Fingerless Gloves http://apostrophebooks.com/fingerlessgloves is a novel about best friends. Anton, a 20-something sort of floating around in the Northeast job market, is rocked one night when his best friend, James, is mysteriously rushed to the hospital. Over the 24-hours that ensue, Anton journeys around his hometown, meeting up with old friends, ex-girlfriends, his parents, etc all in an effort to find out what’s happened to James. Peppered throughout the narrative are flashbacks to the best moments James and Anton spent together. The book is really about the old habits and feelings we keep, from recreational drugs to feelings for an old flame, that allow us to feel young even as we get older. It’s a story that’s about killing off parts of yourself in order to become the man or woman you want to be.
How much of yourself is hidden in the characters in the book?
I’d say there’s some of me in Anton and some of me in James. When I sat down to write the characters, I tried to mix up different elements of myself and my friends in all their personalities. I think Anton is very unsure of himself, as I was while I was writing the book. He is a young man who should have his stuff together, but somehow he’s never stopped drifting through life.
Who is your most unusual/most likeable character?
Streets Anderson. Streets is a kid who never quite made it out of his and Anton’s hometown for various reasons. He has this way of speaking that is very unique, to match his unique situation and lot in life. He doesn’t have great parents, is a loner, and is looking for something that he may or may not be able to find. The moments Streets and Anton are together, you really see this line between the two characters that allows them to interact on a very specific level.
Why will readers relate to your characters?
I hope they will! I think that many young men and women will see themselves in Anton, Beth and James. While they vary in their self-esteem and ambition, they are all caught up in the way things used to be. I find that being a young person, we take a ton of comfort in reflecting on things we’ve done, places we’ve been, friends we’ve had, rather than living in the present. I think each character, much like many of the people I’ve met during the course of writing the book, are looking to move on.
What is your goal for the book, ie: what do you want people to take with them after they finish reading the story?
My goal is to have every person read this story. Literally, I want Fingerless Gloves to be the biggest-selling ebook and I want it to change the way we see marketability and publishing in general. In terms of what I want people to take away from the story: I want them to realize that it’s ok to face the most difficult moments of your life head-on. You shouldn’t shy away from difficult decisions or circumstances because of a fear of moving beyond your comfort zone. This is a story about a young man finding confidence in the most unlikely places on the most unlikely night. We’ve all been there.
How has your background influenced your writing?
I was a student of cinema, so I spent my college years analysing movies like Blade Runner and Alien. I was a bit of a Ridley Scott/sci-fi junkie. In learning how to write about other people’s stories, it prepared me to write my own. I had mentors and friends who supported me even as I took my first steps as an author and poet. I’ve always been a storyteller, I just had to learn to write them down.
Have you always wanted to be a writer?
Nope! I wanted to be a film critic. That’s an extremely difficult field to be in, so after college, I fell into a bit of a funk. I, along with most of my friends, was jobless and living at home. I wrote this poem and it was a little sad and a little violent and a little emotional … and it was the first thing I ever wrote that was truly in my own voice. I started a Tumblr blog called http://www.Adorkablelife.com and the poems got a bit sunnier, funnier, satirical. I learned to assign feelings to characters rather than pen them up inside of myself.
What was the first story you remember writing?
I think I was in 5th grade and I wrote this story about a boy who wants to draw fantastic pictures. The only problem is, he has no artistic talent whatsoever. He finds this magical crayon or marker, and it’s alive … talking to him and drawing all these pictures for him. He holds this instrument and it takes off, but the creativity isn’t his. He enters an art competition with the crayon and, just as he is about to win, he confesses that all that art is a lie. It was a bit deep for being in grade school.
What one book, written by someone else, do you wish you’d written yourself?
The Sun Also Rises by Hemingway. There is perhaps no greater example of how to tell a story succinctly as that novel. Maybe the Great Gatsby, but that’s about it. That story made me want to live in another time, in another body. I am on this real quest to not over-tell my stories. I try to use as few words as possible to express giant ideas. It’s something I’m working on, but Hemingway and Fitzgerald mastered it.
What advice you would give to an aspiring author?
I would tell aspiring authors to observe first. I think that telling stories comes with a sense of the world around you, and the more you can stop and look, the better and more well-rounded the stories will be. I sometimes get an idea from someone or something I see on the subway, or the bus, or at a shopping mall. Sometimes young authors are so hungry to write, that they out-write themselves. Take your time, keep your eyes open, the words will come.
How have you marketed and promoted your work?
Fingerless Gloves is being marketed and promoted by Apostrophe Books: on their website (www.apostrophebooks.com/books), Twitter (@apostrophebooks), a dedicated Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/FingerlessGlovesByNickOrsini) and on their main Facebook page (www.facebook.com/apostrophebooksltd), YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/apostrophebooks), Pinterest (http://pinterest.com/apostrophebooks/fingerless-gloves-by-nick-orsini/), Goodreads (http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16064385-fingerless-gloves) through press releases and through interviews and features on book blogs and websites.
I did most/all of the marketing for my first book, Two Wrongs Make a Vice, myself. I held contests on Twitter where people got to name a chapter title, I gave away copies of the book on Tumblr. I wanted young people to really have ownership of that novel. My mom was the one who helped me pack up the first shipments of that book to mail them all over the US and abroad. I toured with a few close friends for a handful of weekends just trying to spread the word at different festivals and events. I was fortunate enough to connect with really talented designers who helped bring my insane ideas for stickers and t-shirts to life.
Have you written any other books?
I’ve written two novels: Two Wrongs Make a Vice and Fingerless Gloves (published by Apostophe Books). I have also written a collection of poetry called Bruce Willis with Hair, available on my websites as a free download!
What are your future plans? What will you bring to the literary world besides more stories?
I don’t think it’s about the volume of stories you can bring to the literary world. My goal isn’t to write 800 books and 900,000 poems. I think that presence in the literary world is measured by how much you give to readers. I’d really like to travel to schools and community events to encourage high school or college students that writing doesn’t have to be this thing relegated to spiral notebooks only opened on the most miserable nights. The publishing industry is really the last industry to catch on. We have YouTube, Vimeo, Bandcamp and all these ways for up and coming talents to get noticed. I think publishing is starting to lean more towards the blogger-as-author now than ever before. If I can be a part of that movement, then that’s what I want to give to the literary world. I can write all the books and poems in the world, but to say that we were all a part of the new Golden Age of publishing is pretty special.