Hello, Fellow Bibliophiles! Today, I have the pleasure of introducing to you, Ron Vitale, author of Cinderella’s Secret Diary.
Bookworm: In your bio, you mention that the seed to Cinderella’s Secret Diary was planted as your read fairy tales to your daughter. What was it about the fairy tales that launched this book series?
Ron Vitale: Having a daughter and seeing her be inundated with Barbies and the world of pink, wanted me to do something right for her. I decided to write a young adult book with the heroine starting off as being unsure of herself and weak, but eventually learning how to rescue herself. Often in fairy tales, a magical source helps and saves the heroine, but I wanted to tell a different story.
Bookworm: The silver fox is a wonderful new wrinkle in the fairy tale. Where did you draw your inspiration for this character?
Vitale: In my graduate studies back in college, I studied Carl Jung’s beliefs about the human personality and really took that to heart. Jung believed that each person’s interior life consisted of various parts. The Shadow was the dark part of a person’s personality. For me, the Silver Fox is an extension of looking deep within and seeing that darkness and then embracing it.
Bookworm: You published your first book The Jovian Gate Chronicles through Lulu back in 2007. What was self-publishing like back then and how much has it changed?
Vitale: I look back and realize that I had no clue what I was doing back in 2007. I experimented with creating audio books, self-publishing and learning all I could about the technology. Years have passed and now the ebook revolution has exploded around the globe. Amazon and many other companies make it easy for a writer to sell his/her work to anyone around the world. Back in 2007, things were much more complicated and harder to do. We’ve come a long way and I think readers have many more choices in front of them to choose from now.
Bookworm: Can you tell us about some of the other works you have published?
Vitale: I’ve had published my young adult fantasy book (my first novel) Dorothea’s Song, Lost: Cinderella’s Secret Diary and Stolen: Cinderella’s Secret Diaries which is a direct sequel to Lost. And you already mentioned The Jovian Gate Chronicles which is a loosely connected science fiction collection that answers the question: What happens when humans cross paths with intelligent aliens that claim to be prophets from God?
Bookworm: What are you currently working on?
Vitale: Currently, I am working on Found which is book 3 in the Cinderella’s Secret Diaries series. I’m halfway through the rough draft and am plugging away as quickly as I can with working full-time, raising a family, blogging, staying active on social media and running half-marathons. There’s definitely a lot of juggling going on, but I like to be diversified and to work hard. I also like being able to connect with readers because it’s really important to me to let people know why I wrote my books and get feedback from my readers.
Bookworm: What is the most important thing about being an author to you?
Vitale: Being able to take a really intimate and personal belief that I might be afraid to share with the world, but to do it anyway. I write books about young women and I’m a man. That’s not unheard of, but it’s unusual. For me, I like to tap into my memories of angst and heartache I had in going through my teenage and young adolescent years and share that with my readers.
Bookworm: Who do you read for fun?
Vitale: My guilty pleasure is Star Wars books. I’m a big fan the main series with Luke, Han and Leia in the books. I’m also a big Twilight fan, but I try to be open as I can about reading. I’ll read lots of different things, but certain books really grab me. Several years back I read the “His Dark Materials” series by Philip Pullman and I fell in love with those books. What an amazingly wonderful world and great characters. More recently, John Green’s “The Fault in Our Stars” topped my best of 2012 list. Insanely crazy premise, but wonderful book that speaks about the power of love and of the sublime importance of our temporal lives here on Earth.
Bookworm: James Bond, Jason Bourne, or Ethan Hunt?
Vitale: Bond, James Bond. He’s handsome, intelligent, strong and gets the women. Daniel Craig has resurrected the 50 plus year old franchise and it’s great to see him do so well in the role.
Bookworm: So why did you stop doing Magic: The Gathering podcasts? I ask because I am giddy that I might have found someone a little nerdy than I am. I played in a Magic: The Gathering pre-release three days before I gave birth to my son.
Vitale: At one point in my life, I was working full-time, trying to write, did two podcasts and raise two kids. Something had to give and I decided that doing five years of Magic: The Gathering was enough. If I wanted to be a writer, then I needed to write.
I have a long, long history with Magic. I did some freelance work for Wizards of the Coast many years ago, was able to visit their old headquarters out in Renton, WA and even had an article on Highlander published on MagictheGathering.com. An interesting tidbit is that I was even lucky enough to play Richard Garfield, the creator of Magic, in a game. The videos to my duel with him are on my website: http://www.ronvitale.com/2007/02/richard-garfield-and-me.html
If you ever happen to be in the Philadelphia metro area, let me know, I’m always looking to play a game of Magic since I don’t get to very often these days.
Bookworm: What advice do you have for an up and coming writer?
Vitale: Never give up. If you’re writing for money and fame, then ignore my “never give up” advise and give up now. There are only a few writers who are earning solid income to have fiction writing be their sole career. I’m not saying it’s impossible, but I wouldn’t suggest going into writing for the money. I believe it’s deeper than that.
If you have a story that’s bursting out of you and you have to get it out, then do so. Don’t worry about failure, making mistakes and not knowing what you’re doing. Work at it and then work at it some more. Write and talk with writers, listen to them, read as much as you can get your hands on and believe in yourself.
You will fail and then you will have that dark moment of the soul: Should you give up or go on? If you choose to keep trying, then I applaud you. Writing isn’t easy, but it can be the most freeing thing in the world.
I thank Ron Vitale for taking the time out of his schedule to do this interview. If you want to know more about Ron, visit his webpage/blog at http://www.ronvitale.com. Also feel free to follow the bookworm on twitter @ErinEymard and on GooglePlus.