A writer and entrepreneur, Garasamo Maccagnone is the founder of a successful airfreight business. Mr. Maccagnone’s passion for writing, however, now forces him to focus on his literary career. So far, that career has been highly successful with his releases of the novel St. John of the Midfield, the novella, For the Love of St. Nick, a collection of short stories entitled My Dog Tim and Other Stories, as well as a children’s book titled, The Suburban Dragon. Garasamo Maccagnone’s lastest release is a collection of short stories titled Sentiments of Blue.
Mr. Maccagnone resides in Shelby Township, Michigan where he is working on his second novel, The Sorrows of Pebble Creek. Readers can learn more about him and his work at his website.
Please tell us a bit about your book: Sentiments of Blue – characters, plot, etc.
Sentiments of Blue is a collection of five stories. In the featured story, a young man, yearning to escape the world his father lived in, recalls his final day working at a Michigan factory. The story “The Conversion” takes place on a train, where two hockey players, traveling to their first game in the NHL, create an unfortunate situation that changes their lives forever. “The Note Giver” tells the story of an old man who appears before a Catholic congregation, exposing them for their hypocrisy in a series of notes he gives them. “Holy Thursday” recounts the night a young boy attempts to save his gangster grandfather from a perceived threat at a local Catholic Church. The collection ends with “Perfect Game,” a story about a minor league pitching phenom who likes to throw at the heads of his opponents.
So far, the reviews have been good. I’m thankful for the positive feedback and hope others enjoy the entertainment value the stories bring.
If you could meet, in person, any of your characters, who would it be and why?
In the story, “The Conversion,” there’s a character by the name of “Animal” I’d like to hang out with. Saying that, I prefer the Animal prior to his conversion. Having played baseball in college, I met a few characters like Animal, guys who are the life of the party and always susceptible to trouble, on and off the field. They’re the fun ones to be around.
If you could fictionalize yourself and put yourself in any situation, how would it play out? Could you give us a scene/scenario of such an occurrence?
Just like a little boys dream of, I want to be in a movie where I’m the baseball player who hits a walk-off grand slam in the bottom of the ninth to win the World Series. Is that too much to ask for?
Do you have any particular habits that you do while writing? Places you write the best, foods, drinks, etc that help set your “writing mood”?
I have a den where I write. One time I tried to eat a beef stew when a little of the gravy spilled on the keyboard. My wife, who is the computer expert in the house, banned me from my own writing room until I promised not to eat near the keyboard again.
To get into a good writing mood, often I listen to folk music or classic rock artists who can inspire me with a tricky lyric or a clever melody. Sometimes that gets me to the keyboard.
What are you reading right now?
I’m reading a biography of Lincoln by Fred Kaplan. Unlike many other biographies of Lincoln, this book focuses on his writing career, and how Lincoln’s love of literature influenced his Presidency.
Who are some of your favorite authors and/or books?
The Great Gatsby, To Kill A Mockingbird, A Farewell To Arms, Going All The Way, The Taming of the Shrew, are a few of my favorite books. A few writers I’m fond of are John Dos Passos, Jack London, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Frank O’Connor, Ernest Hemingway, Eudora Welty, and Dan Wakefield.
If you could meet any author, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
I’d like to meet Flannery O’Connor. Though I’m not an enthusiastic reader of her literary works, I loved her letters, which revealed the scope of her intellect and the stoic nature of her character. As a Catholic, in my opinion, she should be canonized.
Okay, here are a few “get to know you better” questions:
Please share with us a favorite memory.
Seeing my first serious girlfriend, at fifteen, stepping out of my house in her yellow bikini.
Please describe a perfect meal – including menu and those present.
The perfect meal is pepperoni slices, fontinella cheese, green olives, served on a bread board, with Italian sauce available to dip warm Italian bread, broken by hand, into.
To be honest, I have a rat pack of guys I hang out with at all the local establishments. They’re the only ones who listen to me. They’re easy to hang around with.
What are some of your favorite ways to relax?
Sitting at a soccer tournament, where I don’t have to coach, is my favorite place to relax. I like to watch competitive contests where I can enjoy the action, regardless of which team wins.
If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
I lived up in Lake Ogemaw in a house overlooking the lake. It was quite peaceful there. I used to play golf often at the West Branch Country Club nearby. It was a wonderful life.
If you could only read books by one author, who would it be? I know, this is an inconceivable thought, lol.
I’d like to read an autobiography by Paul Simon. I’ve always been a fan of his arrangements and lyrical developments. He seems like a person I could learn a lot from.
Share with us a few of your dreams. Also whether they have been fulfilled or are still a work in progress.
I have three more novels to finish. The stories are fixed in my head and I’m just waiting for them to burn out of me. As far as dreams, I’d like to see my novel, St. John of the Midfield, someday become a major film. Is that too much to ask for?
What are some of your guilty pleasures?
In my spare time, I study quantum physics. Having displaced Newtonian physics, the new understandings on matter, light, and time, fascinates me. The problem is, I can’t find anyone to talk to about it. My friends and family run every time I broach the subject.
If you could leave the world with one piece of advice, what would it be?
“Go forth, and sin no more.” As science and spirituality seem to be closer in agreement that there is a Creator, it may be prudent on all our parts to play by his rules.