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On The Table Read, “the best book magazine in the UK“, author John DiGirolamo talks about his new book release, It’s Not About the Predator: A Parent’s Guide to Internet & Social Media Safety.
Written by JJ Barnes
I interviewed John DiGirolamo about his life and career, and the experiences that inspired him to write his new book, It’s Not About the Predator: A Parent’s Guide to Internet & Social Media Safety.
Tell me a bit about who you are.
Hello, I’m John DiGirolamo and I live in the mountains of Colorado, USA. I retired in 2020 after 35 years in finance and operations at several technology companies in California and Colorado. Once I retired, I followed my passion to write stories.
When did you first WANT to write a book?
I wanted to write a book when I was 21 years old and had hoped to be the next John Grisham or Stephen King. I spent 6 months trying to find and agent after writing a full-length fiction novel. I finally convinced an agent to represent me but was unable to generate any interest from publishers. This was pre-internet so self-publishing wasn’t an option and I decided I better use that accounting degree to get a real job. I never did get that fiction book published. Fast forward 35 years, and I was back at my keyboard to write extraordinary stories about ordinary people.
When did you take a step to start writing?
I picked up writing soon after retirement and decided I didn’t want to write fiction, but instead find a theme and write stories about other people and their experiences.
How long did it take you to complete your first book from the first idea to release?
It took me one year to write and release my first book (307 pages) It’s Not About the Badge, stories showing the human side of policing, featuring six small town officers.
How long did it take you to complete your latest book from the first idea to release?
My latest book is It’s Not About the Predator: A Parent’s Guide to Internet & Social Media Safety is 30 pages and took only one month to write because I already had a lot of the raw data and research completed when I finished my second book.
Focusing on your latest release. What made you want to write It’s Not About the Predator?
I was doing presentations about my second book, It’s Not About the Sex which is real stories about human trafficking from four different perspectives: an advocate, law enforcement officer, survivor and a brothel madam’s tale of redemption. I was getting many questions about how predators target teens on-line and I realized that they use similar tactics whether they are looking to exploit someone on-line or through human trafficking. I wanted to put together a practical and easy to read guide for parents to keep their kids safe.
What were your biggest challenges with writing It’s Not About the Predator?
There is a lot of data out there and I had to focus on writing a guide, not a research paper. So, I kept it simple and to the point.
What was your research process for It’s Not About the Predator?
I sifted through research papers and talked to several police officers about the dangers facing kids and teens on-line. I also talked to some teens.
How did you plan the structure of It’s Not About the Predator?
I organized the book by topics I thought parents would find useful:
- How predators approach teens on-line
- Real examples of predator tactics to exploit kids\teens
- Grooming signs
- Tips for parents and ways to protect your child
- Is social media safe?
- What an undercover police officer wants parents to know
- How teens circumvent parental controls on electronic devices
- How pornography and our culture feeds sexting, extortion & human trafficking
Did you get support with editing, and how much editing did It’s Not About the Predator need?
With the book being only 30 pages, it was easy to edit myself.
What is the first piece of writing advice you would give to anyone inspired to write a book?
Write a book because that’s what you want to do. Very few people get rich doing it.
Can you give me a hint about any further books you’re planning to write?
I am currently writing about another serious theme, focusing on stories of people who fight evil. The first chapter is about an undercover police officer who poses as a 13-year-old girl on-line and meets people at a motel to arrest them. I haven’t identified the other people yet.
And, finally, are your proud of your accomplishment? Was it worth the effort?
I do feel good when a perfect stranger gets in contact with me to say how much they enjoyed my book or says, “I couldn’t put it down!”
Pop all your book, website and social media links here so the readers can find you:
All my books are available in print or a Kindle version. It’s Not About the Sex has a great audio version!
Connect with me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100078633528093
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