Louis Bruno’s Bio: Louis T. Bruno’s first book is the Disintegrating Bloodline Part 1. He watches anime, reads long books, and is interested in birds. He has written 12 novels in 12 years. He resides in Richmond, Virginia where he hangs out in comic book stores. He also plays games and is writing a play.
Hi, thank you for joining us today Louis!
It’s my pleasure. Thanks for interviewing me.
Now that everyone is settled, can you please tell us more about your latest book?
The Disintegrating Bloodline Part 1 is about a young boy who joins the Mafia. It starts off with a vice principal owing the mafia a favor by having Chris Mangini come to take control of the gang problems. I always had an idea that “criminals” were always going to “nest” in schools, but to have a vice principal take on a mafia captain who had a secret agenda was fascinating to me. Secret agendas are a theme in this book, and with a crime story, secret agendas that are explicit or implicit, are fun to play around with. I wanted to write about an obsession that borders into criminal organization. Obsession and identity are big themes in this story, and the obsession to “have a big house” or an obsession on “a missing family member” are very central ideas in this series.
Sounds like an unique story line! Since this book is about the mafia, how did you research it?
First of all, I had been very interested in the mafia, partly because I had seen a lot of movies. When I read Mafia Dynasty by John H. Davis, I found the narrative truly compelling. When I found out that a Mafia Underboss in the Gambino family had kids do his dirty work was one germ, or inspiration to write this series. I wanted to also talk about the time in which I was living in. With research, a lot of it has to do with writing the words down on the page. I found that my own creativity sparked more of the imagination than reading about it. I was still uncertain about who the main characters were, and that’s normal with lots of research. I believe that I had written other semi biographical pieces that just didn’t stick, their wasn’t a plot that I could see through the fog. It also takes place in the late 90’s, which is a very personal period for me. A lot of first novels never get written because they are so personal, but I had to research my own feelings, and a lot of them were not “positive” at the time. But research is, to me, a two way street. You can take in information, but you have to put it into a creative arena where you can create your own world and your own characters. Creativity is a form of research to me, in some weird way.
I agree with that. I do my research while I write my story. So, where did the inspiration behind your latest project come from?
I remember it like it was yesterday, even though it was 12 years ago. The genesis of The Disintegrating Bloodline Part 1 was a short story in my sophomore creative writing class at Hermitage High school in Richmond Virginia. Her name was Mrs. Jones (I can’t remember her first name), a tall, dark haired intellectual who was funny and inspired creativity. The first chapter “A favor for a friend” is a product of that first draft, and I said to myself “I kind of like this.” That’s how stories always stay with me—if I can say “man, I want to find out what happens next” then I always continue on with a project. I wanted to see what would happen to A.J. if he went down this road with Chris, because it could just end rather abruptly in some ways, if I didn’t continue writing it (plus it wouldn’t be a good story if it was short). I sometimes have an image, or I am inspired by a passage in a book, and I have to find out what I am thinking about in my head. I have a undeniable passion on committing to a story, the characters, and they become who I am at that moment. I am in the process of my 13th novel, a sci-fi fantasy novel, and I just lost 55 type written pages. My USB just wiped everything, all my future projects, and I am still continuing to write my 13 th novel. Luckily I still have the paper notes that I made, but I am always inspired. On the page and in my mind, I am always inspired to write and create sentences, scenes, and conversations. I think William Faulkner said “I write only when I am inspired, and I am inspired every day.”
On another broad level Capitalism was an inspiration. Capitalism was another theme that is in the center of the Disintegrating Bloodline. America is a capitalistic country, and our motto is “give us your poor, tired, and your hungry.” I think that will be the center of all capitalism. Everybody wants to create a business and live comfortably doing whatever profession they choose. I’m not saying this is the profession everyone should lead, but it is the idea that anyone, tired, poor, and hungry can rise up to the top and have all their dreams come true.
12 years!! WOW. 🙂 Tell us about your main characters, are they people you would be friends with in real life?
Chris Mangini is a character who is obsessed, and he embodies the theme of identity and obsession. I have never met a character who was single minded enough than Chris Mangini. Chris embodies obsession, and he tries to find his cousin even when all hope is lost. A.J. is a young boy who wants only the best for himself, and willing to do whatever it takes to make sure his family is all right. Jessica is the girl that every guy wanted, or had, but she’s tortured and conflicted over a horrible relationship she had with her last boyfriend, and becomes A.J.’s main confidant in the series. Frank and Gene are soldiers who have to rise up to different tasks in the novels. I found that these characters had to grow up in very fast ways, because kids today are all growing up way too fast. Not that this is a bad thing, but I wanted to give characters the chance to live dangerously. Danger is always inherit in my writing—the danger of being watched, the danger of being hunted, the danger of isolation. My characters are afraid of something, but the isolation and the lack of danger in their environment in a curious dichotomy.
Perhaps your characters are your alter-ego…living out the dangers of life you have yet to tackle! So, let’s pick one. If you could make any ONE of your characters real for a month, who would you choose and why?
(You are going to get me in trouble for this one, Trish! 😉 Are you kidding me? Jessica. She’s my ideal girl—a sexual young girl who knows who she wants, and can get her man anytime she desires. I had a sentence in here that I don’t think made it but it went: “Jessica could always wrap her men around her pinky finger.” She’s that kind of girl who is every bit strong as she is beautiful.. In some small way, she will always be a person who gave me confidence as a writer. Whenever I read her, she reminds me of what I wanted in a 16 year old, but the girls I liked were never that confident to approach me, and maybe the same way with the girls I liked. Her involvement in this book is small, but she’s a snapshot of what I would want a sixteen year old to be. Plus, as the series goes on, she becomes a stronger person in the struggles the group have to face. I would spend my entre life with her (if I were 16 again).
