Most teenagers go through what I like to refer to as an “initiation.” It’s that coming of age experience that seems to be challenging no matter what era your grow up. These days teens seem to have a lot to prove and they all to often stumble along the way. But I guess it’s all apart of growing up.
Please help me welcome Andrew Cotto, the author of “The Domino Effect.” His coming of age story is something we can all relate to. Andrew has stopped by to tell us about his writing experiences and his books.
TNW: How long have you been writing?
AC: I began writing in college and then in my spare time afterward for about 10 years. When I got to the point where I felt confident in my abilities, I started focusing on it seriously – that was about eight years ago.
TNW: Have you always written for children?
AC: My first ideas were definitely in the children’s realm, and these were short stories for children’s magazines (though none were ever published). THE DOMINO EFFECT is my first novel, and I was absolutely after that type of coming of age story that has enough breadth to appeal to young adults and adults. My second novel – OUTERBOROUGH BLUES: A BROOKLYN MYSTERY – is a literary mystery, definitely not for children.
TNW: What drives and motivates your writing?
AC: I’m after stories that are entertaining yet also insightful. I want to create dramatic tension while also evoking empathy for the characters, whether or not their situations relate directly to those of the reader. I also attempt to use language in unique and effective ways.
TNW: Do you feel it’s important for writers to use social media? How?
AC: I know that (most) writers have to use social media, though my feelings about it are mixed. I like the idea of connecting with readers, though I don’t like how much of the promotional responsibility falls on authors. I think a lot of time that should be spent creating is now spent on self-promotion. I don’t think this bodes well for author or readers.
TNW: Who are some of your favorite authors and why?
AC: I love the characters and descriptions of Roald Dahl. I love the insightful and compelling narratives of Dennis Lehane. Sherman Alexie uses humor in wonderful ways. James Lee Burke does setting like no one else I know.
TNW: What writing books would you recommend to new writers?
AC: The Modern Library Writer’s Workshop was the one I used most as a new writer. I still go back to it often.
TNW: What advice do you have for new writers?
AC: Immerse yourself in each project you are working on – it’s so much easier when there is consistency to the effort. You’ll find, after a while, that the story leads you to where it wants to go. When I’m really into it, most of my ideas come to me in my sleep.
TNW: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
AC: In five years, I see myself with a couple of additional novels under my belt as well as a tenured teaching position in the creative writing department at an established university. Fingers crossed.
Thanks so much for sharing with us Andrew. Please stop over at Kristi’s Book Nook to learn more about “The Domino Effect.”
You can learn more about Andrew at his sites: