Name Armand Rosamilia
Where are you from
Born in Newark NJ. Grew up in Belford NJ. Living in Jacksonville FL.
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc
Married to the greatest woman in the world. I have several children. I sit around and write stories all day. Eat too many M&M’s and drink too much coffee (as if there is such a thing)
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
I got a Kindle Scout contract! “Dirty Deeds” is out now, a crime thriller. It is a bit different from my other work but so far the reviews have been great.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
Dean Koontz books at 12. After reading every paperback of his I could find in my mother’s book collection I was hooked and knew what I wanted to do with my life.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When I was paid a nice advance for “Miami Spy Games” in 2012, which is the book that really put me on solid ground financially as a writer.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
My first book I tried after so many short stories was “Dying Days” and it was inspired by Brian Keene’s “The Rising” as I wanted to try my hand at a zombie book.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
I think I have a specific voice in my work and readers see it. No matter what genre or subgenre I write in, I think it is still my style and one certain people enjoy reading.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
I love using song titles or lyrics for stories. Several of my books are titled based on music. I had another title for the book when it was going to be much darker, but when I changed the premise I knew “Dirty Deeds” was the perfect title.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
I never write with any real message. I want my books to be read for the enjoyment. It’s all pulp fiction and not to be taken seriously. I write so people can escape into another world for a few hours.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?
I hope not much! “Dirty Deeds” is about a man hired to kill children, only he doesn’t do that. He finds a way to rescue the child and make you think he did what he was paid to do.
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
I think a little of my life bleeds into everything I’ve ever written. Definite characters have traits of mine or someone I know, and I like to base characters loosely on people in my life, whether I love or hate them at the moment.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
Dean Koontz to become an author. Brian Keene’s “The Rising” to write zombie books. Author Scott Nicholson was an early mentor to me, offering advice and answering all of my questions about this as a career.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
“Dead Wake” from Dawn Lee McKenna, a suspense book set in Florida. Love this series.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Brandon Luffman, John C. Foster, Frank J. Edler… I’m discovering new authors every day!
Fiona: What are your current projects?
I am working on several: “Dirty Deeds 2” as well as a contemporary fiction novel, “Belford Stories.” Also in the process of finishing “Dying Days 6” and “Necromance” paranormal horror novel.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
I’ve been blessed to have gotten advice from several great authors over the years. I could name-drop a dozen and it still wouldn’t scratch the surface. It’s why I think it is so important for me to take the time to help other authors by answering questions and promoting them.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
It is! I’m lucky enough to have been writing full-time for nearly six years now. My goal is to never have to go back to retail management.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Not a thing, which is rare for me. I think every part of “Dirty Deeds” was what it needed to be, and I think that’s why it got the Kindle Scout contract.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
Reading so many of my mother’s paperbacks. She still reads several books a week and mostly horror. I got my love of the genre from her.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Here’s the opening to “Dirty Deeds”
I get paid large sums of money to kill children.
I’ll let that horrific sentence sink in before I tell you what I really do for a living.
More specifically, I move children from horrific situations with parents, guardians, and wicked people and place them with someone who will watch over them. Take care of them. Not want them dead.
How and why do I do this? We’ll get back to the nitty gritty in a bit. For now…
“How much money to kill my daughter?”
I frowned and stared at the man. Without an answer, I walked to his office desk and sat down in the guest chair, and motioned for him to join me. I put my satchel on the floor within easy reach.
He took his time, trying to seem casual, walking around his desk and dropping into his chair.
I notice things.
A picture of his daughter was on the filing cabinet to my right. His hands were shaking and he couldn’t make eye contact. He was sweating despite the air turned down low, and when I’d first walked into his office, I noticed his secretary was not at her desk.
John Caruso was one of the big shot lawyers in Philadelphia, but I would be stupid not to do my job and figure out the background of a potential client before we met. This guy had a couple of red flags and I was going to have my due diligence with John before we went any further.
I chuckled without humor and sat up in the chair. “If I’m not mistaken, you just asked me how much to kill your daughter?”
