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Sunday, 22 September 2013

J. Joseph Vuono: Oceanfront Dining

Oceanfront%20DiningAll published novelists will, by definition, have their first novel published.  J.Joseph Vuono’s horror release from Rogue Phoenix Press, ‘Oceanfront Dining’, is one such debut novel.  

The road to publication is long and winding – as I know myself – and Joe has written a touching story of his own journey and his feelings on having his name on a book.

When my first novel, Oceanfront Dining, is published and available to the public it will be the culmination of a long time dream.

I have been telling stories for a long as I can remember. As far back as kindergarten, I can recall telling stories into a tape recorder and playing them back for myself to listen to. The first short story that I can vividly remember writing was as an eight year old fourth grader. The story itself revolved around a chicken running for its life from a robot that diced chickens into bite sized nuggets. This was in the early eighties and the fast food nugget craze was just starting to sweep the United States so I don’t think I need to look too deeply for the inspiration behind that one. As the years passed I’d write short stories every chance I’d get, be it after school during study hall and occasionally in the midst of classes that didn’t quite hold my attention. I’d pen the tales and almost immediately share them with my classmates. Often times I’d attach a comments page to the back so that I could get a little feedback on my efforts. I enjoyed the positive reinforcements as well as the constructive criticisms that I believe helped shape me as a young author. By the time I’d graduated high school I’d won multiple creative writing and literature awards. I just knew that I was destined to become a bestselling novelist.

After high school, I joined the working world. My first few jobs were in warehousing and allowed me the opportunity to meet a myriad of people from all walks of life and covering a wide variety of ages. Merely talking to folks expanded my view of the world and kept my creative juices flowing. I learned that within every man, woman and child, there are dozens of characters looking to be explored. After eighteen months in the real world I decided to go back to school, starting my journey at a local community college and focusing on writing and composition classes. I spent a semester as an editor for the school’s literary magazine. By the time my third semester started I’d be offered employment with a telecommunications company and again joined the working world.

The job that I’d taken to pay a few bills quickly morphed into a career that is now closing in on seventeen years. Along the way, I married the most supportive, wonderful woman I’ve ever known and became the father of two fantastic children. As my life continued to unfold before me, my writing slipped and I found myself spending less time expressing my creativity. I’d still write occasionally, short stories here and there and even trying to kick start a few novels, but the passion that had once fueled my creativity was gone. It wasn’t that I no longer enjoyed the craft, but the hours just seemed to slip away.

As life would have it, I ended up having dinner with an old friend from high school while traveling for my current profession. When the subject of writing came up, she scoffed at my answer of not having the time anymore. She gave me a mild scolding about wasting my God given talents, and a reminder the only real reason I didn’t seem to have the time for writing these days was because I wasn’t allowing myself to. I pondered her comments for my entire return trip home, taking them to heart. Within a few days of that conversation, I found myself dusting off an old story idea and finding the time that I’d previously lost.

That forgotten old story would become, Oceanfront Dining, and I found myself more driven to tell this tale than any I had previously encountered. Even on the nights where heavy eyelids battled internal motivations for control and needed sleep beckoned, I’d sit in front of my laptop and press on. Writing almost nightly, the story and the characters evolved every time I sat at my desk until the final chapters filled my computer screen.

Though I was thrilled to have completed my first novel, there was a certain sadness in knowing that this particular story had come to a close. Until, at least, I realized that my own story was just beginning. Over the next few months I face the joy of query publishers and the sting of multiple rejection letters, often dejected, yet never willing to surrender. It was a cold December afternoon when I opened the e-mail from RPP requesting a full copy of my manuscript. Everything from that moment on has been surreal and a fantastic learning experiencing. From the initial acceptance of my novel to the seeing the first draft of my cover art, which is phenomenal by the way, each step in the process has brought a smile to my face. I hope that you’ll take the time to read Oceanfront Dining and that you enjoy reading the story as much as I enjoyed bringing it to you.

After all of these years, I stand on the precipice of seeing a dream realized. Though I may never be the next great bestselling author, I am, at last, a published novelist.

And I’m awfully proud of that.

Oceanfront Dining is available at from Rogue Phoenix Press at:

or from Amazon at:

Joe can be contacted on Facebook, or on twitter at @JoeVuono

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