Copy
Up and Coming


Sept / Oct 2020


New Activities 


Exciting News 

 
What's Happening?
While I still desire to finish Black Hell Drowning, I also plan on writing it at its own pace rather than rushing to finish it in order to get the "next book" published. In the meantime however, there has been a significant uptick in activity surrounding that project and Wounded Angels, last month, this month, today, and in the immediate future. So here is what's Up and Coming.  
More Reviews For Wounded Angels
Thankfully, people continue to read and review Wounded Angels. I am especially pleased to share (near the bottom of this announcement) the most recent review from Online Book Club. While the reviewer gave it a three out of four stars, she does an outstanding job of capturing the story and I am happy to share her comments with you.

The Online Book Club contacted me shortly after the review asking to interview me. The interview will be published in the next couple weeks but I am sharing the text of the conversation with you following immediately after the review below. 

Listen to my LIVE Interview on
A Book and a Chat

Hosted by Barry Eva
Tonight,  6 to 6:30 pm

On Newvision Radio
In my last announcement I shared my poem, "Miner's Lament," along with an explanation and accompanying photos. I also shared plans for my future novel, Black Hell Drowning. After, Barry Eva wrote offering to have me on his radio program. I apologize for the late notice, but for those of you who would like to tune in live, the interview will happen tonight, October 27, at 6pm. If you can't catch it live, you can still hear the interview by clicking on the date, time, and name listing on their website. Here is the link:

newvisionsradio.com

The above link works for Firefox, Safari and Explorer. If you use Chrome, you can access the program by clicking on the following link:

https://tunein.com/radio/New-Visions-Radio-s291850/ 
 

Wounded Angels Was Featured in the print online and September 1 and September 15 print issues of Kirkus Reviews. 

Wounded Angels was featured in the article "24 Great Indie Books Worth Discovering" in the September 1 edition. 
And here is the ad they designed and featured in both editions.   
And the Envelope Please:
 
On September 1, Reader's Favorite, which had previously awarded Wounded Angels a five star review, announced the novel received a bronze award in their worldwide competition. 
The Latest Wounded Angels Review
Review by Re-nay1 -- Wounded Angels by Chuck Miceli
Post by Re-nay1 » 16 Oct 2020, 06:08

Learning how to cope with feelings of abandonment, love, and friendship can be very confusing at any age. Wounded Angels begins with the Bower family living in Brooklyn where Mr. Bower runs a tailor shop. The family would not be considered well-to-do, but Mr. Bower does earn a modest wage that keeps his family living comfortably. Eventually, hard financial times begin to strain their income. Like many young girls, the Bowers' daughter, Maureen, sees her father as a hero. But soon she learns that heroes often fall. When Maureen's father can no longer bear the financial strain he's under, he begins drinking regularly and heavily. Ultimately, he takes his own life. Fourteen-year-old Maureen tries to cope with the loss and struggles to understand all of the changes in her life brought on by her father's choices.

As a teen, Maureen develops a strong bond of friendship with June. The two girls often spend time at a local roller skating rink where they pair up with a couple of young guys and become skate dance partners. Maureen is quite smitten with Frank Russo and the two begin to show quite a bit of talent and skill as they dance together on roller skates.

Time passes and both couples eventually fall in love and get married. As the four pals are planning and anticipating married life, World War II rears its ugly head. Frank receives his draft notice as he and Maureen return from their honeymoon. June's husband is killed in action but after three long years, Frank is able to return home to Maureen. Sadly, like many soldiers, Frank comes back a different man than when he left. The sights and sounds of war have left him with permanent physical and emotional scars. Maureen's devotion to Frank helps them work through his memories and changes. It takes some effort, but they get through the rough patches together.

Frank and Maureen travel life's journey together and enjoy the happy times while supporting each other during the sad ones. They raise two daughters who marry and choose to live in Connecticut. Soon, Frank and Maureen also decide to move to Connecticut so they can be closer to their children and grandchildren.

One bump along life's journey is Maureen losing touch with June after her husband's death. June makes the decision to move away but never lets Maureen in on her plans. Once again, Maureen is left to find a way to manage her feelings of abandonment by yet another person in her life.

Frank and Maureen are very active in their local senior center. The Teddy Bear Fair is an annual event at the center. While working there, Frank suffers a heart attack and Maureen is once again left alone. Just like when her father passed away, once again Maureen has lost another hero in her life.