He nodded, his hands on the desk. When he moved his right hand to his phone on the desk he stopped, his hand shaking.
John was wearing a dress shirt. It most likely cost as much as my entire wardrobe. Especially what I was wearing. He was sweating so badly I could see his chest hair through it.
Me? I was calm and casual.
In the movies, the killer is always dressed smartly. Expensive Italian suits. Diamond-studded watch. Shoes like butter and worth the cost of a Porsche.
I was wearing a pair of jeans I’d bought at Wal-Mart, a black t-shirt that came in a pack of three, and boat shoes. Very comfortable, but not butter-comfortable. The most expensive thing I wore was the gold chain and cross around my neck, a gift from my deceased mother.
The pen on this guy’s desk cost more than everything I had on even if you added in the cash from my wallet. I was sure his phone had every app imaginable to mankind and he didn’t worry about his monthly bill.
“Don’t play with me, Mister Aaron. You know exactly why you’re here,” John said. He sat up and his hands stopped shaking.
I knew the look on his face. He thought he had me. This little weasel thought he was back in control.
I turned my head and looked around the room. When I turned back to him he looked confused.
“I need water. Is there any way, before we begin the transaction that will change your life, you can get me a glass of water?” I asked.
“Uh… sure. I have bottled water.”
I smiled and tried to fake warmth for this snake. “Actually, a tall glass of water is better. I don’t even need it cold. I just need a lot of water.” I touched my lips. “I get very thirsty doing this. You understand, right?”
“I have tap water,” he said.
John nodded and went out of the office and into his bathroom.
I scooped up his phone and sliced my finger across it, unlocking it quickly. These big shots were all the same: they’d spend thousands of dollars on home security but set their passwords to their computers so an eight year old could crack it, and never put anything safety-wise on their cell phone. I wasn’t tech-savvy at all, but I’d paid a lot of money to learn the tricks I needed to learn over the years. I knew enough to keep me from getting backed into a corner or caught doing something stupid.
I found what I was looking for but didn’t bother doing anything with it. I knew the score now.
John returned with the water and I sat up. I’d put his phone back but made sure it was moved half a foot to the right, away from him.
He noticed it right away and looked like he was about to run.
I put a finger to my lips and stood, taking the glass of water and taking a sip.
John didn’t move.
The side of his mouth twitched when I picked up his cell phone.
“I think we got off to a bad start, Mister Caruso. You mistook me for someone else. Someone bad. I was contacted by a friend of a friend of a friend. This is how this happens and gets me in your office,” I said. I sat back down and put the phone next to my glass of water.
I motioned for him to sit and I picked up my satchel from the floor on my side, keeping eye contact with the lawyer so he didn’t bolt.
“I am selling this and I was told you had money for the purchase,” I said and produced a 1973 Topps Mike Schmidt rookie baseball card, sealed and graded Gem Mint. Perfect 10. “You won’t find this card in a better quality than this. Make me an offer I can’t refuse.”
John looked confused as he stared at the baseball card in my hand.
“I didn’t invite you to my office to buy a damn baseball card,” he said.
I picked up his phone with my free hand.
“Then I’m sorry for wasting your time. I really thought I was here to sell you a Schmidt rookie. I figured since we’re in Philadelphia and you’re obviously a hometown fan, it made sense to me. My bad. I’ll be on my way,” I said and stood, dropping his phone into the glass of water.
John panicked and tried to grab the glass but I pulled it away. I wanted to make sure it stayed in as long as possible. Not that it would do anything other than destroy his expensive phone. It was my own personal screw you to this jerk, who thought he was smarter than I was.
I yanked the phone out and spun it across the room, where it smashed against the wall.
“Oh no, I am so sorry. I will buy you a new phone. Is it broken?” I asked, running to it and accidentally stepping on the screen. It cracked. They didn’t make them like they used to, right?
I could see he was getting pissed and about to say something really stupid. I turned, grabbed his arm, and pulled him to me. When I stared into his eyes he stopped and anger was replaced by fear.
