This is the inaugural appearance of my newest feature Meet the Author, where writers get to tell a bit about themselves and their work in their own words.
Just so happens my first victim…um…author, Las Vegas entertainer Andy Martello, appeared on this blog before. At least his book has. I reviewed The King of Casinos a while back (five stars!) and you can read that review HERE.
Author and Entertainer Andy Martello
I don’t really have one. The majority of the things I have written over the years have been humor, opinion, and observational commentary—all of which was primarily autobiographical. Yet, my first book was a biography/Nevada history book and my second was, of all things, a work of poetry. I suppose my genre is “The Printed Word.”
I started writing because:
I have been writing since I was a kid. Sometimes it was due to writing assignments in class, such as book reports (for books I rarely read) or essay papers on subjects I may or may not have cared about. Either way, I would use a lot of creativity in the work. You could say, my first works of fiction were trying to convince teachers I had done my homework.
One year, there was a creative writing contest with a cash prize being offered. I wrote a ridiculous but funny story about Snoopy’s dog dish (from the perspective of the dish) and I won $50. It was the first, and I assumed, last time I would ever get paid for my writing.
Best thing about being a writer:
I love telling stories well. I hope this means I am a great storyteller, but, that is not something for me to decide. When I am writing, and things are moving along to my satisfaction, there is no better feeling than the fulfillment that comes from coining a perfect phrase or conveying a thought in a manner which I like. As blasphemous as it sounds, I have never, nor do I to this day, enjoy reading. I have always been a visual person and if I cannot see something in my head as a good film or television show, it immediately gets shelved.
I have always been an imaginative person. While I know I am CLEARLY in the majority on this, even the best or most prolific writers, particularly those who write fiction, have rarely kept my attention. Reading was never anything more than a school assignment for me. I hardly ever read fiction. When I do, it is an even more rare occurrence when I finish it. When I am reading nonfiction, I need the story and facts to be presented in a manner designed to maintain interest and not to simply impart facts.
I think because I so dislike reading for recreation or other purposes (I really cannot have a discussion about ANY book you or your readers have ever raved about), I am not influenced by anyone’s style and I have my own, distinct voice. So, for me, knowing I have written something which entertains me, the most finicky of readers, I feel confident it will entertain the masses. Not that “the masses” will ever read my work. I also don’t believe anyone reads anymore, but, that is a different subject altogether.
My current favorite read:
Since I read so infrequently, I cannot offer a “current” favorite read. I can offer the best book I have read in recent memory, one I read in 2015 AND is a work of fiction, if you can believe that. The Robusta Incident by Jennifer Fales is a supremely entertaining book. I initially read it in the hopes of doing an author review exchange with her and because I have a monstrous nerd-crush on the author. Damn her for actually writing something I loved and have recommended to many others!
It is wildly funny, clever beyond it’s genre (sci-fi/horror), and Jennifer has a very male-centric writing style that made the book very appealing to me. Just as women seem to endlessly complain men cannot write female characters well, it is equally apparent women have difficulty writing believable male characters. Fales does not have this problem in The Robusta Incident. All characters, male or female are fleshed out, believable, and with their own distinct voices. Add that the book is a refreshing and original take on a zombie story (I like to think of the book as “The Walking Dead” meets “The Office”) and you have something very special in the book world. I would love to see this on screen.
Also in the “played out genre with clever new ideas category” is To Touch the Sun, by Laura Enright, another book I read hoping to simply exchange reviews which ended up making me so glad I was reading it. Her take on the vampire story is new and well-presented. The fact it is primarily set in the Chicago area, my original home, didn’t hurt my feelings any.
Other than those, my favorite reads are my next projects, my past works, and the crap I jotted down and abandoned. As I have said many times, much to the anger and dismay of readers and authors everywhere, if i didn’t write it, there is little chance I will ever read it.
The King of Casinos
WINNER OF 13 AWARDS including BOOK OF THE YEAR!
The unreal but TRUE story of the unknown casino that changed Las Vegas forever!
After a horrific blaze destroyed Willie Martello’s El Rey Club in 1962, fifty years would pass before anyone knew of how that casino and one-time brothel influenced LAS VEGAS casinos, upset the mob, and inadvertently launched the career of Francis Ford Coppola.
Were it not for the chance discovery of a single photo in a Las Vegas museum, the El Rey Club would only be known as the seedy brothel where Senator Harry Reid learned to swim. Martello’s accomplishments should place him among magnates like Howard Hughes or Steve Wynn, yet very few know his name.
Featuring over 140 rare or unseen photos!
WINNER, 2014 International Book Awards & USA Best Book Awards (Best Biography)
Buy The King of Casinos at Amazon or CreateSpace
Pretty Words. Nothing More: An Unlikely Book of Poetry
From the award-winning author of The King of Casinos comes a very personal work about falling in love with the wrong person.
It started out as images and thoughts shared on Facebook to deal with the pleasure and pain of falling in love, being in love, and losing love.
Before long, they were gathering likes and comments from many well-read people, and those readers were asking for more. Ultimately, the uphill battle fought while trying, and failing, to gain the attention of one specific woman, turned into a reflection and exploration of feelings about six very different, and oddly similar women.
Passionate and succinct, these short-form poems carry a lot of meaning and offer a unique perspective on a universal subject.
By design, this book is very basic and does not feature any images or frills. The sales from this book will aid in funding the publishing of “Pretty Words. So Much More.” which will feature high-quality original images and artwork from nearly 20 extremely talented, and largely unknown artists from around the United States.
An Amazon TOP 100 Book! (Love Poems)
Buy Pretty Words. Nothing More. at Amazon or CreateSpace
CONNECT WITH ANDY!