Mark Giarrusso, Photographer

Some of us tell stories with words, others with pictures. While I can write, I cannot draw, paint or take a good photo. You’re lucky if your head isn’t cut off when I have a camera in my hands. Thankfully, there are some fantastically talented artists out there. Not only do they create beautiful things for us to see, but tell us stories as well. Mark Giarrusso is such an artist. I had the good fortune to interview him. You can find links to his work below.

Me: Mark, how did you get into photography?

Mark: It was my mother’s idea actually. She said “I think you would be good at it. I’m going to get you a camera.” She did and that was that.

Me: How long have you loved photography? Have you loved it all your life?

Mark: So no, I haven’t loved it all my life. Only since I got my camera (about 5 years ago) and started shooting did I actually come to appreciate it as an art form.

Me: What kind of gear do you use?

Mark: I use a Nikon d90 most of the time.

Me: How do you educate yourself to take better pictures?

Mark: I look at what others are doing technique wise and I recognize what works and what doesn’t. I plan on taking a course this fall.

Me: What are the pros and cons of being a photographer?

Mark: I love being a photographer but sometimes it seems like everyone is trying to do it. Instagram and Photoshop have made it very easy to manipulate photos. It’s the way of the future though, so why not embrace it?

Me: If you weren’t a photographer, what would you want to be? Why?

Mark: I would love to be a musician. I would really love to play the cello. I am amazed at musical ability.

Me: What is your favorite subject matter?

Mark: New York City.

Me: Which one of your photos is your favorite and why?

Mark: I took this last September 11th.

Me: What is the one thing you wish you knew when you started taking photos?

Mark: How much you editing goes into an actual photo.

Me: Whose work has influenced you the most?

Mark: I am influenced by artists in other media quite a bit. I love the Impressionists and Post Impressionists. I love cinematography. I draw from all of that. If I had to say one photographer who I enjoy the most it would Robert Capa.

Mark: Visit my site and buy some prints! LOL.


Meet Author Olivia Stocum

Olivia Stocum, AuthorI interviewed Olivia Stocum about her current novel, “Dawning”. What a spectacular read. I’m not a big Romance fan, but “Dawning” drew me in. Olivia weaves believable characters and interesting historical facts so deftly that I lost myself in 1599 Scotland. I enjoyed learning more about this spectacular author.

When did you finally call yourself a writer?

It took me a long time to come clean with my writing. I was a closet writer for ages, probably because the first few attempts I made to assert myself were pretty much shot down by people close to me who just couldn’t see me as an author. I wasn’t sure if anyone would believe in me, and it was too painful to take the chance on myself.
Honestly, I hadn’t started calling myself a writer until Dawning was released, and even then I did it with caution. It wasn’t until Dawning hit Amazon’s best seller list that I finally felt confident enough to admit to people that I am a novelist. Still, it can be hard. Now and then I get a comment like this: “You write those romance novels, don’t you? Maybe you should try writing a real book.”
Some people will never learn. But I do. I learn, and I forgive, but I don’t forget, because forgetting leads to being hurt again, and I try not to leave myself open to that.

When is the earliest moment you remember writing a story?

I was writing stories in my head before I could write them down. The moment I had the reading/writing skills necessary to put pen (or rather pencil) to paper, I did. A lot.

What technology do you use for writing?

I’m pretty plain Jane. I use Microsoft Word. But I still keep a notebook where I formulate my ideas by hand. I don’t share that notebook with just anyone either, because it contains all of my raw ideas, along with an embarrassing number of pictures of my celebrity crushes (‘cause I model my heroes after them).

In ten words or less, describe your most recently published novel.

Love endures all things. Even an unexpected handfast. (Oh look, I did it in nine words!)

What do you love and hate the most about your characters?

I don’t want to give away any spoilers, so I’ll be purposefully vague. 

I love how steadfast Triona is. When she sets her heart and mind to something, she never gives in. Yet at the same time, that quality can be seen as a flaw. Part of me really wanted her to give up on Ronan (believe it or not), but she was absolutely determined to have her man.

Now on to Ronan. He’s the kind of man who would die, in heartbeat, for Triona. He believes he will never deserve her, and basically worships the ground she walks on. But . . . like Triona, his strength is also his weakness. He hides from his feelings for her, because they’re too big for him. In essence, we have a strong, fearless-in-battle warrior, who is afraid to be in love.

Scotland, 1599. He abandoned her... She had failed to be enough for him. The empty space he left behind hollowed out her heart, and she wondered what to do with the rest of her life...

Scotland, 1599. He abandoned her… She had failed to be enough for him. The empty space he left behind hollowed out her heart, and she wondered what to do with the rest of her life…

Do you have a favorite character from your book?

I don’t. It would be like asking me which one of my children I loved the most.

What are you working on next?

Right now I’m in the editing process with Moonstone, the second book in my Highland series. I’m also working on a Regency series. My leading man for that is modeled after Benedict Cumberbatch in his portrayal of Sherlock. On the side, I’m writing a Paranormal Romance series about a female werewolf’s search for unconditional love. (And boy does she make a mess of things!)

Thanks for having me on your blog, Juliana. I had a great time.

Thank you, Olivia, for stopping by. Read more about her on her blog The Claymore and Surcoat or on Facebook – Olivia Stocum. You can find her book on Amazon. See the links below. I’m waiting impatiently for your next novel, “Moonstone”.


Olivia’s blog
Olivia’s FB page