I limit your ability to organize! It's a self-preservation thing.
Without further ado, here are the questions and answers in order of least to most asked.
5) When did you first become fascinated by the mafia? This question was first asked by a lady from Oklahoma, and then we had several more issue a variation of the same question from Oregon, Mississippi, and New Zealand.
I first became fascinated by the mafia through movies and family stories. My family is from the New York area with historical roots in Palermo, Sicily. There are no shortages of tales about run-ins with mafia members, friends who were "hit", and guys who knew guys. I remember being fairly young, maybe twelve or so, and watching Goodfellas and The Godfather. I couldn't help but root for the anti-heroes. From there, it was as if some part of my Italian heritage identified with the more normal aspects of the families in those movies. The big family, the pasta dinners, the music, it all felt familiar but with this shroud of secrecy and tension that made those normal events seem more interesting. I was hooked.
4) You often talk about The London Book Fair. As an author, what happens there and is it that valuable, did you go this year, and will you go next year? This question was issued in three parts from a few different people. The cities that combine to make this question are New York, Oxford, Boise, Chattanooga, Tampa, and Cardiff.
Yes I have gone to the London Book Fair several years in a row. It is a great place to go and to meet people in the industry. They have stations set up where you can gather information about every aspect of writing and publishing. Usually, I mingle with a few clients from my publishing business, Pubshelf while my counterpart, Thomas Humphreys makes new contacts and does the handshaking and kissing of babies.
I really enjoy it because London is such a nice city and the hotels are lovely, not to mention you can make so many connections. This year the hotel of choice was Kensington Close Hotel and Spa. I holed up with the fine people of Peracto Prepress there for about five days, going through all the "ins and outs" of, well you name it. You literally lock the doors, order room service, and get down to business. We did manage to escape the expo and the hotel long enough to explore the Westfield Mall in London, where one of the editors literally bought 1.5 kilograms or 3 lbs of a variety of nuts! No lie.
The London Book Fair at Olympia, West London
Taking pics of someone taking pics of room service
At Westfield's Mall, London
3) Favorite author and why? This question came from all over. Eleven different cities asked this question, so I will just list the first one as a shoutout. Christy Lawson got the question in first, out of Tennessee.
I actually have so many favorite authors but there are a few that I remember as most significant. J.R.R. Tolkien was the first author to really capture my imagination, followed by R.A. Salvatore, C.S. Lewis, and most recently G.R.R. Martin. The world crafting is something that I admire. Outside of fantasy fiction, Dennis Lehane is one of my favorites for gritty crime fiction as well as Michael Connelly.
Author Michael Connelly and Author Nicholas Denmon
2) What is my favorite meal? I should have known this would be asked a lot with all the "food porn" that I post. I am fairly simple as a meat and potato guy. A nice filet mignon with maybe a few grilled shrimp, some broccoli, and garlic mashed potatoes really makes a perfect meal. Put a scotch or a glass of Malbec next to it and you have a happy man.
1) When is Ashes to Ashes coming out? I hear you. It has been forever. I promise it is closer than you think. Hey, I even have the artwork done. I am putting out The Hundred Heartbreaks of Harlan Halifax, and then soon after Ashes to Ashes will be out. Tentatively? I think August is realistic.
Ashes to Ashes Cover
Thanks so much for participating! I never thought so many of you would have questions. Here are a few of the more humorous ones to come in:
Have you ever seen a chicken strip?
Boxers or briefs?
Why do men have nipples?
Are mermaids real?
Why do dogs eat grass if it makes them throw up?
...and a variety of crude things I won't replicate even though they made me laugh.