Scarberryfields: Can you tell us a little about your nationality?
Massimo: Nationality is the easy part: Italian. What is more complex is the influence of various cultures. My first work was abroad, in Switzerland, and I never spoke Italian at work: either English or French. I lived in Switzerland, France and the US. I adapt and enjoy people and discover traditions, way of life, culture. I felt at home wherever I lived.
Scarberryfields: When you finish a novel, do you miss the characters?
Massimo: Totally. Amazing, isn’t it? With me, characters take up their own life and they act independently too. I kind of sit and watch what happens to them and how they react to situations. Sometimes I struggle to write down all that happens and everything they say so much it goes fast. Maybe you need a bit of insanity to write a novel.
Scarberryfields: While writing, if you need help with punctuation, grammar, etc., where do you turn?
Massimo: Luckily, I found, after a good deal of research and previous attempts, to a great editor and fellow-writer: Rebecca Stroud. She is an established author and praised for her impeccable editing. I am in debt with her for how much effort she has put into Daimones. Then I also have the plethora of written tools, dictionaries, physical and online, Webster, the Internet and Google, and The Elements of Style. I wish I could swallow it and learn by osmosis.
Scarberryfields: With the number of hours spent writing, do family members support you or complain about the time spent away from them?
Massimo: I tell myself I am on a forced sabbatical, so I can write a lot. Luckily, it does not interfere at all with family life…often ;-) Anyway, they are very supportive and waited patiently for a revised second draft to be ready before I let them read the novel.
Scarberryfields: Does writing benefit you in any way and if so, how?
Massimo: In a sense, writing is entering a different world, a separate dimension. Sometimes you find yourself in a trance-like state and the real world becomes veiled and obfuscated. It is a dreamed moment. I do not need to find other means of evasion from the asperity of life, when I’m writing.
Scarberryfields: When you’re writing, do you shut-off all social networks?
Massimo: Sometimes. It does not disturb me. I always had a multi-tasking mind so I can write and reply to the occasional tweet or email without losing track. Or maybe I have latent schizophrenia.
Scarberryfields: Did you use any family members as Beta readers for your debut novel?
Massimo: No. At all. I used critters, an online community who provides peer-to-peer beta-reading, a couple American friends, and two British. They claimed my English was better than that of a few of their neighbors. They suggested I get an editor, too. So you see, they are good friends, they know how to say things without hurting your feelings ;-)
Scarberryfields: Do you feel social networking as a marketing tool, is beneficial?
Massimo: I hope so. It is something I have to discover yet. I can’t see why or how it couldn’t though. For sure, it will allow me to connect with readers, actual and potential ones. On twitter I found a large community of writers. As an example, see what happened with Paulo Coelho and his latest work. He made a tremendous use of social network and the results have been incredibly positive. He tweets a lot, by the way.
Scarberryfields: What is the last book called that you completed and published?
Massimo: “Daimones” is my debut novel, and the first volume of a planned trilogy. Elsewhere, I have been published a lot for academic reasons. I won’t mention the title of the paper—as they are called—here because we are here to discuss fiction, not reality ;-)
Scarberryfields: Where can readers go to find your books?
Massimo: Primarily on Amazon and Smashwords. Am now on their Premium Catalogue also, so Daimones—and the sequels—is available on Kobo, B&N, Lulu, Nook, and others. It is also going to be on Italian e-retailers soon. Here are the most direct links:
Scarberryfields: You don't need to thank me, Massimo. Everybody knows how much I enjoy featuring and supporting talented authors like you. Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions. I have enjoyed learning more about you.