Lonely, broken-hearted and depressed are only a few of the emotions Maureen is left to struggle with. After fifty years of marriage, Maureen is forced to face a bleak future without her beloved Frank. But once again, fate steps in and brings Maureen a new friend. Doris and Maureen become close as they provide companionship for each other when they both need it most.

Doris helps Maureen understand that life does go on after the death of a spouse. And Maureen even allows herself to begin a new romantic relationship with Larry.

This book certainly earned 3 out of 4 stars . I really enjoyed the entire story from start to finish. Author Chuck Miceli showed many facets to Maureen's life and personality. As the reader, I rode Maureen's life journey with her through every high and low she encountered. Friendships were formed and developed not just between three very different women but also between Maureen and two completely different men. Examples were shown how true, devoted friendships can be platonic like between Maureen, June, and Doris. Or how they can be romantic friendships like Maureen had with Frank and later Larry. The bonds of true friendship are shown to live forever even in relationships that have been dormant and forgotten for many years.

I really didn't like how focused Maureen became with Larry that she wound up hurting Doris in the process. I felt bad for Doris and think she deserved better. Maureen had been deeply hurt and felt betrayed by June moving away secretly and letting their friendship dissolve. Maureen proved to be just as careless and inconsiderate of her friend, Doris, as well as her feelings.

Many different types of people would really like this book as well as identify with Maureen. I feel it would be enjoyed most by women over thirty years old. Those who have lost a spouse, felt abandonment by parents and friends, and anyone who is a fan of a good love story will feel very satisfied after reading this book.

I found a very limited number of words considered to be profanity and those were not filthy or vulgar but only mild expletives. Some spelling errors were found but there were very few. Punctuation seemed to be a large problem throughout many pages of the book.

I found nothing offensive as far as sexual content. The author conveyed romance and relationships in a very modest way.

I enjoyed this story very much and feel others would, too.
The Online Book Club Interview
As promised, here is the text of the soon to be published interview with Online Book Club.

 On Fri, Oct 23, 2020 at 4:39 PM < interviews@onlinebookclub.org> wrote:
Here are my questions:

1. What do you do when you aren't writing? 
I'm always doing some sort of project. For much of my life, that involved doing civic, social or religious volunteer work, such as youth groups, mission trips, play producing and directing, and event planning. Those activities have been curtailed by the pandemic, so I have focused instead on home projects. Most recently, I built a large shed in my backyard, raised beds for growing strawberries, and two lean-to greenhouses: one in the back yard and one on our second-floor patio deck. The patio-deck greenhouse has heating and power ventilation for year-round growing of our tropical and citrus plants. I also have a life-long fascination with model trains and am now working on the installation of multi-train elevated layouts in our family room and garage.

2. Tell us about the first story you ever wrote.
I was painfully shy and self-conscious as a youngster. I remember completing a poetry-writing assignment in grammar school, where I chose to write about motherhood. I have forgotten most of the poem, but clearly remember the beginning and the ending because of what happened as a result. 

The poem began with:
A mother is a creature so kind and so mild that into the world she brings a child,
The poem ended with: 
          A mother is a person, a mother is a saint; a mother is everything that everyone else ain't.

Just as I planned, when my nun/teacher read the last word of the poem, she burst out laughing. Immediately after, however, she instructed me to rewrite the ending because of the improper grammar. I was deflated and for many years after, I accepted the premise that good writing also meant perfect grammar rather than creativity. I  now know that good writing means bending or even breaking the rules when required. 
 
3. What advice would you give someone just starting out in writing?
Understand why you are writing, the sacrifices that may be required, and what you are willing to do in order to achieve your goal. If you are writing to become famous, are you willing to  sacrifice time with family and friends? If you are writing to make money, are you willing to take on writing tasks that are more commercial than creative? If you are writing to please yourself first, are you prepared to accept that your work may not be widely read?
 
4. Let's talk about your book Wounded Angels. There are a lot of deep themes in the book. Depression. Suicide. Where did the idea for the 
story come from?
Wounded Angels is based on actual people and events. I have personally witnessed or experienced most of the events in the book. Once I wrote the story, I shaped each of the thematic elements further. My hope is that people who are dealing with some of these issues will experience a catharsis with the characters and the story and, because the book is ultimately one of resilience and hope, will find support and healing in reading it. 

