About the Author:
Gregory Delaurentis spent his adult life roaming from job to job, working for Lockheed in California, various law firms in New York, and financial firms on Wall Street. Throughout this period of time, he was writing—unceasingly—finally producing a large body of work, albeit unrecognized and unpublished . . . until now. Cover of Darkness is the first in a series of upcoming books that include Edge of Darkness, Pale of Darkness and Cries of Darkness. These novels follow the lives of three individuals who do battle bringing criminals to justice, while they struggle to understand the complex relationships that exist among themselves. This intriguing trio has absorbed the attention of Mr. Delaurentis for the past year and a half, so much so he decided to self-publish their stories to bring them to a wider audience. [AUTHOR’S DISCLAIMER: These are works of fiction. Name, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.]
Where to find him:
MY TAKE ON CRITIQUE GROUPS
I think everything needs a critique, from movies to cupcakes. That’s how many people make decisions, and that is through the critique of others. Anything that takes a significant investment in time and money falls under the scrutiny of the person doing the undertaking, and the first steps that they make before proceeding is to ask someone else about their experience. Some people, by doing the same thing many times, view themselves as professional critics. This may be so, but that is to me a dubious authority. I watch these television shows about cooks trying to become professional chefs subject themselves to the abuse of renown chefs who show no mercy when it comes to their critiquing.
Some professional and delusional professional critics spend too much time and energy tearing down a work and not reviewing it. There is a difference to me. A review of something is bringing out what you liked or did not like about a project, whether it is a movie, book, album, or show. Criticism is something else altogether, where the critic pours their personal issues onto a project, ranting and raving far beyond the scope of the very work itself. Some critics react with such revulsion that you can see their personal bias towards the work, or personal struggle with something entirely different.
I have no problem with criticism. I’m not a comedian standing on a stage and being heckled by someone in the audience because I’m not hitting my timing on my jokes. I am not interrupted in my art and continue until I am done with what I have to say. Then if someone has to say otherwise, that’s up to them. But I don’t have to suffer them at all, just as they do not have to suffer me. I ignore negative criticism. This is different than negative reviews. If a reviewer has a problem with this or that in my stories I’ll take note and maybe even make changes in the future. But if you have nothing but heated negativity, and your point is not to enlighten but to dissuade others from purchasing my novel, I have no more interest in you or your group.
I think, in this business, especially if you have been spending years shopping around your manuscript to agents, editors and publishers, you have to develop a thick skin. When the rejection letters pile up you need to persevere and continue to tell yourself that you are a good writer and can tell a relevant story. Critics are no better people. You have to overlook their negativity, tell yourself that you are better than that, and continue on. Maybe you flubbed this book, but you may shine in your next one, or your next one.
I take critique groups with a grain of salt, if that.
Gregory is giving away to one randomly chosen commenter a $50 Amazon/BN.com gift card: a Rafflecopter giveaway.
A high profile murder of a Wall Street executive in Westchester pits three people against the criminal underbelly of Manhattan nightlife. The key players are two ex-cops turned private investigators—Kevin Whitehouse, whose sharpest tool is his keen analytical mind, and David Allerton, a former Special Forces operative—and Margaret Alexander, Kevin’s lover. In their search for a killer, they are forced to travel to the edge of sanity and morality, while stumbling onto their own confusing secrets as well. The Cover of Darkness is a gritty noir saga that untangles a web of deceit in the course of tracking down a brutal murderer.
The pool area was wide and reflected the sun on this hot summer day. It was edged with white marble so polished that it looked like pearl. Deck chairs lined the sides of the long pool, which was two lengths more than Olympic-sized. Outside the deck area was the carpeted lawn of the vast backyard, dappled with sun.
Hugh Osterman walked along the side of the pool wearing a heavy terry cloth robe and sandals. In his right hand, he held a martini glass. He ran his left hand through his sandy sun-streaked hair as he looked over his shoulder at the man following him.
“What’s going on? I don’t get it,” Osterman said, stopping at the end of the pool where the flotation chairs were kept.
“They said no,” the man replied. Considering the backdrop, he was incongruously dressed in a dark suit and tie.
“They said no . . . just like that?”
Osterman sat his drink down on the marble surface, and pushed a flotation chair into the deep end of the pool, sending it out and away. Then he peeled off the robe and dove smoothly into the water, emerging next to the floating chair.
“You go back and tell them that we aren’t pleased,” Osterman said sternly, pulling himself up and into the seat of the chair. “You tell them that Hugh Osterman wants to know what’s holding things up—what the problem is.”
The suit just stood at the edge of the pool, opening his jacket against the heat of the day. Osterman paddled to the side, and reached out and retrieved his martini glass. “I take it you have nothing to say about this?” he persisted, despite the other man’s silence.
The suit shook his head.
“Well, what are you waiting for?” Osterman said as he tipped the glass up to his lips. Suddenly, the bottom of the stem shattered. Osterman gurgled as he dropped the glass, blood bubbling from his mouth, an open tear in his neck. He jolted upright in the chair as the suit closed the distance between them, his Colt .38 Super still trained on its victim, its silencer smoldering.
Osterman slowly sat back as the suit pumped more rounds into Osterman’s bare, well-defined chest—the hot shells of his pistol ejecting out and striking the surface of the water, settling to the bottom. His life ended as his body tumbled from the floating chair, his blood a widening crimson slick roughly in the area where his body slipped through.