Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Antonio D. Sommerio, Author of Borrowed Time

Antonio D. Sommerio, A.D. Sommerio, SommerioBooks.com, Borrowed Time, thriller book, borrowed time book, borrowed time novel
Today we are interviewing Antonio D. Sommerio, author of the suspense/thriller novel, "Borrowed Time."

Tell us a bit about yourself.
I guess you can say I’m one of those guys that’s done a bit of everything. No, I mean seriously, from working in the fast food industry to a Sheriff’s Deputy and even an IT Engineer. I am a firm believer in hard work and getting recognized for your contributions in opposed to “who you know”. I’m a sucker for humanity and believe we could do so much better if we just cared a little more and moved out of our comfort zone to help others. I love film, writing, gaming and I’m big on putting family first. 

Describe your book, “Borrowed Time,” for us.
"Borrowed Time" is a testament to the phrase “It’s never too late”. Not story wise but for the fact that I finished the manuscript in 2009 and was literally terrified to try and publish it until 2018. It’s a heartfelt story about a man who’s lost everything but gains an incredible power he has no clue how to manage. And so, here he is this “regular guy” with this huge gift/burden thrusted upon him. However, who he is as a person just plays so well within the actions he takes in the book. So, you wonder if this “power”, was tailor made for him so to speak. Also "Borrowed Time" was never meant to fall into the sci-fy category but there are small nuances there because of the time element.     

Who do you think would most appreciate “Borrowed Time”?
I must say women fall in love with Jacob’s persona. I’ve gotten so many emails about how they “miss him”, and how they enjoyed spending time with him. Everyone loves the humor that’s in the story and feel extremely close to my characters. I love the way they took a life of their own. People who like both suspense thriller books and film will like "Borrowed Time." It’s a quick read that feels like you’re in a movie. It touches on so many topics we deal with on a day to day. It’s about sacrifice and paying it forward. 

Have you always enjoyed writing in the suspense / thriller genre or is it something that evolved alongside your writing career?
You know looking back at all the stories I have plots for (and I have material for days) ...it, kind of just turned out that way. I have so many stories I look forward to writing and many of them inadvertently fall into the suspense/thriller category. However, I don’t try and write for a specific genre. My goal is to create a truly immersive experience. We categorize everything of course in every industry, but one small detail in your writing/story can allow you to overlap between multiple genres if you know what I mean.

One of the challenges of writing in the suspense / thriller genre is managing the pacing of the plot. Is this something that comes naturally to your writing? Or do you do a lot of outlining and planning to prepare?
I think I kinda dodge that bullet with "Borrowed Time." The book is so fast paced it doesn’t have much time to drag. That’s by design. I wanted a “quick read” as I call it. People are very protective of their time. Some have shorter attention spans and a ton of things to do in any given day. So, I wrote "Borrowed Time" to appeal not to just hardcore or mainstream readers, but to the nurse that reads on her lunch break…the stay at home mom that gets a little reading done after the kids are asleep. The husband waiting on his wife to come out of the grocery store, lol. You can read it in “spurts” and still feel accomplished. At present time however, I’m working on a second book that has so many more characters than "Borrowed Time," that I’m totally going to have to get my outline game in order. 

Are there any authors that have influenced your writing style?
Maybe James Patterson just a tad, however I break a lot of rules James would have a fit over (laughs).

Tell us about the story’s protagonist, Jacob Parnell.
Warm, kindhearted. Always putting others before himself. He lives with the pain of missing his beloved. He feels responsible. Jacob doesn’t believe in “what is written” or predetermined paths. He is a firm believer that he has control of his destiny and the way his life will proceed based off his actions (or lack thereof). 

Jacob’s life is marked by two major transformations – first with the death of his wife and second with the discover of his watch’s special ability. Is exploring transformations something that you set out to do with the story from the start? Or was it something that arose as you wrote?
Oh, it was definitely there from the start. It’s what drives the story. It’s also what drives his behavior. He feels responsible. He wants no matter what to have her back. The gift of “sight” (for him) is what he feels is a pathway to redemption. A way to apologize to her and the universe.   

Jacob’s discovery of his watch’s power is a life-changing moment for him. Can you tell us a bit about his thought process upon discovering what the watch is capable of?
Devastated, as there is now this complete opposition to everything he believes in. The predetermined path is there!!! Fate is kicking down his door!!! He’s emotional, scared and angry. Why him!? As punishment? As a chance at redemption? A chance to prove he can change destiny possibly? Or maybe just for irony to play a cruel role and take what little he has left. 

