Saturday, April 27, 2013

In a Small Town by Marc DiGiacomo: Interview and Excerpt


How did you start your writing career?

My career began on a whim. Since I became a police officer, I always wanted to write about my experiences. When you deal with situations that are so challenging and real, I wanted to turn these stories into a novel. One day, I was sitting with my laptop and opened Microsoft Word. About a year later the story was complete. The writing went by so fast. I was entrenched in the story although the plot continued to change. 

Tell us about a favorite character from the book.  

My favorite character In a Small Town, is the main character, Detective    Matthew Longo. He has to step up very early on in his career and make quick decisions without knowing if he's right. Police work is difficult at times but Matthew continues to shine throughout but gets involved with something that changes him. It makes him cold and distant.

What is the hardest part of writing your books?

I have three young sons at home. Two of them are in school half days. Since I retired from the police department, I am home all the time with them. My wife does her best to free some time for my writing but it is extremely difficult. My boys want to play. Any chance they get to pounce on me, they take it. The have these Nerf guns and they are really good at sneaking up on you. As a writer, I try to filter out noise and distraction. I usually know when its coming but sometimes my youngest will hide under the bed for an hour. You can’t even hear him breathe. I won’t know he is there until the first shot strikes my ear and lands in my coffee.

What was the scariest moment of your life?

As a parent, there have been many times I have been scared to death. But the time that stands out the most in my mind is when my youngest, Dylan had to have surgery. Dylan was born with Craniosynostosis which is when sutures in the skull prematurely fuse becoming bone. The only cure for this condition is surgery to alleviate pressure from the brain being squeezed. If left untouched, the condition could hinder development for the child besides having a very weird head. After meeting with the best doctors on the planet at Montefiore Children’s Hospital in the Bronx, NY we decided on a having the surgery. So at the age of four months, Dylan had his surgery which consisted of the entire back portion of his skull being removed and replaced by a plastic surgeon. The first night was complete hell! But the next day he got better, and better, and within in a week he was back to his adorable little self. He is now four and is doing amazing. He is your typical four year old, who is obsessed with the song “Gangham Style” and does the dance better than Psy!

Who are your books published with?

I published with Infinity Publishing. The process has been amazing to say the least. They are very attentive to an author’s needs and have an incredible support staff.

What are your favorite TV shows?

My wife and I are obsessed with “The Walking Dead.” We miss it dearly and can’t wait for October for the next season. We also love “Parenthood.” But our new favorite is “The Following” with Kevin Bacon. This show is awesome. Plus, they film in Westchester County, New York, where we live. The best part about the show is they filmed inside my police station for episode four. Seeing Kevin Bacon walking down the hallway I used a million times was surreal. The only thing better would have been if I was still there.


The shotgun blast catches Detective Matthew Longo by surprise. His world unravels into a nightmare that seemingly won't end. Murder, rapes, pedophiles, the small town of Hutchville, N.Y. is changing. It is up to him to make a difference. While partner Donny Mello is in Italy attending a funeral for a family member who is connected, to say the least, a beautiful F.B.I. agent waits to question him about his family business. Can Matt keep from answering the Agents questions? More importantly, can he hide a potentially career-ending secret from his community, his brother, and most especially Agent Cynthia Shyler?



I can’t get it out of my mind. The lightning that exploded from the end of the barrel. The ripping orange flash off the black steel. The smell of gunpowder. The sound, like an M-80. And the pain—the fucking searing pain. It is permanently scorched into my memory. Everything but his face. The face I didn’t see haunts me every second. All I remember are those ultra-white Reebok sneakers as he ran away. The fucking coward would have shot me in the back, but I turned around and caught the blast in the chest. I didn’t have time to pull my Glock.

The shot knocked me to the ground. I thought I was having a heart attack—I couldn’t catch my breath. Then I understood what happened, and reality hit: I was going to die.

It seemed to take minutes rather than seconds, but I managed to radio into headquarters. The response from the good guys was impressive, to say the least. They saved my life. Cops from my own town and others surrounded the scene. I knew they would come. When a cop gets shot, they all come, and with one thing in mind—to find the bastard who pulled the trigger.

