Thursday, May 19, 2011

Michael Di Gesu



Awesome name right? I think so. And the man is just as awesome as his name.

My Photo Here's the 'about Michael' blurb, taken from his blog

After fifteen years of modeling in New York, I spent the past six years as an interior designer in Chicago. I decided to take my creative talents and write/illustrate my first y/a novel, Amber and the Whispering Willows. I've been editing for the past year and have started the second in the series. I never knew how wonderful it could be to write a novel ... I'm addicted.

As are the rest of us. At least I'll confess to the addiction! 

So Michael, how long have you been writing?

I began writing in March of 2009. The economy crashed and my scheduled interior design clients canceled their spring, summer, and fall projects. With no clients and faced with never acquiring any others, I decided to put my time to good use and started my first novel: AMBER AND THE WHISPERING WILLOWS.

(I'm glad you could find something to help pull you through the rough economy.)

What made you want to write?

I chose writing because it was a vehicle for my illustration. Since my company went down the drain, I thought creatively. I had been an illustrator and book cover designer many years previously, so why not do it for my own novel. I knew I wanted to do m/g fantasy to utilize my drawing and painting talent. I love natural forest, flowers, fairies, and children.

(That's awesome! I wish I could say that I can draw, but I don't think stick figures and odd shaped animals count. I love that you channeled your creativity from one thing to the next.)

What book are you reading now and which do you have lined up to read next?

I just started a new novel from one of my all time favorite fantasy authors, Terry Brooks. A Princess of Landover is the first in a new Magic Kingdom series. I fell in love with his writing in my teens. The Shannara series and then the Druid series. This man can write fantasy like no other author.

(I need to check these books out! I love fantasy. Thanks for the recommendation.)

My next book will be from my friend/author Nicki Elston. The Three Daves. It's a comedy romance set in the 1980's. As A matter of fact I am meeting her today for a super long lunch in downtown Chicago. This will be our first meeting. Nicki is not only a fun and witty blogger, but she's an excellent writer. How cool is it to meet our blogger friends? Michelle I hope to meet you one day too.

(That would be awesome to meet you. I met my first blogger friend last week and it was so much fun to have a real face to put with her blogging voice. Pictures just aren't the same thing :) Have fun with Nicki!)

What's your favorite genre to write?

I write in several different genres, but my ultimate favorite is M/G Y/A fantasy. I can't get enough mystical beings, creatures, and worlds. Most people don't realize how difficult it is to write fantasy. Creating BELIEVABLE worlds is not an easy thing to do. Add to that interesting characters and a killer plot, and now you are talking major work and imagination. The world I created in Amber and the Whispering Willows is set in an enchanted willow tree grove in suburban NYC. I also love to blend the real with the fantasy. Very much like how JK Rowling blended her wizarding world with the suburban London world.

(It is hard to do. Lots of fun, but the believability factor is a big thing. Your book sounds intriguing!) 

Do you have any pet peeves while writing?

Now that's an interesting question, Michelle. My major pet peeve is not plot, character, or motivation, what bugs me more than anything is punctuation and grammar. The rules change every five minutes and WHO could possibly keep up with it all. 
Thank God for editors.

(Haha, so true.)

What's your favorite:

Book: How can anyone pick just one favorite book? I have many that I absolutely can't live without, but one came to me at a point in my life when I needed magic.... My father had just died when Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone hit the theaters. When I finally got to read the book, the magic stayed with me and influenced me to read again and eventually write.

Author: In High school and college, I love English literature. Charles Dickens is my all time favorite author. Of course there are others, but I can never resist re-reading a Dickens' classic.

Character: I have read literally hundreds of books. Narrowing down one character in all these volumes is next to impossible, but I will try.  A charming, bossy, know it all, little girl comes to mind. I get such a kick out of Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter books. This is one girl you don't want to mess with on ANY level.

Thing about writing: Writing for me is an escape. I can leave all the world's troubles behind and emerge myself into the world I created. In some cases much more beautiful than our own, in other cases, the traumas of my characters make my problems seem miniscule.

Time of Day: After 11:00 pm. When all is quiet. A great time to escape into my writing worlds.

And last, but not least, do you prefer fruity candy or chocolate?

Anyone who knows me is laughing right now. Chocolate, of course! There is no other substitution.

(Well, that's debatable...but now I know which side of the debate you'd be on :))

Thanks so much Michael! It was a pleasure getting to know more about you. Everyone can find Michael at his blog, In Time... It's definitely worth your time too!

Have a great weekend :)

12 comments:

  1. Hi how are you?

    I was reading through your blog, and I really like it, so I want to invite you to visit my blog, and if you follow me, I will follow you...

    Jesse

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  2. A lovely interview with a fine writer and blogging chum. Thank you both, this was fun and informative.

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  3. Hi, Michelle,

    Thanks so much for inviting me today. I am quite honored to be here. Michelle, I really like you wallpaper, so vibrant and colorful.

    Jesse,

    I'd have to agree whole-heartedly with you, Michelle's blog is creative and inspiring.

    Margo,

    You are too kind. You know how I feel about you and "Mr. B!" Have a great weekend.

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  4. Great interview Michelle and Michael. Michael, I was SO jealous of your trip to see The Wizarding World of Harry Potter! Seriously. I WILL go there someday! ;) The Harry Potter series was also a huge influence on getting me to start writing my ideas down. It was fun to get to know more about you! :)

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  5. So much fun to learn more about a fellow blogger. I've loved Michael's posts (particularly ones related to Harry Potter), so it's nice to find out more about the man behind the blog! Thanks Michelle and Michael!

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  6. Really great interview. You guys did a great job.

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  7. Chantele,

    Jk Rowling was a huge influence in my life. I am sure she has influenced thousands of writers to write. I know you'll get to WW someday, and when you do it will be MAGICAL!

    Jess,

    Thank you for your kind words. I always see you around the blogosphere and you ALWAYS leave a wonderful and supportive comment.

    Wendy,

    I appreciate you coming to Michelle's blog. I know how extremely busy you are these days with your premier novel.

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  8. Jesse-I'm a follower :) Thanks for coming by!

    Margo-Thanks.

    Michael, thanks for answering my questions. My blog background is taken from blogs and blings. I looked for the perfect one for many hours before I stumbled upon this! I really love it. Thanks for saying something about it :)

    Chantele-Thanks for coming by :)

    Jess-Michael does have great post's doesn't he.

    Wendy-Thanks for stopping by. Your novel cover is awesome!

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  9. Fantastic!!! Yay, Michael! And yep, Dickens had such a great way of weaving so many elements together and telling a great story. He's one of my faves, too.

    Chocolate... mmmm... and illustrations! You're so multi-talented! Great interview! Thanks, Michelle~ :o) <3

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  10. Great interview! It was great to get to know a bit about Michael. I love seeing how different we writers are-- and how similar!

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  11. Great interview, Michelle. Nice to hear more from you, Michael.

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Thanks so much for visiting! I appreciate your comments and feedback.