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Interview with:

Joseph F Lupoli [josephlupoli] 

What is your profession? What is your title printed on your business card?
I am a counselor for a year-around camp for developmentally disabled children and adults. I also teach sports and motor skills to individual clients in a home environment.
What links do you have on the Internet: website, blog, social networks?
My links include mixed martial arts, writing tips, Classmates.com, Netflix, general world news, YouTube, and various cultural sites.
Are you satisfied with the education that you received?
Yes, but I should consider taking more courses.
In which areas have you thought of building upon your education?
I'd like to learn more about psychology.
When did you realise that your work was being considered important and that it could possibly take you places?
I realized the importance of my career right away. My specific personality had an immediate positive impact on the developmentally disabled.
With which types of persons do you feel you work well with as a team?
In my occupation, I work well with upbeat, energetic women. By nature they tend use different methods than I do. So the campers benefit from both a male and female personalities and points of view. And that makes for a cohesive unit. For instance, women in my field are generally adept in arts and crafts. My specialty is coaching sports. But we're all able and willing to wear different hats when needed.
Do you have a website or blog? How was the process in making it? Does it accomplish the purpose for which it was created?
Yes. I do have a blog. It's a writers blog which contains small stories I wrote. The stories are of various genres.
How do you feel about speaking in front of an audience? What experience have you had in this arena?
I have no difficulty speaking to any sized audience in any scenario. Although I do have a lot of experience in public speaking, it's not something I had to gradually break into. It just comes naturally.
Do you attend cocktail parties, presentations, fairs or conventions related to your profession?
Yes, absolutely. My occupation is based on fun, so naturally there are numerous dance parties, holiday parties, and camp shows. I participate as often as possible because it's fun.
How are you different from others in your professional sector?
I'm very animated, emotionally available, and enthusiastic by nature. I'm not swayed by gossip or the opinions of others, and I have no fear of my supervisors, and I'm not a clock-watcher. My supervisors are very appreciative of that. Also, I love to play; the campers are aware that I'm not just going through the motions.
Do you feel your hobbies serve to elevate your career?
Absolutely. For instance, I love playing tennis. And tennis is part of what I teach the campers.
Would you relenquish some of your income in exchange for more free time?
No. My occupation is often stressful and exhausting, but the rewards outweigh the fatigue. The job pays very little money, but my pension supplements that.
What are the things you least like about your job?
I really love my job, but I wish it were a little less stressful.
Besides your current profession, what other things would you have liked to have been?
I would have liked to have been a writer, but I already am.
What is the most important thing you have learned from experience?
I have learned to forgive--not just others but myself as well.
When you were young, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a detective.
Save some excpetions, do you believe professional and personal relationships should not be mixed?
Yes, I do. Trouble always brews from hanky panky on the job.
What did you first read? How did you begin to write? Who were the first to read what you wrote?
Following comic books, I read The Happy Hollisterís volumes. I then graduated to The Hardy Boyís. In 5th grade, we were told to write a two-page essay (an original story) as a homework assignment. So I hastily cranked out a silly story just to get it over. The following day, and to my bewilderment, the teacher accused me of copying my story from a book! Apparently, it seemed unfeasible to her that a ten-year-old would have the ability to compose and implement dialogue.
What is your favorite genre? Can you provide a link to a site where we can read some of your work or learn something about it?
Drama is my favorite genre. JosephLupoli.blogspot.com
What is your creative process like? What happens before sitting down to write?
I have no set process. The story automatically forms in my brain. If I think the story can get somewhere, Iíll write a set-up paragraph or two, and then let my imagination take off from there
What type of reading inspires you to write?
Reading works by others does not inspire me to write. For fiction writing, I draw my inspiration from paintings and sketches, or a dream, perhaps Ė and whatever flows from my brain to my fingertips. For nonfiction, I use parts of my life and the lives of others Iíve known.
What do you think are the basic ingredients of a story?
Drama, comedy, tragedy, conflict, fear, joy, and redemption will usually do the job. Also, I feel it is vital to prevent the characters from ďsoundingĒ alike. The personalities of each character must appear unique from each other. Also, an ability to describe each of the five-senses in vivid detail is preferable.