5. The reviewer describes the book as character-driven. Are they modeled after someone you know? If not, how did you make them so realistic?
Wounded Angels is based upon several people I have known personally who lost a significant other after many years in a close, loving relationship. In particular my mother-in-law, Charlotte, served as the model for my main character, Maureen. Much of Maureen's experience in the book is drawn from Charlotte's own experiences, which I lived through with her. It was those experiences that prompted me to write the book.

6. Do you start with an outline? Or does the story just flow from you?
I visualize the story's beginning and ending, and some of the key milestones along the way. Then I start writing. Whenever I bog down, I outline enough to get me moving again.  

7. What part of the book did you have the most fun writing? What part  was the least fun?
I most enjoyed writing the parts about the outlandish things that Doris, Maureen's friend, says and does. Doris is also based on a real person who was quite a character and was primarily responsible for Charlotte's recovery and healing. She was nowhere near as eccentric in real life as I made her out to be in the book, however.To make her more interesting, I greatly exaggerated her language and actions. In the process, she turned out to be an outsized, iconic figure and had great fun creating her in the process.
The least fun was recounting the real-life depression Charlotte suffered after losing her husband after fifty-plus years. Those passages were often painful to write and I still feel for her when I recall writing them.    

8. How has your book changed significantly from the first draft?
The first several drafts of Wounded Angels were written in the third-person omniscient point of view and read emotionally flat. I was very dissatisfied with my inability to adequately capture what Maureen was feeling. Finally, I decided that the only way to truly understand and convey what Maureen was going through was to "get into her skin," so I rewrote the entire book from Maureen's first-person point of view. When I did, I was finally able to experience and portray her authentic feelings and emotions. One of my beta readers also asked why all the seniors in the book came off as "frumpy." I realized that, although I was in my mid-sixties myself, I was describing my stereotypes of seniors rather than their true personalities. I spent one day each week for the next three years re-writing the book on site at the Bristol senior center, where much of the story takes place. In the process, I discovered how rich and full the lives of these people were and many of the behaviors and conversations I witnessed are captured in the book. 

9. What's next for you? Are there other books on the horizon?
I developed a hole in the macular level of my right eye this past year. It required surgery and has greatly diminished my vision. I have decided to take a vacation from writing while I heal until after the holidays. I had already written a couple hundred pages of a draft manuscript for Black Hell Drowning, a book about life and death in the anthracite coal mines of northeastern Pennsylvania. My father was a coal miner and died of the black lung. I started that book before either of my other novels but didn't feel ready to finish it. I revisited it shortly before my surgery and rewrote the first few chapters, which fellow authors tell me is my best work to date. It was the book that first motivated me to write and we will see what happens after the holidays. 

I like to end on some fun questions.

10. Do you have any pets? If not, what animal would you most like to have for a pet?
I have had many pets throughout the years. Moonlight, our shepherd/husky mix, was a companion and friend for many years. I also relished coming home from work, laying on the couch and having our cat, Slash, jump up on my chest, curl up there, and start purring as he napped. I also had a cockatiel, George, who sat on my shoulder and rubbed my cheek as I wrote.  

11. What's your favorite vacation spot?
My wife and I have been fortunate to travel extensively but my favorite vacation spot was probably aboard a riverboat, cruising through Europe. There was so much to see, experience, and learn. I also wrote much of my first novel, Amanda's Room, while on that cruise.   

12. What's your favorite color?
If I had to choose one, I might say blue, but for me, variety is the spice of life. My favorite palettes are the New England autumns and the gorgeous sunsets over the lake where we live.   
That's All For Now, Folks
That should do it for now. If you have the time and inclination, I welcome your questions, comments and feedback.

I am hopeful that a vaccine will be available soon and I can once again participate in some of the author events like book readings and signings, book clubs, the Big E, etc. Just before the virus struck, however, I ordered many paperback copies of Wounded Angels. If you or someone you know would like a highly discounted autographed copy for only $10, tax and shipping included, contact me at Chuck@AuthorChuckMiceli.com to arrange to order copies and I will be delighted to ship them out. In any event, I wish you and yours all the best for your continued health and happiness. Until the next time.

Warmest Regards,

​Chuck.
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