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Tell us about yourself:
I'm a writer of three fiction books that deal with the life of 21st century actress/heroine Cheryl 'Fifi” Larouche. I'm semiretired and work part time as a teacher/tutor out here in Santa Maria, California. I taught for a number of years mathematics in the Los Angeles Public School system, Before that I worked as an engineer in Aerospace, Living in Hollywood for a number of years inspired me to write the 'Fifi' books which became the trilogy starting with the Hollywood novel Fifi, followed by the anthology Diary of a Mad Gen Yer, followed by Practical Advice from an Evolved Soul. The last few years I have been a very ardent student of spirituality and that gave me the idea to write the spiritual part for Evolved Soul.
What was your first book?
The Hollywood novel Fifi, unlike my 2 preceding books, Diary of a Mad Gen Yer and Practical Advice from an Evolved Soul, is basically a straightforward novel describing Fifi arriving in Hollywood and trying to make it as an actress. I introduce Fifi and a few other major characters like Biff, her boyfriend, Charles, her obstinate father who thinks she is wasting her time pursuing an acting career, Jerry, her agent, and a Hollywood rival, Kerry Krowley. Diary and Evolved Soul are anthologies of poems, tweets, and short stories and definitely have more of a fantasy angle than Fifi.
Describe your first break.
Break? What Break? Maybe I'm still thinking why I'm not yet as well known as Stephen King. All kidding aside the place where I started to receive success in selling my books are the numerous book fairs that my publisher has had me participate in such as the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books.
What is your favorite genre to read? To write?
No genre stands out in terms of reading. I love great suspense, great SciFi, a great crime novel like The Godfather, or a great adventure like The Old Man and the Sea. The most important thing in any book I read or any movie I see is great plot, dialogue, and characterization. That's what I try to do when I write any 'Fifi' story. As for writing obviously love writing Young Adult genre. As a kid I a great SciFi came to my mind, maybe one of these days I will write it.
Are Happy Endings a must in your stories?
Absolutely not. While it would be nice to always have happen endings I'm more concerned about an interesting ending, For instance Fifi really doesn't have the perfect happy ending. Not every great book or movie had a 'happy ending.' To me what makes the ending important is for the author to capture the reader's curiosity. Will there be a sequel? If something tragic happened to the main character perhaps there is a hint of a prequel?
What makes a protagonist interesting?
OK a Realtor says “location, location, location.” As a writer I say what makes a protagonist interesting is characterization, characterization, characterization. I try to make Fifi an interesting as possible with all of her 'quirks.'
What is the best thing about being a writer?
The sense of accomplishment after you have completed the book, the short story, or even the 'silly poem.'
What is the worst thing?
Clearly writer's block. I wish to mention that at times I could actually create a story while waking up from a dream at 4 am or driving around in my car listening to old 70s pop better than sitting in front of a lap top. I think a lot of other writers probably would say the same thing. Stories just don't come easily for me sitting in front of a laptop or typewriter.
Pantser or plotter?
Definitely a pantser. I get a 'Fifi' story in my head and then I write it. This is what especially did in Diary and Evolved Soul. Yes I did some planning and outlining for Fifi but a lot of what I put into that book was also 'spontaneous.'
What do you see the direction of your future writing taking? What can we expect next? Give us a little taste.
The next project is after three 'Fifi' books I'm looking into writing a screenplay. It's jut that I need to take some classes in writing screenplays. Also I'm thinking about a YA adult/children's book involving perhaps Fifi as a kid and her spirit guides Goth and Au.
Just for fun
Cat or dog person.
Let's see the curiosity of the cat combined with the enthusiasm of the dog? I still favor dogs, cats are just too sneaky. Of course I'm a little sneaky. Fifi sure isn't. She's hates cats and is definitely a dog person.
Yes I am trying to be more vegetarian and couple of days a week
go vegan' but favorite foods? Come on it's tough, a few candidates and none of them 'rabbit food.' A juicy porterhouse steak, spaghetti or lasagna and sausage, especially 'my mother's,' spareribs, and I'll never complain about a pizza. I also love Asian food like sukiyaki, again my mother is pretty good at cooking that.
The Godfather, a close second is To Kill a Mockingbird, a close third is The Martian Chronicles, a close fourth is Jaws.
