Today I am welcoming Russ DiBella into the Indie Spotlight.
Russ DiBella has a Bachelor of Arts in Communications / Journalism from Glassboro State College (now Rowan University). As a lifelong musician, travel enthusiast and avid reader, he’s written everything from poetry and prose to song lyrics and freelance articles. His most recent book A Drive Down the Coast was recently awarded a 5-Star Silver Seal rating from Readers’ Favorites. His previous book From the Inside: A Backdrop to the Music of My Life chronicles a lifelong passion for music and takes readers behind the scenes to experience the inner workings of a live concert setting. He lives in South Jersey with his wife and twin daughters.
Welcome to the Indie Spotlight, Russ!
What made you decide to publish your books independently? What was your path to publication?
When I discovered the traditional publishing process was extremely involved with an unlikelihood of securing a literary agent or getting a manuscript accepted, I immediately considered an independent approach as mine was primarily a labor of love. That said, I also decided to be as hard on myself as any agent, editor or publisher would.
After a life of writing in various forms (poetry, lyrics, journals, personal meditations and professional documents and articles), I decided to try my hand at something with “a bit more size and scope,” as I wrote in my first book From the Inside: A Backdrop to the Music of My Life.
What made you decide to write in the specific genre rather than other genres? Have you ever written in other genres?
Whereas I’m comfortable with fiction in the shorter format of song lyrics, non-fiction is my niche with the more extended demands of prose as I enjoy documenting experiences. My first book recounts all the musical moments of my life to include bringing the reader backstage “to catch a glimpse into the inner workings of a live concert setting.” My most-recent effort, A Drive Down the Coast: Getting Lost of the Back Roads of California, is in the scenic travel genre and takes the reader along the state’s majestic coastal back roads.
Do you only read the genres you write?
My reading interests are fairly wide ranging from legal dramas (fiction) to musician autobiographies and travel writers (non-fiction). I believe everything I read helps with whatever I’m writing (or plan to write) and that the best way to become a better writer is to become a better reader.
What are you currently reading? Watching on TV? Listening to?
At the moment I’m reading Why We Drive: Toward a Philosophy of the Open Road by Matthew Crawford. My TV watching is varied and seasonal (rarely in summer as I’m always outdoors). As fall is upon us, I’m watching my Dateline and 20/20 murder mysteries as well as Yellowstone (Montana drama) and Alaska Daily (newspaper drama). Contrary to the rest of my life, I don’t listen to music for writing inspiration – nor do I have it on when actually writing as I need complete silence for that (as I do when reading).
Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
Aside from the previously stated “become a better reader,” I’ll quote from my first book: “With regard to the often slow process of documenting everything, some advice offered by author Stephen King in On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft put it in perspective for me — most likely saying it best and periodically encouraging me when I had neither the energy nor inclination to continue: ‘Whether it’s a vignette of a single page or an epic trilogy like The Lord of the Rings, the work is always accomplished one word at a time.’”
What are you working on right now? What can we look forward to seeing from you next?
I’m still actively marketing A Drive Down the Coast. But I’m also considering another drive on a different coast as the travel-writing bug has clearly bitten me!
Thank you very much for joining me on my blog today, Russ, I wish you every success with your books!
A Drive Down the Coast
“Racing along the twisting, turning, tree-lined roads that gave way to open fields and farms brought the old, well-known proverb to life… the journey is indeed the reward.”
So begins this richly textured account of a solo drive down the coastal back roads of California from just north of the Oregon border to the southwestern-most corner of San Diego County along the sparsely populated United States-Mexico line.
More than simply recounting his travels, DiBella captures in detail the distinctive and wide-ranging beauty of California’s scenic landscape. With relevant musical and literary interludes, this comprehensive celebration of nature and travel includes a classic-rock soundtrack that puts the reader enjoyably in the passenger seat along roads “typically driven on only by locals.”
From forested coastal highlands and long narrow valleys to gently sloping wine regions and all along the glimmering blue Pacific Ocean, A Drive Down the Coast is a welcome escape and an inexpensive ticket to a uniquely scenic road trip – all from the comfort of your favorite reading chair.
From the Inside: A Backdrop to the Music of My Life
Part memoir and part backstage pass, From the Inside is written from the perspective of an outsider looking in. By taking a peek behind the literal and proverbial curtain, DiBella discovers the inner workings of live concert setting and gives readers an intimate look at activities otherwise inaccessible to the typical concert goer.
Clearly written with an appreciation both for the songs and the artists who have inspired so many, From the Inside is the story of a life examined through the lens of music.