Interview with Ron Chepesiuk
When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
I always wanted to be a writer, but didn’t want say I was a writer and not write anything. This seemed to be the case with a lot of people I knew who called themselves writers. So it wasn’t until my mid 30s that I actually began the process and hard work of becoming a writer. I was a university professor at the time and on sabbatical in Ireland when I real decided to become a writer. Ireland is magical when it come to the literary world and I caught the writing bug.
What genre do you write and why?
Right now I write true crime. I have had some success with the genre and so it hard to move on and try another genre. But I love writing about crime. Gangsters are some of the most fascinating characters I also get a chance to do challenging research. I am fascinated by why criminals do crime because criminals invariably never get away with it.
Tell us about your latest book.
My latest book, Black Caesar, is about the biggest mystery in organized crime history. In 1973 drug kingpin Frank Matthews jumped bail with $15-20 million and a beautiful woman and has never been seen again. I mean ‘never,” He has vanished off the face of the Earth. The investigation of what happened to Matthews was the biggest in DEA history. Frank Matthews was bigger than life, an amazing personality and the first big Black drug kingpin in U.S. history. I tell the story of his life and the incredible investigation that has tried to find him.
What marketing methods are you using to promote your book?
I used a variety of methods. Of course, you first start with a web site (www.frankmatthewsbook.com). We have trailer we are putting up on U Tube. I hired a publicist and she is getting out the word. I’m active on Facebook and Twitter. I had list of radio shows that have interviewed me in the past and they are being contacted. I plan to do some book signings in New York City where Frank Matthews operated. I have run excerpts from the book on crime web sites like Americanmafia.com and gangstersincom. There are other things I’m doing as well.
What formats is the book available in?
It will be available in print and e-book and we are exploring having an audio book put out.
What do you like to do when you're not writing?
Work. Right now I’m working on my screenwriting part of my screenwriting career. I have written two screenplays about Frank Matthews that I am marketing. If you love your career, work can be liberating.
Who are your favourite authors?
I have several. I try to learn as much as I can from every author I read. My likes run the gamut. For starters I like Graham Greene, George Orwell, Ernest Hemingway, John Carol Oates, Victor Hugo, Eudora Welty, John Le Carre, Fydor Dostoevsky, and John Grisham.
What advice do you have for other writers?
Work at it every day. Writing at its essence is a craft. You may not be able to write like Graham Greene but with practice you could get good enough to write like Grisham. Also, a writing career can’t be built in a day or even a year. Give yourself some time to succeed. And remember-- there is no such thing as writer’s block, just writer’s problems.
What's your favourite quote about writing/for writers?
Probably my original quote above. As soon as an aspiring writer starts talking about writer’s block, they are setting themselves up for failure. And don’t like other writers bent on failure put that loser notion in your head.
What's the best thing about being a writer?
Challenging yourself. There is nothing harder than sitting in room trying to create. But, for me, that is what makes life worth living. Life is more about the journey than the answers, isn’t it?
Where can people find out more about you and your writing?
Anything else you'd like to add?
Thank for the opportunity and I hope your readers keep on writing.