Welcome Ernesto San Giacomo
Author of Storm of Divine Light: The Tales of Tyrennia, Book One and several other books.
(Links to where books may be found are provided at the end of this interview.)
Please tell us a little about yourself.
The quick and easy answer is, I’m from an Italian American family of devout Catholics. They say you can’t plant roots in NYC. But they must be strong to penetrate the concrete and steel. I’ve taken them with me wherever I go. For instance, grandma and mom taught me how to cook. I got the hearty Italian peasant cooking from grandma. Although mom expanded my horizons into other cuisines, those simple staples from grandma will also be my comfort foods.
I’ve also been lucky that wherever I’ve lived, there is always a robust Catholic community.
What first inspired you to write?
I’ve always needed an artistic outlet, or two, or three. When I realized that writing, especially as an Indie Author, allowed me to create and reach an audience without interference from anyone else – that sealed the deal.
In what genre(s) do you prefer to write?
I’m a multi-genre author. Although my first novel is fantasy, I’ve done horror, crime-thriller, paranormal, post-apocalyptic, religious, and sci-fi short stories. My next collection has a smattering of many genres. There’s also a series of sci-fi novels in the works, and a novelette series that’s religious / paranormal / urban fantasy / horror / comedy.
How/Where do you get the ideas for your stories?
They come like a bolt of lightning. I can be sautéing mushrooms, and suddenly get the idea for a detective story.
Are you working on another book?
The sequel to Storm of Divine Light is coming along. I’ve completed the first draft and the polishing has begun. I’d say the first 150 pages are ready for beta readers. But the short story collection should be done first.
If your books have required research: What do you consider the best resources?
Believe it or not, fantasy does require some research. I have pretty good knowledge of table-top gaming and that helped. But sometimes I need to second guess myself. Those player guides for D & D and Pathfinder are loaded with information about weapons, armor, monsters, and magic.
Do you consider your books convey messages to readers?
At first, I’d fancied the idea of hope as a theme. Some of the feedback from readers has confirmed that they got the message. Also, there are moments of reckoning for some characters where they take an honest look at themselves. Katrina did that a number of times in Storm of Divine Light.
What advice would you give to authors who are just starting out?
First, get involved with a critique group to help you produce the finest product that you can. Second, learn all about marketing. A wonderful book does not guarantee a single review, or even a single sale.
Do you self-edit or do you think a book should only be professionally edited?
I self-edit, and then pass it off. My wife happens to be quite gifted at story editing, copy editing, and proof-reading. If you don’t have such a resource available, then you have to turn to an editor. Also, having a mix of readers and writers as beta-readers helps immeasurably.
How do you go about marketing your books?
I thought using social media as a promotion was good enough, which was a big mistake on my part. But now I understand the importance of pre-release marketing, including ARC copies for advance reviews. However, when it comes to purchasing advertising, I don’t think I’ll ever go down that road. Also, other somewhat successful Indies have mentioned that the first and most important key to author success is “write a good book.”
How important do you think reviews are?
Extremely important. I should have released ARC copies and sought out those sources. I’ll put some ideas to the test when my short collection is released.
If you consider reviews important, how do you go about obtaining them for your books?
I’ve always been the type to let the chips fall where they may. I got put off the idea of ARCs because of the nefarious practice of paying for reviews. I thought that ARCs were simply a roundabout way of paying for reviews so I refused to do it. Now I know otherwise.
Do you have a preferred genre for when you read?
Absolutely not. You can see from the reviews I post on my blog that my taste is diverse.
This is an age old question but one I consider of interest. If you were stranded on a desert island, which three books would you like to have with you?
That’s like asking for my three favorite Beatles’ songs. But I’ll bite. The Bible, “The Name of the Rose” by Umberto Eco, and “Blow Up and Other Stories” by Julio Cortázar.
Please share with us links to where readers may obtain more information and insight into who you are.
Thank you Ernesto for sharing your knowledge and experience with us.
Ernesto’s book ‘Storm of Divine Light: The Tales of Tyrennia, Book One’ has been reviewed in this website.
Click on cover image to read review.