Check out this author spotlight for Anthony Almato!
You can find all his links furthest down the page, and don’t forget to check out his books!
1. Hi! Welcome to my humble blog of all things bookish! I would like for us to start by getting to know you. Give us a short bio, please!
Hello there. I could give you the usual stuff by talking about my family, hobbies, and stuff most people would probably gloss over anyway. So instead of that, I’m going to tell you a simple truth. I’ve never read a book a day in my life and wouldn’t know the first thing about writing styles, formats or standard writing practices that most authors follow. What I do know how to do is tell a good story. Not just any story, something I’ve spent the last 20 years of my life developing and world-building into the finished product available on Amazon right now. You might think, “Well, I don’t want to read some chicken scratch from an amateur.” I can say that I’ve worked with professional betareaders, editors, proofreaders, and designers who have over 100 years of experience between them. All have helped mold this into what it is. Editorial reviews suggest I have a unique style of writing they’ve seen that flows well. I’m a tattooed, cigar-smoking guy who has lived a wild life, and I use those experiences to breathe life into my stories. The book has only been out for ten days, and kindle shows over 10,000 pages read so far. Take a chance, and I promise you won’t regret it.
2. To get to know you just a little bit better, I’d like to ask you some this or that questions. Answer 5 of these and explain why you chose this or that, or maybe an entirely different alternative!
Cat or dog?
Dog all the way. I’ve always had a dog in my life. The last, Eda Bear, was a 185 pound Cane Corso mastiff with a heart of gold. I modeled MERC Mongrels in Free Worlds of Humanity after her. She passed a few years ago, and I haven’t moved on since her loss. The bond between a person and their animal is like no other. It’s magical.
Tea or coffee?
I suffered through addiction early in life and try hard not to pick things that could cause me to relapse. If I had to choose between the two, I’d say decaf coffee. But water is my first choice 😊
Ninjas or pirates?
Considering one of my main characters spends many of her chapters with Pirates of the Black from Draco, a rogue world past Titans Belt, I think I’ll have to stick with pirates as a personal favorite.
Mountains or beaches?
I moved into a remote area on the Appalachian mountains in North Western NJ six years ago. I’ve grown accustomed to looking out of any window and seeing mountains. Keep your flatlander beaches; I’ll stay up here *wink*
Hero or anti-hero?
I lean towards anti-heroes because none of my characters are good, bad or indifferent. They all have moments that can be construed as evil or bad, yet the world they live in is filled with despair and terrible deeds. When everyone around you is a predatory animal looking to feast on your flesh, you have two options; eat them first or die.
3. When you look for books to read, what trope or type of story will always catch your attention?
Unfortunately, since I’ve never read a book in my life, I can’t answer this question to its full potential. What I can say from stories, in general, is that science fiction or fantasy stories where there isn’t a stereotypical hero fighting the forces of darkness. I like when everyone is a little bad and a little good at the same time. Give me a twist that is completely unexpected and do something to blow my mind.
4. What do you write? Tell us about your current projects and the latest happenings!
I wrote my first book, officially released September 17th, 2021, in science fiction. Free Worlds of Humanity has an attached novella released this coming January, followed by book 2 in the summer of 2022. The main series will consist of 4 books, with three novellas. I have a funny pitch that I send to people to give a general sense of the book and how twisted it is:
When life gives you lemons, you only make lemonade, right? Wrong. You dilute the lemon concentration, add sugar to the water, use the profit to buy more lemons, scale-up, create a lemon corporation, hire assassins to take out the competition, invest in other companies, and eventually sell your services to the government just before orchestrating a coup…
And that’s just the beginning.
Corruption on every level with misdirection is a constant theme within Free Worlds of Humanity. It doesn’t matter if it’s something as simple as a regular person who works as an engineer fixing air handlers on the side of a megastructure. There’s always more happening that leads to the bigger story.
5. What is your most recent release? Give us a short presentation, cover, and a link for where to buy it!
Free Worlds of Humanity: (the below is not my blurb, rather a short presentation as you asked for)
Humanity. A word that should be described as compassionate, sympathetic or generous. For occupied space, it’s a fickle word used by fickle men to describe a better state of being that is nothing more than an illusion. Humanity is human sanity. Like most things, it is a construct.
In the Great Darkness, humanity fled with the light. Some humans shed it for technological advancements, others for power through brute strength, and a few simply evolved beyond it. When the light returned, only a shred of humanity returned with it. As the new civilizations of the Free Worlds rose and were corrupted, their very humanity was quickly forgotten.
But in the colonized planets forming the Free Worlds of Humanity, not everyone is free. A select few live in luxury—politicians and socialites— influencing the masses through lies and deceit. Henry McWright of the Colonial Accord, the greatest politician in recent history and revered within the highest caste, uses mafia and guerrilla tactics to secure more power, cinching the noose tighter. Almost no one knows that he is a narcissist and a sexist, whose vices grow more unsettling with each page. It won’t be long before the noose settles around his own neck.
Another level of society is filled with the lies of those in power as well as secrets of its own. Women like Isabel Sideris hide in it. Those who initially ran from their pasts now have no choice but to plan the toppling of a planet that squeezes its people into submission. Bound by the legacy of her family name, through her father and her husband, as well as the children that she’s protecting, Isabel never had a chance at a different life. She had tried to protect her children and run from a life as resistance leader and is now thrust back into it. Isabel has no choice but to push forward into the future.
