Today we welcome Arthur Mongelli.
Book ‘Em: Tell us about you and your life outside of writing.
Arthur Mongelli: I am married to Brenda, who is an exceptional woman. She provides me the opportunity to raise our nearly four-year-old daughter and pursue my writing. We live an hour north of NYC in the Hudson valley. I have been a voracious reader for as long as I can remember, but with the limitations of my free time, I tend to write much more than read in recent years. I am a huge fan of both cinema and comic books
Book ‘Em: Which books have you written? What are they about and why did you choose to write them? Do your books have a message? Are they fiction or nonfiction?
Arthur Mongelli: I have written Harvest of Ruin and its sequel entitled Harvest of Ruin: The Dead of Winter. The final book of the trilogy will be (hopefully) published at the start of 2018. The trilogy is fictional and meant to be a realistic take on the zombie apocalypse, focusing on an array of average people thrust into a nightmarish scenario. My books do offer some social commentary in the subtext.
Book ‘Em: Do you have a work in progress?
Arthur Mongelli: Yes, I have the conclusion to the Harvest of Ruin trilogy which is in need of one final revision before I will send it to Severed Press for publication review. I took the month of November off from that project in order to participate in NaNoWriMo. The NaNo project I am working on is a project tentatively called Sand. Sand is a post-apocalyptic, dystopian vision of life on earth three hundred years from now. It is grounded very much in the realities we are facing today. While it is categorized as Sci-fi, it is more a vision of a very real future.
Book ‘Em: What was the most difficult section/piece you ever wrote? What made it difficult?
Arthur Mongelli: I would say the Harvest of Ruin trilogy was the most difficult. It was my first experience with writing long fiction and for me, it was very difficult to maintain concentration and enthusiasm over the course of two years and 300k+ words.
Book ‘Em: What sort of research do you do for your work?
Arthur Mongelli: I tend not to over-prepare by heavy plotting or bogging my creativity in too much preparation so my research is done as needed. I work on my computer and laptop, so I often will use the internet to research whatever it is that I need at the time. It can and dies stall my writing at points, but it is how I do it.
Book ‘Em: Which books and authors do you read for pleasure? Is there an author that inspires you?
Arthur Mongelli: I read a ton of King, Lovecraft and Harry Harrison in my adolescence and teenage years. College was full of medieval literature and sociology, so my tastes drifted to more humorous authors, such as Hunter S. Thompson and Kurt Vonnegut, who is my all-time favorite.
Book ‘Em: Was there a person who encouraged you to write?
Arthur Mongelli: No one in particular in my youth pushed me towards it. My wife, Brenda, and good friend, Eric, are my current cheerleaders.
Book ‘Em: What would you say are your strengths as an author?
Arthur Mongelli: Creating characters that are believable and identifiable. Also, descriptions that bring the story to life vividly.
Book ‘Em: How often do you write, and do you write using a strict routine?
Arthur Mongelli: I write whenever my daughter permits me to. I generally only write from the late fall, through winter and into the early spring, though. The pace of life in the warmer months is too tiring to allow me much creatively, so I tend to edit/revise in those months.
Book ‘Em: Five years from now, where do you see yourself as a writer?
Arthur Mongelli: I would like to put out two novels a year, so five years from now I would like to be celebrating my tenth published novel.
Book ‘Em: If you could offer one piece of advice to a novice writer, what would it be?
Arthur Mongelli: Don’t edit your work until the story is done, you will get bogged down and lose your motivation.
Book ‘Em: What would you consider the best compliment a reader could give your book?
Arthur Mongelli: Leaving a review on Amazon is the best compliment for me. Some people are going to love your book and when they leave a review it truly can make your day. It is always nice when someone reaches out on social media, but those 5 star reviews do it for me every time.
Book ‘Em: Provide an excerpt of your writing that you would like to share with our members.
Marta was lost in the ebon tapestry that hung overhead, before her. Staring out from the bars, she stood transfixed on seeing the night sky for the first time in her life. Pinpoints of white sparkled and flashed across the limitless abyss. She nearly swooned at the sight. Its beauty was also dizzying and terrifying for someone who had lived her life in the tight tunnels and passageways of the undercity. Here, there was no ceiling overhead. The vastness of the night sky made her feel as if she might simply float off into the great nothing. Her thoughts were snapped back to their imminent danger at the sounds of approaching feet. (From the rough draft of Sand, my current WIP)