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Albert Camus

Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

he gets what he wants... Death in the Family by Lanny Larcinese


"[F]ans of mobster novels will enjoy this messy, self-aware take on the genre. A fun, energetic, Philadelphia-set Mafia caper." —Kirkus Reviews (quoted on Amazon)


Description:

Release Date: January 1st, 2020

Donny Lentini is a talented young man hungry for his mother's love. To please her, he becomes guardian angel to his mob-wannabe father.

When the father is murdered and found with his hands hacked off, Donny is dealt a set of cards in a game called vengeance. The pot is stacked high with chips; the ante, his soul and the lives of loved-ones.

With the help of friends—ex-con, defrocked Jesuit Bill Conlon along with former high-school nemesis, Antwyne Claxton—he digs for whether the murder had anything to do with the mob's lust for a real estate parcel owned by the family of Donny's lover.

He's new at this game. He doesn't cheat, but plays his cards well. And he gets what he wants.

GUEST POST
Writing What We Don’t Know

How do I write characters outside of my own experience as a white man? What can I know of being a woman, a person of color, somebody poverty-stricken, disabled, or bedeviled by the panoply of human and social vagaries?
It’s a hot topic in the writing and publishing community, having to do with the political and cultural expectations of groups historically under-or wrongly-represented in the larger society, including literary depictions.
Some suggest submission to “sensitivity editors,” e.g. if I’m populating my story with a black character, I should submit those portions of my book to someone from that milieu to assure I am not projecting an unfair or damagingly inaccurate portrayal. It’s another layer of editing, but intended to avoid alienating an entire segment of an audience, to speak nothing of performing a social injustice.
Unless demanded by an editor, that would not be my choice for two reasons: 1) my character portrayal needs to be judged in the total context of my story; nor am I portraying him as a member of a class, but rather that character in that particular circumstance; and, 2) I treat all my characters as human beings subject to all the vagaries that entails.
To elaborate, I totally defer that there are experiences I can at best only imagine; for example, being a woman in a world where half the population could probably, if it wanted, physically overpower her at any moment. I have no idea what that feels like and therefore may not know how to depict it.
Conversely, I contend that much human experience is shared among all people. We all share fear in the face of threat; want our children to do well; aspire to self-sufficiency and independence; want to be treated fairly; etc. So, when I write characters out of the demographic and other cohort I occupy, I keep within the bracket of shared experience and probable response.

Finally—and this is no guarantor of getting it right—the place for the writer is not to carry animus in his heart in the first place. And an empathetic ear attuned to the cries of others will go a long way toward avoiding offense and damage.

About the author:
Lanny Larcinese‘s short work has appeared in magazines and has won a handful of local prizes. He lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He’s a native mid-westerner transplanted to the City of Brotherly Love where he has been writing fiction for seven years. When not writing, he lets his daughter, Amanda, charm him out of his socks, and works at impressing Jackie, his long-time companion who keeps him honest and laughing—in addition to being his first-line writing critic. He also spends more time than he should on Facebook but feels suitably guilty for it. 
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18 comments:

Lanny Larcinese said...

Thank you, MB for posting my book as well as comments about writing characters outside of our direct knowledge. Writers like to talk about how we create our work. It allows our readers to appreciate that while story can be made up out of whole cloth, much energy goes into connecting it to real life experience as possible.

Dale Wilken said...

Sounds really great.

Nancy Payette said...

Sounds intriguing

Lanny Larcinese said...

Dale & Nancy, thanks for your comments. I try to write layered stories, i.e., complex -- not in terms of following the story -- but external plot events as well as interior stuff like the inner landscape and moral implications. I try to provide mystery, tension, vengeance, friendship-love, girlfriend love, mother-love (or absence thereof), mob contention, homicide, etc...(I exhaust myself just thinking about it!) Best to you both for the new year. Lanny

Rita Wray said...

Sounds like a great book.

Lanny Larcinese said...

Thank you Rita, I do hope you read it and take enjoyment from it. Without witnesses, art is a tree that falls in a forest that nobody hears.

Victoria Alexander said...

Thanks for sharing the great post!

Sherry said...

Love the cover and think the book sounds really interesting.

Michele S. said...

Love a good mob story.. this looks like a good one. Added to my TBR list....

Lanny Larcinese said...

Thank you, Victoria. Yeah, I like the mob theme too. We love their instant "justice" without being hampered by, you know...actual rules and laws! They love money, so do we, except we don't risk our lives to get it. I have personally known mob guys. The lower level ones are street thugs, but as you go up the ladder, they are charismatic, funny ---- twisted and dangerous, but charismatic and funny! You will find some of this in the book, i.e., Donny Lentini's experience and assessment of them.

tetewa said...

Sounds like my kind of read!

Lanny Larcinese said...

I sure hope so. Without a reader, novels are trees that fall in the forest with nobody to see or hear them. They say writing a novel is easy: just sit at the keyboard and slash your wrist. Still, it's a labor of love with deep wishes that others will love it too.

Sherry said...

Sounds like a good book.

Bridgett Wilbur said...

I would love to read your book.

Shannon said...

I love the cover.

Dan Denman said...

This sounds like a gritty and original mob tale.

Nancy Payette said...

Sounds great

BunnyClem said...

This sounds like a great read! I really enjoy mob books. Love the cover! ❤