“You got your wires crossed. I sell baseball cards. That’s it. I don’t know what you’re talking about. You want to kill your daughter? I should go to the police, you sick bastard. Anyone who tries to pay someone to have someone killed, especially a child, deserves to die themselves. I hope, someday, you get what you deserve,” I said and pushed him away.
I grabbed my satchel and walked out of his office, slamming the door behind me.
My instincts had saved me again but I was far from in the clear. I knew what was going to happen now.
As soon as I got outside there were lights in my eyes, armed police officers and men in black suits, and I was tossed to the pavement. It wasn’t the first time and it wouldn’t be the last, either.
They searched me, the FBI agent taking the lead disappointed I didn’t have a weapon on me. I knew better. I didn’t even carry a pair of tweezers.
I was put into the back of a squad car without a word and driven away. I didn’t bother telling anyone they’d forgotten to read me my rights. They knew exactly what they were doing.
I’d been in this spot before. A lot worse, in fact. They had nothing on me and I wasn’t going to slip like you saw in bad TV and movies. Not happening.
I enjoyed the ride. I’d flown into Philly so quickly I hadn’t had a chance to see the city. Now, I watched it from the back of a police car.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Never in the writing itself. I love to write and if I could stop being distracted by social media I’d write 10,000 words a day. The challenge is to get my butt in the seat and focus only on the writing on a consistent basis day in and day out.
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Dean Koontz growing up. He inspired me to become an author. I think it was the storytelling aspect of his work which appealed to the teenage me, and his success is still inspirational.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
Yes. I do several conventions and book signings a year. This year I’ll do TNEE in Atlanta GA in April and Scares That Care in Williamsburg VA in July. I’ll also be doing a book signing in my hometown of Belford NJ in April, which I haven’t been back to in over a dozen years.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
The original “Dirty Deeds” cover was done by my wife, taking her first shot at doing it. Kindle Scout asks you to give them a cover. Once the book was accepted I went with Jack Wallen, who does some excellent work. Highly recommended.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Not using profanity. I knew when I went into the book I wanted it more mainstream than most of my other work, so there is no cursing, over the top violence or sex. It was hard at first to get into the groove but once I got a few pages in I knew it was going to be worth it.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I learned I didn’t have to always be so edgy or dark in order to write a good story. The characters drove the plot and kept the reader engaged, not crazy violence or horrible situations. That being said, there is plenty of tension and horrible situations in “Dirty Deeds”
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Read. A lot. Not just in the genre you’re writing in, either. Reading genres you aren’t familiar with will help your writing by seeing a different style and plots. I read a ton of nonfiction and mine ideas all the time for future use.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Because of my loyal readership I’m able to live the dream and write full-time. I truly thank each and every person who’s ever bought one of my books and read it.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
More than likely a “Hardy Boys” book. I loved them as a kid.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Seeing my family happy makes me happy. Being able to do the things in life I want to do and sharing those experiences with my family is what makes me laugh. I try not to cry too much.
Fiona: Is there one person pass or present you would meet and why?
I would love to sit down with Dean Koontz and have lunch and pick his brain or just listen to his early years as a writer. I think it would be fascinating.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why?
Husband. Father. Author.
Either that or the song lyrics to “Learn How To Live” by Billy Squier.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies?
I read a lot. I’m a huge baseball and football fan. I am learning to play guitar for my own amusement. I collect Red Sox baseball cards and Marvel comic books. I eat M&M’s.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I don’t watch a ton of TV but when I do it is Red Sox baseball during the season. My wife always has the Investigation Discovery Channel on. I loved Mr. Robot. We also watch Shameless, Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead… maybe I do watch a ton of TV…
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
Pizza and Chinese food. Favorite color is green and I am a Metal guy.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
I’d still be stuck in retail management hating every second of my life. I’m not cut out for manual labor and not a fan of people, so it does limit what I can do.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
You can find me at http://armandrosamilia.com and I also just opened a Patreon, where you can get exclusive content from me like book chapters before anyone else sees them, a weekly log of my work, access to stuff I don’t share with anyone else, etc. at https://www.patreon.com/ArmandRosamilia?ty=h
Thank you for the great interview!