When newly-minted Dr. Angelo Perrotta joins an exclusive concierge medical practice, he believes he has found success. His charismatic colleague, Demetre Kostas only adds to the promise of the new job. But when a series of tragic events transform his dream job into a nightmare, Angelo is confronted by disturbing accusations and the even more troubling cop, Jason Murphy. Now Angelo must unravel the secret entanglements surrounding him not just to save his career, but his life.
Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I was born in New York where I live with my partner and two adopted four legs sons. I’m the author of The Advocate Guide to Gay Men’s Health and Wellness as well as a memoir entitled, Pee-Shy. I have made many appearances on Sirius Radio’s Morning Jolt with Larry Flick, co-hosted Speak Out: Real Talk About AIDS. Documentary credits include: 30 Years from Here (Emmy nominated), Positive Youth, and I’m a Porn Star. Television credits include ABC News, NBC Nightly News, MTV, and Sesame Street.
What was your favourite book as a child?
The book that comes to mind immediately is Little House in Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder. Her writing was so delicate as were the illustrations. At the time, I dreamed of living on the prairie. Now in hindsight, I would have hated living in the wild.
What book do you wish you had written?
This is such a difficult question to answer because there are so many. Growing up, I was obsessed with Stephen King. I would save my allowance and buy every new Stephen King novel in hardcover. If I had to choose one, I would say, I wish I had written, The Shinning. As a matter of fact, I still have the original copy I bought as a boy.
How did you choose the genre you write in?
After years of failed attempts at fiction writing, I met Nicole Kimberling, the editor and publisher of my novel, Perfect Flaw. After she read the first draft, she said you need to read more books in the genre of gay romantic suspense and mystery. I never imagined I would write a gay romantic suspense novel, but Nicole was right, as usual. Once I started reading novels specific to that genre, something clicked. I’m forever indebted to her.
Where do you get your ideas?
Life is full of ideas. I hear stories every day from my patients, and I love observing people, eavesdropping on their conversations. Sometimes, I’ll read a headline in a newspaper or magazine and think, imagine a story based on that? All writers must be silent observers. Human behaviour is fascinating and provides infinite possibilities.
Is there a certain type of scene that is harder to write than other? Racy? Love? Action?
I found that developing the romance in Perfect Flaw was the biggest challenge. Racy scenes intimidated me at first, but I got over that quickly. Writing action scenes, excite me. My fingers can’t type fast enough. Love, on the other hand, takes time. It’s not one scene. It’s many. You develop romantic love over the course of the novel. If it all came down to love at first sight followed by happily ever after, who would want to read that book?
How important are the names in your book?
I strongly believe a character’s name is crucial. For me, the choice of name defines the character more than the physical description. As a reader, we fill in the blanks of what defines a character based on the limited amount of information the writer provided us, but a name speaks volumes. That’s why I choose memorable names for major characters who play an integral role in the story. Moreover, I chose common names for major characters who aren’t so memorable or whose personalities aren’t larger than life.
Do you respond to bad reviews?
It’s never a good idea to get into an argument with a reader over a bad review. When Pee-Shy got published, I received a one-star review. That review hurt me so deeply because Pee-Shy is a memoir about abuse, and the reviewer felt I couldn’t have possibly recalled the events that occurred when I was eleven years old. I was so angry that I looked this person up on Facebook. When I found their profile, I discovered their cover photo was a movie poster for a film entitled, The Eyes of Laura Mars. I loved that movie when I saw it the first time and have seen it many times over the years. Suddenly, I thought, this person’s critique of my book isn’t personal. They don’t know me, but their opinion is valid. Plus, how bad could this person be when we both love the same ‘70’s classic?
Frank Spinelli, MD is an American born physician living in New York.
He has contributed articles for the Advocate and The Huffington Post. Writing credits include: The Advocate Guide to Gay Men’s Health and Wellness (Alyson Books), Pee-Shy: A Memoir (Kensington Books), which has been optioned to be developed into a limited series and contributing author – Our Naked Lives (Bordighera Press) and Understanding the Sexual Betrayal of Boys and Men (Routledge).
He has made appearances on Sirius Radio’s Morning Jolt with Larry Flick and co-hosted Speak Out: Real Talk about AIDS.
Documentary credits include, 30 Years from Here (Emmy-nominated), Positive Youth and I’m a Porn Star.
Television credits include ABC News, NBC Nightly News, MTV, a national commercial and Sesame Street. In 2015, he hosted a season of Dueling Doctors.
Frank Spinelli is an advocate for child sexual abuse survivors and has given frequent interviews about his experience as a victim of child sexual abuse while in the Boy Scouts.
Perfect Flaw is his first novel.