Talking Dogs and Good Storytelling

Talking Dogs and Good Storytelling What Makes Good Storytelling No matter the media, good storytelling requires good material. It doesn’t matter if it’s a book, a movie, or a joke—the material has to be good. But even good material isn’t enough. Any comedian can tell you horror tales of jokes that fell flat or audiences […]

The Mystery Of A Good Book

What Makes A Good Book? To me, all good books are mysteries—in some fashion. I don’t mean there is a corpse or a detective in all good books, but there is usually a question that readers want the answer to, a puzzle that has to be solved, a character with a mysterious past—something. It is […]

Working With A Genealogist

As many of you know, my daughter, Aliza, is a professional genealogist. She writes for several Italian-American newspapers and has posted articles here in the past. People’s interest in their family history has grown tremendously in the past several years, and with that in mind, I thought you might be interested in learning a little […]

Is Storytelling Genetic?

Is Storytelling Genetic? What makes a good story? How come some books you can’t put down, have to turn the page, start a new chapter, and others…might be good, but if you go to bed late and are tired, the book waits for the next day. How about movies. Some movies you can leave running […]

This Is Why I Write

This Is Why I Write Ask ten authors why they write and you’ll probably get ten answers, and likely they’ll be ten very long answers. Some authors say it’s in their blood, that they wanted to write since they could hold a pen. I was too busy playing and getting into trouble as a youngster. […]

Secondary Characters—How To Make A Good Story Great

Living In The Shadows—The Fate of Secondary Characters I was watching a movie the other night that looked like it had promise. The first ten minutes got me interested and the main character was intriguing. And then I met the rest of the cast. With only one exception, they were dull, flat, cliched, and otherwise […]

A Giant of a Man

A Giant Of A Man Many, many years ago, growing up in the Cleland Heights section of Wilmington, DE., I learned a lesson that I’ve never forgotten. The lesson was taught to me by my mother, a woman who had a way of making you recognize the truth. People say the best lessons are the […]

I’m A Damn Sissy

Whatever Doesn’t Kill You… I went grocery shopping with my wife the other night, an unusual occurrence in itself, but the experience was not pleasant. The store was crowded, and the people were rude. Not like when I was growing up. I made a few comments to that effect. My wife laughed, and said, “You […]

Thumbs Up

Thumbs Up I was reading a book the other night, and when I finished I went to write a review for it. I wondered, does this get a “thumbs up” or a “thumbs down?” Since it was a damn good book I gave it a thumbs up. But did I do right? Whenever I see […]

Standing on the Shoulders of Giants

When I read this article my daughter, Aliza, wrote I knew I had to share it. She is a professional genealogist, and she writes for five Italian American publications as a columnist. If I must say, she is not only a great genealogist, but a magnificent storyteller. I hope you enjoy this. Giacomo Standing on […]

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  • This blog will be a little different from many you see. Contrary to the characters in my books, I don’t really kill people, or catch those who do, so the blogs might be about reading, or writing, or animals. These are the things I have great passion for. It might also contain posts about food, or ancestry, or substance abuse. My oldest son is a great cook. My daughter is a genealogist ( and my youngest son is a recovering drug addict. He has been clean for three years, and runs a rehab center (

    I hope you enjoy the posts, and please let me know what you think.



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