Elliot K. Carnucci is a Big, Fat Loser by Catherine DePino @drcatto
Elliot K. Carnucci is a Big, Fat Loser: A Book about Bullying
by Catherine DePino
Catherine will be awarding a $20 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. Click on the banner to follow the tour and comment at all stops to increase your chance in winning. To enter scroll down and leave a comment for the author about a bullying experience in your life. Thanks for visiting.
Hi, Catherine, we want to know about you. Would you tell us some things about you?
I’m married and have three grown daughters who were all English majors. I was a teacher and department head in Philadelphia schools for 31 years. Then I worked for Temple University for 11 years as a student teaching supervisor and adjunct assistant professor. Before I retired from teaching, I wrote magazine articles and guest opinions for my local paper. When I left my job, I started writing books and realized a lifelong dream.
As an author, I’m sure you’re also a reader. How much do you read in a year?
I read as many books as I can. My daughter gave me a Kindle for Christmas, and that opened up a whole new reading experience. I’m constantly reading books, and always check out the bestseller list for ideas. I enjoy reading footnotes and bibliographies in the books I read because they lead me to other books.
I also love reading poetry. It helps me generate a sense of rhythm when I write, which I think is equally important in writing fiction and non-fiction.
What are your expectations about being an author?
I write because I love it and have learned not to expect that an editor will accept my work just because I’ve published before. When someone accepts or rejects your work, it goes beyond thinking if it’s right for that particular company. I believe that a great deal of subjectivity enters into the editorial process. The agent or editor either personally likes your work or doesn’t. They’re attracted or not attracted by your story line and theme and by the way you express yourself with your unique tone, mood, and voice.
Are you hanging out in any social media? Which ones are you using mostly?
I use Facebook a lot and Twitter occasionally. I find that it’s important to take care when you use social media to publicize your works. Sometimes, people may see it as tooting your own horn or bragging when you didn’t intend it that way at all. You just want to get your book out there. I think you have to strike a happy medium between your friendly posts and your publicity posts. Unfortunately, social media is one of the main ways to call attention to your work. When you post something about what you write, you wonder if your friends are saying, “Hey, that’s great,” or “Oh, no, not again!”
What are your all-time most favorite and least favorite books?
I love the Shakespearean tragedies, especially Hamlet, Macbeth, and Othello. I don’t think anybody can tell a story the way he did. His plays are timeless, and they can teach us a lot about plotting and using words to evoke a mood. I also love The Catcher in the Rye by Salinger. His conversational tone and ability to delve into his characters’ psyches make him an author to emulate.
On the other hand, I dislike dry, boring books even if they are considered classics. One of my least favorites is Moby Dick because Melville doesn’t know when to cut his descriptions. I also disliked The Call of the Wild because it moved slowly and the characters bored me. Just because a work is considered a classic doesn’t mean everyone has to like it. Hemingway’s works, on the other hand, speaks to all generations in that they have engaging characters and his books move forward at a good pace.
What is your inspiration source?
Reading other writers helps put me in the mood to write. Also, reading magazines about writing is a good springboard to creativity. Nature often inspires me: the beach, a sunrise, a sunset. Often walking in my neighborhood inspires me to write. Interacting with my family and friends also often provides constant inspiration.
My readers provide another main source of inspiration. I’d love to hear from all of you. Let me know what you think about my books and the topics I write about. Please leave a message on my website, www.catherinedepino.com. You’ll find my author’s e-mail address there.
I’ve been writing stories on my own since I was a child. What advice would you give new authors like me?
Tell other people your stories. See what they think. Do your stories captivate them? How do they react when you tell them? If your audience approves, you’re doing something right.
Write your stories down and then submit them. Don’t be discouraged by rejections when you get them. Notice I said when, not if because everyone gets rejections. Tailor your stories to a specific publication. Read what that company has published, and look at the company’s mission statement. When you try to fulfill a company’s needs, you’ll get closer to publishing your writing.
Do you have/have you had another job besides being an author?
