Author Saturday Spotlight Day is here! I love this day because we talk to authors, pick their brains, get inside scoops, and see their work. This week we have the fabulous Rocco Paone here to hang with us and speak words. He's talking book, life, and all the things. So, hang out and enjoy.
Read the fully, unedited version of the prelude to the "Love is Found," the first novel in the ONLY IF series. The piece first appeared in the fifth issue of "Hello Mr." For more information, please visit: www.hellomrmag.com for more information.
What happens when one meets another that sets in events that will resonate for the rest of their lives? This is where the story begins.
Based on true events of love.
A tale based on true events of love, self-acceptance, and the turmoil of companionship.
“Love is Found” is the moving account about coming-of-age in suburban New York and discovering the broad concept of sexuality and love.
Based on true events of love, the story’s protagonist, Robert, finds himself thrown into the realization that upon entering graduate school he is beginning a new chapter in his adult life. Comfortable with being gay, he yearns for love but dwells on the ideal of being alone while being consumed by the world of academia. Upon starting a new job he meets a coworker, whom he begins an unlikely relationship with considering this man identifies as straight.
When sex is introduced and emotions run amok, the routine of Robert’s life is thrown into chaos with unexpected outcomes. Will Robert realize his true limits and whether he can conquer the strife of new love? Little does he know if his heart can survive the overwhelming desire and how this man will alter the course of his life just not now, but for the next decade.
The first novel in the debut “Only If…” series by R. Paone introduces the heartbreaking portrait of one young man finding love in all the wrong places while exploring themes of one’s sexual identity, passion, and nostalgia.
Frustrated and complacent with his life at thirty, Noah Bailey is now caught up in the recent aftermath of a widespread terrorist attack in New York City. Drawn into chatrooms, he distracts himself from the horrors of the outside world in hopes of finding Mr. Right Now. Encounter after encounter, he finds no resolution within himself.
One night after coming home from work late, he witnesses what he believes to be two lovers entwined, not being able to pull himself from watching their every move. The next morning, he will awaken to an unspeakable reality and unflinching horror…
What was once a quiet existence is now turned upside down, thrown head first into a world of mystery and anonymity. He’s now a potential witness to a murder. Paranoia sets in. Not knowing what is around those familiar corners he thought he knew, there is now someone else watching him…
The reality of his current situation has set in as Noah finds himself seduced by the private investigator assigned to the case. They are drawn to one another in secrecy. But as the affair deepens, so does Noah’s involvement in wanting to solve the murder himself. He must contend with putting his safety in harm’s way as the secrets of this case go deeper bringing him closer to the killer than he ever imagined.
You like to watch, don’t you?
Thank you, Rocco, for hanging out with me today! You know I adore you so it’s awesome to have a friend on here. We are going to talk about you, your books, and… things.
Thank you, Mere! I am so happy to be here with you. You are a gem & such a valuable friend (and now author yourself!) to the MM community. I love to talk about our ...things. Our things are very...well, thingey… Moving on!
Let’s talk about A/S/L and the way you came up with the title and what that Acronym means (Not American Sign Language).
It’s funny you said that! Everyone keeps thinking it’s about Sign Language when it’s actually not about that at all. I think it might be a generational thing, maybe? Remember growing up and being in chatrooms… Everyone would always ask each other, “A/S/L?” That’s where it comes from, Age/Sex/Location. The book itself has no sign language in that, SPOILER WARNING! I figured using a very specific generational thing like chatrooms and the anonymity behind them could provide for a very disturbing albeit sexy story. That’s where I got the start. For those that don’t me on a personal level, I love everything on a nostalgic level, being a child of the 90s I couldn’t wait to use this as the base of the story.
How is A/S/L different than your other books?
A/S/L is an erotic thriller if I had to pin down a genre in my eyes. I have been a fan of mystery and crime novels growing up, especially horror movies. I am a big nerd about that stuff. I figured why not tie in a story of mystery and murder into a not so typical “love” story. The story will have “romance” but it’s not going to be your typical path of finding love. It will be raw, heavy, dark, and all consuming. Spooky, right?
What sort of research did you have to do for it?
