About the Book:
The one thing eleven-year-old Jake Lupo loves more than anything else is baseball. However, despite his father being a professional pitcher, Jake’s fear of failing has kept him from competing against children his own age. When his father, who has recovered from a serious arm injury, is invited to pitch for an independent team, Jake and his parents move to Pine Barrows, a far flung forested mountain outpost. Jake is excited about his father’s chance at a comeback, but he soon learns that he is not the only one in Pine Barrows who loves baseball. Goblins love to play baseball, too, and Pine Barrows happens to be chock full of them. Then Jake discovers that the region is occupied by two factions of warring goblins.
Seeking to take control of the goblin kingdom, the leader of the evil goblins kidnaps Jake’s mother and bans baseball, a game which itself is a natural source of power for the goblins.
It turns out that Jake has a secret kinship with the legendary beings, and he is the only one who can save them, their kingdom and his mother. However, Jake must believe in himself and play a winner-take-all game against the best goblin players in Pine Barrows.
1: Tell us a little about yourself and what got you in to writing?
I am fortunate to be able to write full time now, doing freelance work and contributing to a local magazine/newspaper. Besides my own fiction and nonfiction projects, I ghostwrite and collaborate with aspiring writers or people who have a unique or interesting experience they want to share with others. I really enjoy all of it. However, filmmaking was my first love, and as a kid I got hold of an old super-8 film camera and started making movies with my friends in the backyard. I wrote scripts, telling original stories with the camera, editing, and screening the completed films to family members and friends. After high school, I even went to a film school in Hollywood, CA. I was a great experience, and it’s where I developed a love of writing, short stories at first, and eventually my first full length novel.
2: Do you have a favorite time and place where you write?
I feel I am at my most creative in the evening, and late at night. When everything is quiet and the day is done, I can focus better on a creative project. The daytime hours I usually spend doing promotional work and research, as well as reading.
3: Where do your ideas come from?
There is no telling where an idea will come from, but it doesn’t happen in a vacuum. It could come from something you read, see in a movie or on television, or something you hear someone say that sparks an idea for a storyline, a character, some dialogue or just a cool sounding title. Once that little seed gets in my brain, it starts to germinate. If this nascent idea is not acknowledged and cultivated in some way, it will wither and die. Whether you call it a muse, an inner voice, or some other extraneous force whispering in a writer’s ear, wherever inspiration comes from, it cannot be denied. Maybe all people hear these whisperings, but a writer cannot simply dismiss them.
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?
Often a story will “write itself.” That does happen, but it only works if you have a character that is fully developed, one you completely understand. That character will take you on a journey that you as the writer may not know, at least not consciously. Go with these characters, trust them. If your story is getting pulled in some inexplicable direction, then you have to pull back and find out more about the character. That is the key.
5: What genre are your books and what drew you to that genre?
As evidenced from my list of books, there are numerous genres represented, both fiction and nonfiction. I really enjoy the challenge of writing in a genre that is new to me. It keeps me feeling fresh and eager to learn different styles of writing and approaches to a topic or subject matter. This also ensures that I continue reading, because you have to read in the genre you are writing.
6: What dream cast would you like to see playing the characters in your latest book?
My latest book, being a middle grade fantasy/adventure, it would be difficult for me to name a current young actor to play the main character. However, I drew such inspiration from an early Stephen King novel, The Body, and have an affinity with the film adaptation of that story, Rob Reiner’s directed, Stand By Me, that I pictured young Wil Wheaton playing Jake in my book. His parents, I could see Matthew McConaughey playing his dad because of his athleticism, and Toni Collette playing his mom. She was so good in The Sixth Sense.
7: Do you read much and if so who are your favourite authors?
I read a ton growing up. Being the late 70’s and early 80’s, horror was king, and Stephen King was Overlord. So, one of his books was never far from me. I liked the horror masters, Poe and H.P. Lovecraft, but I also read many other contemporary authors of fright and the macabre, such as Clive Barker, Dean Koontz, Joe R. Lonsdale, Ramsey Campbell and Robert McCammon, to name a few. I still read today, perhaps not as much, but certainly a much more diverse array of writers, because of my penchant for writing across genres.
8: What book/s are you reading at present?
I am reading a couple of books right now, one is a middle grade novel and the other is a sports book. With the recent passing of baseball legend, Hank Aaron, I picked up a biography on Hammering Hank. I alternate between chapters of that book and a middle grade adventure, titled “Took: A Ghost Story” by Mary Downing Hahn.
9: What is your favourite book and why?
Truman Capote’s ‘In Cold Blood’ is one of my favorite books, and one of the few that I have read more than once. Why I like this book so much is because of the perspective the author offers the reader in the telling of this story. Capote does not sensationalise the crimes or make the murderers out to be rock stars. It is an approach that works on so many levels, and you see the approach emulated in true crime books today, but never surpassed by Capote’s signature work.
10: What advice would you give for someone thinking about becoming a writer?
If writing is something you really enjoy, don’t let anything stop you, no matter how little time you have to devote to it. Always write for you first, write what interests you, and the readers who find you will be lucky they did.
11: What are the best Social Media Sites for people to find out about you and your work?
Recently, I have been scouring the Internet for all the best sites to reach the reading public. I have joined a whole host of them, and if anyone has other recommendations for me to consider, please feel free to let me know. You can find my books and information about them, and me, on Goodreads, LibraryThing, AuthorsDen, BookBub, The Authors Guild, LinkedIn, and of course my Amazon author page. I also have a new website, www.thegoblinpitcher.com, featuring highlights, giveaways and other fun stuff related to my new middle grade fantasy adventure book, THE GOBLIN PITCHER.
About the Author:
I have authored both fiction and nonfiction books in a variety of genres, from true crime to romance. As a freelance writer, I often collaborate with people to help them write and publish their biographies, memoirs, or to help them relate a particularly compelling or personal experience.
I studied filmmaking / screenwriting at Columbia College – Hollywood. I earned an A.S. (Mortuary Science) from Mount Ida College and a B.A. (English) from the University of Rhode Island.
I live in Lincoln, RI with my wife and son.