Characterizing my writing process on TV, radio and in print interviews, I have often been quoted saying…
“You sit alone in the dark and put words together that you hope another human being will derive emotion from. “
Well, I now have to amend that statement. This time I’m not alone and that “dark” is less intimidating when you have a co-writer. Enter my cousin George Cannistraro, a gifted author in his own right. We recently joined forces on a brilliant saga that George penned through a first draft entitled, Constantine’s Dagger.
Before, as cousins, we were always throwing drafts at one another for sanity checks; “Am I crazy or do you think this plot line or character works?” needless to say we found each other’s opinions and suggestions invaluable. But, this time it’s different; George has asked me to share a credit in his sweeping story, epic in scope, yet at the same time, a mother’s intimate story of strength, sacrifice and courage.
For me, a solitary practitioner of the written word, I must say the tag team experience is unexpectedly fun. Especially after George did all the hard work crafting a plot and birthing characters that immerse you from the first page.
I had the privilege of adorning this action, adventure, love story; spanning 3 decades, 4 continents and one world war, with a little shiny bangle here and a soft silky ribbon there.
Personally for me is something became the sweetest moment since I started writing books. It is when I was able to write about my grandfather (our grandfather) back in the 40’s because George loosely based the American side of the plot on our family’s immigrant past.
The book is a monster, bigger than the sum of its two contributing writers.
Now both George and I can sit in the dark and wonder if a third human being will ever “get it.”
Do something nice for yourself, read:
After The Wanderers by George Cannistraro
A surprisingly adept decent into hell and ascent into life.
The Summer of Love has been romanticized by many, in hundreds of books and films of the 60’s, but in ‘After The Wanders’, Cannistraro allows us to relive it, in a truly wonderful, non-romanticized, ‘warts and all’ LSD trip. In marked contrast to the literary, well trodden, flower power nostalgia of Haight-Ashbury, Carnaby Street and Woodstock, Cannistraro sets his turf in the mean streets of the Bronx.
At times poignant, and at times laugh out loud funny, this lush chronicle of coming of age, in the Age of Aquarius, is set against the background of urban strife, racial tensions, anti-war protests and raging hormones, literally on drugs. And like the times, his main character’s journey is part acid trip, part rock ‘n roll concert and part free love. With a couple of rumbles, scams and the funniest wedding I have ever read about in print. Denoted with sage lyrics from the music of that time, those words become the poetry and headlines to not only the content of the book but of the decade the story is set in. In all, a gripping read that spans generations by shamelessly reveling in our basic need to feed our human desires.