Rich DiSilvio is a multi-award-winning author/illustrator of children's books, thrillers/mysteries, historical fiction, Sci-Fi/fantasy, and non-fiction.
Rich's work in the entertainment industry includes developing creative assets for films and documentaries, such as James Cameron's “The Lost Tomb of Jesus,” “Operation Valkyrie,” “Celebrity Mole,” “Monty Python: Almost the Truth,” and many others, while his art and new media has adorned the projects of Pink Floyd, Yes, Moody Blues, Elton John, Cher, Sheryl Crow, Jay-Z, Rolling Stones, Queen and more.
As a software developer, DiSilvio created the first interactive software for educators and parents on how to teach people with autism, which premiered in 1999 with the Autism Academy courseware.
AUTHOR INTERVIEW - SIX MINUTES WITH RICH DISILVIO:
Joining LitPick for Six Minutes with an Author is Rich DiSilvio, author and artists of many pieces. His books are fun, educational, and a bit zany! Danny and the DreamWeaver and Meet My Famous Friends have both received the LitPick Five-Star Book Review Award.
One of our reviewers had said this to say about Meet My Famous Friends, “Making learning about some famous people a little more fun, it has definitely found its place on my shelf. Its appeal to the whole family makes its simple wording fun as well as educational.”
Check out the LitPick Book Brief videos for these books by Rich DiSilvio.
***How did you get started writing?
As a teen, I had dabbled in poetry and writing song lyrics. Then came a dry spell for several years, due to starting a business and getting married. However, I truly began to write full stories once I had children, starting with a few children’s stories that were never published. The official start of my writing career began with the publication of a 750-page nonfictional tome on Western civilization, entitled “The Winds of Time.” Afterward, I ventured into historical fiction and thrillers/mysteries, then into children’s books and sci-fi/fantasy. Basically, I follow my interests, which evidently runs a wide gamut. I’ve been very fortunate that quite a few of those books, even in different genres, have won awards.
***Who influenced you?
There are many people who have inspired me to write, from my youth to adulthood, so I can’t say it was one person. However, some were my family members, others were famous people in history, as well as authors primarily of biographies and a few novelists. In essence, I draw inspiration from a myriad of sources, from famous fine artists, great composers, scientists, leaders, authors, and even everyday experiences. And the beauty of reading and researching is that new influences arise all the time and fire the imagination. It literally pays to read.
***Do you have a favorite book/subject/character/setting?
My tastes change, as I read mostly nonfiction and have a voracious appetite for reading a variety of subject matter, so I’ve had quite a few books, subjects, characters, and settings as favorites, but to name a few novels, I loved Dan Brown’s “Da Vinci Code” and “Angels and Demons,” which fit well into my own interests for history, art, and thrillers. I also enjoy Nelson DeMille’s off-color character John Cory, whom I was first introduced to in “Plum Island.”
As a child I was drawn mostly to thought-provoking TV shows, like The Twilight Zone, The Time Tunnel, Star Trek, and action shows like Mission Impossible, and comedies like The Honeymooners, Get Smart, Hogan’s Heroes, F-Troop and others. I believe at times those shows and even movies throughout the years have subliminally laid seeds for some of the things I write about in some fashion, as inspiration and fertile information comes from many places, both from the present and one’s past.
***What advice do you have for someone who wants to be an author?
I’d say always follow your gut instincts and write about topics that truly interest you. Trying to emulate someone else, perhaps because they’re famous and successful, won’t ring true to your readers if you don’t have a genuine passion for the subject you’re addressing. Be true to yourself, then you’ll ring true to others.
***Where is your favorite place to write?
I have a secluded office/studio in my house that’s my sanctuary. I need solitude and quiet when writing, as my focus must be a hundred percent immersed in my work. If I’m in the editing mode, I can manage to be around others or hear a TV or music in the background, but ideally, I prefer a quiet space.
But as for idea generation, those flow into my head randomly, any place, any time, and even while sleeping. The key is to immediately jot down those shimmering ideas during the heat of creation, otherwise they’ll surely evaporate, like sparkling drops of water in sunlight.
***What else would you like to tell us?
I truly enjoyed writing and illustrating both of my children’s books. “Meet My Famous Friends” and “Danny and the DreamWeaver” both share some very silly characters whose appearances alone made me laugh. So, writing about them was sheer joy.
However, as is my nature, I generally like works—even humorous ones—to be educational in some way, for there’s no reason why entertainment shouldn’t be enlightening.
I’m also elated that the reviews by LitPick thus far have been sensational, and I thank LitPick for offering me this interview.
I wish all LitPick students a healthy, happy, and prosperous future. Let your imaginations roam free, for as I’ve said many times: “Yielding to convention yields nothing new.” Be creative!
Rich, thank you very much for joining us for an author interview. It has been a pleasure getting to know what has inspired you along the way. Your advice to be true to yourself is wonderful advice we can apply when it comes to writing and other aspects of our lives. We look forward to hearing about what you’re working on next!