Please welcome Augustus Cileone, author of Out of the Picture and other works.
What’s your idea of a perfect day?
One where I am with my family and we are laughing together and enjoying good food.
Excluding family, name three people who either inspired you or influenced your creativity.
I would say F. Scott. Fitzgerald because he wrote my favorite novel, The Great Gatsby, Paul Simon for his music and lyrics, and Sidney Lumet for the films he directed.
Do you listen to music when you write?
No, I don’t like any distractions.
If your latest book were chocolate, what kind would it be and why?
Dark chocolate with peanuts, because it’s a murder mystery with some nutty characters, and because I favor peanuts.
What made you interested in writing this particular story?
I have been a movie fan my whole life, so I wanted to write a mystery with that element in it. Pus, I wanted to include themes that dealt with abuse of animals and women.
What themes do you regularly (re)visit in your writing?
I’d say the tension between needing limitations and the desire to break free of those restraints. So, I focus on characters that are social outsiders and insiders.
Tell us about your main character’s psyche or personality. What led him to be the person he is today?
In my latest book, Vince Singleton is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder because he witnessed the violent death of his spouse. This event exacerbated whatever anti-social characteristics he already possessed. Since he could not prevent the death of his wife, his involvement in trying to catch a murderer, who has threatened his world, helps him on his way to redemption.
Describe your protagonist as a mash-up of three famous people or characters.
A cup of Larry David from Curb Your Enthusiasm, with a dash of Albert Camus, and a pinch of Roger Ebert.
If you could host an author dinner party, who are the six writers (living or otherwise) you’d include?
Of course F. Scott Fitzgerald and Albert Camus, along with William Shakespeare, William Butler Yeats, Walt Whitman, and Eugene Ionesco.
What’s next for you?
I’m working on a sequel to Out of the Picture, and I also have ideas for a science fiction novel.
Augustus Cileone won the Dark Oak Mystery Contest sponsored by Oak Tree Press, for the novel, A Lesson in Murder, about homicides associated with a Philadelphia Quaker school. His second novel, Feast or Famine, a satire, deals with a traumatized man dealing with his Catholic Italian American upbringing in the 1960’s and 1970’s. His latest novel, Out of the Picture, published by Sage Words Publishing, is a mystery loaded with movie references, and deals with social outsiders. He has been honored for his writing by Annual Art Affair, Hidden River Arts, the annual Writer’s Digest writing competition for two plays, The Philadelphia Writers’ Conference, the Montgomery County Community College’s Annual Writers’ Club Poetry and Fiction Contest, Filmmakers International Screenwriting Awards, and the Annual StoryPros International Screenplay Contest. His short stories appear in the anthologies entitled South Philly Fiction and Death Knell V, and in the literary periodical Schuylkill Valley Journal.