‘The Ballad of Ricky Risotto’ by Marc Cavella – Review

An entertaining gem of a read celebrating the glory days of pro wrestling with a modern voice…

Marc Cavella has flawlessly captured the glory days of American pro wrestling by way of a story that’s both fun and unpredictable. From anyone that’s ever followed the industry casually to the die hard fans or even those who are entirely new to it will appreciate the journey in this book.

We are introduced to the closed doors world of an industry that’s seen less as entertainment and more as a reality where ‘Ricky Risotto’ plays an integral role in keeping pretty much all aspects of the ‘Ozark Championship Wrestling’ promotion together along with the struggle of having an aging ‘gimmick’ or act. Known as ‘Waylon’ behind the curtain he’s part producer, coach, negotiator, matchmaker and booker, that is while trying to maintain a presence in front of the curtain among the fans where he aspires to be. The conflicts he faces are both personal and professional, from dealing with his sexuality in a not so progressive era to getting the current champion and friend to drop the belt at the upcoming event; we are presented with this story of a man who’s probably too good for the industry he’s in.

Wrestling in the by gone age conveyed in this story was big business and governed by the political players both inside and out of the ring, you see plenty of that along with some larger than life characters who may or may not be inspired by reality. The big rival promotion is simply named ‘New York’ and most of us can work out that cool reference and overall this is a cool story with a great twisting end. With money, pride and everything else at stake, the Ballad of Ricky Risotto makes for a great read with a modern voice!

5 Stars – A great read about one of my favourite subjects. Thanks to the author for reaching out and providing a copy of the book in exchange for a review.

The Ballad of Ricky Risotto is released today, grab yourself a copy here and remember to support an author by leaving a review!

Hall of Information Interviews: Kristina Gallo

Exploring unique voices in writing can extend across different languages from many places all over the world. For this Hall of Information Interview we speak with an author and blogger who faced the challenge of learning English and succeeded. Her ambition to express feeling through writing has made for some great stories and it’s even been an opportunity to help others. Kristina Gallo has taken the time to share her story so join us as we dive in to the words…

Q1. Let’s start with talking about Language. English is not your native language but that hasn’t stopped you from writing some great books which is impressive. Please tell us your story and how you learned English? Where did your writing journey begin?

“I have been learning English in elementary school and in high school. English is the main foreign language in Croatian schools. We have basic education 12 years and after this we choose the university. I learned English in my University too. But, the real challenge happened when I started to write a blog in English language. I wanted to express my feelings in the internet, to my foreign friends to understand me. I started blog Rebellious rules by Kristina Gallo, that is still active. Four years later, I decide to collect this blog articles in self-help book, because I had reactions of people, they motivated me to write a book. In the year 2018 I hired an American editor. I wanted to write and publish in Amazon, and I start collaboration with editor. So, now I have nine books and book number 10 is on the way.”

9 Books with 10 on the way, that’s impressive!

Q2. All of your fictional books carry many different messages and lessons. Are these inspired by real experiences and people? Can you share more about your books?

“Yes, inspiration is based on real events and people. I passed through bullying and some traumas. My country was in the war during 90’s. Also I had some painful relationships. Some books are based on real events but names are changed and circumstances are modified.”

Some of the best books out there contain some element of truth that’s modified slightly.

Q3. You’ve also written some self-help books, what subjects are they about?

“One book is about breakups, these are problems that many women are dealing with. How to forget an ex boyfriend and find a new one, how to get out from the toxic relationships. Another book is how to survive in the society if you are rebellious person. Also I wrote a book about dangers in the virtual world. The last book had advice about seducing in a satirical way. I wanted to make a parody to magazines like Cosmopolitan, because they share advice about good looking and nice clothes, like this is enough to find a boyfriend. I focused on inside qualities and how to use logic instead of makeup.”

They sound both fun and insightful. Of course many magazines these days set unrealistic expectations.

Q4. What writing project(s) are you currently working on?

“I am working on mystery suspense thriller. It should be released in December.”

Sounds good, you can expect a review sometime after the release!

Q5. Your highly active across many social media platforms and support many different authors.

How important is the writing community to you?

“The writing community is very important to me. I could not get readers without my friends, I get a lot of useful information and reviews. I am grateful for their support.”

