Hola! Sorry for the delay in choosing a contest winner. I was on vacation in Cancun, Mexico. Don’t get me wrong: My wallet is thinner than a runway model, but it was my mother-in-law’s treat. How is THAT for winning the mother-in-law jackpot? 😀
I’m back now, so let’s get down to business… I just emailed the contest winner. I wouldn’t feel right mentioning any details until they reply and give me the OK. But let’s put it this way… if you entered the contest and you do NOT have an email from me sitting in your inbox right now, you unfortunately did not win. So sorry, my lovelies, I wish I could randomly draw everyone’s name from that hat! I will announce the winner’s name next interview after they give me the thumbs up.
Now, onto the latest interview…
Lindsey Beth Goddard: I see that your novella “Dusk and Summer” has received a ton of 5 star reviews on Amazon. Why do you think people have responded so well to it? What makes “Dusk and Summer” so special?
Joseph A. Pinto: “Dusk and Summer” is the only thing I’ve written outside the horror genre. I lost my father to pancreatic cancer nearly 6 years ago. His passing devastated me, so I wrote “Dusk and Summer” as a way to honor him. Many readers have told me it’s helped them process their own grief over losing a loved one as well. In that sense, it’s become more than I could imagine.
I originally self-published “Dusk and Summer” in 2008 and have always donated a portion of the proceeds to the Lustgarten Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research. I’m proud to announce that Sirens Call Publications acquired the rights to “Dusk and Summer” several months ago and with a few tweaks here and there, my novella will be available again in the very near future. If you think “Dusk and Summer” is simply a story about my father, think again. It’s a raw, heartfelt tale written with my usual twist. Readers are in for a unique journey.
Lindsey Beth Goddard: Your novel “Flowers For Evelene” is probably not for the conservative reader, described as having “strong sexual content”. I must admit, this piques my curiosity. What inspired you to write something erotic?
Joseph A. Pinto: Easy now Lindsey! lol Only teasing. “Flowers For Evelene” is a dark and brooding story about a sex addict struggling with his personal demon. Who…or what that demon is, well, I won’t spoil the surprise by giving the answer away. While there are erotic scenes in the story, I wouldn’t consider it an erotic novel at all. It’s firmly entrenched in the horror genre.
Lindsey Beth Goddard: It looks as though there are a few alternate book covers for “Flowers for Evelene”. Is there any particular reason why?
Joseph A. Pinto: “Flowers for Evelene” was my first horror novel, written and published in 2005. I knew nothing of the publishing industry at the time and decided that self-publishing was the course I wanted to take. My first cover for “Flowers for Evelene” was a photo of an old gravestone, and I’ll admit I got caught up in the excitement of my first publishing experience. Later on, I realized the initial cover didn’t convey the mood of the book. Hence, the creation of a second cover.
Fast-forward to today, and my voice has completely evolved into its own style. As proud as I am of “Flowers for Evelene”, I’ll be giving my first love a well deserved rewrite. I’m also hoping to publish it traditionally. In 2005, I made the mistake of toning it down; thinking a tale of sexual addiction should be a bit “softer” around its edges. Silly me!
Lindsey Beth Goddard: You have a strong online presence. Your personal blog alone has nearly 3300 followers! How do you manage to gain so much public interest? Is it hard to balance writing with promoting?
Joseph A. Pinto: I’m still learning the in’s and out’s of promoting every day, just as I’m constantly refining my writing each day. I don’t think you ever stop learning, nor should you ever want to. I stumbled along with my blog when first starting out, but I think I’m beginning to hit my stride now.
I realize, in terms of my personal blog, that I need to write about me and allow readers a glimpse of what makes me tick. I wanted to humanize myself – become an individual readers could relate to. You’d be amazed how much you can learn about someone when they offer you a roadmap. My blog offers poetry, song lyrics, short fiction and insight behind the pieces I create. From time to time, I write about my daughter, but do so in story fashion. It also offers a peek into my personal interests outside the writing world. I want my blog to vary, and I want you to feel like I’m sitting beside you, chatting away. I want you to invest in me before my writing. It makes a big difference.
Lindsey Beth Goddard: You write poetry as well as short stories and novels. If you had to pick one form of expression and stick with it, what would it be and why?
Joseph A. Pinto: Hmm…well, poetry is something I only dabble in but I love it. It keeps my brain circulating and fresh. If I had to choose a favored form of expression, I’d say short stories or flash fiction. They are far harder to write than people think. There are so many elements involved: character, plot, mood, emotion, and all in a limited word count. You need to be tight and concise. One of the positive aspects of it that triggers my creativity is that you can experiment with a tale and then, boom, you’re on to the next.
Lindsey Beth Goddard: Is there anywhere online we can find your poems?
Joseph A. Pinto: Most of the poetry I share can be found on my personal blog at http://josephpinto.wordpress.com. But again, poetry is only something I write when I catch a spare moment or two. My poetry is always raw and unedited, as are the song lyrics I write. What you’re reading is always the first draft; the pure emotion, thought, sight or experience that inspired me in that moment. It’s exhilarating when a reader connects with it and feels the raw power of emotion I was feeling when I penned the piece.
Lindsey Beth Goddard: I am a follower of Pen of the Damned, a blog that offers free weekly prose from several contributing authors. Please, Joe, tell my readers more about this project so they can hurry on over and subscribe!
Joseph A. Pinto: Pen of the Damned has been in existence for just over a year now. We’re a small group of writers sharing a specific vision: writing short pieces of pain, angst and horror offered freely for anyone who enjoys reading them as much as we enjoy writing them. One of the things that makes our group unique is that the spotlight remains exclusively on one author per week. Our blog, www.PenoftheDamned.com, is no frills; you want pain, angst and horror, you’ll get pain, angst and horror. I believe we’re gaining a great deal of momentum due to the diversity of the authors, and the quality of the content each presents.
Lindsey Beth Goddard: What draws you to writing? Do you remember the first thing you ever wrote?
Joseph A. Pinto: I still have the very first story I ever wrote called “The Story of the Supernatural”. I was ten or eleven when I wrote it. Let’s just say it’s something that I’ll keep forever, but will never see the light of day! lol
My father’s book collection was what sparked my desire to write. He always kept old horror novels on his bookshelf, and I’d sneak them out for a read. That set the groundwork. What continues to draw me, however, is the solitary nature of writing. It’s a sabbatical experience for me. I discover a newness about myself, and a newness in style, with everything I write. The true wonder of it all is that I never know what to expect.
Lindsey Beth Goddard: How do you come up with new ideas?
Joseph A. Pinto: I’m addicted to my newspaper and I find it helps me tremendously. I greatly enjoy people watching when I’m out and about. And I’ve kept a journal of ideas, rooted in the fantastic to the everyday norm, for a long, long time now. It’s something I always refer to.
Lindsey Beth Goddard: What are you working on at the moment?
Joseph A. Pinto: At the moment, I’m putting the finishing touches on a short piece titled “Lunch”, a ghost story that I’m very excited about.
Lindsey Beth Goddard: Where can we find you on the web?
Joseph A. Pinto: You can always find something different on my personal blog at:
If you’re brave enough, join me and the other Damned at www.PenoftheDamned.com as well.
Thank you for having me aboard, Lindsey!