This summer, Palm Beach Happening has partnered with Waldorf Publishing to share some insight into the inner workings of some of the 21st centuries finest fiction and nonfiction authors. Today, we are proud to profile Rocco LoBosco.
Rocco Lo Bosco has published two well-reviewed novels, Buddha Wept (Grey Core Press, 2003) and Ninety-Nine(LettersAt3amPress, 2015), and has co-authored a non-fiction title: The Age of Perversion: Desire and Technology in Psychoanalysis and Culture with author and psychoanalyst Danielle Knafo (Routledge Press, 2017). David Levy, an A.I. expert and author of more than 40 books, wrote an enthusiastic preface to The Age of Perversion, which received glowing reviews.
Lo Bosco is a lifelong autodidact who has studied physics, philosophy, psychology, and neuroscience. He provided critical feedback and technical editing over a period of four years for a seminal paper written by Jolly Mathen, titled “On the Inherent Incompleteness of Scientific Theories,” (Activitas Nervosa Superior 53: 44-100). [Publisher Link]:http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF03379933>. [Open Access]: <http://www.activitas.org/index.php/nervosa/article/viewArticle/111>. Mathen presented this paper at Oxford University and Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam. Lo Bosco is also a martial artist, personal trainer, yoga teacher, and life coach.
How did you get your start in the literary world? Back when I was in grade school, my teenage cousin, Michael Ventura, would read me his two-page stories. He introduced me to the very seductive idea of conjuring a world with words. The idea seeped into my blood and took root in my psyche. I owe Mike big time for opening the door to one of the great joys of my life. He is an accomplished writer and still a source of inspiration for me.
Can you tell us a little more about what you do? I write, I think, and I read voraciously. I’ve worked as a martial art instructor, yoga teacher, muscle therapist, ghost writer, life coach and consultant. In my younger days I held executive positions in training and quality management in various corporations.
What is your favorite part about being an author? For me the sweetest spot of the author’s life is writing new fiction, especially when I feel possessed by my characters, and their stories runs white hot. Something inexplicable occurs when this happens: time, self and mundane concerns disappear in a roiling cornucopia of creativity. When the spell runs its course, I am returned to my life a bit disoriented. The treasure of creation may be fool’s gold or real, but the original value for me is in creation itself.
How do you get your inspiration? I’m inspired by the jaw-dropping mystery and intrigue of human life itself, its tragic framework, its mad heterogeneity, and its strange, twisty awareness of itself. I’m inspired by the ingenuity, joy and sorrow of human beings, their trauma and resiliency, their reckonings and epiphanies, their stories. Every person I’ve ever met does not have a story; they are a story, usually a bundle of stories. My own bundle inspires me the most, since I am at its very center, directly feeling every moment of my waking life. I also find inspiration in books and films, but then that is part of my story.
Of all the characters you’ve created, which one would you like to see come alive on the silver screen? Dante in my novel Ninety Nine, which creatively draws on my early years growing up in Brooklyn with a mixed family in a tough neighborhood. We were poor and dangerous and fought mightily to survive as individuals and as a clan. We lived alongside the El, an iron dragon that split the street and roared by every twenty minutes, shaking the buildings on either side of the train tracks. My character Dante hides his soft-heartedness to survive and takes refuge in the accuracy of science as a way of attenuating the craziness and unpredictability of his family life. He is thirteen, runs with a gang, and falls in love with a young woman working in a factory which he can see from his tenement window. A richly imagined character, torn by his desires, enraged by his own fear, questing for a truth or love that he can hold on to, he’d surely light up the screen.
What is the funniest thing to happen to you in your career? When I was in college I submitted some poetry to the campus literary magazine. Sometime after that, a friend told me he had seen my name in the magazine’s table of contents. I’d been published for the very first time! I ran across the campus to get a copy of the magazine, and when I opened the cover, sure enough, there was my name—attached to poems I never wrote! Someone lifted my handle! I later discovered it was an Asian woman. I was halfway between pissed off and amused. She must have had her reasons. I read her poems. They were even worse than mine. What was most original for both of us was our name, Rocco Lo Bosco.
Can you tell us a bit about your book? Its title is Staying Sane in Crazy Town: A Monologue of Rude Wisdom, and it is a non-fiction work. Two insomniacs (you and I) meet one night in a local tavern. Although we don’t know it, we have something else in common: bad pathology reports and only a few months left to live. As we start chatting, I tell you a joke that puts us both in the mood for an honest conversation. It’s about two babies who are born and die on the same day. On their last night in the hospital, lying side by side, one turns to the other and asks, smiling sadly, “So, whad’ya think?”
Moving to a table, we agree to exchange stories. I go first, sharing with unvarnished honesty and biting humor my thoughts about existence. The book boldly interweaves memoir and cultural commentary in a bid to uncover the lies we tell ourselves about the things we are reluctant to confront. I tell you how I lost everything that mattered to me and survived, literally escaping the noose. My tale is inspirational without offering up the bromides of typical self-help and inspirational texts. It is philosophical, but funny and in-your-face, filled with surprising, hair-raising and comical stories. It also has an indirect though powerful political edge as a get-ready manual for what may be coming down the pike.
What is your next big project? It is a no-holds-barred literary novel about an interracial couple who are a deadly combination, wreaking sexual, social and criminal havoc that culminates in deception, theft and violence of a high order. Nonetheless, the reader will be able to hope, cheer and cry for the couple who are caught in their own tragic back stories. My working title for this book is Motherfuckers.
Anything else you’d like to add? Only that I appreciate this opportunity to say a few words to your readers. I do hope they give me a try.
Several of the books published through Waldorf Press can be found at your local library. The Palm Beach County Library System has dozens of electronic books, printed books – both novels & non-fiction, audiobooks, and DVDs or Blu-ray discs to help you understand how powerful reading can be! Travel to your closest branch or find them on the web!