Happy Friday, y'all, and thank you so much for joining me here on the blog. Today, let me introduce you to WV writer, Salvatore Buttaci!
Shannon: What part of WV are you from? Do you still live there?
Salvatore: I am not originally from West Virginia. I visited Crab Orchard, WV, back in 1957 and fell in love with the state. In fact, I made one of my few predictions that came true: "I'm gonna move here someday!" Of course, my older brother laughed. I was only 16. What did I know! Nearly 50 years later I married my pen pal from Yukon, WV, and brought her to Lodi, New Jersey, where I was living. In 2007, only 11 years later, I retired from nearly 30 years of teaching, and the two of us moved to Princeton, West Virginia.
Shannon: I've been to Princeton. How long have you known you wanted to be a writer?
Salvatore: Since I was about nine. It sounded like a fun way to spend my life. To be sure, I also wanted to be a pilot, a priest, a trial lawyer, a newspaperman, among a list of other vocations. I believe a poem I wrote for my mother got me started. My father told everyone about that dumb poem. "My son's another Dante!" he told them. Remember, I was nine. I bought into that and never stopped writing.
Shannon: Children are very impressionable. :) So, who or what inspires you the most?
Salvatore: That's easier asked than answered. I believe writing is a gift God gave me and the only way I know how to say thank you is to pray and write everyday. Of course, my wife Sharon inspires me because love does that to writers. It gives us a reason to release those awesome feelings we take into ourselves. I am also inspired by all the things and people I observe who I feel should become part of my poem or story or novel: captured forever, saved in those pages even after they leave this world for the next. Finally, I am inspired by great writers like Dickens, Dostoievski, Sandburg, Vallejo--so many geniuses I call my heroes.
Shannon: How many books have you written? How many are published?
Salvatore: I self-published my first book back in 1974. A book of poems. In all I've self-published perhaps ten of them, mostly poetry and a few prose. In fact, one of them, A Family of Sicilians...is still selling since I first published it in 1998. It's available at lulu.com and Barnes and Noble as a Nook book.
Pudding House Publications in Ohio, the largest small press in America, published my Greatest Hits: 1970-2000, and added it to their Greatest Hits Series of American Poets. Two more of my poetry chapbooks were published as well: Boy on a Swing (Big Table Publishing) and What I Learned from the Spaniard (Middle Island Press).
Cyber-wit Publications in India published Two Can Play This Game... (co-authored by the poet Paul Juszcyk) and A Dusting of Star Fall: Love Poems, which I wrote to and for my Sharon.
My two flash-fiction collections, published by All Things That Matter Press and available at Amazon.com, are entitled Flashing My Shorts and 200 Shorts.
Shannon: Wow, you've done some writing! Do you like to read as much as you like to write?
Salvatore: I have always been an avid reader, beginning with the comic books of the 1950s and Classic Illustrated Comics which introduced me to classic literature. Unlike Sharon who reads one book at a time and usually completes it in a day or two, I have the weird habit of reading about eight books, a few pages from each. It makes each book last and luckily--so far!--I know where I left off in each book.
Shannon: :) I've done that on occasion; read more than one book at the same time. Do you have a favorite author?
Salvatore: I have many favorites, but as for the writers of today, I enjoy John Sanford, Alan Folsom, and Jeffrey Archer.
Shannon: What other hobbies/interests do you have?
Salvatore: Taking walks with Sharon, playing poker, water painting.
Shannon: What advice would you give to all those aspiring writers out there?
Salvatore: If you really want to be a writer, be willing to learn the writer's craft, read extensively, hone your observation skills, ignore destructive criticism, build up your self confidence, write everyday, and be unafraid of sharing your writings with editors and publishers.
Shannon: Good advice. Any other thoughts or comments?
Salvatore: If anyone is interested in ordering my books, they can click on any of these sites:
Kindle Edition: http://www.amazon.com/200-Shorts-ebook/dp/B004YWKI8O/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1318289667&sr=1-1
Print Edition: http://www.amazon.com/200-Shorts-Salvatore-Buttaci/dp/0984639241/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1318289667&sr=1-1
Nook Book: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/200-shorts-salvatore-buttaci/1104027163?ean=2940012786968&itm=1&usri=200%2bshorts
Flashing My Shorts
Print Edition: http://tinyurl.com/6772fps
Kindle Edition: http://tinyurl.com/5vkhd9r
A Family of Sicilians
Print Edition: http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/ButtaciPublishing2008
Nook Book: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/A-Family-of-Sicilians--Stories-and-Poems?keyword=A+Family+of+Sicilians%3A+Stories+and+Poems&store=ebook
Shannon: Thank you Sal for joining me today and allowing me to interview you. It was a pleasure.
And, thanks to all you faithful readers out there for joining me, as well. Y'all be sure and have a wonderful, safe weekend, and I'll catch ya back here on Monday!