Archive for November 2008
Despite his resentment the grandson of mob boss Vito ‘Don Vito’ Genovese has managed to turn his childhood memories and experiences into fiction in his first outing into the publishing world.
His debut, the self-published novel The Grandfather Clause was 10 years in the making, mostly down to the fact that he only wrote the book’s material on Sunday afternoons when he was able to sneak away from family.
The book focuses on a New Jersey boy who eagerly looks forward to his grandfather’s visits but later learns that his elderly relative is the leader of a New York crime family. Further into the book the now adult protagonist finds he had to penetrate his grandfather’s world.
Genovese was actually brought by an accountant mother and father in Jersey and has only sparse memories of his grandfather, the Genovese crime family boss, who passed away in prison at the age of 71 in 1969.
The full interview is included below:
Q: When did you start to write?
A: “I am in my mid-50s and started out thinking some day I may like to write a book but I came out of school not really knowing what I wanted to do and ended up being an executive in a mobile transportation company. In 1996 I bought the first family computer and thought maybe this could enable me to write.”
Q: Is it autobiographical?
A: “Not really. I had built a story in my head over the years commuting in the car about someone like me with an infamous grandfather who led his father’s life rather than his grandfather’s but had an occurrence that caused him for a brief period to go back to his grandfather’s world.”
Q: It took 10 years to finish. Did you enjoy it?
A: “I can’t make a living from it but it brings me some peace and enjoyment. I published the book with an online publisher so I still own the rights to this book. I went the traditional route and secured two agents along the way and got the usual slew of rejection letters and an offer from a big publisher but the advance was very light and not a lot of promotion. They tend to focus on the big-selling authors. It’s a very crowded market with about 200,000 books published a year.”
Q: Does your name help with publicity?
A: “My last name does get me engagements. People think I will tell them some dark secrets about the mafia. But I was just nine years old when my grandfather went to jail.”
Q: Did your father mind you writing the book?
A: “My parents were supportive. I respect the work my father has done in his life and the sacrifices he has made to redistinguish our family name. From a young age he separated himself from his father and opened an accountancy practice and went on to become a member of the town council. All his good and hard work was built on his reputation and not on his father’s.”
Q: How did you view your heritage?
A: “Growing up we were always cognitive of it and tried to tread a certain line. We never denied our heritage but it is not something we are proud of. Am I taking advantage of it with the book? Perhaps, but only to sell my book and get people to read it. If we count up all the ugly and painful moments in my family’s life they are all related to my grandfather. Schoolyard fights, prejudice in the job market were all directly attributed to his legacy and the stain he left on the Genovese name.”
Q: What do you remember about your grandfather?
A: “We’d go to his house at noon and he was just getting up. They had a night life. I remember him being well dressed, in a tie a lot. You always knew there was something going on with him in the special way people referred to him and the whispering.”
Q: Have you had much reaction to the book?
A: “There has been strange emails from people saying we are related and saying Vito was my father. When I mention this to my father he says: “Who knows?.” In the start I would always give them a response saying I was not aware of anything but not now.”
Q: And you are working on your second book?
A: “It is called The Termination Clause. Some of the characters continue into the second book but I have created a new protagonist. It is like this book in that it has a core plot involving the mafia but there are other things too.”
Q: What is your advise to other aspiring writers?
A: “I would suggest carving out hours of the day to write and recommend you do the same thing for trying to get published or promoting a book. I decided to do online publishing as I wanted to get the book out and move on. Maybe the second book will be picked up and become a bestseller. Dozens of authors self-published their first book.”
If The Grandfather Clause reads anything like The Godfather film begins we’re in for a treat:
What’s your favourite crime novel? Does the literary world need another mobster book? What makes a great crime thriller?
Words: Dean Samways.
In the latest issue of the long running Batman comic series, Batman RIP, Morrison depicts Gotham’s decline into chaos as Bruce Wayne and the Caped Crusader disappear into the ether. It transpires that our hero is caught in a helicopter crash as he attempts to catch Simon Hurt, the volume’s villain.
The infamous cape and cowl belonging to Batman are discovered by his former sidekick Nightwing, prompting rumours that Gotham’s savoir is no more.
Six months down the line a Gotham City police officer is mercilessly tortured by a member of the Black Glove gang before conceding defeat in pain and describing how Batman and Robin met their end.
In an interview Morrison said this would definitely be the end of Bruce Wayne’s Batman, adding: “People have killed characters in the past but to me, that kind of ends the story.
