness. Writers got things to write. We have to do it. If you don’t have to write, then go back to having fun and stop wasting the virtual shelf space on Amazon. The rest of us are hungry, creative animals that need it to survive. And if any of this resonated with you, you are a writer, you poor broken bastard.

11: What are the best Social Media Sites for people to find out about you and your work?  

My Twitter account is @TonyDiGerolamo

My YouTube Channel is www.youtube.com/channel/UCtWOlHbXZRG9P2K1moOZzsg

My Bitchute Account is www.bitchute.com/channel/Xb8m0zFTUhZU

My Minds account is www.minds.com/TonyDiGerolamo

My Gab account is www.gab.com/TonyDiGerolamo

You can find my webcomics and some of Christian’s at the following:

The Webcomic Factory: www.thewebcomicfactory.com

Super Frat: www.superfrat.com

Christian’s webcomic is called Validation – www.validationcomic.com

About the Author:

Tony DiGerolamo is a New Jersey screenwriter, novelist, comic book writer, game designer, comedian and actor.  He is best known for his work on The Simpsons and Bart Simpson comic books.  He has also been a joke writer for Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher, a scriptwriter for Space Ghost: Coast to Coast and a blogger for Comedy Central’s Indecision website.  He has written screenplays, including Mafioso: The Father, The Son starring Leo Rossi.  His novels, Fix in Overtime and The Undercover Dragon are available through Padwolf Publishing.  After publishing his own comic books (Jersey Devil, The Travelers and The Fix) with SJRP, he eventually got a publishing deal with Kenzer & Company.  Kenzer published The Travelers.  Tony also wrote Everknights (another Kenzer comic book), as well as the Hacklopedia of Beasts Volumes 1 thru 8 and Slaughterhouse Indigo.  He wrote a graphic novel adaption of Personal Reflections of Joan of Arc by Mark Twain. He also contributed a story to Outlaw Territory, Volume 3 from Image Comics.

In the early 90’s, he hosted and co-produced The Comic Book Show on Channel 65 in Philadelphia.  Performing in the Philly comedy scene for over ten years, Tony performed and directed such improv groups as Next Line Improv, The Cabal, The Ninjas and Bulletproof Giraffe.  He produced, acted and wrote videos for Zombiecountry.com and hosted Drunk Counter Drunk and The Walk Show on his YouTube Channel.  You can see a short film he wrote called Allergic to Cats.

Tony has written for online websites like anewdomain.net, Philly2Philly and The Exception.  Tony wrote Lookin’ at Comics the comics review column for Knights of the Dinner Table magazine and comedy posts at thatsmycrap.com.  He was the marketing director for Silent Devil, creator of Tony DiGerolamo’s Complete Mafia for d20, creator/biographer for the online webcomic, Super Frat and the co-creator of the Webcomic Factory.

Tony would like to assure everyone that there is no Comic Book Mafia and if there were, he isn’t one of the most violent comic book publishers currently on parole.  Nor does he run a criminal syndicate that controls comic book dealers, art supplies and the smuggling of mylar bags across international borders.

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