Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Interview with Michael DiCerto, author of The Adventures of Rupert Starbright Book 3: The Ghost of Winter Joy


ABOUT THE ADVENTURES OF RUPERT STARBRIGHT BOOK 3: THE GHOST OF WINTER JOY

Title: The Adventures of Rupert Starbright Book 3: The Ghost of Winter Joy
Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy
Author: Michael DiCerto
Publisher: Zumaya Publications
Language: English
Strange creatures begin to appear in the normally dull Graysland after Rupert Starbright digs up a mysterious bell in his backyard. Rupert sets off on his latest adventure to discover the secret of a mysterious haunted mansion and its creepy occupant and the connection to the old holiday called Winter Joy.

Could you please tell us a little about your book? 

THE GHOST OF WINTER JOY is book 3 of my middle grade fantasy adventure series THE ADVENTURES OF RUPERT STARBRIGHT. In this story strange creatures begin to appear in the normally dull Graysland after Rupert Starbright digs up a mysterious bell in his backyard. Rupert sets off on his latest adventure to discover the secret of a mysterious haunted mansion and its creepy occupant and the connection to the old holiday called Winter Joy. In this most exciting adventure in young Rupert’s life we will join him on a dangerous journey that will bring the mysteries of Graysland’s past with its present.

Who is your biggest supporter? Your biggest critic? 

My wife Suzy is my biggest fan. She will read early drafts and provide brutally honest feedback. Sometimes I might balk. But in the end, just about every change she suggests gets implemented because her instincts are always right on the money.

What cause are you most passionate about and why? 

I am passionate about humans and the power of the imagination. I am disheartened by an educational system that focusing on testing and not challenging kids to think in new ways. Rupert Starbright is thrown into dangerous and exciting situations where he must use his powerful Imaginings to solve problems. I hope children who read these books will be inspired to write, to paint, to create music and approach life in general by thinking for themselves.

In the last year have you learned or improved on any skills? 

Having practiced Yoga for over a dozen years, 2013 was when I decided to get certified as a Yoga teacher. It was a lot of work, and took away from my writing time but was great adventure and very rewarding.

Who has influenced you throughout your career as a writer? 

That daredevil of wordplay, Theodor Seuss Geisel, had an immense influence on my style as a writer. As I got older, Joseph Campbell really guided my worldview. I became fascinated by world myths and how they influence cultures and religions throughout history. I was an original Star Wars geek (I saw it 27 times in the movies).

What are you currently working on? 

Promoting The Adventures of Rupert Starbright series with a focus on The Ghost of Winter Joy. I am writing the first book of a new series, but authors in the 21st century MUST do all the promoting they can to make their work stand out amongst the ever-growing inventory of books.

Do you have any advice for writers or readers? 

Yes. For writers it is simple. WRITE. Write what you enjoy. Ultimately you must love the work. And write every day. Set aside a period of time where you can write uninterrupted. And even if you manage a paragraph, you must produce, everyday. It adds up very quickly.

What do you feel is your biggest strength? 

Creating original, colorful worlds and characters that engage the reader.

Biggest weakness? 

My hair follicles.

What do you feel sets this book apart from others in the same genre? 

Well, I have not read all the books in the genre so I cannot really compare my work to the others. I will say that my books will tickle the reader’s imagination and my stories will keep you turning the pages. Just as many others will. Wherein some other kidlit books it is spells and magic that the characters wield, Rupert Starbright taps into his powerful Imagining ability. Something each child who reads my books can relate to and do themselves. No potions or wands needed (unless, of course, you decide to imagine one!) You’ll have fun and your heart will be touched as well. I like to balance excitement and enchantment.

You know the scenario – you’re stuck on an island. What book would you bring with you and why? 

The Dictionary since it has every other book in it.

What is the most important lesson you have learned from life so far? 

I will use a cliché to answer the question: Don’t sweat the small things and it is all small things.

ABOUT MICHAEL DICERTO

SONY DSCA filmmaker and writer since childhood, Mike has directed numerous shorts, music videos, documentaries, promotional videos and two feature films (NO EXIT and TRIPTOSANE). His first novel, Milky Way Marmalade received rave reviews and was the winner of the 2003 Dream Realm Award. He is very excited about the release of the first of his exciting new kid-lit series, RUPERT STARBRIGHT: The Door to Far-Myst. Mike, a certified Yoga instructor, has many interests including gardening (loves growing chili peppers in his rooftop garden), playing guitar, cats (long-time volunteer at NYC’s Ollie’s Place Adoption Center), really good and really bad movies and 70s TV as well all kinds of geeky stuff. He is a dedicated MST3K fanatic. He thinks of music as his religion—especially Classic Rock. He lives quite contently in a NYC apartment with his wife and soul mate, Suzy and their rescued kitties, Cosmo and Rupert. You can visit Mike’s website at www.mikedicerto.com

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