The Treasure of Sierra Madre, a close second is The Godfather, a close third is The Exorcist, a close fourth is Giant.Favorite holiday? By far Christmas. Family get together s, the best movies of the year are out around that time, the spirit of giving, and of course all my Twitter followers get to read a new 'Fifi' Christmas story or poem.
Would you rather be the princess or the villain? Why?
Do you mean for my gender the prince or villain. Both? Just like in Robert Louis Stevenson's The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, there is good and evil in all of us. I convey that with Fifi. I certainly don't make her Ms. Perfect Goodie Goodie. There is a good but also evil in Fifi's persona such as her intense jealousy of successful actresses.
Who has more fun, orcs or hobbits?
Since the orcs were soldiers and henchman of The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings always doing evil deeds it clearly sounds like the hobbits had a lot more fun.
"Fulfill your destiny Fifi, as you wander through the Wilderness," Goth her spirit guide tells her....
Marcus Dino's latest book 'Practical Advice from an Evolved Soul', an anthology like it's smash hit predecessor, 'Diary of a Mad Gen Yer.' has 21st century actress/heroine Cheryl 'Fifi' Larouche coming back outrageous as ever introducing new 'Silly Stories,' 'Silly Poems,' and 'Silly Blogs', plus an added new twist using the world of Twitter, Fifi's 'Silly Tweets.'
'Practical Advice from an Evolved Soul' is third in a series of 'Fifi's stories following Marcus Dino's top ten Amazon Bestseller 'Diary of a Mad Gen Yer' in addition to his original Hollywood novel 'Fifi.'
Many of the major characters from Mr. Dino's two earlier book are back in 'Evolved Soul' including Fifi's boyfriend Biff, her obstinate father Charles, and her two alien friends from the planet Zatoris, Alocki and Helos. In addition there are some very interesting new characters in 'Evolved Soul' including a long dead Englishman who said he knew great literary figures such as Dickens and Keats called 'The 200 Year Old Great Writer,' and two entities who say they are 'Fifi's Spirit Guides' Goth and Au.
Both Goth and Au write very inspirational blogs that convey a strong message in the 'Blogs' section of 'Evolved Soul.'
'Practical Advice from an Evolved Soul' is both humorous and inspirational and like it's two predecessors will entertain the reader from beginning to end.
Excerpt from 'A Midsummer Night's Silliness'
This is a night when strange demons and vampires arrive to doth try to steal the soul of the innocent…Tonight oh Neptune after the party we shall call the Royal Apothecary who will doth conduct a potient out of bat wings and garlic and the tongues of TV talk show hosts and politicians and other vile and smelly things…And whoever I praytell drinks of this potient will scare off all evil souls and who ever drinks of this potient will be strong as anyone who drinketh such foul and smelly stuff would have to be strong…and crazy…Now.. Come my good king and my subjects let us now go to the party at the palace to intake in wine and merriment….
(Image of Ghost from Hamlet appears)
What noblest of misfortunes that hath cursed my son Hamlet partakes thou fair Queen? I praytell that I shalt make amends for my son to be of assistance to thee…My son Hamlet at times hath not believed in me…I praytell thou noblest of Queens believe in me as I was once King Denmark…
I hath no misfortune oh Ghost of the King of Denmark…I praytell that thou may get into the minds of casting directors of good theater and good movies and good TV shows of which there are so few in 2012 and convince them of my acting abilities…Now Ghost of the King of Denmark a place where they doth are well known for changing men into women and women into men I doth praytell thou join us at the palace for an evening of wine, song, and merriment….
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Marcus Dino has always wanted to be a fiction writer as long as he can remember. Living in Southern California plus his being a die hard movie buff has led him to write stories dealing with the struggles and conquests of heroic up and coming Hollywood actress Cheryl 'Fifi' Larouche.
Practical Advice from an Evolved Soul is an anthology and inspirational book and is Mr. Dino's third 'Fifi' series book. His first book, Hollywood novel Fifi was first published in 2003. His second book in ebook format, Diary of a Mad Gen Yer, an anthology and Amazon best seller in it's category, was published in 2009.
Mr. Dino has a Masters degrees in Education and Engineering and is a graduate of Chapman University. He has a distinguished career as an electronics engineer working for several Aerospace companies and also as a mathematics teacher in Los Angeles area schools. He currently resides in Santa Maria, California.
'Evolved Soul' can also be purchased on major on line bookstores such as www.amazon.com:
and Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/217466
The printed version of 'Evolved Soul' has just been published and is currently being placed into numerous bookstores.