How do you think you've evolved as a writer since when you first started?
When I went back to "Borrowed Time" after an 8-9 year hiatus, I changed so much of the book’s story. I’d experienced so much more of life. My beliefs had matured and the world around me had definitely changed. But I think the most important thing is…(smiles) I don’t challenge or try to fight my characters. I allow them to have a life of their own. “They” do some things I don’t agree with and I have to live with that. I have to allow them to be them. They create the story, I’m just the guy privileged enough to be able to jot it all down and become a voice for them.

Are there any aspects (e.g. character building, world building) of your writing that you've been practicing?
The Holberg Collection will have an expansive world. I have so much research to do about massive plot and world building so I don’t confuse my readers. That series will be epic and vast across multiple books. So, I’m working on carefully describing every detail of the world and premise so my readers can follow. Speaking of multiple books, "Borrowed Time" was never meant to have a sequel. I decided to get crafty and change the ending to see what type response I’d get. Well, everyone wants a sequel. Now this is where it gets weird. The only way I can create a true sequel in to dive into the messy scheme of time travel. But I inadvertently left myself open ends and bread crumbs that were literally just unanswered questions which will get resolved in the next book. It’s almost like it was “meant” to have a sequel. So that’s basically taking something that’s maybe a seed that was forgotten and planting it, allowing a new portion of the story to blossom and branch. 
Antonio D. Sommerio, A.D. Sommerio, SommerioBooks.com, Borrowed Time, thriller book, borrowed time book, borrowed time novel
Author Antonio D. Sommerio.

What are your goals as a writer for the next ten years?
To establish myself as a well-known author. To go from self-publishing to finding a home with a traditional publishing house. I really want to see my Novels and Novellas receive film adaptations. I write them that way. To ease the transition from literature to film. I love movies based on books. They have some of the best stories and plots in my opinion. The writing and construct tend to be well thought out so to speak. I can watch a film and say “this was a book”. I wait until the end credits and yup normally I’m right. So, in ten years’ time I plan to give my readers at least 5-7 new works and really shake things up with so many different themes and diverse storytelling.   

How have your readers responded to the book so far?
They loved it. However, it is so challenging getting them to write reviews. I get emails, more emails, and plenty comments on social media. Getting reviews written however is like pulling teeth. My most critical review came as an anonymous email and read: 
(“I loved 'Borrowed Time,' but make no mistake this is a movie waiting to happen. You shouldn’t be writing as a novelist, you should write for film, period!”) I really didn’t know how to take that critique. But for most they really enjoyed the book and want more. They loved Jacob, loathed Stanley and really enjoyed Sheryl. 

Is there any aspect of writing you don't like?
I have to stop being fearful. I let it limit me for far too long. I have to allow myself to be vulnerable to hefty criticism as it will only make me better. I hate that about writing, or any craft for that matter. You’ll pour your soul into something for months or years and in one sentence someone could tear it to shreds. One crushing review is all it takes to make a lot of people quit. That said, I spoke at a few high schools about that very topic. I wanted to motivate our youth not to be afraid to put something out there. Not to care about what some would think. Other than that, it’s definitely dialog, that’s a big one. I want to perfect that and its so many rules involving proper writing with character dialog.    

Have you ever had writer's block? If yes, how'd you deal with it? If you have not had writer's block, why do you think you haven't?
I haven’t had writers block so far (fingers crossed). I’m constantly flooded with ideas, stories and plots with not enough time to write. I have to make notes throughout the day and sometimes even wake up in the middle of the night and write out a plot on a dry erase board. I have so much content crammed in my head even if I got stuck on one story I can begin or continue on another and come back to the previous. I think if you get stuck, it’s best to walk away from it for a while. Your characters will let you know when they’re ready to continue. 

What do you have in mind for your next project?
“The Ki” is my next work to be published
It is a novella comprised of 4-5 short stories about how one kilogram of cocaine affects the lives of several individuals and their families. It’s definitely different from "Borrowed Time" and you’d be surprised at who’s actually the antagonist and protagonist in the stories. It’s real, gritty, heartbreaking and warm all at the same time.

Is there anything else you'd like potential readers to know about your book?
I put my all in "Borrowed Time." Not for fame, not for money. But to share my vision with the world. To tell a story about purpose…about moving forward, about sacrifice and most of all about balance. There is a little Jacob in all of us. We just have to be willing to accept it, and make the right choices.  

An excerpt from "Borrowed Time":
“Beware,” began the passage, “for if the bearer of the watch places it about his right wrist, he will not be able to see the time of others but of himself instead.” Jacob slowly placed the book on the bed and grabbed the calculator from his pocket. With the numbers still burned in the back of his mind, he started doing what he did best, calculations! As he factored in all the necessary equations, he began shaking his head. No matter how many times he did, the answer remained the same. Terrified, Jacob now realized by the numbers he’d seen that he had a little over three months before his timer would reach zero and…

More Information
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Buy the book on Amazon. 

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