Justin Demetri is a native of the historic fishing port of Gloucester, Massachusetts. Growing up “Down the Fort” in one of the many families that comprised Gloucester’s Italian fishing fleet, he spent his childhood among the fishermen, the boats and the wharves. At age 12, Justin gave the first cash donation to the newly arrived Schooner Adventure, leading to a friendship with author and historian Joseph E. Garland. This was the spark that would lead to a love of writing, and an appreciation for the special place he still calls home.
His interests are vast, but include researching local maritime history and exploring his family’s Sicilian fishing heritage. His works on Italian history, culture and food can be found at LifeinItaly.com, around the web and in print. Justin holds a degree in Cultural Anthropology from the University of Massachusetts/Boston and is the Director of Visitor Services for the Essex Shipbuilding Museum.
What inspires you to write?
It is a way to give back to all those who have influenced me over my life. The knowledge I have on a vast array of subject is only thanks to those who mentored me. I am standing on the shoulders of many giants, trying to live up to their expectations.
Tell us about your writing process.
My writing style depends upon the subject matter, but generally starts out with a blank MS Word file and glass of Italian red wine. Some days I just start out by writing everything I know about a given subject, then I incorporate and rearrange what I wrote based upon research. I don’t usually start out with a solid outline, the outline forms out of the preliminary writing for me. I write each chapter as a stand alone entity until I can determine where it fits, or if it fits at all.
What advice would you give other writers?
Don’t be afraid of criticism, but don’t be a slave to it either. As Sebastian Junger once told me in a Gloucester bar: “Write your story…write it the way you know it should be, not the way your English professor wants it.”
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I have had several long article/short book ideas and my freelance writing opportunities have dwindled in my role as a stay at home dad/ museum guide. When I realized that KDP makes self-publishing so easy it was an easy decision.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
A double edged sword. I feel thanks to electronic media, there has never been more opportunities for writers. However the ease of writing/self publishing has also diluted the value of writing. Good writing will always stand out in my opinion, but there is much more ‘noise’ in the industry.
What genres do you write?
History, food, travel, culture, Italy
What formats are your books in?