Can you tell us a bit about your background?
I’ve been a hobby writer almost as long as I’ve been an avid reader, which started in fifth grade when I read Jules Verne for the first time. In middle-school I used to write short stories, print them up on our dot-matrix printer, and distribute them to anyone who would read them. I continued this for quite awhile, and while in college studying theater I really got into script writing. Writing a novel has always been on my “bucket list” and I started doing that just for fun probably 6 years ago. After a few failed attempts, when I finally had something I thought I could put out there, I started looking into publishing and got very discouraged. With two jobs, a family, and life in general, I just don’t have the time or energy for all that goes into submitting manuscripts to traditional publishers.
Around the same time I read a novel that I really enjoyed and found out that the author had published it independently through Amazon. I got really interested in that, learned all I could, and here I am now!
What’s drawn you to writing fiction?
It’s a bit of an “Escape” for me – terrible pun intended. With my theater background, I really love creating stories and characters. However with my work obligations and family, I haven’t found my way near a stage in nearly a decade other than to sit in the audience. Writing fiction has become that outlet for me. Just like reading is a way to disappear and lose yourself in another world, writing does the same thing for me. Only it’s a world that I can control entirely – how great is that?!
You’ve created an interesting series called “Escape” that’s been very well reviewed, can you tell us a bit about it?
I’m terrible at “the elevator pitch“, but in a nutshell the story centers around the primary character of Abby, a young woman who’s quite a badass, but has no idea in the beginning. She wakes up on a deserted beach paradise, with no memory as to how she got there. Pretty quickly she finds out that she’s actually trapped in a very dangerous place, and she’s in a fight for her life to get the hell out of there. The problem is that her deceptive little slice of paradise is actually the safest place in the world for her to be. She doesn’t realize it until she finally escapes and is thrown into even greater danger… as the description on Amazon reads, “Her escape is only the beginning”. I don’t want to get too long-winded, so if anyone is interested in the full “back of the book” description, those can be found on my website (www.Antocci.com).
You’re first book has nearly 200 reviews, that’s amazing! How have readers responded?
My readers are great! As you’ve said, I’ve had great reviews on Amazon, and I also receive a steady stream of emails and Facebook messages from folks who want to let me know how much they enjoyed the story. Honestly, going into this project never having put my writing out there on such a large scale, I was pretty freaked out. How are people going to respond? I had no idea what to expect. I have to say I couldn’t be happier with the response I’ve received from readers.
What can we look forward to in Book 2 coming out next week?
ESCAPE, A New Life – ends on a bit of a cliffhanger. It’s a solid story on it’s own and wraps up very well, but the last paragraph of the epilogue sets you up for the next book – ESCAPE, Past Sins(available March 20th through Amazon). As the title would imply, we get to find out about Abby’s past. It was an interesting exercise in that she is a character that we got to know so well in the first book, yet we know very little about her past. The second book is a novel that goes both forward and backward. On one hand Abby sets off on an incredible adventure, fraught with danger and peril, and on the other hand when she gets her memory restored we get to learn all about her past that lead up to where she was when we met her in the first book.
It was a lot of fun to write. Past Sins gets into some gritty and horrible details that molded Abby into the woman we met in the first book. Some readers may admire her and love her even more, some may go the opposite way. It will be interesting to see how folks respond. As nervous as I was publishing the first book, I’m 100x more nervous this time around. No one had ever heard of me or had any expectations when I put the first one out there. Not that I’m Dan Brown or anything, but there are a bunch of folks who read – and liked – the first book and are going into this one with expectations. Talk about pressure!
Where can we find out more about you and your work?
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