Rock and Roll is Here to Stay

The idea of writing a book starting marinating in my mind but I had no clue how to do it. - Donald Riggio

For those of you who are not familiar with my work, I am the author of a series of three novels chronicling the history of Rock and Roll music between the years 1953 -2001 (so far). Like most male teenagers my age during the early 60’s, I became an avid fan of music and dreamed of a life as a rock star with all the accompanying perks.

My friends and I did form a band and achieved some moderate local success, but graduation from High School brought an end to that dream. Many got real jobs. Some attended college. Still others went off to war.

I continued listening to music, buying records, eight tracks, cassettes and cd’s and going to concerts whenever I could.

The idea of writing a book starting marinating in my mind but I had no clue how to do it. It was such a huge story. In the eighties’ I read a pair of novels written by Herman Wouk, a master of historic fiction, “The Winds of War, and “War and Remembrance.” Multiple storylines involving fictional characters interacting with real life people and events weaving their way through the years before, during and after WWII.

Then, in 1994, I was again greatly influenced by the Academy Award winning Motion Picture, “Forrest Gump” based on a novel by Winston Groom. The protagonist is a young disabled farm boy from Alabama whose simple life inexplicably brings him in contact with celebrities in music, sports, pop culture and politics.

What followed was long months of research and plotting every move my characters made. This is probably why I rarely have a problem with “writer’s block.” Whenever I get stuck there is always some other part of the narrative I can jump to until my muse puts me back on track.

Once the manuscript was complete I sought out some feedback. Joining a read and critique is essential for any new writer. For me it was the Henderson Writer’s Group. Reading in front of a group can be extremely helpful if you remember several follow a few simple guidelines. Take the critique in stride: don’t be put off by someone who may have no interest in you genre. There’s no need to defend your writing. Accept the comments you find helpful and disregard the rest.

I pitched the completed book, “Seven-Inch Vinyl: A Rock and Roll Novel,” at a Las Vegas Writers Conference with no success and decided to self-publish. It was published on Amazon in 2011 and soon thereafter became a #1 Kindle Best Seller in the Music category.

Realizing the importance of creating a strong platform to market a self-published work, I dove head first into the world of social media specifically, Facebook. I created several pages devoted to my work. My personal “Donald Riggio” page has 4,500 friends and counting where I post Rock and Roll trivia every day. Many lead to many comments, likes and shares. I belong to countless Facebook Groups in both the music and writing field.

The success of the first book along with the sequels, “Beyond Vinyl,” and “When Gold Turns to Gray,” has afforded me the opportunity to travel to oldies shows around the country and sell books while rubbing elbows with the performers I’ve followed since my youth. So far, I’ve visited New York, New Jersey, Florida and California. There’s also been radio interviews with both broadcast and Internet personalities I listened to while growing up.

Now, as a proud member of the Coffee House Tours, I get to visit some great venues around the Las Vegas Valley networking with a great group of fellow authors to talk about my books, sharing stories and making new friends. Stop by and say hi sometime.



FB: @Donald Riggio


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