Sunday, September 9, 2012

Part I of Interview with Andrew Cotto and International Giveaway of The Domino Effect!


The Domino Effect
Please give a warm welcome to our next author, Andrew Cotto! He has the distinction of being the first author to request a book review on my blog and receive an offer for interview and giveaway! So you know I must have enjoyed his book :-)

Amazon Book Description: A FINALIST for the 2012 Readers Favorite Award, The Domino Effect is the story of Danny Rorro, a charismatic kid from Queens poisoned by the past. A series of painful defeats have left him scarred and isolated from his neighborhood, his parents, and, most significantly, the benevolent ways of his childhood when he was known as "Domino." With great insight, imagery and wit, Danny recalls his past in Queens and his coming-of-age at Hamden Academy. This fast paced and powerful story is rich with conflict, humor, tenderness and music--just like life, especially when coming-of-age.

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars


Amazon Review:  The Domino Effect Review

Author Blurb: Andrew Cotto is a writer and teacher who lives in Brooklyn, NY. He is the author of two novels: THE DOMINO EFFECT - a 2012 Readers Favorite Award finalist - is a coming of age story about a kid from Queens with a damaged past and a complicated present at a boarding school in rural New Jersey; OUTERBOROUGH BLUES: A BROOKLYN MYSTERY is an unconventional noir about a drifter seeking a missing person and a remedy to his family's curse on the dawn of urban gentrification. His novels are represented by Dunow, Carlson and Lerner Literary Agency. Andrew's articles have appeared in many national journals, including the New York Times, Men's Journal, Huffington Post, Salon, Deadspin, the Good Men Project and Teachers & Writers Magazine. For the past seven years, Andrew has taught composition courses and creative writing workshops in New York City. He has an MFA in Creative Writing from The New School and a BA in Literature from Lynchburg College.

Author Blog: http://www.andrewcotto.com/




Part I of Author Interview
1. What was the inspiration for your book, The Domino Effect?
I was originally inspired by Spike Lee's film Do the Right Thing. I know it seems like an incongruous connection, but that movie really made me want to tell stories that dealt with big issues, such as race. The Domino Effect ended up being less about race than I originally intended (at first, Terence was the main character, and Danny was a Nick Carraway-type of 1st person narrator), but the inspiration for dramatic storytelling remained.

2. Danny is such a great protagonist. Are you anything alike or is he based partially on someone you know?
Thanks. This was my first novel, and I understand that first novel's often have semi-autobiographical protagonists, but the success of Danny as a character is really predicated on my avoiding that familiar formula. We do share some similarities (ethnic background, sense of humor, a love of baseball, a stint at boarding school, the habit of making massive and stupid mistakes), but he really is his own entity, as much a creation of imagination as I'm capable.

3. I don't usually notice location, but I loved your descriptions of where he used to live and his boarding school. Have you ever lived in these places or did you travel there to do some research for your book?
I believe setting is really important, and worthy of as much attention as any character. My other novel, Outerborough Blues: A Brooklyn Mystery, is wildly atmospheric. In Domino, I wanted to juxtapose the urban setting of a Queens neighborhood with that of a bucolic boarding school, and I was able to do so convincingly by being familiar with both. I don't think research lends itself to an intimate sensory understanding of a location.

Don't forget to sign up to win a signed copy of his book OR as a bonus, win a signed copy of "Fly on the Wall," by E. Lockhart!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Also, don't forget to enter these great giveaways!
International giveaway of:
1) 2 copies of Neverdark by C.S. Einfeld
2) 1 signed copy of Neverdark from both author and illustrator
3) 1 copy of A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
CS Einfeld Giveaway


Prize pack giveaway (US only) of ALL FOUR of Antony John's books signed (Five Flavors of Dumb, Busted, Thou Shalt Not Road Trip, and the unreleased YA dystopian, Elemental)
Antony John Giveaway
 

23 comments:

  1. fettuccine alfredo! Great interview. I can't wait to check these books out!

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  2. Definitely interested in both books as well!

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  3. oops didn't see the question...so hard to choose...chicken parm and pomodoro

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  4. Been hearing great things about THE DOMINO EFFECT. Look forward to reading it soon. Thanks for popping along today, Andrew.

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    1. Thanks, Antony! I'll look forward to reading your work, as well - Andrew

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  5. Spaguetti!!! With mozarrela!

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  6. Lasagne! :D
    Thanks for the great giveaway!

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  7. Thanks, all, for the great feedback. I was honored to be interviewed by Ensconced in YA. Where's the food question? I'm hungry.

    Best,


    Andrew

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    1. Andrew: Was so happy to have you on board! In order to get an entry into your giveaway, people were answering the question "What is your favorite Italian food?" :-)

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  8. Very cool interview and thanks for the giveaway opp! :)

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    1. Also didn't see the giveaway question ;) I would have to say Pizza, because I could eat it any day, any time, any temperature :)

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  9. Great idea, Christina! Well, I guess I can't enter the contest, but my favorite Italian food is "bucatini alla'amatriciana" (it's a pasta dish with guanciale - hog jowel - and carmalized onions. Unbeliebaly decadent.) I actually lived in Italy for a year while working on Domino, and on my website there are stories from each month on the "Our Italian Year" page.

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  10. My favorite Italian food is chocolate canolis. I think I'm supposed to have a more obscure, sophisticated favorite Italian food (like "bucatini alla'amatriciana".. uh.) expect, have you had a chocolate canoli? I swear, they're better than bucatini alla'amawhatever. (Just kidding, OF COURSE I've never had that/heard of it and I'm sure it's totally awesome and maybe even better than a chocolate canoli [doubtful].)

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  11. Avery - I had a chocolate canoli just yesterday. Almost as good as bucatini alla'whatever!

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  12. Honestly, if it is Italian I will eat it. However, every kind of pasta is awesome but I love some shrimp fettuccine.

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  13. Every kind of PASTA they have and PIZZA!!

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  14. thank you for the international giveaway and for introducing me to Andrew Cotto and his works.

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    1. all kinds of pasta and pizza for me by the way! :)

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  15. my friends and i make this amazing italian pasta... it has italian sausage in it, onions, garlic sauce with whipping cream in it and melt this $9 cheese into it (ugh best cheese ever)
    We just call it the pasta.. but definitely my favorite

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