Please welcome returning author PATRICK SCALISI! He brings us “Salvage”, to be published in Open Heart Publishing’s anthology An Honest Lie Vol. 4: Petulant Parables.
ET: Patrick, this is not your first story. Can you tell us about your other publications?
PS: I’ve been publishing professionally since 2008 and have been lucky enough to have my work appear in multiple web and print sources. I’m glad to be back working with Open Heart Publishing, which printed my story “The Registry of Lost Socks” in An Honest Lie Vol. 2. Apart from that, I’ve also been working a lot with another independent publisher called Post Mortem Press. PMP published my ghost story “Carousel Gardens” in two of their anthologies and was gracious enough to ask me to guest edit a forthcoming anthology about haunted machines.
ET: Editing is a great way to get your name out, and to hone your craft. What about other engagements, such as public speaking and book signings?
PS: I’ve held book signings and spoken in public about my writing. Public speaking has never bothered me for some reason, so I’ve found that a good way to get my name out there—and even sell a few books—is to teach workshops or lecture. I had the pleasure of speaking to the creative writing classes at Stratford (Conn.) High School this past spring. The students were incredibly polite and asked amazing questions about the entire writing process. At the end, the teacher bought several copies of An Honest Lie Vol. 2 for the school library!
ET: Nice job. How did you find Open Heart Publishing?
PS: I initially found out about Open Heart Publishing through Duotrope Digest during the call for submissions for An Honest Lie Vol. 2. OHP is wonderful in that they invite “alumni” writers to submit their work for future anthologies. Although I didn’t have a story that was a good match for An Honest Lie Vol. 3, I’m glad that my current story, “Salvage,” fit the theme of OHP’s fourth annual anthology.
ET: As someone who read and enjoyed “The Registry of Lost Socks”, I can say with some authority that readers should be excited about your forthcoming story, “Salvage”. Can you give us some insight on your writing philosophy?
PS: As the storyteller, I’m responsible for guiding the reader along the journey that is the story—be it flash fiction, a short story or a novel. In that respect, I think it’s important to tell a good story. I never really set out to convert someone, or satirize a serious topic, or even build intricate pyramids of symbolism. Really, I just want to tell a good story that I hope people enjoy.
I think it’s important to be true to yourself. A publisher can (and should) suggest edits but should never take away from the writer’s vision. I’ve turned down work from publishers who wanted to change my vision of a story to their vision of a story. Ultimately, the author has to be happy with what bears his or her byline at the end of the day.
ET: Words of wisdom from a burgeoning professional. What about deeper elements such as religion and politics?
PS: Looking back, this is a strange one for me. Politics are typically fair game in my stories, but I usually don’t touch on religion much for fear of offending or alienating certain readers. Religion is very personal and, to me at least, very private; I don’t have the right to mock or promote any one belief system over another. That having been said, I love playing with religion and archetypes in a fiction sense: creating fantasy worlds that have fictional religions, etc. One of the first novels I wrote—a fantasy that will never see the light of day, thank goodness—focused heavily on the religion of a fantasy world.
ET: We as authors walk a fine line, no doubt. You are obviously busy with writing, and need both support and space. Can you tell us how your family supports your writing goals?
PS: I’m very gracious that my family respects my writing time, which is probably the best support they can offer. When I’m at the computer writing, they know to keep quiet or refrain from asking me too many questions. The cat, however, is less sympathetic to the starving artist and will meow until his attention quota is met.
Untidiness gives me stress, so my writing area is typically neat—or else I can’t concentrate on writing. When I moved into my current house, I was able to take my childhood desk with me and remove the lofted bookshelves from the desktop. It’s now the perfect size to hold my laptop, speakers and a few other items. The desk is right next to a window, so I can gaze outside if I’m procrastinating.
ET: Outstanding. Without support, we would never be successful. Where can readers find you online?
PS: I have a personal website (patrickscalisi.com
) that I update once every month (or sooner, if need be). I also have a Facebook fan page (facebook.com/patrickscalisi) that I update daily with news related to my writing, as well as interesting articles about books, the craft of writing, arts and entertainment, and more. Finally, I blog occasionally on Goodreads (http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4607795.Patrick_Scalisi
) and share book recommendations, what I’m currently reading, and what I’d like to read in the future.
ET: Like a good author, sounds like you are busy writing, promoting, lecturing, writing, networking, and writing. Our readers should join me in heading over to your websites, so we can all watch you grow as a successful author. I know we’ll be seeing more of PATRICK SCALISI in the future!
I’d like to thank Patrick for allowing me to interview him, and for taking time from his busy schedule to answer my questions. Please visit his websites and show your support for this talented, dedicated author.
Patrick Scalisi is a journalist, magazine editor and emerging author from Connecticut. He has published fiction in several magazines, including The Willows, Neo-opsisand Twisted Dreams, among others. His short stories have also appeared in a number of fiction anthologies, including An Honest Lie Vol. 2, Shadowplay and Penny Dread Tales Vol. 1. Most recently, he served as the guest editor of the anthology The Ghost Is the Machine, released in August 2012 by Post Mortem Press. When he’s not writing, Pat enjoys watching way too many movies than are good for him, reading more books than he has shelves for and listening to music (his tastes range from classical to classic and modern rock). Visit Pat online at patrickscalisi.com or facebook.com/patrickscalisi.
Eric W. Trant is a published author of several short stories and the novel Out of the Great Black Nothing. He is currently represented by Debrin Case at Open Heart Publishing. See more of Eric’s work here: Publications