Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Guest Blogger Dennis Griffin, Author of Cullotta

This review appeared on The Literary World site on July 17 2007.

July 17:Jim Agnew On Crime
Cullotta--The Life Of A Chicago Criminal, Las Vegas Mobster and Government Witness (Huntington Press Publishing)
This is the best book written on the Chicago crime syndicate and I've read them all. Virgil Petersen summed up the Chicago crime syndicate in the title of his 1950's book..."Barbarians In Our Midst".It's the best book because its all first person, gloves off and very rough.Frank Cullotta was a very active...bomber, killer, master burglar, fence, and criminal confidant to the mob lords of Chicago and Las Vegas. He describes these roles and capers as they happened with lots of play-by-play details.Cullotta also describes real prison life and the Witness Protection Program...up close and personal.I read Cullotta in one afternoon and so will any true-crime fan. Its just a real-good read about very dangerous professional criminals.

Thank you for dropping by on your Virtual Book Tour. Our readers are interested not only in your book but in you as an author as well. Thanks for taking your time to answer some questions.
1) If you could start over with your writing career, what if anything would you change?1 – For one thing, I’d have started much earlier in life rather than waiting until after retirement. I would also have done a lot more research about the writing business — including publishing options and marketing — while working on my first manuscript.

2) What was the best piece of advice you received regarding the life of a writer?2 – Try to do something writing-related every day. That can include the actual writing, conducting interviews, doing research, and marketing.

3) If you could meet anyone, living or dead, who would it be?3 – I’m a World War II buff and would have enjoyed discussing those times with President Franklin Roosevelt.

4) If you could meet any fictional character, who would it be?4 – I’d like to meet Superman.

5) In the next century, what do you hope people will remember you for?5 – I’d like to be recognized as a good researcher who produced accurate books regarding the Tony Spilotro era in Las Vegas.

6) How do you balance your personal and writing time?6 – Although I’m retired, I treat my writing as a job that requires a minimum of three hours per day.

7) How do you write? Do your characters come to you first or the plot or the world of the story?7 – For my fictions the plot comes first. For non-fiction I take an interest in either a character or an event.

8) What genre(s) do you write? Why do you write the stories that you write?8 – I write mystery/thriller fiction and true crime non-fiction. I imagine my prior career in investigations and law enforcement was the primary influence for those choices.

9) Out of all the characters that you've written, who is your favorite and why?9 – My favorite character that I’ve created is Steve Garneau, a Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department homicide detective.

10) If you were writing a script for the big screen, who would you want to act in your movie?10 – I’m partial to the movies Casino and Goodfellas. I think Joe Pesci and Robert De Niro did outstanding jobs in those films and I’d like them in my movie.

11) What would you want readers to take away from your books?11 – For my non-fictions I want the reader to come away knowing they learned the true story of the people and events in the book.

12) Do you have any advice for beginning writers in regards to writing a book?12 – I’d tell beginners to do their homework before they start. Learn what’s involved to be a successful writer. Know what publishing options are available and study marketing and promotion methods. The more knowledge a writer has, the better the decisions he or she will make.

13) Where can readers buy a copy of your book?13 – My books are available through the online sites such as Amazon and Barnes and Noble. They can be purchased at or ordered through the brick and mortal outlets as well.I also have purchase links on my site,

14) What other projects are you working on right now?14 – I’m currently finishing the third book in my Las Vegas trilogy featuring Detective Garneau. I’m also looking at three true crime stories and will soon make my decision on which one to write.

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