Rivers resident describes "Journey"
Windsor-Hights Herald, March 21, 2003 by David Pescatore
— If you had the chance to do it all over again, would you
take it? At what cost?
the question posed to Bob Amato, the main character in Twin
Rivers resident Robert Amoroso's debut novel, "Journey."
was going through a lot of emotional turmoil when I started
writing this in 1994," said Mr. Amoroso, 55, who has
lived in Twin Rivers since 1976. "My mom passed away.
My brother died soon after. My business and relationships
were going south. I had a lot of emotions, anger, depression.
Some people drink or gamble; I used the depression to write."
Bob Amato struggles with many of the same problems, as did
Mr. Amoroso. He begins the story as a successful businessman
with a loving wife and grown children. Slowly, his business
falters and Bob siphons the family nest egg to keep it afloat.
On the verge of ruin, Bob leaves his family and business behind
and runs away.
ends up in a flophouse, his self-imposed prison," Mr.
Amoroso explained. "His only diversion is a window overlooking
a decaying city. He sees winos, prostitutes, but he realizes
that they are surviving. He begins to realize that those people
have the same needs and desires as he.
also thinks about periods in his dad's life. His life parallels
his father's in many ways. That was big for me. I would remember
how my dad survived challenges and ask myself what he would
do in my situation."
days in his "prison," Bob grows. He begins the novel
feeling sorry for himself, but he comes to realize how good
life is and the effect he has on others. He is, in a way,
reborn after the book's climax, a near-death experience where
Bob is forced, by his guardian angel, to make a choice that
will affect the rest of his life, and the lives of everyone
he has ever touched.
course there is a lot of me in Bob," Mr. Amoroso said.
"But I think Bob is really everyone. He is the man in
the mirror, that voice on our shoulders. We all go through
the same things."
began writing as therapy to work through his own problems.
learned that we are all given choices, that we affect other
lives. I learned that nothing lasts forever; change is constant
and we are never too old to change. I am not as keyed up on
success. I've had that. If everything else failed, I could
still be whole."
10 years has passed since Mr. Amoroso began his diary-like
notes that would eventually become "Journey." Things
have worked out well for him and Judy, his wife of 35 years,
and their two sons, Jason, 30, and John, 25. Now he is ready
to share his work with the world.
think you have to be in a place where you are comfortable
with yourself to put something out there to be judged. This
will be judged. I want that. I'm ready."
any unknown author, Mr. Amoroso struggled to find a publisher.
In October of 2002, he finally hit with PublishAmerica, a
growing company based in Baltimore that specializes in working
with new authors.
will not be a new author for long. He is already seven chapters
into his next book, "The Prince of Belmont Avenue."
is a book, written from a '50s perspective, about growing
up in a city divided by invisible racial boundary lines,"
Mr. Amoroso said.
is scheduled to be released in April. The 110-page novel will
carry a retail price of $16.95 and be available from a variety
of Web sites, including Walmart.com and Amazon.com.
said the book would be available at www.authorsden.com for
$13.95, and that he would be setting up a personal site where
the book may be discounted further. He also is working on
getting shelf-space in "brick and mortar" retailers
such as Barnes & Noble and Wal-Mart.
He will be busy peddling his book whenever he is not at his
day-job as an account manager with a Manhattan creative staffing
be making two appearances on the 'Wheels on Literacy' tour,
April 12, sponsored by Wal-Mart and Sam's club. I will be
speaking about literacy, reading from my book and signing