Monday, April 10, 2017

Straight from the Mouth of Philip Cioffari, Author of 'The Bronx Kill'

Philip Cioffari’s latest novel is The Bronx Kill. (Logline: An obsessed detective seeks revenge upon three men for his brother’s drowning death.) He is the author of the novels: DARK ROAD, DEAD END; JESUSVILLE;  CATHOLIC BOYS; and the short story collection, A HISTORY OF THINGS LOST OR BROKEN, which won the Tartt Fiction Prize, and the D. H. Lawrence award for fiction. His short stories have been published widely in commercial and literary magazines and anthologies, including North American Review, Playboy, Michigan Quarterly Review, Northwest Review, Florida Fiction, and Southern Humanities Review. He has written and directed for Off and Off-Off Broadway. His Indie feature film, which he wrote and directed, LOVE IN THE AGE OF DION, has won numerous awards, including Best Feature Film at the Long Island Int’l Film Expo, and Best Director at the NY Independent Film & Video Festival. He is a Professor of English, and director of the Performing and Literary Arts Honors Program, at William Paterson University. Visit 

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Thanks for letting us interrogate you!  Can you give us a go-for-the-gut answer as to why you wanted to be an author?

Nothing else mattered as much. For me, recording life has always been as important as living it.

Tell us (we won’t tell promise!) is it all it’s cracked up to be?  I mean what are the perks and what are the demands?

It’s hard work, long hours, long years, solitary, but from the satisfaction it gives me I can definitely say it’s worth it. It’s not for the faint-hearted, though.

Which route did you take – traditional or self-published – and can you give us the nitty gritty low down on what’s that like?

My publisher is an independent university press. They’ve been supportive and professional in every way possible. I entered a story collection contest they sponsored and I won. That’s how we came together.

Tell us for real what your family feels about you spending so much time getting your book written, polished, edited, formatted, published, what have you?

I live alone so I have no one to answer to but myself. There are things in one’s life where it doesn’t matter what other people think.

In writing your book, how did you deal with the phone ringing, your family needing dinner or your boss calling you saying you’re late?

I arrange my hours so that I write before I go into work. As a college prof, I have some flexibility with my work hours. Hooray!

What was the craziest or insane thing that happened to you in the book publishing process?

I once hired a publicist who accomplished nothing.

How about the social networks?  Which ones do you believe help and which ones do you wish you could avoid?

I think any contact you make with other human beings is helpful. I tend to spend more time writing, though, than promoting.

Book sales.  Don’t you just love them (or lack of?)?  How are you making the sales happen for you?

I go to conferences, give readings, the usual. Some things are out of our control.

What is one thing you’d like to jump on the rooftop and scream about?

I’ll save the screaming for when I’m on the NY Times Best Seller list.

Okay, too much sugar for you today!  Here’s a nice cup of Chamomile tea and come on over and sit under the cabana and watch the waves roll in.  Now…can you tell us what you love about being a published author and how all those things above doesn’t matter because it’s all part of the whole scheme of things and you wouldn’t have it any other way?

You’re right. None of the negatives matter, if you truly have the drive to write.  I love that I can spend my time coming up with ideas, exploring people and places, and work with language as my medium. I love crafting sentences that are visual and evocative, that elicit feelings from the reader.

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