We’re thrilled to have here today, Danny Baker from Philip Cioffari’s new mystery/thriller, THE BRONX KILL. Danny is a 24 year old temporarily unemployed aspiring teacher/writer, living in the Bronx, New York.
It is a pleasure to have him with us today at Beyond the Books!
Thank you so much for this interview, Danny. Now that the book has been written, do you feel you were fairly portrayed or would you like to set anything straight with your readers?
Do you feel the author did a good job colorizing your personality? If not, how would you like to have been portrayed differently?
Well, I suppose any character would like to be portrayed more glamorously than he truly is, but I think my author portrayed me honestly and realistically, which I guess is all that we can really ask for. He portrayed me, flaws and all, though I secretly hope some of my charm and glamor shows through. I think it does.
What do you believe is your strongest trait?
I think I have a sense of fair play. I try to treat everyone with respect. And I’m determined to find the truth, about myself and the world I move through, even if the truth hurts—which, in the novel, it does.
Because of a debt I owe him, I let myself be overly influenced by another character in the novel, my friend Charlie. Because if him, I didn’t always act as honorably as I should have, especially with regard to the drowning incident in the novel. But I guess that’s what growth is all about: moving from the “you” you don’t like, to the “you” you’re comfortable with.
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!)?
Some possibilities: Douglas Booth, Emory Cohen, Frank Dillane, Nicholas Hoult. Mark Wahlberg, if he were younger.
Do you have a love interest in the book?
Yes. A woman who’s in love with one of my best friends. We lose touch, but throughout the novel, I’m yearning to meet her again.
At what point of the book did you start getting nervous about the way it was going to turn out?
I could see my friends and I going downhill, getting drawn deeper into a problem of our own making. As a result, I’m put in serious danger, especially when I come up against the NYPD detective who believes we caused the death by drowning of his younger brother.
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?
I would not want to be my friend Charlie because of his uncontrollable desire to be in command of everyone and everything in his life, a trait which makes him blind to the needs of others, and causes him to suffer the rage of those he’s offended.
How do you feel about the ending of the book without giving too much away?
Basically, I feel good about it. A certain peace is achieved and, more importantly, a sense of hope.
What words of wisdom would you give your author if s/he decided to write another book with you in it?
Make me older and more mature.
Thank you for this interview, Danny. Will we be seeing more of you in the future?
Anything’s possible. But knowing my author as I do, he usually like to start each new book with a clean slate.
Philip Cioffari is the author of the novels: DARK ROAD, DEAD END; JESUSVILLE; CATHOLIC BOYS; and the short story collection, A HISTORY OF THINGS LOST OR BROKEN, which won the Tartt Fiction Prize, and the D. H. Lawrence award for fiction. His short stories have been published widely in commercial and literary magazines and anthologies, including North American Review, Playboy, Michigan Quarterly Review, Northwest Review, Florida Fiction, and Southern Humanities Review. He has written and directed for Off and Off-Off Broadway. His Indie feature film, which he wrote and directed, LOVE IN THE AGE OF DION, has won numerous awards, including Best Feature Film at the Long Island Int’l Film Expo, and Best Director at the NY Independent Film & Video Festival. He is a Professor of English, and director of the Performing and Literary Arts Honors Program, at William Paterson University. www.philipcioffari.com