“I like to keep the story twisting and turning. So what I am doing is a fate worse than death. Things that no one would expect to happen to these guys at all.”
Morrison was also given the unbelievable task of killing off Superman in DC’s All Star comic series.
Have a look below for an exclusive interview with Grant Morrison for dccomics.com:
…and for the author’s viewing pleasure, some action from The Dark Knight (Whoop!):
How would you kill off Batman? It’s not as easier as writing Peggie Mitchell out of the Eastenders script that’s for sure. Anyone currently penning a story for a graphic novel?
Words: Dean Samways
Linehan is the writer and director of the hit comedy series.
His previous successes include Black Books, starring Dylan Moran and Bill Bailey (blog). Linehan teamed up with Moran to pen the three series about a surly London bookshop owner. During it’s run Black Books won two BAFTAs for Best Situation Comedy in 2000 and 2005, and a Bronze Rose at The Festival Rose d’Or of Montreux in 2001.
The 36th International Emmy awards gala was held on Monday night at New York’s Hilton Hotel. The winners were chosen from 40 nominees from 16 countries.
These prestigious awards recognise excellence in TV programming produced outside the States.
British broadcasting dominated the awards, while Argentina and Jordan celebrated their first Emmy victories.
Argentine production Television Por La Identidad won the award for TV Movies or Mini-Series. It tells the story of the country’s ‘disappeared’ pregnant women from 1976 to 1983, and their resultant search for their children.
Suchet, best known for his role as Agatha Christie’s Poirot, won for his performance as the doom media mogul Robert Maxwell in the BBC’s Maxwell and Cohu collected her award for Forgiven, in which she played a suburban housewife who discovers her husband is sexually abusing their daughter.
Are you fans of Linehan’s work? Is anyone out there working on a comedy script at them moment?
Words: Dean Samways
The shortlist for the 2008 Costa Book Awards has been announced. The prestigious award attracted 616 entries this year, which have been narrowed down to four books in five categories.
Judges on this year’s panels (three judges per category) include author Lisa Jewell, actress and writer Pauline McLynn, journalist, writer and broadcaster Michael Burke, poet and broadcaster Roger McGough CBE; and writer Victoria Hislop. The final judging panel will be announced in mid-December.
The winner of each category will be announced on the 6 January 2009 with the overall winner of the 2008 Costa Book Award announced on 27 January at a lavish awards ceremony in London.
The shortlisted books are:
Costa First Novel Award:
- The Behaviour of Moths by Poppy Adams
- The Outcast by Sadie Jones
- Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith
- Inside the Whale by Jennie Rooney
Costa Children’s Book Award:
- Ostrich Boys by Keith Gray
- The Carbon Diaries by Saci Lloyd
- Just Henry by Michelle Magorian
- Broken Soup by Jenny Valentine
Costa Biography Award:
- Somewhere Towards the End by Diana Athill
- Bloomsbury Ballerina by Judith Mackrell
- If You Don’t Know Me By Now: A Memoir of Love, Secrets and Lies in Wolverhampton by Sathnam Sanghera
- Chagall by Jackie Wullschlager
Costa Novel Award:
- The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry
- The Other Hand by Chris Cleave
- A Partisan’s Daughter by Louis de Bernieres
- Trauma by Patrick McGrath
Costa Poetry Award:
- For All We Know by Ciaran Carson
- The Broken Word by Adam Foulds
- Sunday at the Skin Launderette by Kathryn Simmonds
- Salvation Jane by Greta Stoddart
Have a look at the award video for the winner of last year’s accolade, A.L. Kennedy, by clicking below:
So what do you think of the shortlists? Are there any omissions you’re particularly surprised about? Has anyone read any of the listed books? What did you think?
Words: Seamus Swords
It follows the 15 year imprisonment of a man who is held for no apparent reason. A vengeful blood fuelled mission ensues once he is freed of his shackles as he hunts the individual who incarcerated him.
It is reported that Will Smith pushed for Spielberg to meet with Protosevich because of his admiration for the writer’s I Am Legend script.
Have a look at the beautiful I Am Legend and bloodcurdling Oldboy below:
Is anyone a fan of the I Am Legend script? In places it portrays desperation in a manner not seen very often before. For example, what did you think of the ‘Fred? Is that you?’ and DVD rental mannequin dialogue?
Words: Dean Samways