His bill was going to be the bill that got through and as far as we were concerned, we could just go and drown ourselves…
Read the rest of the article here.
Today we sat down with Ebyline Freelancer Steven Siciliano to discuss his blog “Marcantoniana” and the role it serves on the road to publication of his novel.
What draws you to the “Goodfather”, Vito Marcantonio?
I am drawn to Marcantonio is as progressive political figure, but more importantly as a literary character. Short, fast-talking, raised in East Harlem, fedora-wearing, he took the attitude of the meanest streets in America to the House of Representatives where he thwarted the enemies of his constituents time and again. He took on the most powerful types of forces for years and did so successfully for a time. But the bad guys won out and Marcantonio died too young, truly beaten by superior powers. The anecdotal riches his fast and breathtaking career produced are wonderful fodder for an entertaining book that dramatizes his life and hopefully recuperates his forgotten contributions to American life.
What specifically about Marcantonio does the spaghetti article attempt to convey? How does it speak to the peculiarities of his personality?
“Vito Marcantonio and the Art of Spaghetti Making” is an attempt to write in a nonacademic fashion about “Marc.” The title is light-hearted and stands a good chance of catching the eye. This post attempts to talk about politics without being so much about politics, rather about the temperament of a man. It also conveys a sense of the alliances that were made in the 1930s and 1940s, as well as the stuff activists were made of and up against. It is the most viewed post and it does tell you how the old school Italians viewed tomato sauce-making.
Can you explain a little about the purpose of the blog and its role on the road to publication?
A primary purpose of the blog is to serve as a platform when the manuscript of a novel based on Marcantonio’s life, “The Goodfather,” is rolled out in a few months. My understanding of this book industry nomenclature is roughly: your proof of available market. Publishers want you to arrive with an audience and some reputation as an authority on the subject you are writing about, a platform. Today’s blog templates provide writers with good, verifiable number for presentation to agents and publishers wanting to know why on earth they should invest time and resources on an obscure congressman from Manhattan’s poorest voting district.
In addition to this blog you are also a writer for other publications. What insights has creating and designing the blog given you for your work as a writer?
The blog has provided me with concrete examples of the way technology has blasted the existing media landscape.
Niche and narrow were bad words in the old media world. In the new one, they are paramount because of the way electronic subject matter seeks itself out. I ran a general information blog for many years without every getting the network traction that can be tapped into on the Net. But “Marcantoniana” has drawn, rather easily, links to those seeking out information on the times, places and events that marked his life. It has very good numbers and a return audience for each post.
You post it on Facebook, a friend who doesn’t care about Marcantonio shares it with his one other wild-eyed acquaintance who likes it and follows me on Twitter and retweets my posts. The Vito Marcantonio Forum borrows the posts to keep their content flow consistent and traffic up and those are tweeted and then retweeted by the organizations with which it engages, etc. etc. etc.
Many of these network advances occur without a writer knowing about working towards it.
Some time ago, you could go far away, write a manuscript and actually convince a publisher to pay you for it and send royalties from the sales, while you worked on the next one. The job has changed and these tools need to be embraced, but more importantly, they should for the writer who hopes to reflect their own times.
Stephen Siciliano is a published novelist and screenwriter who believes the various writing genres inform one another and that all writing sticks to the ribs.