What voice do you find most to your liking: first person or third person?
I prefer to write in the first person.
What well known writers do you admire most?
Letís see Ö Iíll go with Steinbeck, Dickens, London, McMurtry, Hemingway, Melville, Wouk, and Hawthorne, to name a few.
What is required for a character to be believable? How do you create yours?
Plain old gut-level realism is what brings a character to life Ė to make them believable. With fiction, I donít consciously create most characters. They just somehow appear with the flow.
Are you equally good at telling stories orally?
No. Iím not a bad on-the-spot story teller, but my pen is mightier than my tongue.
Deep down inside, who do you write for?
I write for anyone who is willing to read what Iíve written. My chances of becoming a rich author are next to zero, so why not keep my low-paying day job? This way, Iíll be under no pressure to constantly produce in order to pay for my yacht in Bermuda, my summer home in the Hamptons, or to maintain my string of polo ponies in the South of France.
Is writing a form of personal therapy? Are internal conflicts a creative force?
No. While I do not doubt that writing provides therapeutic value for me, it is an unintended fringe benefit. Certainly, internal conflicts both past and present are a necessary ingredient for creativity.
Does reader feed-back help you?
Absolutely Ė unless they tell me my writing is horrible/great while they, themselves, have never submitted a single work.
Do you participate in competitions? Have you received any awards?
No, but the day is young.
Do you share rough drafts of your writings with someone whose opinion you trust?
Yes, my wife. She majored in English Literature. Essentially sheís trained in how to differentiate good writing from mindless drivel. My wife tells me sheís not being biased when she insists Iíve got the literary goods, but I remain unconvinced.
Do you believe you have already found "your voice" or is that something one is always searching for?
My belief is that I was born with ďmy voice.Ē Imagination came with my baby teeth. It then became a matter of honing the phonetics and sentence structure details.
What discipline do you impose on yourself regarding schedules, goals, etc.?
What do you surround yourself with in your work area in order to help your concentrate?
What do you surround yourself with in your work area in order to help your concentrate?
Schedules and goals equal unnecessary pressure for me. I walk into my office, open my laptop, and then I ponder whether or not I feel like writing.
Do you write on a computer? Do you print frequently? Do you correct on paper? What is your process?
I write and edit strictly on word program.
What sites do you frequent on-line to share experiences or information?
I have a blog and periodically contribute to Bleacher Report, an online sports magazine. At one time, I frequented literary chat rooms Ė which turned out to be nonproductive.
What has been your experience with publishers?
Ha! Iíll let you know as soon as my works gets by any literary agencies last lines of defense and on the chief editorís desk.
What are you working on now?
Iím working on a memoir called The Climb. Itís about four-days in the life of a man in an alcohol detoxification hospital unit. My last full-length nonfiction, Swing, was submitted on the heels of Oprahís public lambasting of James Frey on national television. Needless to say, not a single agent wanted to touch Swing with a ten-foot pole.
What do you recommend I do with all those things I wrote years ago but have never been able to bring myself to show anyone?
By all means, Read them again and edit. Then submit your stuff to every agent who accepts online cover letters and the first several chapters of your work. Hard-mailing to agents with a SASE (agents insist upon SASE) seems only to invite them to ship your work back unread, a rejection letter attached.
Can you provide a link to a web site or blog where we can learn more about you?
Is faith necessary for spirituality to work?
Do creativity and positive thinking slow aging?
What is your sport, and what level of commitment do you have to it?
My sport is tennis and my level of commitment is high. I'm also a former three-time pro arm-wrestling champion (160 pound weight class), but nerve damage forced my premature retirement.
What is the greatest loss you have had in your life?
The loss of my one and only true love.
Something in which you are completely incompetent.
I have a math disability.
Of what are you an addict?
I am a drug addict and an alcoholic, 12-years in remission now.
Does knowing someone's zodiac sign help you to better understand that person?
Yes, but to a very limited degree.
To which other place in the world would you move without hesitation?
A bad habit you have overcome.
Which animal do you prefer for company?
What do you imagine yourself doing for your retirement?
Only will death cause my retirement.
How many times have you found the love of your life? What about unrequited love?
I fell in love just once, and the loss was devastating. The experience caused me to believe that real love never has a happy ending.

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Joseph F Lupoli
Neptune, NJ, USA

[josephlupoli] Joseph F Lupoli
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