Bookpleasures.com welcomes as our guest today Dr. Peter Andrew Sacco. Peter is the author of many popular international books and more than 700 magazine articles. He has received the Award of Excellence in Teaching and lectures at universities in both the U.S. and Canada. He currently hosts a weekly radio show, "Matters of the Mind,” Canada's most popular mental health weekly radio show, which features celebrities with whom he discusses mental health, relationship and addiction issues. He is also an award-winning executive producer and host of documentaries on relationships, psychological issues and children's issues. Peter recent book If I Was A Bird...What Kind Of Flock Would I Fly With? has just been published.
Norm: Good day Peter and thanks for participating in our interview
Why and how did you become interested in mental health, relationships, addiction issues and also in the paranormal?
Peter: First off I took a diversity of different psychology studies on the way to completing my Ph.D. so got interested in a plethora of subjects and concepts related to psychology. As for the paranormal, I loved show like the X-Files so much, as well as Alfred Hitchcock movies growing up, and reading Stephen King.
Norm: I noticed you are a prolific writer and author. How did you get started in writing? What keeps you going?
Peter: I actually started out as a musician--lead singer and rhythm guitar player in a band in the 80's, so I wrote songs/music. As I was doing this, I started experimenting by writing screenplays and short stories. This became a great passion that never ended and keeps burning inside. With that said, interestingly, those first short stories I wrote would eventually wind up in my book Fear Factors, which is many ways is a tribute to Stephen King's work in inspiring me to write!
Norm: What helps you focus when you write? Do you find it easy reading back your own work?
Peter: What helps me focus is the story's ending when writing fiction. I see the end and can't wait to figure out which route the characters are going to take to lead me to this promised land. In fact, sometimes the characters have a mind of their own and they make things interesting as I have to go in many directions to get to the end! As for reading back my own work, I do not like it as I am an individual who is critical of my work whether it be writing, doing radio shows, or appearing on TV or big screen in film.
Norm: What's the most difficult thing for you about being a writer?
Peter: I find it difficult to trust other people at times to edit my work. In the past I have used different editors who did not do their job and it makes myself, or any author for that matter not correct typos. I want to give readers my best always.
Norm: What do you think of the new Internet market for writers?
Peter: I think it is totally awesome! This gives authors from all walks of life the chance to get their work out there. It always allows them to communicate with their readers, as well as network more.
Norm: What served as the primary inspiration for your most recent book, If I Was A Bird...What Kind Of Flock Would I Fly With?
Peter: I was on an afternoon radio on a panelling for bullying and the calls we received from victims of bullying, as well as parents was disheartening. I had always wanted to created a book as such (actually it is the first in a series for kids), but this afternoon put me over the top in terms of wanting to do more.
Norm: How did you decide you were ready to write the book?
Peter: I was sitting in Starbucks and friends of mine encouraged me to get off my behind and kick this project into action. Once I started to write it, and also contract the pictures out to artist James Sell, I got very excited about the book!
Norm: What purpose do you believe your story serves and what matters to you about the story?
Peter: The story is about acceptance and tolerance. It teaches kids that even though they may look different, they are all the same inside--people that want to be accepted, fit in and feel wanted/loved no matter what their ethnicity, gender, religious beliefs, appearance, etc. What matters most about this story is that everyone has the choice to love, accept and respect. Billy, the main character in the book learns this by meeting many different birds.
Norm: What was the time-line between the time you decided to write your book and publication? What were the major events along the way?
Peter: The time-line was 7 months actually and it took 4 months to get it published in kindle and i-tunes as I also hired a couple great narrators. I really wanted to get it right. Connecting with Abuse Hurts and partnering with them was an excellent event that occurred along the way!
Norm: Where can our readers find out more about you and your most recent book If I Was A Bird...What Kind Of Flock Would I Fly With?
Peter: Definitely get the
book at Amazon.com or i-tunes if you want the book with all the bells
and whistles. Also, you can get my other new book Bullying
Is For The Birds for free at MY WEBSITE
Norm: What is next for Dr. Peter Andrew Sacco?
Peter: Next up is the continuation in the series of kid's books If I Was A Fish, What Kind Of School Would I Swim With? which focuses on mental health/disability tolerance and acceptance.
Norm: As this interview draws to a close what one question would you have liked me to ask you? Please share your answer.
Peter: How are you spending your summer? Filming season 4 of Niagara's Most Haunted, the fun, interesting TV series which I host which is being featured in film festivals and Comic Cons which is exciting!