Interview with Frank Zaccari
When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
I never expected to be a writer. I started writing books three years ago when I became a single custodial parent. My daughters and I were in counseling when one of the counselors suggested I write a journal. So when my emotions wouldn’t let me sleep I would get up and write. This journal evolved into my first book “When the Wife Cheats.” Once this book was completed and published I discovered that writing became a form of relaxation and stress relief. “Five Years to Live” is my fourth book in three years.
What genre do you write and why?
Three of my four books (“When the Wife Cheats,” “Inside the Spaghetti Bowl” and now “Five Years to Live”) are in the family/relationship genre. So it appears my writing leans in that direction. I envy fiction writers who can create a story purely from their imagination. I wish I had more of that skill. Since I don’t have that amazing creative gene, I write about things I know or have experienced in my life. I live in all four of my books. For example, “When the Wife Cheats” and “Five Years to Live” are based on true stories. “From the Ashes: The Rise of the University of Washington Volleyball Program” and “Inside the Spaghetti Bowl” are true stories. I enjoy telling real life stories about families and family dynamics.
What marketing methods are you using to promote your book?
This is a learning experience. Since I self-published, the entire writing world is a new experience. Without a publisher all the marketing and promotion is up to me. The virtual book tours, (such as Partners in Crime), have been a wonderful way to make contact with other writers and many potential readers. They are also a great source for feedback.
I created a website www.frankzaccari.com as source of information. I contracted with a PR firm to help promote my first book. They were able to schedule some radio interviews and professional reviews. It was fun but a little pricey. I am learning the “social media” tools. Lately, I have been using facebook to keep people informed and target groups that might have an interest in the topic. For example with “Five Years to Live,” I have been targeting people and groups that work in the disability world. I am learning how to use twitter – still have a long way to go however. I found with twitter there are far too many posts announcing where someone is going for lunch.
I have also sent press releases to newspapers, magazines and organizations that I hope would be interested in the books. I haven’t found the magic formula yet, but I am going to keep trying. I am open to any all suggestions from your readers.
What formats is the book available in?
“Five Years to Live” is available in paper back and in kindle format. The book is available in the United States and internationally from amazon.com and I am told it can be ordered from major book stores or literary distributors.
What do you like to do when you're not writing?What a great question. Like the vast majority of writers I have a day job. Hopefully one of my books will become a best seller and I can focus solely on writing (hahaha). When I became a single parent I had to stop traveling so I bought an insurance agency. Being a small business owner keeps me very busy. During the day I am a business owner and single parent. From 1:00 to 4:00 in the morning I write.
When I lived in Seattle, I became heavily involved with the University of Washington volleyball program. The program has become my escape. In fact my second book, “From the Ashes: The Rise of the University of Washington Volleyball Program,” is about this program. I still spend time working on the program’s business plan, helping them raise money and traveling whenever possible to watch these amazing young women represent their university with pride and the utmost class.
Who are your favourite authors?
I love authors who tell great stories. I have read every Sidney Sheldon book. He was an amazing story teller. I enjoy Jeffrey Archer’s ability to create intrigue and the ability that Mitch Albom, Nicholas Sparks and Tim Russert have to touch the reader’s heart.
What advice do you have for other writers?
Writing is like every other aspect in life. Many times it is going to be a challenging and very frustrating process. Believe me there will be far more people with negative comments than positive. If it is your passion, if it is what you truly want, don’t listen to the people who will say you can’t do it. When you feel completely overwhelmed or frustrated and depressed to the point where you want to quit – remember this “Look Up…Get Up…And Never Ever Give Up”.
What's your favourite quote about writing/for writers?
I have two quotes about writers that make me smile. The first is from F. Scott Fitzgerald: “Writers aren’t exactly people…They’re a whole bunch of people trying to be one person.”
I am paraphrasing the second one: Please be aware that writers may disappear for long periods of time without any warning. The second one sounds like me. When I am working on a book, I have gone several consecutive days without any contact with the outside world.
What's the best thing about being a writer?
It has to be the great sense of accomplishment. Holding a copy of my first book was exhilarating! I couldn’t believe I was actually holding a book with my name as the author. It gives me a great deal of satisfaction that I have written four books. It would be better if one or all of them become a best seller (hahaha), but until that day comes I am thoroughly enjoying the experience.
Where can people find out more about you and your writing?
I hope your readers will enjoy “Five Years to Live” and my other books. If they are interested they can reach me through a number of methods:
I have a website: www.frankzaccari.com
You can reach me on facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/frank.zaccari
I have just started using twitter, you can follow me @fzaccari
Send me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Anything else you'd like to add?
Thank you for the opportunity to share my experience with your readers. I hope they enjoy “Five Years to Live.” More importantly I hope and pray they will never experience the horror that comes with that phone call informing them that there has been an accident and their loved one is paralyzed.