Each week (or month) I will introduce you to an author I want you to know about.
This week it’s award-winning author MIKE DELUCIA.
I met Mike in Miami last year at the Reader’s Favorite Book Awards. He was there to receive an award for his book MADNESS and I was one of the speakers. He won a FREE Author Interview with me, so congrats! He’s a great guy with an awesome sense of humor, and I think you’re gonna like him.
He is the author of:
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
When I was around 23. I began my latest book, Madness: The Man Who Changed Basketball as a screenplay; I intended to use it “Stallone style,” so that I could act in it. I had every intention of being a film actor in those days. I learned about the story’s protagonist through my father, but when I did the research, I realized this would be a perfect film. I decided to convert it into a historical fiction novel after I published my first book, Boycott The Yankees: A call to Action by a Lifelong Yankees Fan… I love the Yankees, by the way. The Yankees were such a huge part of my family, as a few generations on both sides of the families resided in the Bronx and Manhattan, two huge supporters of the Yankees. The Yankees were a part of our family structure, and when they opened the new ballpark it was as though they kicked their loyal fans out and catered to corporations. The feel is no longer the same. The book is about how greed and ego is destroying baseball and how to make it affordable for their loyal fans to fill the park again.
What advice would you give someone just starting out?
Do your research about how to write whatever it is you are writing and then write it. Make sure you have the appropriate structure, etc., and then be very wary of changing anything. If you do a rewrite after every critique you receive, you will never finish. There are no “experts” who can predict what the world audience will want. Believe in yourself and write. Also, do not write a book and then start writing your next one. You’ve invested so much in creating your masterpiece. Go out and promote the hell out of it. Tell everyone you are a writer and secure book talks, interviews, podcasts, etc. Go crazy promoting your work. People aren’t going to find you. You have to find them and introduce them to your masterpiece. This last one is huge… GET OFF SOCIAL MEDIA. Well not exactly, because it’s necessary, but do it once per day. Any computer work besides writing is best done once. In the past, I was a slave to it and it interfered greatly with my progress. We only have so much time, so use it well.
How long does it take you to write a book?
Every book is different. Boycott took two years, Madness began as a screenplay in ’83 and appeared in book form in 2019. Settling a Score is a short story that took a few weeks.
What is your work schedule like when you are writing?
I write every spare moment I can. When I get up in the morning and my mind is relaxed, I stay in bed for 15 minutes thinking about the story. I also produce great material in the shower and while driving. I always have a pad and sharpie in the car. My day begins early and I write until my brain hurts. I take a nap and then write some more. I’m a workaholic by the way. I gave up TV, Netflix, radio, and everything else that takes time away from my writing.
What steps did you take to become a full-time writer?
I retired earlier than I planned. I left a lot of money on the table, but I believe in myself and didn’t want to waste 5 years doing something I didn’t want to do anymore and change it for something I want to do.
What do you like to do when you are not writing?
Spend time with family and friends—that’s it. Travel is included in that because I travel with my wife.
What do you think makes a good story?
If you are laughing and crying in the same story, that’s a good sign…
If you could spend a day with anyone, living or dead, real or fictitious, who would it be and why?
I will take liberties with this one, because I would spend time with friends or family who passed away, and it would be too difficult to decide, so I’ll go with fictional characters, and I need two: Atticus Finch and Mama (Lena) Younger.
Atticus Finch is a perfect role model because he does what he does according to his own moral compass, and he is fearless in his followthrough. He doesn’t let what others say or others’ opinions sway him from his course. And, as Miss Maudie says, “Atticus Finch is the same in his house as he is on the public streets.” He knows what to say, he has a wonderful heart, he’s brilliant, intuitive, and he’s the kind of character who would rest on his deathbed with little to no regrets. He is both powerful and a gentleman.
Mama is the female version or Atticus. Mama is brilliant, proud, caring, and strong. These lines wrap up why I feel the way I do about her. This is why I love Mama:
Beneatha: “Love him? There is nothing left to love.”
Mama: “There is always something left to love. And if you ain’t learned that, you ain’t learned nothing. Have you cried for that boy today? I don’t mean for yourself and for the family ’cause we lost the money. I mean for him: what he been through and what it done to him. Child, when do you think is the time to love somebody the most? When they done good and made things easy for everybody? Well then, you ain’t through learning – because that ain’t the time at all. It’s when he’s at his lowest and can’t believe in hisself ’cause the world done whipped him so! When you starts measuring somebody, measure him right, child, measure him right. Make sure you done taken into account what hills and valleys he come through before he got to wherever he is.”
Wow, what an amazing person! Great tips too on writing and being focused on your craft.