Q6. Do you have any interests outside of writing?

“I am working my job in the office , I love movies and football. I am big fan of nature and swimming.”

Q7. Tea, coffee, beer or wine?

Coffee and beer.”

Excellent choices!

Q8. Can you name three films or television shows that have inspired you?

“Basic instinct”

“Parasite”

“John Wick (all parts)”

Great films, Basic Instinct is a classic and everyone loves some Keanu!

Q9. Back to books. Do you have a short list of must-read books that you would recommend?

“Yes I have.”

Jitters – Ken Stark

The Novice Ghost hunter – Martin J. Best

Broken – Donna Siggers

The ghost beside me – Lee Hall

Best kept secret – Elsa Joseph

The Drain – Victor Villestone”

These are some truly excellent choices and recommendations, of course thank you for mentioning mine…

Q10. And finally, a question I like to ask at the end of every interview.

If there was any advice you could give to someone with dreams of becoming a writer, what would you say?

I would recommend every person who wish to become a writer to use their free time for reading books at first. Then, such person should connect to other writers and learn from them. After that, every future writer should hire an editor.

I would also recommend everyone to tie their ego and accept critics. I made progress in my writing because of my reviews that motivated me what to fix and what to avoid.

Great advice and coming from an author with a unique voice we would like to thank you Kristina Gallo for sharing an insight into your world of words.

You can find Kristina on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Her blog can be found here and of course her many books are available now via Amazon.

Check out a recent review of ‘The Player Without Luck’ which can be found here.

Yet again readers old and new, I would like to thank you for joining me in this exploration of discovery that is Hall of Information Interviews. See you in the next one!

The stories that inspire us -‘Hamlet’

The stories we read, see and hear sometimes leave a lasting effect on our lives. Stories inspire us to be who we are. They shape our own journey and can take the mind anywhere. There are some stories that effect us so much, they even shape our future…

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Shakespeare, the original story teller. The true architect of language and narrative. You’ll find his influence near enough everywhere when it comes to the written and spoken word; sometimes you won’t even know you are using a phrase that he originally influenced. His works these days have even extended to cinema and television. 

Many of us came across the Bard’s work during our school years. Too many walk away from those lessons thinking his work is boring and almost inaudible to follow. That’s a tragedy in its own right and probably down to a lack of teaching execution. Although I don’t blame teachers not being an effective vessel to explain Shakespeare, like all art it’s  an acquired taste and also subjective.

For me Hamlet is the true epitome of story telling. It has almost everything a good story should have. Love, life and death with near enough all the elements that make a good story just that. Betrayal, deception and triumph; enveloped by that word ‘tragedy’.  They never taught me about Hamlet at school. I remember ‘Macbeth’ and ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ but the Prince of Denmark and his laments I didn’t find out until I was cast as him in the play.

When you take on a work for the stage, be that by any writer you take a part of them and perform it as your own. You also sometimes; not all the time, become engrossed into their story and by becoming a character you only truly appreciate the weight of a story and it’s true power.

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Death is all around Hamlet, the character and the story. His ever so famous ‘to be or not to be’ monologue is about the contemplation of such and as the story unfolds death slowly reaches over near enough all involved. He urges love interest ‘Ophelia’ to get away which becomes an unintentional shun leading to the shuffling of her mortal coil. ‘Claudius’ plays the typical step father figure that is cliche even to this day – he did have a hand in killing his brother who happens to be Hamlet’s father the King; sound familiar yet Simba?

The only significant survivor by the close of play – spoiler alert; although you’ve had hundreds of years –  is ‘Horatio’ who utters those ever so famous words but before then we see a deceptive plot to poison Hamlet which goes ‘badly’ for Shakespeare’s standards along with a memorable duel. As I said it has everything and as our language continually evolves further and further away from that used in this classic tale, it’s so important we remember and honour it.

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For those looking to improve their craft on stage nothing will do it better than the words of William Shakespeare. From modulation and dictation all the way to understanding of how a basic story is put together and all the way to being able to learn lines – if you’ve learned and nailed Shakespeare on stage, everything and I say everything you do after will be noticeably easier. Great stories of tragedy or even triumph never fade and well I suppose the rest is silence….

Do you have a favourite Shakespeare work?