Today we are chatting with Chuck Cascio the author of The Fire Escape Stories, Volumes I and II.
Tell us something unexpected about yourself!
1) Elizabeth Taylor once invited me to join her for a private lunch conversation at an event I was covering for The Washington Post.
2) I am a former freelance journalist now writing fiction.
3) I am a dedicated gym rat!
What novels affected you the most growing up?
To Kill a Mockingbird, The Old Man and the Sea, The Catcher in the Rye,
A Separate Peace, A Farewell to Arms
Where did the idea for your current book come from?
Watching my own kids grow, I began thinking about the simple things that seemed to be making the most impact on their lives. That caused me to think about my own life, which led to fictionalizing simple experiences that can be powerful forces in changing lives. Everyone has those little things that, as they grow older, they realize had a powerful impact. I try to rekindle those experiences.
Do you think there’s any way you could ever run out of ideas for books?
No. Everywhere I look, I see ideas for writing–sometimes nonfiction, other times fiction. To me, though, writing should not be just a transcription of events; it must contain something that causes the reader to consider the differences and similarities about every individual’s life.
What is your routine for writing and has this method changed over the span of your career?
My routine has always been to set a minimal time almost every day for writing, even if it is just 30 minutes–this was probably the result of being on constant deadline as a journalist! Then I force myself to brainstorm and to at least meet that minimal goal. Usually, once I hit that minimal goal, I am into something that I either want to expand on or edit in some way. The result is that I then continue well beyond the minimal goal, though I generally am pretty exhausted by three to four hours of writing. On some days, the time used is simply best applied to editing something written previously, which then gets me going in new directions. The key, though, for me, is establishing that minimal time.
How important is marketing and social media for you?
Extremely important today and growing more important all the time. This is how we expand our audience these days, and, increasingly, it is how even traditional marketing channels pick up on an author’s work.
What advice would you have for other writers?
Write for the purpose of making people consider something different about life and, in doing so, perhaps they will see that they do, in fact, share experiences similar to those that you are writing about. One of the great joys of reading truly moving stories–whether fiction on nonfiction–is to recognize that while we are all different, there are also commonalities that we may not always be aware of. Sure, our life circumstances frequently have results that differ from the people we are reading about, but we often wind up saying, “That could have been me!” So writers should strive to create that kind of reaction.
What are you reading now?
A Man Called Ove
What’s your next step?
I have a novel coming out in April that will pull together–and conclude– The Fire Escape Stories. In that novel, the mysteries surrounding the directions of the boys in The Fire Escape Stories will be answered…though subtly!
The Fire Escape Stories is available on Amazon here
If you are interested in book promotion, please visit http://yourbookpromoter.com