Marcus Dino has had an interesting professional career, first as an Aerospace engineer, next as a passionate math teacher teaching in urban Los Angeles which he currently still does, and finally, as a part time literary fiction author. It is Mr Dino’s being a die hard movie buff that led him to writing Diary of a Mad Gen Yer in addition to his first novel, Fifi, Anything goes in the Double Os, first published in 2003. Mr Dino is a graduate of Chapman University and he also has Masters Degrees in both Education and Electrical Engineering. Diary of a Mad Gen Yer and Fifi can be found at www.smashwords.com and www.summertimeproductions.net. Mr Dino’s personal website which includes numerous blogs, short stories, and poems involving his central character Fifi Larouche, which helped inspire him to write his anthology, Diary, can be found at www.authorsden.com/marcusdino.
Q: Thank you for this interview, Marcus. Can you tell us what your latest book, Diary of a Mad Gen Yer, is all about?
A: First I want to thank you for the opportunity of giving me an interview. My book, Diary of a Mad Gen Yer…………………Whoaaaaaa…………….Omigosh I just came into Marcus’s right cerebrum, I’m Fifi Larouche, the main character in Diary…… Marcus is kind of in an unconscious state right now. I’m talking through him, you know like when a ghost talks thru a medium. You don’t mind talking to main character of a story as opposed to the author do you? I mean I give him all the information anyways, you know like when a ghost or guide talks into a person’s brain and gives him or her all this information. I happen to be living in that ‘astral world’ with all these other fictional characters who tell all their stories to these authors and the author gets all the credit for the story. OK, back to your question. Diary of a Mad Gen Yer is all the silly adventures, silly poems, and silly blogs that I, a young struggling 21st Hollywood wannabe from the Midwest who works as a waitress to get by, goes through or writes about. I mean I do have a ‘life’ outside of my acting career, which at this point consists of getting rejected from one audition after another because I’m not related or ‘know’ some Hollywood big shot. So Diary kind of pries into my other life, in Diary besides me you meet some of my friends like my struggling actor boyfriend Biff or Alocki, an alien from another planet and is the smartest person I ever met. Thus Diary is like a modern 21st century version of Ali Baba and the 40 Sheep or whatever that book was called, a modern world anthology of a silly young actress.
Q: Is this your first novel? If not, how has writing this novel different from writing your first?
A: It’s the second book about me. Now as I told you before Diary is more an anthology, a bunch of short stories about me. The first book, Fifi Anything Goes in the Double Os, is a true novel. Fifi deals with me coming from my home town of Des Moines Iowa and trying to find an agent, and going through the audition process and whether I make it in Hollywood or go back sniveling back to Des Moines domineering college professor Charles who thinks I’m wasting my time in ‘La La Land’ and wants me to be a banker. So I guess you can say Diary is sort of a prequel or maybe more like an ‘equel’ to Fifi. You know stuff sort of happening to me while I’m going through this……auditioning process…..to be a world famous actress, which I have no doubt I will be one day.
Q: How difficult was it writing your book? Did you ever experience writer’s block and, if so, what did you do?
A: Omigosh I can’t imagine a more rewarding, exhilarating experience than working on this anthology. You know crazy things would come into my right cerebrum, that’s like the creative part of the brain, and I would write down my silly blogs and poems and then tell Marcus. Now my short stories are true life experiences, so I don’t have to make anything up there when I tell Marcus. As for writer’s block, well you kind of write when you get stimulated, when your right cerebrum is so full of gobblygook, when your ‘creative juices’ flow. It could be like three in the morning when those juices flow. Anytime a ‘creative juice’ comes into my brain I tell Marcus.
Q: How have your fans embraced your latest novel? Do you have any funny or unusual experiences to share?
