Watch the Chapter 6 Reading of STAY AWHILE:
Novel performed by Steve Rizzo
Get to know writer Anthony Vecchiarello:
1. What motivated you to write this novel?
Several different agendas – I wanted to create a thrill ride and break the traditional barriers of literature by writing something that would be similar to a video game, something where readers felt like they were immersed in a simulated experience. I had the ambition to write a story with an idea that has never been done before. Another major influencer was something that happened personally in my life where I lost two friends out of a betrayal of another friend. The anger and hatred I had for this one person was sewed in the pillars of the gory feast portrayed in the book. I was able to channel my wrath by letting go of my internal demons. Writing the violence helped me to psychologically lash out at the person. This experience was therapeutic.
2. How long did it take for you to write it?
It’s hard to put a number on that. I know I started the idea of it a few years back, but I punched in the hours within a short amount of time. When I was consistent in finishing “Stay Awhile”, it only took about three to four months.
3. What obstacles did you face to complete this book?
Editing and making sure everything connected or had logical continuity. I think that is one of the hardest things to accomplish. Our minds don’t always work like that; we tend to come up with random scenarios that have no relation to a former thought. Technically, I’m still working on the novel, because after a few well critiques I am working on a rewrite to extend the story and develop the characters further in the plot. A sequel is also in the works.
4. When themes are you trying to explore with Stay Awhile?
I’ve mentioned this in an earlier interview, but the most important theme to focus is there are consequences to your actions. If you’re going to do horrible things and steal from establishments or others, then don’t always expect to get out unscathed. In my rewrite, I further explain why Troy becomes this criminal, but for the sake of the original, his horrifying experience was necessary for him to come out as a better human being. Maybe, underneath that thievery, he was harboring some emotional issues. Usually, there are far greater internal struggles with people who indulge in immoral acts. Those behaviors usually stem from the roots, family problems or the loss of a loved one. Without those revelations a person would either be a sociopath, psychopath, or robot.
5. What books have you read more more than once?
Cather In The Rye – It’s the ultimate coming-of-age story and for many years I felt like Holden, someone who was trying to withhold his childhood and innocence as long as possible. I’ve always cherished my childhood years and loathed growing up. I never understood why I became so emotionally depressed during puberty. My body changed but my childlike spirit never wore out.
6. What was your favorite TV show growing up?
The O.C. – I always felt like Ryan Atwood, the brooding misunderstood loner who had a whole story to say on the inside. I used to fantasize about being adopted by the family of a friend with money, just so I could be in the youthful teen/college atmosphere, something I missed out during High School.
7. If you could have dinner with one person, dead or alive, who would it be?
Robin Williams – already nearly a year of his passing and I still miss his screen presence. He is someone I could laugh and cry with at the same time. I feel like I’d learn much from the brilliant and imaginative mind of Williams. I would tell him how much he influenced the imaginations of my childhood and how so much of those aspects have translated into the person I am today. He’s the crazy Uncle I wish I had. Mrs. Doubtfire always made me laugh and Dead Poets Society always brought tears to my eyes. His optimism and creativity is what I aspire to be in my lifetime. Thank you, Robin and may you rest in peace.
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