Monday, November 28, 2011

My Interview with The Boss

Up front, just to let you know, one of the publishers I work with is Trestle Press.  An upstart, new, really visionary epublisher just getting into the full swing of things.
I'll just say that . . . somehow . . . I got in on the ground floor of this new publishing house and am glad I did it.  The 'Head Fred' (capo de capo;  alias, 'the publisher') of the organization is a guy by the name of Giovanni Gelati.  Now, what can I say about Giovanni that hasn't already been said?  He's enthusiastic, brimming with ideas, creative, funny (in a morbid kind of way.  You should read some of HIS writing to fully understand!).  Best of all, he's a hard working visionary who actively takes in ideas and suggestions from his growing stable of writers and uses them to their maximum limits while asking for more ideas to bounce his way.

I dunno . . . if you get the impression I kinda like the guy . . . you may have something there.

Everybody interviews authors, artists, and politicians.  But who interviews the guys who sit in the background doing the day-to-day work of making a publishing house successful?  Hint: it's done rarely.

So I thought I'd go against the grain a little bit and do just that.  Interview the boss, if you will.  The traditional 'six questions' (except this time it turned out to be seven questions).  Hope you like it.  I enjoyed myself arm-twisting the guy to pony up with some answers.

1.       Trestle Press is becoming a huge success.  The stable of writers being recruited is rising at an exponential rate.  How did Trestle Press come into existence?
We created it so an exceptionally talented author like yourself and others could find a home and a place to build their “platform” and “brand”. My kids laugh at me when I use words like that.
The idea and genesis for this came from me listening and reading stories from authors and readers looking to find each other.
For author’s, Trestle Press is a nice place for them to be creative, free thinking, and a home for their hard work. For readers, a place that they know they can go to get high quality reads at affordable pricing.
I am going to think it is beginning to work, we are fortunate enough to have a number of our titles hit the sales charts on Amazon Kindle and Amazon UK, many within hours of release.
As I write this “Amish Knitting Circle” is the #1 Short Story on Amazon Kindle (in the short story category) and the entire series (all 4 of it installments) is the most read digital short story series (in the short story category) in the world today.
2.       What motivates you to succeed?  And why this drive to succeed in the publishing world?
You know B.R. I really like you, why the hard questions? I am not a very deep thinker. My wife once said of me, and I quote:” You are like a dog with a bone”. Now I take compliments when I can get them; I look at that with a positive twist.
But to sum it up quickly: I think the world is ready for the readers to control author’s destinies. I am driven to make sure that authors like you and all the Trestle Press authors find their place and their audiences. Your stories are intense, vivid, and amazing; I can say that about ever author I have the good fortune of working for.
3.       You show a wide range of literary taste. Tell us, if you had five books on a table in front of you, (a hardboiled detective novel, a romance, a comedy, a religious/ spiritual selection, or a traditional novel of literature) which would be the one  you would choose to read first?  Do you have any preferences?
I am not sure I could recognize literature if I fell over it, not my speed. If by “literature” you mean something from Billy Shakes I will save that for last without a doubt.
Romance makes me blush, so that would go on top of that, next to last.
The religious stuff, I need to read slowly so I can reflect on it, so I do it in chunks. I enjoy it very much, but going back to the deep thinker thing, I need to digest it a bit, so it takes me longer.
Comedy?  I am always up for a good bocce story, do you know any of them? A little birdie told me that a new one just came out-“Holy Chrome Bocce Ball Beach Bloodbath”.
I guess that leaves the nasty stuff for the top. Thankfully you and the rest of the crew at the soon to be “Dark Pages Press” turn out great stuff every week.  

4. Recently Trestle Press has decided to expand and create separate imprints with each imprint specializing in one particular area.  Tell us about this decision and how it came about.
Did you just read my mind?
We decided to do it for a variety of reasons but the main ones had to do with the readers and the authors. We are fortunate at Trestle Press to have a very nice diversity in the genres we offer to the readers. But in this new digital age of publishing labels need to be applied, platforms must be built and brands must be created. To facilitate that we felt the need to make the moves. Each genre that we have will have its own Imprint starting with the Noir/Hard-Boiled authors.”Dark Pages Press”  
Dark Pages Press
5.  Currently Trestle Press is an ebook publisher.  Will expand into the print world? What are the pros and cons a new company like Trestle Press may face if they make such a decision.
Paper is not going anywhere, people’s desire to hold a book in their hands I don’t think will ever go away. Don’t get me wrong, I have a sincere fondness for my ereader  and love reading on it.
The print thing, well, without going into much detail here, we are going to be putting our own spin on that to. We are going to do the “normal” thing first with some of our full length work like your “Death of a Young Lieutenant” and “Roland of The High Crags: Evil Arises” but after we get that rolling, well let’s just say the fun will begin. Everybody can expect to have our first print books in time to have them underneath the Christmas trees and in their hands for New Years eve.   
6.  What are you looking for when a writer submits something to Trestle Press?  Is it just the words on the screen?  The way they tell a story?  Or are other factors in play as well?
 I have OCD, I am pretty up front about that. I am the kind that is always thinking, and the best way for me to organize myself is with lists. I have lists for a lot of stuff. It is a running joke with my wife, but you know it what makes me stay sane. I mean I do work for you, right? Ha! Just had to get that in there ,I didn’t know if you were asleep or not.
You want to know what I look for. It is not one thing, can’t be, if it was all about the read, then no it wouldn’t work. To me it has to be the whole thing, the whole person, the entire author, from top to bottom. How do they think? What is their motivation? Let’s just say I have a full index card with what I am looking for, at least 20 different things. Does each and every author have all of them, no? Everybody has strengths and weaknesses, gauging them are the key, using them necessary.
I haven’t had the card laminated yet, I may add a few things to it, but , no you can’t see it. Sorry. It is like the remote for the Television, you need to marry one of my daughters to touch it. Simple rules, I think they make sense.

7.  Where do you see yourself and Trestle Press in the next 10 years?
 B.R. you really are trying to make my head explode aren’t you? I hope that I am doing the same thing I do every day, helping authors and readers find each other. That is a lot of fun. 

It's a good feeling knowing you're with a publisher who trusts your ideas and is willing to work with you.  Here's to the idea of bigger and better things for Giovanni, Trestle Press, and their new imprint, Dark Pages Press! (raising a glass of two-day old Coke Cola)


  1. Great idea to interview GG! Everything he says here I can totally relate to and it is immense fun working with him! Lang may yer lum reek Giovanni!

  2. It's great to read about the G-meister. Informative interview and funny to boot! Nice one.

    Mike Evers

  3. Good interview; fun to read. Thank you for having a well-executed idea!