Antonio F. Vianna – Author Interview

What is your most recent book? Tell us a bit about it.

Second Son, released March 2010. This is a novel about how birth order of males within one family influences the characteristics of the second son. In this novel the second son strives to earn the same recognization from his father as his older brother but does not. As the second son grows up he decides to get that recognition in different ways, some positive and some negative. One day, as an adult, his older brother asks him for a favor that if agreed to would help his brother but go against other vows he’s committed to keep. This novel is full of twists and turns, so call it suspense, thriller, or mystery.

Tell us something about yourself.

I am from Schenectady, New York; parents were first generation Americans who wanted my sister and me to go to college, be proud of our background, to respect elders, obey the law, go to Church (Catholic), and be honored that we were Americans. In school (public) I was not much interested in literature, but rather enjoyed math and science. So, my parents thought I would be a good MD. I earned a B. S. from Union College (Schenectady, NY) with a major in Biology and Chemistry, but the Viet Nam War trumped to from attending medical school. I was an officer in the US Air Force. My first job after the military was with Allstate Insurance Company who developed me to be a supervisor. During a special assignment in the Personnel Dept (now referred to as Human Resources) I decided that Personnel/Human Resorces was where I belonged. I stayed in Human Resources for 25+ years with several different organizations eventually being the Chief Human Resources Executive for a few of them. During that time I earned a Masters of Management from Northwestern University. During a company training program that I designed and conducted an employee suggested to me that I should consider writing … it was at a time when I was getting the “itch to switch careers.” I made the leap to leave Human Resources to teach at the university level and to write. All of this happened in December 1999. After over 300 rejections, my first book was published in 2003.

What inspired you to write this book?

I get my ideas from the world around me to include people, places, animals, things, advertisements, movies, etc. I get ideas from within myself such as my past and present experiences and my future plans. Most of these ideas are spontaneous and often subconscious. I suspect my ideas come from what troubled or pleased me in my past, are troubling or pleasing me today, and what I think might trouble or please me in the future. I write my ideas on pieces of paper, drop them into a basket, review my ideas each Sunday. I continue that process until something jumps out at me. I have no idea why I selected the topic of the second son since I am not a second son.

How did you publish your this book?

I have used a print-on-demand publisher for all my books (Author House). PODs give me flexibility of my creative works and allow me to earn income.

How did you know you wanted to be a writer?

As mentioned before I had no idea that I wanted to be a writer until I decided I wanted to change my career. So I evaluated my Interests, Skills, Motivation, Capabilities, and Ideal Working Environment to figure out what I might be able to successfully do. By the way the five elements just identified are the five elements that all careers pivot around. These 5 elements are central to my workbook, “Career Management and Employee Portfolio Tool Kit, 3rd edition” that I use to conduct “re-careering at any age” workshops. Of my 16 published books, 2 are non-fiction, 14 are mystery/suspense/thriller/crime/fantasy.

What is hardest part of writing?

Getting the central idea/theme of the book. But the hardest part of being a writer is marketing the book.

How do you research for your books?

Since I teach at several universities I have access to a wealth of academic information about a variety of subjects. I also have access to colleagues who are experts in many different fields. I use brick and mortar libraries with paper books. I read paper books. I use specialized internet sites. I ask questions of many people.

Did you learn anything from this book?

I learned how much I enjoy creating/telling stories, something that my father excelled at. From readers I have learned about many more consequences (real not imagined) of being a second son.

What are you reading now?

Nothing specific. I continually scan many documents to figure out what I want to read more in depth.

What is the best advice you could give other writers about writing or publishing?

Find out your purpose of writing. Remember to create a markeing plan before you start writing.

Where can readers learn more about you and your book?

To view/purchase books by ANTONIO F. VIANNA go to: