Who would have thought that my writing career would spring from boredom and my fear of flying?
I have been an avid reader since I was a young child. I lived in an urban neighborhood made up mostly of Italian immigrants and their extended families. There was a hospital emergency room around the corner making our street subject to ambulances speeding noisily by our house at all hours of the night. There were few kids, nowhere to play ball or ride a bike.
It was not, however, all doom and gloom. I had an enormous family. My grandmother had nine children so I had uncles, aunts and cousins at every turn. We lived upstairs from my grandmother in a two family house that was over 100 years old. There was a full basement that was the place where my family made wine and canned fruits and vegetables.
There was also my favorite place, the attic. It was a gigantic walk in attic that was dedicated to storage in one half, but was finished off near the front of the house and had once been a small lab for a chemist that lived in the house. There were pipes that once carried gas for Bunsen burners. There were built in bookcases that still had books that had been left behind by former residents.
I remember an old set of encyclopedias. I knew they were old because they only listed ‘The Great War’ meaning they had been published prior to World War II. I remember that there were classics by Dickens and Poe that I read voraciously at an age that was probably too young to take them in.
As a child, I was always reading and making up stories. I also studied music from an early age and much of my creative talent was funneled in this direction. I was even a music major for my first two years of college.
I have been writing as part of my career for many years. I’m in information technology and would often be called upon to write user manuals and guides for software use because of my ability to take technical concepts and translate them into language that the average non-technical person could understand.
As for creative writing, I always felt I had the ability. I would start and stop writing projects many times over the years, but never carry anything through to fruition.
Back in 2013, at the age of 51 (I’m a bit of a late bloomer) I took a new job that required me to travel 45 weeks per year. The salary and benefits were great. The only problem, I was a nervous flyer. Let’s just say that I used to silently mumble prayers until the plane reached 10,000 feet and until the landing once we started our descent.
Now that I was flying every week, I needed to conquer this fear. I began writing. First, I wrote a short story, Heal Thyself, about a man who was in a catastrophic accident that not only spontaneously healed completely, but found himself with the ability to heal others.
I finished the story and posted it to Scribophile to see if it sucked or not and, strangely enough, it didn’t. I told no one close to me that I had written it, but I submitted it to a couple of online magazines and within a week it was accepted for publication.
The rest, as they say, is history. I had written something and it didn’t suck. I next penned (literally) my first novel, Frankly Speaking, in three months writing it long hand in notebooks and then typing it on my computer. I had been binge watching Columbo and The Rockford Files and thought that a contemporary version of that type of fictional crime story would be fun to write. Finishing a short story was one thing, but a novel being put out there was daunting. I went to my best friend and most honest critic, my wife Caryn, for her opinion. She read the first few chapters and told me it didn’t suck. This encouraged me to continue and by April of 2014 Frankly Speaking was live on Amazon.
Now, two years later, I just finished the fourth novel in the Frank series. I’ve also written another novel, Blood Orange, in the terrorism thriller genre and I’m in various stages of several other writing projects. I’m doing this while I continue to travel and work 50-60 hours per week at my day job. The reviews have been positive for my writing and the sales, while not enough to kiss my day job goodbye, are increasing substantially with each new release.
I would love to be a full-time writer and am trying to set this up as my post corporate career. Most recently, I’ve discovered how much of an integral part blogging is as I build an author platform. I also enjoy it immensely as it gives me a platform to try out story ideas, promote my work, support other indie authors and, most importantly, meet very interesting, like-minded people that I now call friends.
I’d be happy to meet you online at:
Website – Blog – Twitter – Facebook
19 thoughts on “#Read about Guest #Author Don Massenzio”
It seems we’ve had similar upbringings, Don ~ Italian neighborhood, lots of relatives, wine-making. We also share a fear of flying. Your writing has proliferated nicely since your short story. I wish you great success in your post-corporate career as a writer. Shared 🙂
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