Interview: Author Phillip Tomasso III

Interview with Phillip Tomasso III, Author of VACCINATION

Phillip Tomasso III is the award-winning author of many novels: Mind Play, Tenth House, Third Ring, Johnny Blade, Adverse Impact, Convicted, Pigeon Drop, Pulse of Evil, and The Molech Prophecy--writing as Thomas Phillips, Sounds of Silence and my most recent, Vaccination. 

He lives in Rochester, NY with his 3 kids, works full-time as a Fire Dispatcher for 9-1-1 and is hard at work on his next story!

Join us below as we get to know the man behind the books.

First thing’s first…tell us about Phillip Tomasso III the author. What would you like your readers to know about VACCINATION and you in general?

I grew up with a reading disability. Wasn’t until 7th grade I read my first book. The Outsiders, by S.E. Hinton. Turned me right around. Made me an avid reader. When I learned she was just sixteen at the time she sold that novel, I was inspired. Always a story teller, I decided – if Hinton can write books that make me want to read, then I am going to write stories to inspire reluctant-readers. I started with short stories. Had my first, about a busboy, published in a high school literary magazine at fourteen. Have not stopped since. My goal has not changed. I write because I love it. It’s not about money. It’s about getting people to read and enjoy reading over all.

With that said, later this month, Barking Rain Press, is releasing my first young adult novel, SOUNDS OF SILENCE. It is about a young boy who contracts meningitis and becomes deaf, thinking he can now never become a professional baseball player when he grows up. But maybe that is worth another interview/review in the future, eh?

What’s the weirdest question you’ve ever been asked in an interview?

I was once asked, what is the best meal I can cook in the kitchen. My answer, of course, is grilled peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Bit of butter in the frying pan. Make up the sandwiches and grill ‘em. Messy, and gooey, but man they are good.

Chase McKinney is such a brilliant character. How did you get inspired to write him with such complexity?

I will not say that Chase and I are the same. However, there are a lot of similarities between the two of us. I can’t deny that much. We both are Fire/EMS dispatchers at a 911 center; are divorced with kids. While I have three children, the youngest sixteen, Chase has only two. My own divorce was amicable enough. Thankfully. While poor Chase is struggling to come to terms with his. Regardless, it was our similar backgrounds, I believe, that allowed me to flesh out McKinney with, as you say, such “brilliance” and “complexity.”

What was your favorite moment in VACCINATION Volume 1?

Ahh. For me to comment on that, would be a spoiler to those who've yet to read it. Let me just say there were a few parts where me, as the writer, was holding back tears while I wrote.

In ten words or less:

Happiest moment in your life to date: Birth of each of my kids. Hands down.
Quirk that annoys your spouse/friend: Everything I do annoys my ex, lol. My singing –which I do all the time, and poorly—annoys ALL my friends to know end. Especially those I work with at 911.
Biggest fear: I have two. Spiders. Like you could not believe. The smallest spider can paralyze me. Has. And the other is, I don’t eat or drink anything blue. (Analyze that one all you want. I just can’t do it. Buying a bag of M&M’s is a waste for me. Half get thrown out since they’ve added blue back to the mix).
First item on your bucket list: Don’t have one. However, New York Times Best Seller, sounds nice.

What are your favorite books to give — and get — as gifts?

To give? Mine. To get? Gift Cards. I buy and read so many each year, no one could possible get me one I don’t already have, or have pre-ordered.

What is the best piece of advice you ever received from another author?

I’m sure this nothing new. I’ve been told, and hold true to this simple statement, don’t ever give up on your dream.

Do you have any advice for aspiring authors? 

As a matter of fact, I do, don’t ever give up on your dream.

Where can readers stalk you and your work?

Check out the YouTube Video Trailer for Vaccination

Thank you!!

Phillip Tomasso