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Today I’m thrilled to have Patricia Salamone author of The Italian Thing as my guest. Since Spring is just around the corner, we’re sitting out here on the patio, ice tea, in hand. (glasses tinkle as we toast)

KATHLEEN: Thanks for stopping by, Patricia.

PATRICIA: It’s my pleasure.

KATHLEEN: Before we talk about your book and writing career, would you mind telling us a little about yourself?

PATRICIA: First I would like to say how much I enjoyed reading your book “September Wind.”

KATHLEEN: Well thank you. You and I’ve been friends for, what is it, about two years now?

PATRICIA: It has been two years hasn’t it. Wow time flies when you’re having fun.

KATHLEEN: We do know how to have fun, don’t we. (toast) Okay, so I’m sure everyone is dying to know more about you.

PATRICIA:  Well, I was born and raised in Queens, New York. Our family consisted of
six children. Five girls and one boy. My parents were born in the U.S.. My father was of German decent, and my mother was of Italian decent. My childhood was a happy one for the most part. I was a tomboy until I was about 14. I was a middle child and the one to dare to do just about anything I was told I couldn’t or shouldn’t do. The street that I lived on 52nd. Ave. was my playground and we had plenty of friends.

KATHLEEN: Sounds like a very nice upbringing. I think most of us have heard of Queens New York. I think the name brings us images of what we see in the movies, at least for me it does. As you were running around being a tomboy, did you ever think you might become an author one day?

PATRICIA: I thought I would write stories and poems. I did not think in terms of being an author. I loved to make up stories and made my siblings sit and listen to them. My parents encouraged this, but I think it was only because it gave them time to sit and have a cup of coffee and a cigarette together. My stories would last at least a half hour, if I was still rambling past that my siblings would start complaining to end it already.

KATHLEEN: What have you written besides “The Italian Thing,” and what are you working on?

PATRICIA: I have had a poem published “Angel Dear,” by Gerl Publishing, the book is “Shades of Expression.”
I am currently working on three other books. None of them are near completion yet. I have written a short story “The Shoe Left In The Snow” it can be viewed at   http://www.salpa58.wordpress.com along with some of my daily thoughts, and adventures. Although I have not won the Pulitzer Prize yet I continue to strive for it. My web site for my book is http://www.TheItalianThing.com. The book is for sale on Amazon.com in paperback and Amazon Kindle. It also contains 26 photographs depicting my adventures and misadventures, the family and lifestyle of the hilarious trip to Naro, Sicily. I am working on a Mystery right now. The main character is Samantha Cole. Right now the plot resembles a map, with many side roads and twists and turns. I also started a humorous book about what it is like to own and work like a friggin dog in a deli. The third one is still a working progress, with bits and pieces of notes and thoughts. It has no structure right now and is on a back burner.

KATHLEEN: Well, I read your book and I loved it. Your relatives are such an interesting crew, so funny. Their culture was very interesting to witness in your writing.

PATRICIA: Yes interesting to say the least. Originally I had a picture in my head of what it would be like and that picture rapidly disintegrated. What took it’s place a wonderful, loving, generous, giving amazing and hilarious true adventure. They are a great part of my life now and thanks to the internet we are constantly in touch.

KATHLEEN: Your description is just how the book read. It was just marvelous. And it was true, which made it even more interesting. What genre is your favorite?

PATRICIA: I tend to lean toward humorous non-fiction memoirs, but do not limit myself to that genre. I also like to read and write poetry. Mind you I am not a poet, but I do like to dabble in it. Your readers can read some of it on my Blog.

KATHLEEN: I’ve read some of your poems and they’re very good. Have you ever thought of which actor or actress you’d like to see playing the lead character in the Italian Thing?

PATRICIA: Since my book is a non fiction memoir my husband Mike and I are the main characters. I think John Goodman and Kathy Bates would make a excellent couple. As for the rest of the family I would really have to think about that. They were quite a group.

KATHLEEN: (Chuckle) I love John Goodman. From what I’ve read and seen I think that would be a great choice. And Kathy Bates, great actress, love her too. Very interesting choice. Before I met you in person I don’t know if I would’ve picked her, but I think she can play anyone.

PATRICIA: I truly think Kathy Bates would be perfect. She is a wonderfully talented actress and very versatile. I can see her playing me, I laugh just thinking about her playing that part.

KATHLEEN: Well, I hope it happens. Now as far as your writing, do you outline before you begin a story?

