It's time for another author interview today, so please welcome
Anthony Custode Jr!
If you've ever worked in a call center, you probably have a few stories you could share.
But Adrian Wescott has a story that might just top them all.
An aimless drifter who is stuck at a soul-crushing job, Adrian accidentally unearths a chance to alter his life and those of the degenerates in his inner circle. To achieve his ambitions of white-collar supremacy will require more focus and thought than he's put forth cumulatively to this point in his underwhelming life. Temptations of the carnal and pharmaceutical variety stand in the way of his million-dollar dream - but for the first time he can say no. Sort of.
Who are you and what do you write?
My name is Anthony Custode Jr and I write multiple genres of fiction. So far I have written a thriller, romance/erotica and a children sports book. My newest release, Customer Service, is a crude comedy. So I guess you can say that I’m a Jack of all Trades.
Where and when and how did the writing life begin for you?
My writing life began pretty early. I had a poem published when I was in 1st grade. Also, my 1st grade teacher told the teacher’s aide that my writing was ‘a riot’ in front of the entire class. I wasn’t sure what she meant by that at the time, but looking back I take it as a compliment,
How has the journey to this point been? Can you give us a basic rundown?
The journey has been filled with ups and downs for me. I graduated college with a degree in journalism. I was working for a sports website, covering my two favorite professional sports teams. Unfortunately, an error made by one of my colleagues derailed that project and we were forced to fold. So, I turned to writing books. That is when I wrote Andrew’s Journal, which is a twisted thriller that is not for the faint of heart. I was in a dark place mentally and I guess I took it out on my characters. At the time, I just wanted to write something and have it published. But after friends and family raved about the book, I couldn’t shake the itch of producing more, so that’s what I did. I don’t fixate on specific genres, but instead I write about what inspires me. I have to say that the support I’ve received on Twitter far outweighs any support I get from most friends and family, so I have to be thankful for the community that we have. It’s not easy to be a self-publishing author because of the immense amount of work it takes to produce, edit and market each work. But I’m enjoying the ride for sure.
What's been the hardest part of your writing/publishing experience so far? And the most enjoyable?
There are two things that are the hardest, and they kind of go hand-in-hand. Marketing is such a pain because you never know where to start. How to reach an audience. But I think I’ve started getting the hang of it a little bit at least. The other is patience. It’s so hard to be patient, but if you take shortcuts, your product will suffer. I would love to write one draft, send it off and have it be perfect and sell millions of copies. But it doesn’t work that way. So as difficult as it is to be patient with the process, I’ve learned that it’s much better than trying to fix mistakes after the fact.
The most enjoyable part of writing by far is the reactions of people that read my work. My mother read Vanity’s Price Tag and sent me a text when she was done thanking me for making her cry. I have two friends that love my work so much that they consistently message me and ask about updates. They also have posted direct quotes from some of my books to their social media, telling their friends how much they can relate to them. That is the greatest feeling in the world – when you can make an impact on someone’s life with your writing.
Would you go back and change anything?
The only thing I would change is paying more attention to the PR and Marketing classes I took in college. Those tools would be beneficial now. Everything else has happened and made me the person I am today, so it would be tough to say I would change anything else.
Where would you like to be in 5 years time? And 10? Or, what are your plans for the future?
I really would love to be able to support myself and my son on my writing alone, without the day job. It might seem like a pipedream to most, but any dream will stay a dream if you never chase it. I don’t necessarily need the fame. Actually, I wouldn’t care for fame at all. But if I could make an impact on lives and write books for a living while living comfortably, that would be the ultimate fantasy.
What's one piece of advice you'd give to new writers just starting out?
Read and write often. You never know what kind of influences another writer can make on your writing by just reading their stuff. I’m currently reading The Lord Poet by Megan Franks and it’s amazing. She’s so talented and I’ve found myself drawn to her ability to be so descriptive that I actually went back and changed some things in my own work. Before that, I read Lamar Neal’s poetry book, We All Need Therapy. He really made me feel his emotions and I was able to take some of the things he did and incorporate it into my own work. And both are self-publishers, too. Which goes to show the talent that is out there in the non-traditional markets. Also, other writers are NOT your competition. Support them. Find writers that you connect with and build them up because it’s contagious. As long as you’re doing it genuinely.
And before you go...
Ketchup or Mayo? - With a gun to my head? Mayo. I had a back experience with ketchup when my sister squirted some into my mouth while I was sleeping. Ketchup and cotton mouth is a combination that you never really forget. It’s not delicious.
Night or Day? - Night time, for sure. It’s cooler.
Inside or Outside? - I’m more of a hermit I guess, so inside. I like to be cool. If it’s snowing outside, though, I wouldn’t mind being outside for a bit.
Dogs or Cats? - Neither. I’m not much of an animal person (ducks to dodge objects hurled at my head). But I live with my brother and he has a dog. She’s not too bad, I guess.
Twitter or Facebook? - When I was younger, it would have been Facebook. But I gravitate toward Twitter now. There’s too much drama on Facebook. Or mine, at least.
Ebook or Paperback? - Paperback. Definitely
Walk or Drive? - Drive. I love road trips, too.
Sun or Rain? - Rain. Sun is hot. I don’t like hot.
Keyboard or Pencil & Notebook? - Keyboard. My handwriting is atrocious.
Comedy or Drama? - Comedy! Make me laugh!
Chips or Chocolate? - Chips. Actually, Lays came out with a Crispy Taco flavor that I LOVED and now I can’t find them anywhere. It’s been a couple of years and I still haven’t let it go.
Anthony Custode Jr is an American author from Western New York. After graduating from Niagara Falls High School in 2004, he attended Buffalo State College where he earned a Bachelor's degree in journalism. After working for various publications on a freelance basis and a brief stint in sports media, Anthony turned his attention to writing books. He composes controversial fiction and his twisted imagination and storytelling makes him one of the more unique authors to burst onto the independent scene.
Previously Published Work:
Andrew’s Journal – A Novella (Thriller)
Vanity’s Price Tag (Romance/Erotica)
The Fourth Liner (Children’s Sports)
Find out more here!
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