Exclusive Interview with "Vito Altavilla"


Everyone knows that New York is a special place. For author Vito Altavilla Brooklyn was his special place where his life began. So much so that he decided to write a book about it!


It didn’t begin as a book but started out as humorous and memorable stories that Vito would share with his friends at their weekly get-togethers. After a friend suggested he write a book about it all, one thing led to another, and his book, “It Began In Brooklyn” came to life. The book is a fun and easy read that is a recollection of real-life experiences throughout Vito’s life from Catholic school, childhood friendships, family traditions, military service, and the joy of community. Vito’s hope is that the book will take readers back to simpler slower-paced lives. One thing is for certain, the book will put a smile on the reader’s face that won’t soon fade.


Vito Altavilla was born in Brooklyn, New York. He became an industrial researcher that participated in many technological breakthroughs. Now he is turning the page to the next chapter in his life, that as an author. He has also begun writing a screenplay that follows the book. We were able to catch up with Vito for this exclusive interview.





Can you tell us a bit about your background?

After graduating from Rochester Institute of Technology in 1963 I got a position in technical sales for a company Maclean Brothers in Montreal, Canada. Several years went by when I had an opportunity to have my own firm called Lorama Chemicals which focused on enhancing existing technology in corn modification. This led to the development of new resins that had applications in the coating industry.


This breakthrough technology gave me the opportunity of informing other companies of the advantages of this product and consequently afforded me the opportunity to travel lecturing in Tokyo, London, Paris, and of course in America. The travel gave me a wonderful opportunity to observe various cultures, both the pluses and minuses, and made me very much aware of my own.


What was the impetus for writing your book " It Began In Brooklyn?"


I have been fortunate in having a good memory that has primarily focused on the positive, the humorous, and the surprising. This has led to many humorous re-telling of stories with my Friday morning breakfast with friends. Several weeks of my telling of one or another event, one of my friends suggested that I should write a book. I thought, why not, so I wrote this book.


How would you describe the book?


I would describe my book as a non-fiction narrative. Stories of myself and others either as a participant or observer.


Why was this book important for you to write?


I can’t say that the book was initially important for me to write, rather more of a fun thing. Could I really write a book? However, it became important to me as I began to recall some events long forgotten and after a while, it felt like the book was writing itself.


What do you feel you learned from writing the book?


This book gave me confidence that I could write. I know I do not have the creative storytelling ability of a James Cameron, Tom Clancy, or David Baldacci, but I do have stories of my life’s experiences that are original to me, No one else has them.


What do you hope readers take away from the book?


I think my book will garner many smiles and an occasional loud laugh. Some stories will register louder than others but I’m sure for readers it will be a pleasurable experience.


Are you working on any other books?


I recently sent a copy of my book to Ken Burns, the documentary filmmaker, along with a cover letter asking him for any advice regarding promoting my book. His producer informed me that Mr. Burns liked what he read but was presently engaged in working on seven projects at this time. However, in a typed letter (not an email) he wrote that he felt my book had some potential for a movie.


When I received the letter from Mr. Bruns’s office I stopped writing a sequel and began writing a screenplay. I sent it to a friend in California. He read it but felt it didn’t have a main character that a person could follow through his ‘adventures’. My intention was that I wanted each chapter to be a story not unlike the Twilight Zone Saga’s However, I listened and have now just finished another screenplay called “Sonny”, partially based on “It Began In Brooklyn”, You will be getting a copy of it in the next few days. Appreciate your evaluation.


For more information on Vito please visit http://itbeganinbrooklyn.com/index.html