PATRICIA: I do but not entirely. I will take notes on scraps of paper, or if I am near my computer I will jot thoughts down and save them, because I know I will not remember it later. After all I am 70 and taking notes and writing lists has become a necessity.

KATHLEEN: Taking notes at any age, is good habit to start. As we read back it can lead us in many different directions, besides helping us to remember. What about research? How much research have you done?

PATRICIA: For “The Italian Thing” it started out as a journal while I was in Naro. I would get up early and type on my laptop the events of the prior day. I would add bits and pieces of thoughts as well. I lived that story and did very little research.

KATHLEEN: Do you have a favorite time to write?

PATRICIA: Mostly I write very early in the morning, at times I start about 2:30am., and before I realize it, it can be past noon. I will write any time of the day or night, but my favorite time is early, really early morning.

KATHLEEN: What was the hardest thing about writing?

PATRICIA: I don’t think I had the self-confidence and I certainly did not have the formal education required to be an author, but I didn’t let that stop me. I’ve been writing stories since I am 8years old and I have no intention of stopping now.

KATHLEEN: How much time do you devote to marketing?

PATRICIA: Boy you would have to ask that question :o)…Not enough, I hate marketing. I know it is a very important part of being an author, but I am not proficient at marketing. The problem is I can not afford to hire someone to do it for me. I use social networking mostly. I have done a few book signings and have been highlighted in the local newspaper. I have given my book to several libraries and other organizations, but that is about all. I was told by many that my book would make a great movie, and I would love to have it made into a movie script, and I will, as soon as I win the Power Ball…..

KATHLEEN: I’d love to see your book in a movie. It would be well received. Let’s cross our fingers. Do you have a favorite writer’s quote?

PATRICIA: Yes, I do Kat, Leo Rosten wrote: “A writer writes not because he is educated but because he is driven by the need to communicate. Behind the need to communicate is the need to share. Behind the need to share is the need to be understood.” 

KATHLEEN: Love that, and I think it’s very true. If you could talk to your younger self, what would you say?

PATRICIA: Probably the same things that my parents said to me. “Get off that roof, get down from that tree, stop the writing it’s time for dinner. Stop fighting with your sisters and stop picking on your brother he is not your slave. The most important thing and one that stayed with me that I always repeat to myself is: You can accomplish anything, nothing is impossible, improbable maybe, but never impossible. It depends on how bad you want it. My dad told us that almost on a daily basis.

KATHLEEN: What advise would you give to aspiring writers?

PATRICIA: If you feel it in your heart and soul, then write it down, and keep writing and writing and writing. It might turn into a novel one day. :o)

KATHLEEN: What was the hardest part of writing your book?

PATRICIA: I didn’t have a hard time writing my book, I really enjoyed it. I laughed as I remembered my adventures, the wonderful crazy people I met and enjoyment and fun I had. I felt this book from my soul and had to put my pen to paper. The hard part came when I was finished. I thought what the hell do I do now?

KATHLEEN: (Chuckle) Isn’t that just the way it goes. So, would you ever consider stepping out of your comfort zone and writing out of your genre?

PATRICIA: Yes, I would and have. One of my works is fiction and I find that more difficult than non-fiction, and humor.

KATHLEEN: Do you have a writing schedule, rituals, or habits?

PATRICIA: Mm. Well, I don’t know if it’s a ritual, but once I start writing I tune out the rest of the world, I hate it if the phone rings or the doorbell and most times I will not pay attention to it. My husband knows if he sees me at the computer when he wakes up not to talk to me or even say good morning. That will break my concentration and I will not be a happy camper.

KATHLEEN: I think it may be that way with most writers. It does take concentration to keep those thoughts and visions coming.

PATRICIA: Yes, I enter my own world and I am control of everyone and every event. I can actually see my characters and talk to them and they talk to me as well. If that is disturbed it all disappears in an instant.

I would like to thank you Kathleen for having me here today. And for the tea.

(Smiles and another toast)

I am honored that you have chosen me for this interview. I hope to be as successful as you one day. You are a great author and a wonderful person with a beautiful heart and soul.

KATHLEEN: Awe thank you. It’s meant the world to have you as a friend. I’m so happy that you came today. And as far as the success status, we’re in the same boat if you didn’t already know it. Please everyone check out her website and her book on Amazon. I promise that you’ll love it.

Website:  http://www.TheItalianThing.com

Blog:  http://www.salpa58.wordpress.com

Facebook: The Italian Thing
Twitter: @Pattisalamone

Amazon Author Page: Patricia Salamone