Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Introducing, Author Augustus "Gus" Cileone




Today I'm interviewing author Augustus "Gus" Cileone.

Marilyn: Gus, please tell me and my readers about your background.

Gus: I was born in Philadelphia and attended public schools there. I received undergraduate and graduate degrees in English from Temple University. I later studied at Saint Joseph’s University and acquired teaching certificates in elementary and secondary education. I am widowed and have one daughter. I worked for the Department of Veterans Affairs, and am now retired. I now live in Montgomery County, just outside of Philadelphia.

Marilyn: When did you first realize that you wanted to be a writer?

Gus: I was the odd student who actually enjoyed writing essays about literature in high school and college. My teachers would single out my writing, and I started to write some bad poetry and short stories during my college years. I continued to write as an adult, and have won literary prizes in fiction competitions and playwriting, having been recently cited for honorable mention in the Stage Play Script category of the 78th Annual Writer’s Digest Writing Competition.

Marilyn: I felt the same way about writing in school--however I've never won any literary prizes. Congratulations on the honorable mention in the Writers Digest Competition for Script Writing. I don't think people realize how many people enter those WD writing competitions. To win an honorable mention is indeed an honor.

Now tell us about your novel.

Gus: A Lesson in Murder is my first novel. Since my wife taught at Quaker schools and my daughter attended them, I thought it would be ironic to connect a series of murders to a pacifist Quaker school. Since my background was in literature, I decided to include literary allusions in the story.

The book begins with the murder of a wealthy alumnus of Eastern Friends School in Philadelphia. Details at the scene prompt Lt. Frank DiSalvo to introduce himself at a faculty meeting. There he meets Maxwell Hunter, an English teacher who likes to lecture about the mysteries of literature. At first, DiSalvo brushes off Hunter’s offer of help, but when the second EFS-connected murder is discovered, he changes his mind. With his sharp eye for detail, and uncanny ability to assemble the pieces of the puzzle, Hunter identifies the literary modus operandi … but can he predict when and where the next murder will take place?

Marilyn: Where can we find your book?

Gus: The book can be purchased online at Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble.com, and Borders.com. My webpage is at www.augustuscileone.com.

Marilyn: And what's next on your writing agenda?

Gus: I have completed a second novel about growing up as an Italian American Catholic in South Philadelphia during the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. I am currently working on another murder mystery.

Marilyn: Both sound interesting. Come back at a later date and tell us about them. Thank you for visiting today, Gus.

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