We strive to bring you the latest news with PRIDE. On the Blog today, A Divine Tour Stop for Phil Marcello, Finding Shawn. Get all the saucy details here!
Title: Finding Shawn
Author: Phil Marcello
Series: Dangerous Lives of High School Athletes, Book One
Genre: Young Adult, Gay Romance, Contemporary
Publisher: Wayward Ink Publishing
Shawn and Alex have been friends since first grade.
Alex, the rock star quarterback, appears to be basking in the limelight of his success and his new romance with Pam. But appearances can be deceiving.
Shawn is the key man in the football team’s solid defense. He’s also the senior class’ most eligible bachelor. But Shawn has no time to get involved with a girl—at least, that’s what he tells his friends.
In reality, he does have a love interest… Tony Valito.
Side-by-side, the relationships between the two couples blossom. One in the open. The other in secret. That is, until Shawn’s world erupts when the rumor that he’s gay gathers momentum.
In trying to find Shawn, perhaps his friends will end up finding themselves. And everyone will discover how dangerous are the lives of high school athletes.
What inspired you to start writing?
I have always loved writing even as a child. I loved reading and writing just seemed to follow.
How long have you been writing?
I wrote my first story at age twelve.
What advice would you give a new writer just starting out?
My best answer to this question is: Read a lot. Write a lot. Persevere. The more you read, the more you write, the better you get. Never, ever, stop growing. When you are working on a piece, and your characters start to talk to you, you’re on your way.
Do you ever suffer from writer’s block?
If so, what do you do about it? I walk away. Go out. I love to walk the beach with my dog or blaze trails in the state park. Visit with friends and family. All the while I switch to observer mode. For me, writer’s block can mean that the story is going in the wrong direction, so I’ll read from page one and surprise, a new twist will pop into my head.
Who is your favorite author and why?
I have to admit, JK Rowlings. There is so much more in the books than most people know. So many hidden agendas. The complexity of the story lines and how they come together. She is no ordinary writer.
What, in your opinion, are the most important elements of good writing?
The most important element, in my opinion, is your mindset. You have to enjoy what you are doing. You have to appreciate that you are creating something from nothing. You need to open and expand your mind.
How do you develop your plot and characters?
I start out with a very simple story that I want to tell, an idea, a life lesson. I begin with a few characters. As the story progresses, I need to give the characters more depth. That makes for subplots and secondary story lines. Then it just keeps growing and growing.
What comes first, the plot or characters?
The plot comes first. Then I have to decide how I’m going to tell the story. That’s when I start building my characters.
Tell us something about your newest release that is NOT in the blurb.
In developing Shawn, I wanted people to really relate to him. I wanted them to really like him. So I let the other characters do some storytelling to highlight Shawn’s past. I had a lot of fun with it.
Are you working on anything at the present you would like to tell us about?
Book two of the series. The setting will once again be in the midst of high school athletes doing their thing. There will be relationships, love, rowdyism and drama. But the story line is very dark. One of the athletes falls prey to an Internet predator. The ripple effect is bloodcurdling.
What are you reading now?
I Just started with Divergence. I am also looking at other dystopian tales from the past.
What books or authors have most influenced your own writing?
There is no one author, except maybe William Shakespeare. Although my first book as a child was The Perfect World. It was the perfect book. Talk about dystopian. It gave me my reading passion.
How do you come up with the titles to your books?
I look inside the book at a particular event or series of events that I consider being pinnacles. What is that point of the story all about. That is where the title comes from.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
At age twelve when I wrote my first story.
Describe your writing space.
A homemade desk aimed at a sliding glass door that overlooks an ocean inlet.
What is the hardest part about writing for you?
When I realize that, I went in the wrong direction and had to wipe hours many hours of hard work.
What is your work schedule like when you are writing?
I have no schedule.
What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?
I’ll be in bed, almost asleep, and the next scene will play out in my head. I have to get up and write it all down so that I won’t forget it.
What do you like to do when you are not writing?
I have a very diversified life. I love sports, animals, politics and I also have a career in computer networking.
How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
I have written a dozen. Only five have been published so far. The one I like best is Dog Tales. I was finally able to unload the many many trues stories of experiences I’ve had with several of my best friends.
Do you hear from your readers much? What do they say?
Yes, I do. Most of them have read Dog Tales and K9 Rescue – How to Adopt a Dog. They all want to share their pet stories with me.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
How do you do research for your books?
Mostly the Internet. Some interviews. For the epic novel, I am working on, when I flew to Phoenix, AZ. on business I drove to an Indian Reservation where the story takes place. For me, it made the story come alive.
Pam enjoyed it all. The night, the atmosphere, and Alex. Especially Alex. But she was curious. “I’ve never seen you dressed up. Not even when we used to go to church. You look so….”
She wasn’t sure how to handle that one. Thankfully, Alex had more to say. “I have many façades, my dear. One for the team, one for my mother, one for school teachers, but only you get to see the real me.”
“I like this side of you. I like every side of you. You make me feel good.”
He could have said the exact same things, plus one. She made him feel like man. He tried to express it. “I’m the guy who just wants to hold you and protect you from the cold cruel world.”
Pam got starry-eyed. “I know. Whenever I do something stupid, you’re always there to make me feel better.”
“And looking out for you is a full-time job.”
“So why do you?”
Alex had to think for a second. He knew the answer, but he wanted to make sure that he used the right words. “I’ve always felt close to you. I’ve had a dozen crushes on you. The first time, I was just eight years old. I didn’t know what it was. Girls were supposed to be icky at eight. But you weren’t. It just seems like something always happens to distract me. A new school, schoolwork, Shawn, football, jobs, Shawn. Did I mention Shawn?”
Don’t miss the March Sale! All Wayward Ink Titles titles are 35% off on the WIP website, 30% off on AllRomance, and 30% off on Amazon.
Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/Finding-Shawn-Dangerous-School-Athletes-ebook/dp/B01CFEMTFW/
Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Finding-Shawn-Dangerous-School-Athletes-ebook/dp/B01CFEMTFW/
Amazon DE: http://www.amazon.de/Finding-Shawn-Dangerous-School-Athletes-ebook/dp/B01CFEMTFW/
Prize: $4.99 WIP Gift Card
About the author
PHIL MARCELLO started writing as a boy in the sixties. Growing up in the projects wasn’t easy, but reading and writing were a couple of healthy vices he picked up along the way. Life happened, but Phil never entirely lost his interest and over the years, he started, but never finished, over a dozen stories.
Fortunately, he saved them all and now has the time and desire to complete them. Phil knows it will take years, but as he enjoys writing and views it as his art form it’s a labor of love he gladly undertakes.
PHIL MARCELLO can be found at: