Thomas Marino – Author Interview

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

Tomorrow May Be Too Late offers readers a gritty, free-flowing memoir of life, love, loss and reinvention. I share my most intimate thoughts, devastating real-world incidences and coming-of-age sexual experiences that, I think, will hit home for anyone who has ever loved and lost.

Tomorrow May Be Too Late was lovingly, yet painstakingly written over nearly two decades to include a voyeuristic look at a my adventures and struggles as a gay stripper turned banking executive—including a messy divorce, one-night-stands, white collar crime, heartbreak, spiritual intervention and the birth of a child.

Tell us something about yourself.

I’m a New Jersey native, currently living in Cherry Hill. I was adopted at 7 months. At that time I was in a full body cast from my chest to bottom of right leg (from age 1 to 4) due to a battle with perthes disease. I was raised in a devout Catholic family; I was an altar boy for years. I am still active in the Catholic faith. I have a two year old boy with my partner and am expecting twins this June. Our children share a biological mother (through the donor egg) but our son was conceived using my sperm and the twins were conceived using my husband’s sperm. And, this is my first book, twenty years in the making.

What inspired you to write this book?

Writing this book was a cleansing experience. It was written as a result of a tumultuous ten-month period in my life. The time then stands as a singular life lesson for me — but one that I’m glad I experienced, as painful as it was. Though my lover left me broken both fiscally and romantically, I feel he loved me, in his way. He definitely left me a better man, more secure in my sexuality and lifestyle.

How did you publish this book? Why did you decide to self-publish?

I decided to self publish the first installment but am looking in to a new publisher.

How did you know you wanted to be a writer? How did you get started?

This book began as a journal and morphed in to a memoir.

What do you believe is the hardest part of writing?

Dredging up old memories, although it was emotionally cathartic.

Did you learn anything from writing this book? What?

I agonized about the relationship for years and it seemed it was a consuming memory I wanted to cling to. Writing the book helped me funnel that energy into something concrete and lasting. Writing it all down was healthy for me from an emotional standpoint.

I learned to move on, let it go, and to cherish today. I came to understand the moment I’m living in is history in the making and that I needed to enjoy today.

I learned to rethink what I thought were competing priorities, stopped wasting time after the relationship with Tom looking for him in other people. I allowed myself to relax and have fun again.

From a professional standpoint, I learned writing a book is more about others than me in that as I put together the story, my thoughts shifted from a sense of regret and confusion over my time with the guy to creating something others could read and either learn from or identify with. I thought other folks may find value in the story

What are you reading now?

I just finished the short story “Brokeback Mountain” – the one made into the blockbuster movie. I never read the book and it’s only 64 pages, but its message is intense. I admire Annie’ ability to create vivid images and an amazing storyline. Don’t laugh, but I’m now reading, “My Way of Life” by the late, great Joan Crawford. I’m a big fan and the book has a great way of helping me change my thought patterns. I’m sure she didn’t intend it to be amusing, but there are points where I find I’m giggling. Her book, unlike my own, is so polished and prim. She was all about image and appearances. Knowing her real life was filled with drama and turbulence, I can permit her former self ample room to provide advice on how to behave and better succeed.

What types of books do you like to read? Who are your favorite authors? Why?

Usually gay non-fiction is my favorite – imagine that! Author friends like Rick McGranahan (Visiting the Ghost of Puppyboy), Rick Merritt (Secrets of a Gay Marine Porn Star), Terry Oldes (Dancing With Tina) and Reichen Lehmkuhl’s Here’s What We’ll Say all rank high. On the fiction front, I find new author J. Warren (StealingGanymede) extremely talented. These guys tell their story with gusto and have provided me with much needed advice as well as an example of great talent when it comes to writing.

Are you working on your next book? What can you tell us about it?

My next project is in the works and have decided to go the fictional route. I think people have a hard time digesting memoir. By that, I mean I’ve received a lot of flack for my past behaviors, choices and ego as appeared in the book. In my experience, I find it funny how folks seem to be less critical with made up characters than real people. The new book will based on true events – a disclaimer that gives me plenty of room to be creative. The first book took 18 years to get here, and I’m taking my time with this one as well. I’m certain it won’t take 18 years, but I enjoy putting the book together. The process of creation is a journey and the best part for me, plus I want to put out something I can be proud of. The new book is a dark story – and I’ll only say the theme is tied to being stalked.

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

With writing, if you jump into the water, keep swimming. Don’t give up…you can make it to the other side if you have confidence in your abilities and stay grounded in the fact that the project has to be something that makes you happy composing. Don’t do it thinking you’ll change the world, get rich, or famous. Do it because you enjoy putting it together. Know that there will be times when you want to give up and allow yourself the time to walk away from it – even for a month. Accept coaching and ask for others to provide input. Allow the coaching to land, but don’t allow it to make you quit. When you are searching out partners to help you edit and design the book – don’t settle. Have some long conversations with them and ask to see their work. The relationship between you and your “team” needs to be strong. If your editing and designer partners are talented, trustworthy and share their talents and advice with you, it will mean and matter more than anything. With publishing, I think you have to be careful. Don’t jump at the opportunity to go with a firm just because they offer. Be cautious and carefully examine all the parameters of the publishing partner you select.

What are you doing to promote your latest book?

I hired a well-known book publicity house, Smith Publicity, to help me with local and national promotion.

Where can readers learn more about you and your book?

Readers can find out more at www.TomorrowMayBeTooLate.com. They can also write to me there and find out other interesting news and tidbits.