Phil Marcello is a local author from Rye. He is a co-author of recently published Dog Tales and has several upcoming titles.
Tell me a little bit about who you are and where you live.
I started writing as a boy in the sixties. Growing up in the projects isn’t easy, but reading and writing were healthy vices that I picked up. I eventually gave it up for friends, sports and a career in networking. For over twenty years, I have developed training courses, knowledge base articles and written hundreds of technical documents. Over those years, I also started and never finished over a dozen stories. I just never seemed to have the time or focus to complete them. Fortunately, I saved them all and now I have the time and desire to complete these works. I know it will takes years, but I intend to complete and publish all of them. I enjoy writing. It’s my art form and I want to create as many pieces as I can.
I also wanted to put my extensive knowledge of dog issues into print. I’ve owned dogs for some thirty straight years, helped my sister Joanne with her boarding and breeding kennel for decades, and assisted with several litters of championship puppies. My books, Dog Tales and K9 Rescue, evolved from that desire.
I moved to Rye, NH five years ago to get away from the city and to surround myself with natural wonders. I have a forest across the street and an estuary in my back yard. To my right is Odiorne Point and Rye beaches. To my left is the Urban Forestry Center. I feel like I found my own version of heaven. My job as a senior software support engineer is very technical and often stressful. The combination of environment and the fun of writing keeps me calm.
Are there any favorite local spots you like to visit, ones that inspire your creativity?
A lot of creativity and writer-unblocking takes place while I walk my dog through the deep woods behind the Urban Forestry Center in Portsmouth. It’s like being in another world. There are always some type of animal encounters and creatures to watch. Exploring the area and finding places where people have partied, picnicked and excavated sets my imagination in motion.
Visiting with family always gets my creative juices flowing. My brother and sisters and their families are all colorful and unusual characters. At times, I just like to sit back and watch them act out in an infinite number of ways.
Wow us with shock value. Is there anything about you that would surprise readers?
I’m sort of an animal whisperer, not by choice. Both domestic and wild animals seem to reach out to me. I’ve had deer, skunks, raccoons, angry dogs, ducks and others, just walk up to me as if I was a long lost friend or family member. And of course, my dogs have always been trained not to react when something harmlessly approaches me. An interesting true story in Dog Tales entitled ‘Diamond’ is about a little ornery bulldog that was feared by its owner, but with me, she was just a sweet cuddle bunny.
What interested you to become a writer rather than something else such as neurosurgeon?
I have always had a passion for writing. I started my first novel when I was thirteen. Of course, I didn’t finish it. I was also drawn into a computer career, but wherever I found myself, I was able to integrate writing in the form of educational material, knowledge base articles and how-to manuals. It’s just something I like to do naturally. I have a library of fiction that I wrote over these many years. I am cleaning them up and readying them for publication.
If you could spend a day with any author, living or dead – who would it be and why?
Wow. Living or dead. I guess it would have to be Mr. William Shakespeare. I would like to meet and understand the man behind such passionate and diversified writing skills. There is speculation that the works of Shakespeare were actually authored by a number of different people. I would like to know the truth, probe his mind and understand his creative process and what made him tick.
Does the area in which you live provide influence in your writing? How so?
The area in which I live, Rye, N.H., helps me to relax me. The serenity of the beach in the early morning hours and off season reduces the day to day noise. This allows me to think in color and inspires me to create. People think that Rye is a summer resort. But it is in the winter time that it takes on the façade of the fortress of solitude.
What is the most critical piece of advice you would give to new authors?
Read a lot. Write a lot. Persevere. The more you read, the more you write, the better you get. Never, ever, stop growing. When you are working on a piece, and your characters start to talk to you, you’re on your way.
Coming up with a title can be difficult. Tell me how you came up with yours.
This one, Dog Tales was easy. It was a play on words that just fit exactly as to what the book was all about. One hundred and thirty five pages of short stories about dogs. It includes the funny, the exciting and the trials and tribulations of having a dog in your life.
Are there more books coming from you in the future? Do tell!
Yes. A publisher has asked me for an up to date copy of my young-adult novel, ‘The Dangerous Lives of High School Athletes.” It deals with off-the-field antics and life threatening dramas of players of a championship bound football team. It was a lot of fun to write and I hope it will be just as much fun to read. It looks like it will hit the print in four or five months.
The second edition of Unnatural Houses is due out next month. Originally self-published as just an eBook, this expanded version will be published as a paperback and eBook. Unnatural Houses was a learning experience. It has been re-written, improved upon and has a lot of new material.
Where can people find more information on you and your projects?
I have a website that displays current information on my four books, two of which were co-authored by my brother Richard. The website is updated regularly with new information and even allows people to read the first ten pages of some my books. The website is webwriters.us.