This week we have the pleasure of interviewing author Brett Scott Ermilio. Let’s give him a huge thanks for being apart of this today.
- Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? My name is Brett Scott Ermilio. I have loved creating all my life. I wrote my first screenplay when I was 17. I was the kid in class who got lost in stories instead of taking notes. Good thing I managed decent grades! I currently live by the Jersey Shore with my amazing wife, four insane children and two small dogs. We had a moody fish but that fish has since moved on to the great fish bowl in the sky. I was born in Brooklyn, NY. My parents moved to Los Angeles, California, when my uncle, Neil Scott Bogart, hit is big in the music business. He owned a company called Casablanca Records which produced such hit artists as KISS, Donna Summer and the Village People. I made a movie shortly before moving back east to New Jersey where I wanted to raise my kids. And that pretty much catches us up to today. J
- Tell us about your latest project. The Connolly Affair is a really exciting book series for me for a number of reasons. Due out by the end of May 2015, the first installment of The Connolly Affair is entitled: The First Dance. The trilogy is my first journey into the realm of romance/suspense. I wanted the challenge of writing a thrilling romance combined with an exciting suspenseful story. The other amazing challenge was writing the book from first person female. My lead, Nicki Connolly, is a talented attorney who is thriving in a male-dominated world. Her strength as a provider for her family and a partner at her firm is an intriguing combination for me as a writer. Her conflict at home is dealing with a floundering marriage in which her husband feels marginalized. With their marriage stagnant and on life support, Nicki Connolly, meets a talented attorney, Taylor Diamond. He is placed as second chair by the owners of Nicki’s firm in the middle of her big class action law suit. The law suit centers around a desert community in California who have possibly been poisoned by a factory nearby. The case is near-and-dear to Nicki who grew up poor from a neighboring desert community. But more importantly, the case began with her close cousin and her cousin’s young daughter, both of whom are sick. Nicki is fighting for them as well as the entire community. With her marital problems taking a back seat to the case, Taylor is both a perceived threat to her and an intriguing partner. As their relationship evolves so does the intensity of the case. Outside forces are constantly working against Nicki and threaten not only the case, but her life. (excerpt attached separately)
- What is your favorite book and why? Bang the Drum Slowly. Baseball is a personal journey for me. The book does a tremendous job of showing epic success amidst painful sorrow and drama.
- What do you like to do when you need a break from writing? I spend time with my family. We try and do a variety of things, but heading to the park and going on group bike rides are some of our favorite activities. I’ve also always enjoyed playing sports. I played baseball through college back in the day and pretty much all sports interest me. Definitely a great outlet and I still exercise regularly and stay in solid shape.
- Where do you usually write? Do you write in silence or with music or other background sounds? I pretty much can write anywhere. I don’t have restrictions with that. I almost always love writing to specific music I’ve picked out for that particular project. It can get pretty crazy. I have listened to the same song as much as a thousand times when working on a project. It helps drop me into my “zone.” Music is something that is personal to me being that my uncle was in that business and I’ve written a lot of music as well.
- Who is your inspiration? What inspired you to become a writer? My writing inspiration comes from deep rooted chaos and passion that lies thousands of miles down in my dark mental well. It is a sense of urgency I have. I will wake up in the middle of the night and have to write dialogue or action sequences that come to me. I think people draw from their experiences. I have always been highly sensitive about what others are thinking or doing and combining that with my creative imagination (Yes…I played D&D, that’s Dungeon and Dragons, as a kid) spurs an endless stream of stories. I take personal dramatic pains I suffered early on in life and I apply them across limitless boundaries with my characters.
- What is your least favorite part of being an author? I’ve written a screenplay in two days. There is no way I can write a book anywhere near that fast. I think the need for patience is always a pressing issue with me and my desire to tell a thousand stories but not having the time to write them is always a pressing matter to me. I want to share a thousand stories with the world.
- What is your favorite part of being an author? I love being able to tell my stories and share them. It is a personal connection a writer can make with a reader. When I write a screenplay or a TV pilot, the chances of that story being delivered to an audience in the manner which I presented it is minimal. Changes always occur. With books, there is a direct connection with my audience and that is tremendously gratifying.
- What is your favorite motivational phrase, and why? “Two roads diverged in a forest and I chose the one less traveled by and it made all the difference.” –Frost This is a passage I remembered all the way back from 6th I did a presentation on Frost and always remembered this version of Frost’s famous poem. What is extraordinary about this is that it was also my uncle’s favorite passage. He died when I was 6. This passage is on his tombstone which I visited for the first time after his funeral nearly 10 years later. The connection was inspiring and insanely strange.
- Do you have a writing space? Tell us what it’s like. I am thankful that I do not get writer’s block nor do I need a special spot to write. I am a “low-maintenance” writer. Give me my lap top and head phones and I can go!
The Connolly Affair – “The First Dance”
I arrive back at the office to a lot of excitement. There is a strange buzz circling around—an energy that is infecting the halls of the normally docile office to the point of drawing me over into the conference room. The first look I get is from Lincoln and it is full of concern. It’s a strange glare, considering the positive energy circling all around.
Bob, Charles, and James are all hovering over someone—something. As they applaud and step back, I see with my own eyes their new toy. Taylor Diamond. Taylor is an incredibly aggressive young attorney with a long list of clients and an even longer list of success. He looks like he just fell out of a Yale fraternity magazine; the ideal stunner of a man. His face maintains the perfect jaw structure, his blue eyes and perfect wavy, black hair only further compliment his broad shoulders and, near perfect, six-foot physique. Oh, my God. He’s incredible. For a moment, I forget that I am a partner in my law firm and not a school girl, staring at the shockingly handsome, cool senior at Liberty High.
Taylor slowly stands up, his body and height safely rising above and encompassing my own shadow. He even smiles like an all-star. It’s all too much and I fall victim again, disappearing into his blue eyes. I quickly recover as his hand was left extended for a good three seconds before my brown eyes could even recognize his hand existed.
“Oh, sorry,” I reply, shaking it. I awkwardly clasp my other hand on top of his as if I were an eighty-year-old man, consoling a youngster. What the hell is wrong with you, Nicki? Pull it together!
“Nice to meet you. I’m Taylor Diamond.” He smiles and seems kind. He isn’t cocky. “I’ve actually heard a lot about you, Nicki. You’re an amazing attorney. I’m very excited to be here,” Taylor’s words roll of his tongue with ease and are like a secret potion, drawing me further and further into everything that is him.