Welcome to TRB Lounge. Today, I’d like to welcome author A.M. Grotticelli, from Atmosphere Press, for an author interview with The Reading Bud.
About The Author
A.M. Grotticelli is a veteran technology trade journalist who resides in suburban New Jersey. After a life of overcoming similar challenges, he is an avid supporter of foster kids aging out of the foster care system at 18 and provides encouragement to all who need it.
Welcome to TRB! Please give our readers a brief introduction about yourself before we begin.
I am a technology journalist who has worked for various trade and consumer publications over the past 30 years, writing about cameras, microphones and everything else used to make television shows. In high school I was part of the video production department, so I guess I learned the ropes then.
I have a natural curiosity for many things and try to stay well balanced in my hobbies (from guitar to collecting football trading cards). I also feel that the written word is a powerful thing to leave behind.
Please tell us something about your book other than what we have read in the blurb?
The book is a tale about what fostercare does to a person’s emotions. Through it, I hope to bring some attention to the plight of kids that turn 18 and are “aged out” of the system and have to fend for themselves. I also plan to start an online discussion group with foster kids to help them make the difficult transition a bit easier.
Why did you choose this particular theme for your book? What is that one message that you’re trying to get across to the readers in this book?
That foster kids are people too. This book shine a light on what it really feels like to want to be part of a family. Too many people take that for granted today.
What inspired you to write this book? An idea, some anecdote, a dream or something else?
This is a story that needed to be told. I’ve been carrying it around in my head for 30 years and have now decided it’s time to share it with the world.
How long did it take you to write this particular book?
Four years (and many rewrites).
What are your writing ambitions? Where do you see yourself 5 years from today?
I am a professional writer by trade, so my ambition with this book is to shed light on a social issue that needs more attention.
Are you working on any other book presently?
Do you also dabble in Fiction?
Yes, my next book will be fiction and is called Stupid Cupid. It’s about a hopeless romantic who tries to fix everyone’s relationship around him but can’t get his own relationships right. He spends a lot of time in a psychiatrist’s office. It’s a comedy.
When did you decide to become a writer? Was it easy for you follow your passion or did you have to make some sacrifices along the way? (feel free to give us your story, we love hearing author stories!)
I have kept a diary or journal for most of my life. Although I wrote often as a small kid, I knew I wanted to a professional writer after reading The Catcher In the Rye by J.D. Salinger.
What is your writing ritual? How do you do it?
I write every day at different times of the day. I enjoy writing, so I never have a problem making the time. Finding a regimen is important, but there are no right or wrong hours or times of day/night to work. The key for me is to feel like I’m making progress. That could be ten pages or two paragraphs. Both forward my story, so both are helpful to the eventual goal.
Can you recommend a book or two based on themes or ideas similar to your book? (You can share the name of the authors too.)
Educated by Tara Westover and To the End of June By Cris Beam.
How do you deal with Writer’s Block?
I don’t call it “writer’s block.” When I feel stuck, it’s time to get up from my desk and think about what I am writing. I call it “refreshing” for the next chapter. It’s not good to fight your manuscript. Sometimes you have to listen to your thoughts. Just listen.
What advice would you give to aspiring non-fiction writers?
If you have a story to tell, tell it. I had to write The Bond or I couldn’t live with myself. The story is that important. We live in a world now where there are many ways to publish a book, including just putting it online. Nothing should be holding you back from telling you story. If you are a writer, then you should be writing, not waiting and hoping for a book deal. It’s also a great thing to leave behind for the next generation of your family.
Thank you, Grotticelli, for your insightful answers!
About the Book
The Bond is a powerful memoir that chronicles the strength of the relationships formed among a collection of unrelated siblings who forged a remarkable, separate, and permanent family within a foster home.
Kirkus.com calls it: “A poignant, infuriating, informative, and ultimately triumphant account of an unusual clan.”
BookLife.com wrote: “Grotticelli’s unsparing honesty about his birth and foster families will make readers wince and keep them marveling at the indomitability of these children. That the foster siblings were able to forge familial bonds with each other is extraordinary.”
OnlineBookClub.com said: “This is a book about real people, real lives and real feelings. It is the story of their triumph over adversity and their struggle to find the kind of family love that many of us take for granted.”
You can find The Bond here:
Amazon | Goodreads | Barnes and Noble | Independent Book Review | Readers’ Favorite
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