by Garasamo Maccagnone
The easiest story ever to purge its way out of me was my latest release entitled, The Note Giver. After a long sabbatical away from daily Mass, I began attending a local rural parish four or five miles from my house. After a month or so, an older man began frequenting the early Mass, usually a few minutes late, and always partaking in a sort of odd ritual.
The man would splash holy water on the back of his ears three times before genuflecting and entering his pew. After watching his eccentric behavior over time, my interest sparked and I consciously became aware that the man might be a compelling character in a story at some time.
On a night in October, I received a call from an estranged in-law that my father was dying. Estranged from my father and my entire family, you can imagine the difficulty of arriving at the hospital to see your father hooked up to the various support systems, while your family members stare at you with antipathy. Though my father survived his surgery, an infection raged inside of him and his doctors thought that he would not survive the night.
Oddly, the next day at Church, when the Mass had ended, the story came to me in an instant as I prayed in the darkness for my father. As if it was meant to be, The Note Giver was written in a matter of hours when I returned home. The computer keys practically typed at their own accord as the words rushed out of me. Somehow, the sighting of the eccentric man at Church and my father’s bout with death all came together and forced a story out of me that, a few months earlier, I had not even a thought about composing. I suppose it was meant to be.
Garasamo Maccagnone studied creative writing and literature under noted American writers Sam Astrachan and Stuart Dybek at Wayne State University and Western Michigan University. A college baseball player as well, Maccagnone met his wife Vicki as a junior at WMU. The following year, after injuring his throwing arm, Maccagnone left school and his baseball ambitions to marry Vicki. After a two year stint at both W.B. Doner and BBDO advertising agencies, Maccagnone left the industry to apply his knowledge of marketing in a new venture in an up-and-coming industry. Maccagnone created a company called, “Crate and Fly,” and turned it from a store front in 1984 to a world-wide multi-million dollar shipping corporation by 1994.
In the mid 90’s Maccagnone decided to fulfill the promise of his writing career, by first penning the children’s book, The Suburban Dragon and then following up with a collection of short stories and poetry entitled, The Affliction of Dreams. His literary novel, St. John of the Midfield was published in 2007, followed by his For the Love of St. Nick, which was released in 2008. Maccagnone expanded the original version of For the Love of St. Nick and had the book illustrated for a new release in June 2009. My Dog Tim and Other Stories is a literary anthology of the author’s best work.
Garasamo “Gary” Maccagnone lives today in Shelby Township, Michigan, with his wife Vicki and three children. At this time, he is researching the location for his second novel, tentatively titled, He Lay Low.
You can visit Gary online at www.garasamomaccagnone.com