The third class of citizenry is for people like Mace Applegate, intelligent and high-ranking employees of expansive corporations. Even with their strict rules and regulations, his life is without hardship—until his wife’s unauthorized pregnancy. He’s forced to steal company secrets and flee to survive. On the run, he’s pursued by killers—but perhaps it’s not him they’re chasing.
On Civil Earth, the fourth and final caste is the lowest of all—those who are left to die. But Kathryn will never die—not if she can help it. A survivor from the wastelands, where the very air is poison, she’s one of the undesirables. Her enemies underestimate her. Their mistake. She is one of the few martial artists who can perform Agamo Verk, a lost art from before the Great Darkness, and her enemies often pay with their teeth. But as she climbs higher on the rungs of the system and has the opportunity to escape the city, she’ll take it with her teeth bared.
The only way to escape the Free World’s societal casting is by becoming a soldier of some kind, but even the military has its own status. Exhausted soldiers like Askar wish for death but are bound by duty, valor, and glory, and to ever reach purposefully for it. Cursed with a long memory and advanced fighting techniques, he may never die. And that scares him more than any enemy. But taking on a mission to find Mace Applegate for his Force Command will bring him closer to death than any crusade.
Freedom. Like all statuses and systems, it’s a fickle thing. And now that the first dominoes have fallen, it’s only a matter of time before another darkness consumes the whole of humanity.
Purchase link below:
6. What real-life inspiration do you draw from, and what are your primary fictional sources of inspiration (books, authors, films, music, etc.)? Name a few!
I’ve lived a strange life. As a child, I grew up as a product of divorce and had to raise myself from the time I was twelve on. As a teenager, I went from one failed relationship to the next and used some of those real-life experiences as backdrops for some of my main POV characters. I was a professional gamer for a few years and even competed in world qualifier events in Canada and NYC. That’s where the original concept for this story came from, a video game idea. After that, I got into some trouble and realized that I had a simple choice to make. Take up a career and be on one side of the bars or become a product of a crushing system and wind up on the other side of those bars. I became a corrections officer and worked in the Management Control Unit for several years (MCU), which housed the most hardened criminals. I saw everything from serial rapists, murders, gang members to cannabis. I had to interact with these people every day, and an idea dawned on me. What if these were the people in charge? What if some of these human predators were the ones who made decisions for the masses? Let’s fast forward a few thousand years where humanity lives on hundreds of air-breathing worlds, and life is treated like a buzzing gnat that needs to be suppressed a squashed. Here’s the funny thing about standing outside where the buzzing is constant. No matter how many you squash, there’s always another there to fill that void, and they seem to get smarter each time.
My main characters are those smart, buzzing and persistent fliers who never give up and keep coming no matter how many times they are swatted away.
7. What is your writing routine? If you have one, give us the run-down!
I’ve never suffered the issue of writer’s block. For me, that word is not real. The first draft of book one was 275,000 words and a complete mess. It only took three months to write, then I sat back and refined it. Tweaked and polished every single sentence until it shined to the best of my abilities. I did this each day for over a year. I don’t plan what I write. I sit down and start a conversation for a specific character. I turn myself into that character for the day, a form of method acting. Even in my real-life interactions, I become that character for the day. The conversations and situations happen as I write them. Even the direction takes on new twists as I go.
My wife would love to sit down with you for hours and express her saintly patience with me as I speak to her and act as the character for that writing day. I can usually knock out between 1500-3000 words each time I write. That part varies with the week. It’s worked wonders for me thus far since I also knocked out the novella in a month, and book 2, draft one, in a few months as well. The refining is what’s tedious and takes time. I believe what makes this so much easier for me is that I spent twenty years developing this world-building lore of the story. I can pull it from a drawer in my head at will and place my characters in this amazingly detailed world. I have a story bible wiki page with all canon source material at www.freeorldsofhumanity.com, and that page is only around 15% completed right now (it’s fully functional with tons of detail right now.) My web guy laughs because that 15% is over 70,000 words of rabbit hole-falling information. My brain is jam-packed with this stuff bursting out at the seams.
8. If you could go back and give yourself one piece of advice as you started out on the path to becoming an author, what would it be?
That’s a tough question, honestly. I’m satisfied with the way I went about this process. It’s been awesome to watch it take on a life of its own. I would probably tell myself to slow down. When I get an idea in my head, I’m a heat-seeking missile that doesn’t stop until it’s completed. I was in a hurry early on to pump this thing out and was rushing to do stuff. Now I realize this will be a development that will go for another twenty years because there’s so much lore and craft to the story and characters that by the time I’m done, I wouldn’t be surprised if there were tabletop board games, card games, and comic books followed by the main series (and novellas,) prequel, and a sequel already in development. I’ve got over 50 illustrations on the wiki page that gives people a sense of everything. The book is only a fraction of what’s available right now. I think people will love the details and the fact that I don’t gloss over anything. If fans want more information on something, I’m going full throttle to overachieve their expectation. I don’t have to rush to do that. It’s a process that takes time.
9. Last but not least: where can we find you? Drop those links!
www.anthonyalmato.com (mailing list with giveaways that will start in the next few weeks 10 for 10 raffle. By signing up for the mailing list or commenting and tagging 3 friends when I post the link, people will be entered to win FREE swag and a signed book sent to them. Swag includes cellphone cases, posters, portable hard drives, shirts, hats, and more)
www.freeworldsofhumanity.com (story lore and awesome artwork)
https://www.tinyurl.com/freeworlds (Amazon author page with book links)