Author Interview with Francis DiClemente

Author Interview with Francis DiClemente

interviewed on Nov 21, 2020 Syracuse, New York (USA)
Q. How would you describe yourself?
I am a writer and video producer in Syracuse, New York.
Q. Tell us something about the books that you have written and the story behind them.
My poetry collections focus on narrative or story-based poems (both autobiographical and fictional), confessional poems and philosophical or exploratory poems. I do a lot of walking and I try to pay attention to my surroundings. These walks often inspire my poems. Other times, a line will pop into my head and it will lead to a poem.
Q. What place does writing hold in your life, how has been your writing journey so far?
Writing is a very important part of my life. I've been doing it since I was a child. I am still on my writing journey, and I realize something very important -- just because I write something, it doesn't mean anyone wants to read it. Most of my work gets rejected, and I accept that reality. It forces me to examine my work and revise the poems to make them better.
Q. What is your writing process, a typical writing day routine?
Because I work full-time, I rise in the early morning hours and try to write at least an hour before I have to get ready for work. I also carry a pen and small notebook with me in case I get inspired when I am outside my home.
Q. What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
I have used social media, but in reality, my books do not sell very well. I think the audience for poetry is very limited.
Q. What do you think makes a book sell, or makes a reader buy it?
I think it depends on the genre. For fiction, readers want to be drawn into a different world and feel connected to the characters. For memoir, I think we are searching for some universal truth or takeaway. And for poetry, I think language attracts the reader. But readers are also looking for some observation that captures a true moment from life.
Q. What are your favourite three books, and why?
Selected Poems by Langston Hughes. This book inspired me to write poetry because I realized poetry did not have to be written in Old English style. Langston taught me you could write about everyday aspects of your life and the poems could be very short.

Look Homeward Angel by Thomas Wolfe. I felt connected to this book because I come from a small town and I related to Eugene Gant's dream of leaving his town and seeing the world.

The Town and the City by Jack Kerouac.
Q. Who are your favourite three authors and what do you like the most about them?
Richard Russo. I connect with his upstate NY settings and his sense of humor and humanity.

Dennis Lehane and Michael Connelly because I love realistic detective/mystery fiction.
Q. Tell us about the books that you are currently writing and their progress.
I have a new collection of narrative and observational poems. It's unpublished and I will likely self-publish it in 2021.
I have a mixed genre poetry/conceptual art collection. It's finished but I don't know if it will be a book.
I also need to get back to my work-in-progress memoir. It's about growing up and learning to accept yourself, as illustrated by my coming-of-age story about delayed puberty.
Q. Apart from writing, what goals do you want to achieve in life?
I am also working on some documentary film projects and I want to see them come to fruition. And I want to be the best husband, father, son, employee and friend that I can be.
Q. At, we are trying to bring authors and readers under the same roof, to connect, discuss and socialize over books. What's your take on this?
I think that's great. Writers are solo creatures, so anytime writers can connect with other writers and with readers, I think that's wonderful.
Q. What message do you want to share with budding writers?
Writing is very difficult. It's very hard to get published, but you have to forget about that. You have to write because you have burning need to write. You just have to write the best story or essay or poem that you can. Don't self-edit when doing a first draft. Then take the time to revised your work. And you have to accept that in the end, it's possible or even likely no one will want to read the words you put on the page. Even so, write anyway.

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