I have been a police officer in the province of Ontario for over 24 years. I have spent several years as a school liaison officer addressing criminal complaints and specializing in presenting to youths on many topics. In addition, I created numerous presentations for the V.I.P. (Values, Influences and Peers) program which reflect the moral dilemmas and dangers faced by our youth today. These include Internet Safety, Drugs, Mischief, Theft, Alcohol, Tobacco, and Bullying. Bullying in particular seems more problematic as it has transformed with the advent and progress of the internet. As a result, society has been inundated with instances of bullying that appear to have increased at an exponential rate. In order to address this, I created a story (The Bully Barn) that will assist in teaching youths and their parents about bullying in a an entertaining fashion. In many instances, a critical role is that which is played by bystanders because they can be part of the solution or part of the problem. As a matter of fact, all it takes is one person to make a difference.
What inspires you to write?
Helping to educate in an entertaining fashion and affect positive change in the process. It is important to be proactive with regard to many problems and issues. That is, we must identify the root causes of “social diseases” rather than merely treat the symptoms and therefore focus on preventative measures. Education is key of course, especially in light of the developmental process of children. A solid foundation is essential when building/developing anything!
I have only written the one book (The Bully Barn) and plan to write more when I retire.
Tell us about your writing process.
I had a “plan” in my mind with regard to the lesson to be learned and then just wrote while not worrying about spelling or grammar. I did spend a lot of time after the fact polishing but not until I was finished. I visualized the characters as they personified human qualities and gave them names accordingly. I had read George Orwell’s Animal Farm many years ago and the story had always resonated with me. It was somewhat of an inspiration.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I relate the characters to people that I know and have interacted with (good and “bad”) particularly when it comes to demeanor and deciding upon a name.
What advice would you give other writers?
Write what you know and use that information to entertain with the goal of education.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I wanted this story to be accessible to a vast audience (so that it could potentially help more people). I did not havie a lot of funds to commit to publication so I chose to self-publish via Amazon Kindle direct publishing since there was no expenditure involved.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
E books are obviously the future. The transition from hard copy books to ebook is akin to the transition of movies from eight track to cassette to DVD to on line digital downloads. I do however believe that the inevitable “death” of hard copy books would be a great loss to the genuine “experience” of reading.
What genres do you write?
What formats are your books in?
Link To Robert Gioia Page On Amazon