Interview with Anthony Gemignani, author of “Adventures of Anthony & Benny”

What makes this particular genre you are involved in so special?

Doing anything with children can be magical. They are the most free spirits on the planet and their imagination is wide open. I love to see kids go to that place in their heads and get crazy with ideas and adventure.

Do you think writers have a normal life like others?

I don’t believe anyone’s life is normal. I am actually a professional musician that has recently entered the writer world. I just know I am a creative person and wanted to start writing down some of the fun ideas I had in my head with my characters.

Does a bad review affect your writing?

Bad reviews are part of life. Everyone has the right to their opinion and if you have a product such as a book, music, art etc… you a subject to the opinions of the people looking at it. To answer the question, Bad reviews do not bother me. Thay are actually entertaining to me.

Have you ever incorporated something that happened to you in real life into your novels?

I use real life all the time. Why not? It is there every moment for you to use as inspiration. Sometimes you use the main idea from life and put some little twists of excitement in there just to make it more magical.

Do you have a day job other than being a writer? And do you like it?

I have been a professional musician and business owner for many years. I own a music school in Flemington NJ called Allstar Music Empire and I am a guitarist, vocalist, producer, engineer with tv and movie credits. So yes I love my day job. I believe it all to be art and that is why I love the writing. It is just another way to be creative.

From all that we have been hearing and seeing in the movies, most writers are alcoholics. Your views on that?

I cannot relate to this. I have never done drugs and I barely drink at all. Some people need these things to help them in one way or another. Some think and believe it is just part of what you do to create. Others just have dependencies and that is all their business. As I said, I am a professional musician and think about the stereo types we get in the music industry. I grew up and still play and perform in Rock bands and most of the people I choose to play with are drug free. So my view is that it is totally an untrue stereo type.

Do you believe attractive book covers help in its sales?

Absolutely a sharp book cover will help. People are more likely to pick it up and check it out if the cover attracts them to it. Sometime and awful cover can do the same. For instance, “Look how ugly that is. I have to see what it is about.”

Given the chance to live your life again, what would you change about yourself?

I would come back with the super power to be able to eat anything and as much as I want without having to deal with health problems. I would also develop refrigerators that have built in ice cream making machines.

Was it all too easy for you – the writing, the publication, and the sales?

The writing is easy for me because I am usually in creative mode. Publication wasn’t to bad. I used Book Fuel and they have been great. Sales always seem to be the tricky part.

Doesn’t it bother you that when books are turned into movies, they are often changed to suit the audience needs?

This doesn’t bother me at all because not everyone wants to read books or has the time. I personally do not read that much and I love movies. So if I don’t read the book and I see the movie, I don’t know anything is different.

Do you believe you have done enough to leave a legacy behind?

I do not believe I have yet. I do know I have touched many lives and left a lot of things here on the planet that can be looked at or heard for years to come but I am working on bigger and better things every day. So no I don’t think I have yet but I am working on it.

Can you tell us about your current projects?

I have just released Adventures of Anthony & Benny. I have 4 other stories written and ready to get artwork done but I am letting this first book of the series get out there a bit before I release the next one. More stories ideas are running around in my head and I am sure I am only days away from writing them down.

You don’t have to be a writer in order to be an author – how true is that?

I believe this to be true. I am not a writer in my mind. I am a guy that has creative ideas and feel like I can find the words to get those ideas across. I am also doing kids books so in my opinion I only have to be able to get the kids to believe and visualize the story. Being a true writer couldn’t hurt though.

How big of a part does music play in creating your “zone”?

Music is everything to me. Even when writing the stories, there has to be a rhythm to it all. Life is music. Just listen and you will hear something going on anywhere you are that could be translated into a rhythm or a pitch.

Have any of your past loves inspired characters in your books?

Not past loves but my current love has. My current relationship is with Children’s Artist Kimmy Schwimmy. She is a very well known and respected children’s educator and artist in the NYC area. So I have been introduced to the kids world big time with her as well as working on kids music projects to be released soon.

Do you enjoy the attention fans shower you with, or would you rather keep it online?

I am fine with any attention. You really can’t put things out there in the world and if it is successful, expect no one to want to talk to you.

Who’s your childhood literary superhero?

Curious George was my hero. I just loved that he wanted to know what everything was all about. He was a child and open to the wonders of the world. I still have my original Curious George Stuffed animal too.

Does fan mail still excite you as much as it did the first time you received it?

I love it. When someone takes the time to write to you about something you created, that is downright amazing to me.

If you could live anywhere in the world, which country would you choose and why?

USA in Sedona Arizona. That state is just magical to me and the views are like living in a life size painting. Inspirational and motivating yet simple.

What is that dream goal you want to achieve before you die?

I want to win a Grammy for my music and have my children’s books made into a TV series or movie with Pixar. Those are my professional goals; the real goal is to be happy, healthy and stimulated.

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