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Free Book Reviews Author Interview: J.V. Petretta author of An Impossible Dream Story |Free Book Reviews

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Author Interview: J.V. Petretta author of An Impossible Dream Story



About Your Book: An Impossible Dream Story

It all started with a bicycle trip. In 1995, I was in the middle of a 5,000 mile bicycle journey to raise awareness and funding for AIDS, when I was invited to stay overnight with a family in South Bend, Indiana. The lady of the house was a nurse for the local AIDS Agency, my connection. Her husband, Max, happens to be an English Professor at St. Mary’s College, with special interest in Creative Writing. He saw me keeping a notebook journal, mostly to keep record of statistics, folks I was meeting along the way, and notes of everyone‘s generosity, so that I could later send thanks. Max said I should write a book about the journey, and even mailed me a Writer’s Handbook to get me started.

Once the bike trip concluded, I re-worked the journals into a lengthy, but dry, newsletter of sorts. A couple of small newspapers were interested in follow-up stories, asking questions about my history of biking, and harder questions about family. They got me thinking about this lifelong love affair I had with bicycles, and how that intertwined with the other loves and stories of my life. So, in 1996, I began writing what would have been a memoir or autobiography, but it came to a screeching halt when I developed writer’s block. Some things seemed too real and personal—I wasn’t ready to dig it all up, and lay it all out. It was time to move on with my life, and instead of concentrating on how I got where I was at, it was more important to figure out what I was to do with the rest of my life.

Fast forward to 2008, after the passing of my parents, I felt safe to begin regurgitating the past. It was almost therapeutic, getting it all out on paper, stories I had been deprived time to think about, let alone tell. And I started thinking that perhaps some of my own stories might relate to others, because we all have stories. Certainly, the folks I met on the bike trip had stories begging to be told, but what about the people I learned from, my own heroes in life? Shouldn’t someone know about them? To do it, I had to tell my story, too.

After the first, very rough draft in 2009, I had a few trusted friends critique it honestly. It had potential, but lacked pizazz. It didn’t lack incriminating stories, which could clearly get me into a legal lurch, but it did have more graphic sex than a quality book might portray. So, with round two in 2010, I strengthened the story lines, embellishing them to the point of fiction, and replaced the raw with innuendo. They made for some good tales, both serious and fun. By round three in 2011, I had totally fictionalized the characters and episodes. I added stories and characters, and was having the time of my life, being creative. And through it all, I realized that I still had my voice, but through a boy named Vinny Pirelli. I was still able to tell the good, the bad and the funny through all the characters in my own life’s journey on a bicycle—stories that most people can relate to.

Free Book Reviews
What do you think readers will find most notable about this book?

J.V. Petretta
I expect readers to say this book is easy to read with fun use of alliteration, rhythm and rhyme. Many ladies may like the protagonist's lifelong respect for women in the workplace. I expect some will appreciate the uniqueness of each chapter ending with a set of lyrics or simple poem (written over the years), which hopefully enhances the story.

Free Book Reviews
Have you acquired any good anecdotes surrounding this book? If so, could you share one?

J.V. Petretta
There are many, but one I like is found on page 197: Speaking of food and restaurants, there was a special lady I feel compelled to write about. Her name is Isabella Krol, a gray-haired senior citizen with dignified wrinkles who was visiting from Poland (she was in Chicago on the day we met, but she was in the states primarily to visit her daughter in Hammond, Indiana). We met in Nookies Breakfast Café, where she recognized me from her copy of the Post-Tribune. In broken English, she described her family struggles during WWII. She said, “We are both survivors,” then pulled me to her breast and hugged and loved me for a gifted, generous moment. It was as if we were long-lost siblings. She bought breakfast and gave Cal a donation for our cause. It was then and there that I understood the ever-growing power of a hug. From that point forward, I have signed all my personal correspondence with “Hugs from Vinny.” From one survivor to another, “This mile is for you, dear Isabella, with no boundaries to my hugs.”J.V. P e t r e t t a page 198

Free Book Reviews
Did researching and writing this book teach you anything or influence your thinking in any way?

J.V. Petretta
I was amazed at how easy it is these days to verify events; but that said, it has become increasingly impossible for Indy writers to get much real attention.

Free Book Reviews
What would you most like readers to tell others about this book?

J.V. Petretta
Just tell the truth, did you feel the story? Was it funny, sad, emotional, and how did you relate?

Free Book Reviews
Can you suggest one question readers might find interesting to discuss, concerning you, your writing in general, or this book?

J.V. Petretta
Yeah, how much of it is true? Even friends of the past have asked, ʺwhen did that happenʺ, or ʺI can't tell what is real and what you made up.ʺ

Free Book Reviews
How can readers help you promote this book?

J.V. Petretta
Since 100% of the proceeds of my book are going for 3 worthy causes: Bicycling, LGBT and HIV/AIDS projects, I would appreciate listing my website everywhere: www.animpossibledreamstory.com. Also, go to my Facebook page, and tell us what you like about the book: https://www.facebook.com/pages/An-Impossible-Dream-Story/212859988774496

About You: J.V. Petretta

 
 



Image of J.V. Petretta
 

J.V. Petretta is a graduate of U. of Maryland, European Division. He is a ten-year U.S. Army Veteran with three overseas tours, including Vietnam. After his honorable discharge, he received a Meritorious Service Medal for distinguished service as 1st Armored Division’s Nuclear Control Chief. In addition to earning numerous business accolades, he organized and conducted a 5,000 mile bicycle tour in 1995, bringing critical awareness and funding for AIDS.

Free Book Reviews
Why do you write?

J.V. Petretta
I write for my own enjoyment, and because I have something to say.

Free Book Reviews
What is your greatest strength as a writer?

J.V. Petretta
Some may call it weakness, but I like to keep it simple. I believe everybody from avid, experienced readers to young adults should be able to enjoy the story. Some people believe a literary masterpiece exploits language and must be sophisticated. Writing simple is an art form--let them enjoy the story, not show off vocabulary.

Free Book Reviews
What quality do you most value in yourself?

J.V. Petretta
I believe in keeping my word as much as possible, even though I have broken big promises over the years, like marriage vows. Overall, I hope to be deemed as a person of integrity.

Free Book Reviews
In addition to writing, what else are you passionate about?

J.V. Petretta
I love my grandchildren, bicycling, hiking and of course puppy dogs--and dog lovers!

Free Book Reviews
What are you most proud of accomplishing so far in your life?

J.V. Petretta
In addition to this book, I would have to say orchestrating and conducting the first 5,000 bicycle journey by a person living with AIDS (back in the day before viable drugs and hope), in support of HIV/AIDS awareness and funding.

Free Book Reviews
Is there any new or established author whom you feel deserves more attention, and what is it that strikes you about his or her work?

J.V. Petretta
I love Kathryn Shay. She has become a close personal friend. She has written over 40 published novels, but she also published a mainstream story about a family dealing with the gay issue when the son comes out of the closet. ʺThe Perfect Familyʺ is one of my favorite books.

Intrigued by this Interview? Then head on over to Petretta's Website or find his book at the following:
Amazon
Author Website
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