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Tom Starita Engages us with this Conversation

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“Growth and Change are Highly Overrated|”
Tom Starita talks about his breakout novel ‘Growth and Change are Highly Overrated’ that we at www.welovequalitybooks.biz totally to recommend to all book lovers.

Tom Starita, the author of  Growth and Change are Highly Overrated commenced a recent conversation with the line, “My dream is to one day be remembered as one of the top 75 writers to ever come from Staten Island, New York.
Here are the experts of the witty, engaging and fantastic interview with Tom Starita that shout out the author’s skills as a writer.

‘Growth and Change are Highly Overrated’ has a fascinating plot, an unforgettable protagonist and many engrossing happenings making it a fiction with a heart.

Learn more about the author, his novel and why you will totally enjoy reading Growth and Change are Highly Overrated through this interview with Tom Starita.

 

WeLoveQuality Books: Tom, many Congratulations on the release of your second book, “Growth and Change Are Highly Overrated.” How does it feel?

Tom StaritaThank you very much! It’s a smooth combination of happiness, excitement with a hint of anxiety.

 

WeLoveQuality Books: What motivated you to write this novel?

Tom Starita: My incessant need to tell people stuff they may or may not be interested in. There’s always a voice inside my head jabbering away about God knows what, so why should I be the only lucky one to hear it?

 

WeLoveQuality Books:   The press release of your novel says, “Starita … writes in his spare time.” Do you think an author’s mind ever stops getting inspired, thinking of ideas, collecting experiences, even when they aren’t writing?

Tom Starita: No and they often happen at the worst times – showering, falling asleep, driving, brick laying. Even worse is when you’re in a serious conversation with someone and they say something that’s golden or triggers something interesting and now you missed the last 45 seconds of what they’re saying and there is no easy way to say, “sorry you just gave me a great idea could you repeat the end to that heartbreaking story that brought you to tears one more time?”

 

WeLoveQuality Books: Please tell us what inspired you to write, “Growth and Change Are Highly Overrated”?

Tom Starita: It was February 2013, the week of Valentine’s Day. I was living alone in the lovely town of Weehawken, NJ and to put it bluntly, life sucked.  Like one continuous bad day for months at a time. On top of that, I came down with the worst flu in the history of modern medicine. It was so bad my doctor wrote about me in some medical journal.
So life wasn’t good.
All week I had been locked inside my apartment, sleeping the days away. I was finally well enough to crawl out of bed Saturday night and I was starving. Beyond starving. I basically hadn’t eaten anything in days. I looked over at the clock and saw it was 11 P.M. Okay, ordering takeout was no longer an option. I looked out the window and noticed almost a foot of snow had descended upon my town while I was hibernating. So I wasn’t going to go out and get food either. My last option was the kitchen and that’s when I remembered I hadn’t gone food shopping in almost two weeks. In summation, it was too late for taking out, I was snowed in and I had no food in my house. And that’s when I officially declared that this, this was the worst moment of my entire life.
And then randomly I thought, this would be one hell of a beginning for a book. I went into my office, started typing and immediately found my main character, Lucas James. He made me laugh that night and for a long time, my only real motivation to get out of bed each morning was to find out what else he was going to tell me.

 

WeLoveQuality Books:  How is it different from your first book, “Two Ways to Sunday”?

Tom Starita: “Two Ways to Sunday” was my way of showing the people in my life that yes I can be serious, I just choose not to be. That book is about a man’s journey of faith, (or lack thereof) through life to find out what exactly is important, what makes life worth living and are your problems the fault of an uncaring God or just a series of stupid decisions you made yourself?
“Growth and Change Are Highly Overrated” is also about a man’s journey but this time I wrote it as an easy breezy fun book to read while you’re on the beach or sitting under a big tree canoodling with your honey.

 

WeLoveQuality Books: What is the USP of “Growth and Change Are Highly Overrated” that will make readers love it?

Tom Starita: It’s a comedy without a conscious. It’s a diatribe with depth. It’s the kind of book that works as an easy read or as one that you can read over and over and keep finding hidden details. I’m not going to say it’s better than the Lord of the Rings, but if you asked me which book has a self-absorbed main character who doubles as the narrator and will take you to deep dark places like Mordor, I think my book gets the nod.

 

WeLoveQuality Books: Do you think the term ‘maturity’ is overrated in our times?

Tom Starita: That’s a great question! I think one of the problems we have today is the heavy burden of assumed behavior. You are a certain age so you must behave a certain way and do certain things. Don’t get me wrong, the world would be miserable if we had nothing but man-child and woman-child running around. It would probably involve a lot of jager bombs.
But…
I think the key to life is to realize that the only opinion that matters is your own. If you’re good with your decisions and the outcomes of those decisions, who cares what anyone else thinks? All those people who pass judgment will be dead in less than fifty years anyway, so live your life, have fun and try to outlive as many of them as possible.

WeLoveQuality Books:  It takes a lot of effort for authors to write a book/novel. At which stage of writing this novel did you really have to challenge yourself to keep up the mojo, to keep writing?

Tom Starita: The complete opposite. This book was the sole reason I had to wake up in the morning for a very long time. I had no idea what the book was about, where it was going or how it would end. All I knew was I loved listening to the Lucas James voice in my head. He made me laugh and he gave me a purpose. If anything I was sad when it was over. It’s kind of like saying goodbye to that one really good friend you made while away at college knowing you’ll never see them ever again.

 

WeLoveQuality Books: Do you think it is only the fun people, who can write comedies? Is it one of the toughest genres?