Things grew foggy. I saw blue uniforms scurrying around the scene while white-clad EMTs lifted me onto the gurney and loaded me into the ambulance. I could hear people talking about me—reporters, other cops, curious residents. “Detective Matthew Longo…Only 29 years old, been on the force nearly 10 years…Shot in the fucking chest and shoulder. No wife or children. Parents live in town; Hutchville lifers. Oh yeah, the town is going to go batshit over this.”

Blood oozed from my left shoulder. My friend and paramedic Scotty Franks hovered over me and placed direct pressure on my wound. Even through my fog I could tell he was holding back tears. My shoulder was on fire. I never wore my bulletproof vest unless making entry on a search warrant, or if a hot pursuit was coming my way; then I quickly threw it over my shirt. I was lucky I had it on that night. Maybe someone on the other side was looking out for me.

I fell unconscious even with all the shouting around me. I dreamed of my funeral and who would be there. I saw myself in the blue box surrounded by a sobbing crowd of familiar faces. My parents looked horrible. My poor mother clutched her bible and rosary beads. My dad kept his eyes glued to the floor, angry and broken. My little brother Franny, in full uniform, stood near my casket at full attention, his white gloves damp from tears. Donny was there too, trying to keep it together.

I heard Scotty screaming for me in the distance. The poor guy loved me, but why was he screaming my name, spitting all over my face, at my wake? Maybe I should have had a closed casket.

Suddenly I felt him slapping me. I awoke and found myself back inside the ambulance. Scotty took a deep breath, in and out, and said, “Okay Matt, okay. Don’t do that again.”

The pain was relentless, and I couldn’t help but cry. Scotty put a needle into an IV line in my arm and the pain vanished almost immediately. “Don’t give me morphine Scotty,” I managed to whisper. “It killed my grandparents.” Then I lost consciousness again, falling into a world between life and death.

I heard someone screaming in the night. Was it me? It was too dark to see. Where’s Donny? I really needed him now. Was I dreaming again or was this some delusion of reality? I slapped myself and felt a sharp sting, jolting me awake.

It has been three weeks of hell living inside this apartment. My social life has been placed on indefinite hold. The phone rings constantly but who cares? I don’t answer. The window shades are drawn. I don’t know if its day or night, and I don’t give a shit.

Thankfully, the wound has been healing well. But I look at my shoulder and am repulsed by the scar and missing flesh. People say scars are sexy but this one may be the exception. My left arm is still in a sling. At times, the pain is still unbearable. The Percocet I’m still taking makes me pass out.

The sink is loaded with paper dishes and plastic cups. Last week’s dinner from my mother sits on the kitchen table still wrapped in tin foil, and the smell is starting to ferment in my kitchen. I can hear my Dad’s deep voice in my head: “Why don’t you pull it together and clean up around here? You’re making your mother nervous.” She’s nervous? I can’t help laughing.

Hey Dad, your oldest son was almost shot dead in the same small, safe community where we played Little League baseball. Mind if I take a week or two to let that one sink in?

Only cops—and maybe some of their wives—realize how dangerous police work can become in a millisecond. Parents of cops usually choose to ignore the reality—it’s too difficult to accept that a life-or-death choice awaits their son or daughter at any moment. A bank robbery turns into a shootout; a wanted felon gets pulled over for a broken tail-light and decides suicide by cop is his only way to avoid a lengthy jail sentence. As a detective, this is my everyday reality.

This isn’t supposed to happen in a small town. We’ve never had a police shooting—never. In fact, the last time we had any kind of criminal shooting was ten years ago, and it was a domestic dispute between a father and his cheating son-in-law. These old-school Italians are no joke.

Book Details

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Published by: Infinity Publishing

Publication Date: 9/21/2012

Number of Pages: 176

ISBN: 0741478862

** This is the first book in a series. There is a cliffhanger ending **

This book contains: Excessive strong language, Graphic violence, and Explicit sexual scenes

The author is a retired and highly decorated police detective who worked for an affluent community within the State of New York. He has worked with numerous police agencies at the local, county, state and federal levels on various investigative assignments. He currently resides in New York with his wife and three children.

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