Going back to being a fan of movies, I watched a lot of erotic thrillers from the 90s for a lot of inspiration such as “Basic Instinct,” “Fatal Attraction,” “Eyes Wide Shut,” “Sliver,” and “Single White Female.” “Single White Female” probably sparked a lot of that inspiration in the beginning. That movie got its’ start as a novel called “S/W/F seeks Same.” It’s a tale of sex and obsession that takes place in NYC and the early 90s. I liked the idea behind it so I went for my own spin. That book and movie are completely different. The book is much tamer and the movie touches on a lot of themes of sexuality that were I’m sure taboo to write about “back then.” It wasn’t that long ago but the difference of twenty or thirty years is a lot in the writing world, it seems. We have come a long way with content and pushing the boundaries. Also living in NYC for almost eleven years, I’ve taken advantage of my long walks around the city especially Brooklyn and the West Side to give me ideas of specific locations.
Did you have any picspiration for it?
Actually, no I didn’t! My mind works on power drive and I use random strangers that I see on the street as “picspiration.” I like to image certain guys in different lights, imagining what they are doing behind the scenes. It is fun to create this alternate reality that NYCers are doing. It makes you realize everyone isn’t as innocent as they seem. See: “Eyes Wide Shut.”
Can we talk about this cover and the amazing job Jay Aheer did? It’s so mysterious but sexy. How was the cover process, and what did you have in your head as to what you wanted?
Oh my god. I love Jay. Truly. She is so special to me and I am eternally grateful for her artistry. SHe really knows what she is doing...Jay had actually posted that she had finished a template of that cover and it was available. I contacted her and the rest was history! The moment I saw it, I knew I had to have it become the cover of “A/S/L.” It is very mysterious, right? It gives me chills everytime I look at it!! We did some small alterations to the title but that was about it. Since I had a lot of ideas how I wanted it to look, I knew this cover was going to work. It’s dark in nature, there is one guy reaching for another, you start imagining what their story is. What is he reaching for? Is it a loving embrace or something more sinister…? That is what was going through my head when I was looking at it and I hope people go to that place to. Create your own world after reading the blurb, for example…
Can you tell us what comes after A/S/L?
That is a hard one. I have been working on and off on Book 4 in my “Only If” universe. That will actually be the last story in that series so I am trying to figure out the right way to conclude the story arc. It’s hard for me since it’s such a personal work and comes from my own life, I want to give the story the right respect it deserves. That book will be called “We Carry On.” I guess, that’s the official announcement for the title reveal?! You heard it first, people!
I am also working on a “complete saga” of “Only If…” It will be all 4 books rearranged in timeline chronological order revealing a lot more about the characters. I already have the model and photo picked for that cover. It’ll be massive, we are talking at least 400-500 pages...
I have planned “A/S/L” as a standalone but I am working on different directions just in case I want to continue that world I am creating, I have the other titles in my head right now...
How will you be spending the holidays this year?
I am going back to Upstate NY to visit my family for a couple days! I am from a very LARGE italian family and holidays are always a great excuse to come together for food, and as I get older I do like seeing my family. We aren’t that far away from one another but I do miss them daily.
Who are some of your One Click authors?
Oh boy, there are so many of my fellow authors that I love and my kindle is jammed packed. Off the top of my head: Aimee Nicole Walker, Hannah Walker, Sloane Kennedy, Alexa Land, Annabella Michaels, Nicholas Bella, Felice Stevens, Ed Davies, Riley Hart, Kade Boehme, Michael Bailey (his debut was splendid! I adored it!!), Morningstar Ashley (her debut too!) and soon to be you!! :)
How can readers follow you in Social Media? Facebook, Twitter, etc… ?
They can find me on facebook more so on my personal page:
My FB author page:
https://www.instagram.com/hi_rocco/ (I use that a lot!)
FAST FIRE QUESTIONS:
NY Bagles or NY Pizza? Pizza! Pepperoni!
Coffee or tea? Coffee! Almond Milk and Sugar!
Dogs or cats? Dogs!
Favorite tradition? Early Morning Runs!
If you could vacation anywhere, where would it be? Italy!!
Favorite genre? Movies: Horror Books: Contemporary romance, historical nonfiction, mystery, erotica, thrillers
Favorite color? Black. Come check out my closet :)
Thank you, Rocco, for being here. I can’t wait for A/S/L!!
Thank you again, Mere! I love you !! I can’t wait to show you it..and more of my...things.. I’m evil...
For the giveaway Rocco is offering A/S/L to one winner
upon it's release and a reader's choice of one of his
Enter the rafflecopter below.
Contest will end November 17th
a Rafflecopter giveaway