I was a teacher and department head for many years before becoming a writer. It was excellent preparation because it filled my life with interesting stories and people. I’m also a psychic reader and love learning about other-worldly topics. I recently read a book called The Afterlife of Billy Fingers, which is a channeled account of a man’s experiences in the next world. Fascinating!
Mainly, I am a parent and grandparent, and that’s a great preparation for writing because it helps you experience all the human emotions known to humanity.
What do your family and friends think about you being an author?
I believe they think it’s only one part of who I am. They mainly see me as a wife, mother, and friend. However, when I talk to strangers, they seem more impressed with the fact that I write than that I taught high school. The writer, Frank McCourt, (Angela’s Ashes and Teacher Man) said the same thing and he could never understand it, nor can I because I think that teaching is the more important job.
Write one sentence about your book(s) that makes me want to buy your book(s).
This refers to Elliot K. Carnucci is a Big, Fat Loser: A Book About Bullying: I love this character more than any of my other characters; he’s a great role model for middle grade kids and makes me proud to have known him in a past life.
The kids at Ralph Bunche Middle School love to pick on Elliot Kravitz-Carnucci. He struggles with his weight, looks like a geek, makes top honors, and lives above the Carnucci Home for Funerals in South Philadelphia with his distant, workaholic father and Nonna, his quirky, overbearing grandmother.
Since his parents divorced, he splits spending his time with his funeral director father and his mother Rayna, who dreams of becoming the queen of commercials on the west coast.
At the hands of his peers, Elliot experiences a series of bullying episodes that escalate from entrapment in a school supply closet to a brutal “swirly” (head dunk in the toilet) that lands him in the hospital emergency room.
Elliot has a small circle of loyal friends and a mentor named Duke, an aging school custodian, who root for him to overcome his bullying issues so that he can enjoy his life as a teenager and a budding singer/performer. Can Elliot win his fight against the nasty bullies, or is he doomed forever? Read this funny, sad, and crazy book to find out.
What were they planning to do to me? Had they all gone over the edge? I tried to scream, but all that came out from under the gag was Mmmmmmmmm.
Most of the teachers and staff had already left to get an early start on spring break. Duke was probably somewhere in the building, though, giving the place a final once over before locking up. His doctor had told him to slow down after the tests proved he had lung cancer, but it only made him work longer hours.
Kyle slammed me on the back. “Tell you what, promise not to open your mouth and I’ll take the gag off.”
I nodded yes like my head was going to roll off.
He untied the gag, and I heaved in a gulp of air.
“We don’t want you to suffocate when your head hits the water.”
Were they going to throw me in the river? Drown me? Could they be that crazy?
I tried to make a run for it, but Kyle caught me before I could make it to the door. His biceps bulged like baseballs from his lean arms. How I wished I’d added weight lifting to my fitness routine.
Canfield looked at his friends. “Part of the fun is the anticipation. Right, guys?”
Why couldn’t they look at me?
I heard on the news that when you’re threatened if you call a person by name, maybe he’ll act more human and be less likely to hurt you. Was it worth a try?
“Kyle, you don’t want to do this…”
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Catherine DePino has sold thirteen books for parents, teachers, and children to mainstream publishers. She self-published her fourteenth book, Elliot K. Carnucci is a Big, Fat Loser: A Book About Bullying because she wanted to give it a wider forum. Her background includes a BS in English and Spanish education, a Master’s in English education, and a doctorate in Curriculum Theory and Development and Educational Administration from Temple University. The author worked for many years as an English teacher, department head of English and world languages, disciplinarian, and curriculum writer in the Philadelphia School District. After this, she worked at Temple as an adjunct assistant professor and student teaching supervisor.
Catherine has also written articles for national magazines, including The Christian Science Monitor and The Writer.
For many years she served on the board of The Philadelphia Writers’ Conference. She holds membership in the Association of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.
Her new self-help book, 101 Easy Ways for Women to De-Stress, Reinvent, and Fire Up Your Life in Retirement,appeared on the market in March, 2014.
Facebook Author Page
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