Tom Starita: How do I answer this question that doesn’t make me sound like a pretentious jerk? I don’t think I set out to write a “funny book.” I just wanted to write a book that made me laugh. I figure there have to be some people out there with similar tastes, so if I’m laughing odds are at least 8 people in this world will too.

 

WeLoveQuality Books: The protagonist – “Lucas James” is a performer, a rock-n-roll aspirant. Did you ever have a rock-n-roll dream too?

Tom Starita: You want to hear a story? It’s September of 1987, the beginning of fourth grade for a young Tommy Starita. One Friday my teacher, Mrs. Markowitz told us that they were going to be holding auditions to be in the school band. All of us grew excited at the thoughts of playing drums or guitar or saxophone or some other cool instrument. But before we got to that point, we had to take a basic hearing test to determine how we heard the music.
Turns out I failed the test, badly. Really badly. I was actually told I was tone deaf and just like that, my dreams of being like Floyd from the Muppet Show, playing the ‘cool sax were dead.’
The funny thing is for the past sixteen years I’ve owned an electric blue acoustic guitar.
Do I know how to play it?
Absolutely not.

 

WeLoveQuality Books: By the end of the book, how do you envision “Lucas James” will be received by the audience?

Tom Starita: I want people to think, “I really didn’t like that guy but he kind of grew on me, like an unfortunate fungus.”
If you told someone to rank how much they like Lucas James, on a scale of 1-10, “1” being actively rooting for Lucas James to die a violent death, “10” being wishing they were married/best friends with him and “5” being they wouldn’t mind having him in their life, I hope they would say, “4.”

WeLoveQuality Books: Talking more about rock-n-roll and the main character, which song do you think best describes him?

Tom Starita: Another great question! Good job.
Lucas James LOVES 90s rock. So if we’re trying to find THE song we have to look at a number of bands, most of which you’ve probably never heard of. I’m talking Fuel, Eve 6, Lit, The Sheila Divine, Cool For August, Third Eye Blind, Toad the Wet Sprocket, Live, Better Than Ezra, Harvey Danger, post Vitalogy Pearl Jam, Collective Soul, Splender, Tonic, Stir, Brother Cane, Soul Asylum, Mother Love Bone, Oasis, Everclear, Dramarama, Pushmonkey, Filter, Bush, Hum, Joe 90, Remy Zero, Screaming Trees, Vast and Lemonheads.
But ultimately, I think it would have to be “Teen Angst” (What the World Needs Now) by Cracker.

 

WeLoveQuality Books: Do you think it is only the fun people, who can write comedies? Is it one of the toughest genres?

Tom Starita: Another great question! Good job.
Lucas James LOVES ’90s rock. So if we’re trying to find THE song we have to look at a number of bands, most of which you’ve probably never heard of. I’m talking Fuel, Eve 6, Lit, The Sheila Divine, Cool For August, Third Eye Blind, Toad the Wet Sprocket, Live, Better Than Ezra, Harvey Danger, post Vitalogy Pearl Jam, Collective Soul, Splender, Tonic, Stir, Brother Cane, Soul Asylum, Mother Love Bone, Oasis, Everclear, Dramarama, Pushmonkey, Filter, Bush, Hum, Joe 90, Remy Zero, Screaming Trees, Vast and Lemonheads.
But ultimately, I think it would have to be “Teen Angst” (What the World Needs Now) by Cracker.

 

WeLoveQuality Books: Apart from “Lucas James” which other characters play a pivotal role in the book?

Tom Starita: On the surface, you have the employees of “That Store,” the place Lucas James begrudgingly works at. First, there’s Ralph, who desperately wants to be Lucas James’ best friend. Next, Lori. God knows what’s going on in her mind and finally Victor the Dictator, his manager and a man drunk with power.
The hovering presence throughout the book is his former fiancee, Jackie, “My Apple Jack.”
And subconsciously you have four people, a dad who ditched him, a mom who never knew how to deal with him, an older brother named Eddie he can’t live up to and a younger brother named Franky who idolizes him. These are the people that for better or worse helped mold Lucas James into the man he had to be.

 

WeLoveQuality Books: This is all so interesting! Can we get a copy of “Growth and Change Are Highly Overrated”?

Tom Starita: Do you have a Kindle?
If yes – http://amzn.to/2kg65vi
If no – download the Kindle app for FREE on your phone/tablet/computer, then click on the link above, buy the book and enjoy!

 

WeLoveQuality Books: Thank you for the wonderful conversation, Tom. Before we go, please share with us some of the remarkable reviews for your latest creation?

Tom Starita: Here are a couple of them:
Rating- 5 stars: “This is Starita’s second novel, and while wildly different than his first success, “Two Ways to Sunday” it has proven to be just as riveting. This is a light, humorous read that will go by quickly because you won’t want to put it down! Lucas James, the protagonist, is despicable at times but also endearing in the way that you have either known someone like him or see glimpses of yourself in him. James takes you on the hilarious journey of a guy figuring out how to be independent and whether growing up is even worth it. This book had me laughing out loud and there were even serious moments that any reader can empathize with. Even with James’s deplorable antics, you’ll end up loving him and loving this book. Bravo again, Starita!”
Rating- 5 stars: “A fun read. Everyone will relate to Lucas James because everyone knows this guy. He is the quintessential man-child who you both love and hate. Best part is he knows that’s what he is. Starita writes fun dialogue and captures the spirit of a modern day Ignatius J. Reilly, proving that sometimes growth and change really IS highly overrated.

 

 

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