I was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY on St. Marks Ave in 1943 of Italian decent.
After serving six years in the United States Force (four active and two inactive) I was honorably discharged and later became a police officer in Massachusetts.
If I may I would like to tell you a brief story about how I recently became a writer, after retirement.
I was a Police Patrolman for the Transit Authority back in the 1970’s in Boston, Massachusetts.
After a specific arrest of a suspect for narcotics, I was asked to take a 30 day job as a Deep Cover Investigator for a larger City in Massachusetts. This job required a new identity, Eddie Pannoni. Because of the expertise that I acquired, I was still doing the same job under the guise of Eddie Pannoni 18 years later and had a very interesting and exciting career.
In 1980 Sonny Grasso and Eddie Eagan came to see me (Known for the French Connection Movie and others). They wanted to do a book about my career.
By that time I had the two contracts on my life. I refused the book because of the never ending work that I had to finish.
Since my retirement people are always asking about my experiences throughout my career as a DCI. I have been told, many times, that I should write them down.
At age 65, I decided to write the first book named “Street Business” with Mr. Larry Matthews. We were published a few months after it was written. I began another book and Larry suggested that I send it in without any help from him. I did and it was published.
I now am 67 years old and have three books published named “Street Business,” “Shoveling the Tide” and “Chasing Snow.”
I have Four more books that I have not submitted for publication, “Destructive Obsession,” “Meth or Myth,” “The Cash Mule” and now “The Preyers.” I am also working on a movie script based on my writing, with an award winning script writer.
The books are based on fact although told in a fictional manner with everything, including locations which, in most cases are changed along with names and dates. You may read more about me at http://www.erniesr.com
What is your most recent book? Tell us a bit about it.
My most recent book, Chasing Snow is a continuation of the first two books “Street Business” and “Shoveling the Tide.” “Chasing Snow” takes Eddie Pannoni into Canada where he deals with the French and Italian Mafia. These were the first people to bring Methamphetamine into the United States through that route and distribute threw out the entire New England area and New York.
What inspired you to write these books?
At age 65, while working in the garage one day, I knocked over a box containing all of my cases, new clippings, awards, commendations, etc.
This accident got me thinking about Sonny Grasso and Eddie Eagan (Of the French Connection Fame) who wanted to write a book about me in 1980. I was retired and had the time so I worked on it with another writer, Mr. Larry Matthews who had 30 years experience as a news man. We actually finished it. Then to my amazement it was published. I then tried doing one myself and that was published now a third and I have four others waiting to be submitted for publication.
Now there is strong talk of a movie based on my writing.
How did you choose the title?
Book one: I worked the street in the business of drugs so…”Street Business”
Book Two: Dealing with drug dealers is like shoveling the S***T against the tide so…”Shoveling the Tide”
Book tree: Quite often it seemed as though I was constantly chasing the drugs and would never catch up so: “Chasing Snow” snow being slang for cocaine.
Book four: I am now sending out. Because drugs are an obsession I called this one: “Destructive Obsession”
What obstacles did you encounter in getting this book published? How did you overcome them?
The main obstacle was getting publishers to look at the book. Being a new writer I was looked at as a beginner and with very little interest.
How did you know you wanted to be a writer? How did you get started?
See above question number one……Tell us about yourself
Do you have any writing rituals?
No not really. I have no formal training in writing so I call myself a story teller which is what I have been for years telling my stories about my life in Deep Cover under the guise of Eddie Pannoni.
How do you come up with the names for your characters?
I use the telephone book and Mafia characters, from my neighborhood, that I knew as a kid in Brooklyn NY.
Did you learn anything from writing and publishing this book? What?
I found out that I should have started at age 45 instead of 65 which would have given me more time to become known. I enjoy writing and telling the stories. If one of my stories stops someone from using drugs then it is all worth the work. Its hard work and you must love doing it in order to do it correctly.
If you were doing it all over again, what would you do differently?
Start writing at an earlier age and gone along with Sonny Grasso instead of turning him down.
Are you working on your next book? What can you tell us about it?
I have several finished and ready for submission. They are all about the life and experiences of Detective Ernie Lijoi Sr. under the guise of Eddie Pannoni. Eddie fights to protect the public from the misery of drugs by assisting the FBI, ATF and the DEA as well as local and State Police in several states. All of the books are based on fact and if you look at my site Http://www.erniesr.com you will find a few of the news clippings from those days.
What is the best advice you could give other writers about writing or publishing?
Because of my limited experience, I don’t feel that I can give any advice other than to say, if you love it stay with it, if not find something else to do because it is very hard work. The hardest work starts after the book is written.
Who is the perfect reader for your book?
First let me say that my wife plays a big part in my books, as a matter of fact, she was the one that everyone wanted to meet after reading my first book and that is wonderful to me because she deserves the credit for what she did and pout up with. She played a large part in the real life that I lived.
The perfect reader for my books are both women and men that enjoy the stories of married life and the complications that a job like mine brought to the marriage.
The main reader of my books will be people that enjoy detective novels, mystery novels since I worked all kinds of cases including narcotics, rapes, kidnappings, murders, bank robberies and more. I had three contracts on my life, I have been shot with my own gun and cut on occasion.
Where can readers learn more about you and your book?
They can go to my site: http://www.erniesr.com