We’re thrilled to have here today Dante Alumno, from Rocco Lo Bosco’s new literary novel, Ninety Nine. Dante is thirteen and lives in 1960s Brooklyn, New York.
It is a pleasure to meet you, Dante, at Beyond the Books! Now that the book has been written, do you feel you were fairly portrayed, or would you like to set the record straight with our readers?
Well, I can’t really complain too much. I think he did a fairly good job bringing me to life and giving me a good story to live through. I do wish he would have let me spend some more time with Hermosa Grande. What a thing that was! And though he created me, perhaps he might have given me some credit for creating him.
Do you feel the author did a good job colorizing your personality? If not, how would you like to have been portrayed differently?
Yeah, I think he did. When you read my story I think you will have to admit I’m a fairly deep character with plenty of angles.
What do you believe is your strongest trait?
My strongest trait is that, in the world I inhabit, which is violent and layered in mayhem, I think before I act.
I think too much before I act.
If you could choose someone in the television or movie industry to play your part, if your book was made into a movie, who would that be (and you can’t say yourself!)?
A childhood Al Pacino with a severely broken nose. As a second I’d pick a younger version of Lillo Brancato, Jr., from A Bronx Tale.
Do you have a love interest in the book?
Oh, man, do I ever. Wait till you meet her!
At what point in the book did you start getting nervous about the way it was going to turn out?
On page one.
If you could trade places with one of the other characters in the book, which character would you really not want to be and why?
My brother Bo. No kid deserves to go through what he did. And what he had to do to survive. I don’t think I’d make it.
How do you feel about the ending of the book without giving too much away?
It was a great story, but I wished it would have ended differently because so much had to be lost for what was gained.
What words of wisdom would you give your author if s/he decided to write another book with you in it?
Well, actually, he did exactly that. It’s called Midnight at the Red Flamingo. I’m much older in that book. And the author took my advice, which was simply this: go for what it is you want, go for it from the bottoms of your feet to the top of your head, but do not whine when it’s time to pay the check.
Thank you for this interview, Dante. Will we be seeing more of you in the future?
Yes, but if you look twice, you will see I’m never the same. Like a “real” person, a fictional one is more a waterfall than a tree, more a cloud than a mountain.
Title: Ninety Nine
Genre: Literary Novel
Author: Rocco Lo Bosco
Publisher: Letters at 3am Press
Purchase on Amazon
About the Book:
During the summer of 1963 in Brooklyn, Dante’s family falls into financial ruin after his stepfather borrows money from loan sharks to start his own trucking business. Young Dante has his first love affair, with an older woman, while his stepbrother Bo struggles with murderous impulses over his mother’s abandonment. The brothers become part of the Decatur Street Angels, a wolf pack led by their brilliant cousin who engages them in progressively more dangerous thrills. Four event streams—the problem with the loan sharks, Dante’s affair, Bo’s quest for closure, and the daring exploits of the Angels—converge at summer’s end and result in a haunting tragedy.
Ninety Nine is a fierce coming-of-age story, with tight plotting, interesting characters, and the timeless ingredients of any good piece of fiction—the anguish of change, the agony and ambivalence of love, the exuberance and craziness of youth, and a tragic ending with the whisper of redemption.
About the Author:
A writer for over three decades, Rocco Lo Bosco has published poetry, short stories and two novels. His first novel, Buddha Wept (Greycore Press, 2003), about a spiritually gifted matriarch’s experience of the Cambodian genocide, received good reviews (e.g., Publishers Weekly) and much praise from readers, many of whom called it “life changing.” His current novel, Ninety Nine, is published by LettersAt3amPress. Lo Bosco also has a nonfiction book in press with Routledge (2016), co-authored with Dr. Danielle Knafo, a practicing psychoanalyst, entitled Love Machines: A Psychoanalytic Perspective on the Age of Techno-perversion. He is currently working on his third novel, Midnight at the Red Flamingo. Additionally, he has edited papers in the fields of psychoanalysis and the philosophy of science and has also worked as a ghost writer.