A: Ohhhhhhh my fans just said “ Fifi your stories are about exciting as molasses going up the wall,” I mean down the wall. Or they said “Marcus how in Heaven’s name can there be anybody as silly as Fifi Larouche?” Just kidding, just kidding. Omigosh my fans just seem to love Diary. Marcus has about five or six great reviews on his website in Authors Den. And we’ve just started to publicize the book. As for your second question, Omigosh just read Diary. Stories like ‘A trip inside the Body,’ where I’m having one of silly dreams where my good friend Alocki and I are inside a young gen y age ‘party guy’s’ bloodstream. Another story is ‘Gobble Cobble Gobble’ where I, the most ‘21st century of gen y girls,’ go back to 1621 Massachusetts to celebrate the First Thanksgiving with the pilgrims and Native Americans. One more story is ‘The Astro Olympics’ where I have a dream I’m competing against a bunch of aliens in Olympic competition,which happens to be both athletic and academic by the way, and who represent their stars, you know like I represent our sun Sol. As for Marcus and any ‘unusual experiences’ I believe he said he once saw a snail…….climbing on the back of a cat……..
Q: What is your daily writing routine?
A: Ohhhh I don’t believe Marcus has any routine. I write down my stories and give it to him and he would write it whenever he happens to feel like writing. I believe he puts a lot of stuff on his author’s website in Authors Den first and then perhaps into his book. But he’ll write at 10 in the morning (when he’s not teaching) or 2 am. You know, whenever those ‘creative juices’ flow. I do the same thing, I certainly can’t write when I’m working as a waitress. Petros my boss would be so upset, especially during this Great Recession. I would be replaced in a heartbeat. Ohbytheway like I said before I am the real writer, Marcus is more like a typist. Bu then he’s better with grammatical things so that’s why he’s the author. Who knows though, maybe I’ll write my next book, maybe it will be called The Wild and Crazy Adventures of Fifi by Fifi. Kind of a ring to it, doesn’t it?
Q: When you put the pen or mouse down, what do you do to relax?
A: I think Marcus sleeps. Oh he does like taking long walks around his Arcadia home listening to his MP3 player. He says he loves going to film festivals, especially foreign film festivals, because he is quite the movie buff. That’s where we kind of met, at a film festival. Now since I first met him as an astral figure he could see me and the other people could not see me. I mean I can be a real person in addition to being an astral figure. You people don’t realize there a lot of people on Earth who are like that. So my real person adventures are what Marcus writes about.
Q: What book changed your life?
A: Certainly 1001 Nights was I book that I just loved and that’s what made me think about doing a book about my life in Diary as opposed to a sequel type novel to Fifi. I was being a bit facetious with ‘Ali Baba and Forty Sheep thing.’ I just love the stories from 1001 Nights. I’ve always loved reading anthologies as opposed to a long drawn out novel. I’m not sure if I have the patience to read a novel. Don’t get me wrong, though, there are few novels that I absolutely loved because of the characterization which I try to portray in Diary and Fifi. Novels such as The Godfather and To Kill a Mockingbird. Good story telling, good dialogue, and good characterization make a good book, and that’s what you see in those great books that I just mentioned.
Q: If someone were to write a book on your life, what would the title be?
A: For me it will be titled I’ve done a thousand things in my life and I plan to do another thousand things because we only get one shot on God’s Green Earth (unless you believe in reincarnation which I do). I…….believe……Marcus would say the same thing.
Q: Finish this sentence: “The one thing that I wish people would understand about me is…”
A: “I trulytrulytrulytruly….. I trulytrulytrulytruly….. I trulytrulytrulytruly……I trulytrulytrulytruly could care less what people think about me.” In other words, I’m just a free bird, a free bird. I have no idea how Marcus wishes people would understand him, perhaps the same thing?…………Ohhhhhhh what happened, I seemed to have lost my train of thought for a few seconds. Sorry about that, now about my new book, Diary of a Mad Gen Yer………..
Thank you for this interview Marcus. I wish you much success on your latest release, Diary of a Mad Gen Yer!