Mary Rose Pagano was born in a section of Newark, New Jersey referred to as “Little Italy.” She spent most of her life in Newark, attending public schools until she became a student at Our Lady of Good Counsel High School, from which she graduated in the top ten percent of her class in 1968. Mary is a former legal-secretary/paralegal who has worked for Connell Foley, L.L.P.; Stein, Bliablias & McGuire and Blume, Goldfaden, Berkowitz and Donnelly. Mary has also worked for the New Jersey State Judiciary in just about all of its divisions. She has worked for the Honorables Philip S. Carchman, Carol A. Ferentz, Murry D. Brochin and Steven Lefelt. She is a single parent who worked in that capacity for over forty-seven-years, allowing her the ability to support her three children, Louis, Marissa and Joseph, alone. During this period of time, Mary also assisted in the caretaking of her stubborn, elderly Italian parents. Mary also has four grandchildren, Anthony and Brianna Pagano, and Nikolas and Core Adamo, who are the light of her life! Her own dreams were put on hold for many years so that she could focus on supporting and caring for her family.
Mary’s writing credits include several poems that have been published through the American Poetry Association. She managed to attend college classes in the evenings in Caldwell, New Jersey and is about 22 credits away from a Business Management degree. Her life philosophy is one lovingly taught to her by her mother: her children, grandchildren and family are her most precious treasures and her pets, Isabella, Sabina, Chance Giuliano, Sir Lancelot, Lady Guinevere and Peanuts follow closely behind them!
Although a new author at writing novels and novellas, Mary believes in writing what you know and what you feel in your heart and soul. As her mother, Maria Elena Francesca Calabria taught her: “If a you gonna do a joba, you worka harda anda you do the joba righta!”
Mary also enjoys skydiving, good wine, cooking, bicycling, exercising and gardening.
What inspires you to write?
Things that inspire me to write are many, but they must be things that touch me. For example, my mother was an amazing woman, so I wrote my first book about her. I absolutely love animals; they have an untouched innocence and a zest for life and those they love. Animals have the gift of loving unconditionally; something we humans need to learn much more about. I also love nature; it reminds me of the higher powers that be and how important it is that we attempt to live harmoniously with nature.
Sometimes I will pass a person on a street and I can sometimes see happiness or pain in their eyes. It makes me wonder about what has happened in this person’s life that seems to be projecting from their eyes. Sometimes I will pass an animal left to the streets and I know this animal is simply looking for love and companionship; this tugs at my heart and if I could, I would take the animal home. Sometimes I will notice a beautiful sunrise or sunset and I am left in awe. I could probably write forever on things that inspire me to write, but these are just some things.
Tell us about your writing process.
I began many years ago writing poetry. Some of my poetry has been published many moons ago! I am grateful for that luck. When I write, it is usually about something that I know about or feel. For example, my new book, La Vita E’ Triste, Ma Pure Bella! (Life is Difficult, But also Beautiful!) is about my mother’s life coming to America to find good fortune. I was there with her; I lived it with her. Her strength, courage and humility have never left me. I wanted to share her story with other readers. I think every ethnic group could relate to this story, or at least, I hope so.
My process begins with writing the bones of a story and then going back to fill in the blanks and refine it. If I need to research information for whatever I am writing, I will then do the research necessary to fill in the blanks. Once I am at the refining stage, I keep writing what I feel.
What advice would you give other writers?
My advice would be to write about what you know, like, don’t like and feel. These emotions will usually drive your writing. I know that if a subject is not of any interest to me, I have difficulty not only writing about it, but reading it also.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
Like many new writers, I first attempted to submit queries to the traditional publishers. Of course, being new, many of these publishers won’t even accept new queries or manuscripts. It’s like the old story of seeking employment: the employer wants you to have experience before they hire you. Well, how do you get the experience unless you start somewhere?
After many months of disappointment, I started looking into the self-publishing companies. Again, beware: there are many predators out there! I did some serious research and comparisons, which led me to Outskirst Press, Inc. So far, I have found them to be excellent. Could they be a little better (i.e. anwering questions without trying to sell you something else), I would say can’t we all be a little better? You learn to roll with the punches as a new writer and you hope that you will find potential readers out there.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
Because of the attitude of the big, traditional publishers, I see the future of new writers heading towards self-publishing. There is lots of talent out there, but the traditional publishers will not give that talent a chance!
What do you use?
What genres do you write?
Humorous, Biography, Memoir
What formats are your books in?
Both eBook and Print