(You aren’t in trouble, I will not tell the others that Jessica is your fave!!) If you were alone in the woods for a year with only one book, what would it be and why?
The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje. I love his novels, and I find I can come back to it every time and find something new I had forgotten while reading it. His work is truly poetic, and the film version doesn’t do the novel justice. His images are written in prose form, and they are like bubbling oil on a pan. When you turn up the heat, his images, conversations, and characters ignite with the intensity to leave great scalding memories for your brain.
I have not read that one. Tho the movie ripped me to pieces. lol I like to ask this next question because of how different each answer is! If you could choose any Author, living or dead, to read your work, who would you choose and why?
Can I choose two? I feel that two authors would be perfect for my book.
Yep! This is your fantasy!
I would choose Bret Easton Ellis. I think our anger is what connects us to each other. Clays isolation in Less than Zero is what A.J. feels in The Disintegrating Bloodline. They are on very different paths, and they are completely different characters, but I do feel some sort of kinship with Bret Ellis. Plus, I enjoy his books too. Also, when I was editing the book, I found myself listening to the Less than Zero soundtrack. It’s really haunting and sad.
My second author would be Herman Melville. I would just love to hear what his voice sounds like, and I enjoyed Moby Dick so much. I guess with Melville, I was coming out of the hospital from a clot in my renal vein near my kidney, and if I had to choose one classic to read, I chose Moby Dick. I felt he did something so revolutionary only a few readers would know what I’m talking about. I would feel honored if he rose up from the dead and read my book for everyone. 😉
Excellent choices – and reading Moby Dick in the hospital must have been fun! 🙂 What advice would you give to budding writers interested in publishing?
Know your markets, but also, try to write something that you haven’t seen before, and that will make the difference when you send it out. You will get rejection letters, but don’t worry about that. Keep sending them out, and find some way to put in a genre while breaking the rules of that genre at the same time. Always take risks, and don’t look back.
Great advice, thank you Louis! What can we expect to see from you in the future and where can we find your work?
The Disintegrating Bloodline Part 2 will begin heavy editing and will be available in the first quarter of
2013. You can find it here:
http://www.xynobooks.com for my articles and blogs.
Before we go here…I want you to think outside the box for a bit…if your book became a movie, who would you cast as the main characters?
Broadly speaking, I didn’t think of this as a movie. It was really a novel at first, and will always stay a novel. When I was writing The Disintegrating Bloodline Part 1, I was not thinking about a movie. As Bret Easton Ellis said, “I wanted it to be a literary experience.” But I’m not stupid—I know that people watch movies, and I gave this a lot of thought.
Well, I always thought that Leonardo DiCaprio could play Chris Mangini. He’s at that age where he’s not old, but he still has that wry acerbic quality that Chris retains in his conversations. Chris Mangini is a family man, and he’s always obsessing on one thing. He wants to find his cousin, but he doesn’t know how—due to circumstances that are yet untold in the series. For A.J., Gene, and Frank I would cast people that are unknowns. For Jessica, I would say Jennifer Lawrence—I would love to see her with a tan and have an accent that can confuse me. I am pretty good at judging accents, and I have always admired her for her performance in “Winters Bone” and “The Beaver.” Plus, I would love to see her play a dark character. All of my characters are dark, and I wouldn’t cast the best characters in my series with unknown actors.
I will take this question a step further. Here are my choices for directors. As far as directors, I would love it if David Cronenberg (A History of Violence and Videodrome), Darren Arronofsky (Requiem for a Dream and Black Swan), Stanley Kubrick (A Clockwork Orange and The Shining), Mel Gibson (Braveheart and The Passion of the Christ), Todd “Kip” Williams (The Door in the Floor), Mariana Palka (Good Dick), P.T. Anderson (There Will Be Blood and The Master), Terrance Malick (The Tree of Life, The Thin Red Line, Days of Heaven, The New World, Badlands) or Martin Scorsese (Goodfellas and The Departed), or even Sofia Coppola (Lost in Translation and The Virgin Suicides) would take a stab at directing the movie. I know that was another part, but I have always found these directors taste to match my material.
So many great people up there I don’t know whether to pass out or jump up and down! LOL So…Strap yourself in Louis…it’s time for our Rapid-Fire Questions!!
eReader or Paperback? Paperback
Sweet or Sour? Sweet
Cats or Dogs? Dogs. I am a dog lover.
Tent or Hotel? Hotel (You will never find me in a tent—I’m just not an out door person.)
Beach or Pool? I like the beach just around sunset.
Shower or Bath? Shower.
Boxers or Briefs? Boxers.
Untouchables or The Godfather? The Godfather. That’s a no brainer. 😉
So much fun! This was a great interview, Louis! Thank you very much for your time and congrats on the book!! Those of you reading, I know you’re patiently waiting for Mr. Bruno’s links so you can get to know him better! He can be found on Facebook, Twitter and Amazon.
The Disintegrating Bloodline: Part 1 is available now on Amazon! Go get your copy today!!
A.J. Cattiano is a sophomore in high school. He just joined the Mafia.
At George Bradley High School in upstate New York, the administration has been driven to desperate measures by a wave of drugs and gang violence. Their insane strategy? Invite the Mob to take over the school’s rackets and bring order to the bloody chaos.
The Mafia’s representative, Chris Mangini, quickly takes control and establishes himself as the school’s unofficial ruler. A charismatic figure, the young mobster is everything A.J. has ever wanted to be himself. A.J. falls within Chris’ deadly orbit and begins his gangland apprenticeship.
The day will come when A.J. must take the final lethal step in his training and choose whether to lose his soul in the service of the Mafia. And that day is fast approaching.
Happy Reading, everyone!!