Garasamo "Gary" Maccagnone is the author of the children's book, The Suburban Dragon, the collection of short stores entitled, The Affliction of Dreams, and the novel, St. John of the Midfield. You can visit his website at http://www.garasamomaccagnone.com/.

Welcome to The Writer's Life, Gary! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how long you’ve been writing?

I’m forty-eight and been writing since I was sixteen years old.

Can you please tell us about your book and why you wrote it?

Ten years ago, when I was helping to coach my oldest son Garrett’s team, his coach, Jordan Mitkov, explained to me that Garrett was a midfielder because he was a good person. He went on to elaborate that only a good person could play the midfield, a person who was willing to sacrifice and give up the ball to all the players on the team. That answer intrigued me. For ten years after I heard that, I wrote “St. John of the Midfield,” chapter by chapter in my head until it finally burned out of me.

What kind of research was involved in writing “St. John of the Midfield"?

It took about a week to check sources and to produce a time-line of events for the book.

How much input did you have into the design of your book cover?

I handled all of that on my own. Typically, novels with a sports theme are dripping with images of the sport. I went the other route. I wanted no images – just a humble little shiny black book with an old fashioned font. The book, like its main character, had to send a message.

Has it been a bumpy ride to becoming a published author or has it been pretty well smooth sailing?

Let’s face it, only technology has allowed writers like myself the opportunity to be published. For years, the doors to the publishing houses were closed, reserved only for tenured professors or big name authors. Like so many others, my road was bumpy, so much so that I gave up on writing for over fifteen years.

For this particular book, how long did it take from the time you signed the contract to its release?

The process took eight months.

Do you have an agent and, if so, would you mind sharing who he/is is? If not, have you ever had an agent or do you even feel it’s necessary to have one?

I’ve never had one. I’m looking into it. In my early years, right out of WMU, I worked in the advertising business. I learned the business from the mailroom on up. Due to that experience, I understand a little about marketing.

Do you plan subsequent books?

Sometime next year, I’ll start writing my next novel. I’ll do a lot of reading for the next four months.

Are you a morning writer or a night writer?

I have no preference. I don’t sleep a lot, so often times I write during the middle of the night. My den is downstairs on the first floor far away from where every one sleeps.

If money were no object, what would be the first thing you would invest in to promote your book?

Television advertising is where I would invest the most. People have to see the product and get to know the author’s name.

How important do you think self-promotion is and in what ways have you been promoting your book offline and online?

Online, a number of major soccer web sites are promoting my books, the sites that get over twenty million hits per month. I’ve had press releases and chat room discussions held. Offline I’ve done radio and TV interviews. I’ll be a featured guest on a television show next week in Windsor, Ontario.

You can’t have an ego or conscience in this business. To be successful, one must self-promote, 24 hours a day.

Any final words of wisdom for those of us who would like to be published?

Get off your butt and start working on your dreams.

Thank you for coming, Gary! Would you like to tell my readers where they could find you on the web and how everyone can buy your book?

My web site is: http://www.garasamomaccagnone.com/ My books are featured on amazon.com
Thanks for having me.

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St. JOHN OF THE MIDFIELD VIRTUAL BOOK TOUR '08 will officially begin on Feb. 1, 2008 and continue all month. If you would like to follow Gary's tour, visit http://www.virtualbooktours.wordpress.com/. Leave a comment here and become eligible to win a free copy at the end of his tour! One lucky winner will be announced on this page on February 29!

Gary's virtual book tour is brought to you by Pump Up Your Book Promotion and chereographed by Cheryl Malandrinos.
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