Tom Kulesa: Hi Chuck, thanks for spending this time with us this evening. I just want to start by asking you to tell us a little bit about yourself as a writer, give us a little sense of your background.
Chuck Augello: Sure. Well, I’ve lived in New Jersey my whole life. I know you’re focusing on New Jersey authors. I’ve been, if not actively writing, at least thinking about writing for as long as I can remember. The first thing I remember completing was something called the Scribble News, which I wrote in an imaginary language I created called Scribble, and I would write in Scribble about the activities of my stuffed toys. I sold a subscription to my mother.
Tom and Michael: Laughter.
Chuck: Since I was the only person who could read Scribble I would have to be the interpreter of it too. So, going back before I could even write I was thinking about it. As an adult, as a writer, I think I started to seriously write around the year 2000, mostly with a focus on short stories. I wrote a novel I never did anything with around 2003. My first novel, The Revolving Heart, was published in 2019. I probably started it back in 2010 when I was a student at the MFA program at Queens University, Charlotte. I kinda mark that as the beginning of taking myself seriously as a writer. I published some short stories before then, but by my own admission I was not as committed to it as I needed to be.
The things that have excited me as a reader are what helped create me as a writer, going back to the first introductory figure, who would be Stephen King, who was a gigantic influence for me, as for so many others, even though I don’t really write horror. Then it switched over to John Irving. When I read The World According To Garp, I was a sophomore in high school, and I had a feeling that something had switched, that I had stepped up into a different league as a reader. That inspired me to write.
I see my life as a reader and a writer being the same. If you’re not reading, you’re not going to write well.
Chuck: I could at some point probably stop writing, and I’d be ok. If I stopped reading I would not be ok.
Chuck: It’s just been an incredible part of my life. I’ve always been a day dreamer. I’m a quiet person by nature. I can entertain myself with stories in my head, and sometimes I put them on paper. And I hope that they entertain others too.
Michael: You said that your book The Revolving Heart was published in 2019 and you started writing in 2010, correct?
Chuck: 2010, yes.