Writing Tips, Part 2 by Author, Augustus Cileone: Using Your Experience in Fiction

I'm thrilled to welcome back author, Augustus Cileone to my blog today for his second post in my writing tips series.

In case you forgot, here's a little bit about my guest: 

Augustus Cileone won the Dark Oak Mystery Contest sponsored by Oak Tree Press, for the novel, A Lesson in Murder, about homicides associated with a Philadelphia Quaker school. His second novel, Feast or Famine, a satire, deals with a traumatized man dealing with his Catholic Italian American upbringing in the 1960's and 1970's. His latest novel, Out of the Picture, published by Sage Words Publishing, is a mystery loaded with movie references, and deals with social outsiders. He has been honored for his writing by Annual Art Affair, Hidden River Arts, the annual Writer’s Digest writing competition for two plays, The Philadelphia Writers’ Conference, the Montgomery County Community College’s Annual Writers’ Club Poetry and Fiction Contest, Filmmakers International Screenwriting Awards, and the Annual StoryPros International Screenplay Contest.  His short stories appear in the anthologies entitled South Philly Fiction and Death Knell V, and in the literary periodical Schuylkill Valley Journal.

And now, Mr. Cileone: 

What Elements are used to Write Fiction

I suppose the ingredients used to cook up works of fiction consist of the author’s interests and experiences, which are then combined with the writer’s observations. Add to this recipe imagination, and you have your story.

In my latest novel, Out of the Picture, I wanted to write a mystery because I have always been interested in trying to solve the puzzle at the heart of the works in this genre. I am also an avid movie fan. I am one of those masochists who watch the whole Oscar broadcast each year. I have enrolled in numerous film studies courses over the years, and write a movie blog which analyzes a film each week. I may not be able to remember what I ate for dinner, but I will recall movie dialogue and film credits with ease.

I also love animals. I have observed over the years how loving and loyal our animal companions can be. The book includes an anti-animal abuse theme. Unfortunately, I had to say goodbye to my beloved feline family member, Jellybean, not too long ago. She does show up in a supporting role in Out of the Picture. (I recently started doing volunteer work at a local animal shelter, Kitty Cottage, and I am donating all of my author royalties from Out of the Picture to the animal shelter.)

Before retiring, I was a medical claims examiner with the Department of Veterans Affairs. I reviewed numerous claims involving post-traumatic stress disorder. The main character, Vince Singleton, in Out of the Picture, suffers from this condition. He was traumatized after witnessing the violent death of his wife. Since he could not prevent the death of his wife, his involvement now in trying to catch a murderer, who has threatened his world, helps him on his way to redemption.

My interests in literature and my experiences with Quaker schools were reflected in my first mystery, A Lesson in Murder. And, my Italian American heritage and the upheaval I observed in the 1960’s and 1970’s are addressed in my second novel, Feast or Famine, which is a comic/dramatic work.

Hopefully readers will find that I have added the right amount of imagination to these interests and experiences to make my writing worthy of literary consumption.


Want to check out some of Mr. Cileone's brilliant work? His newest release, OUT OF THE PICTURE was released in February! You can check it out here

From the Amazon page: 

Vince Singleton, a writer, part-time English professor at Philadelphia Sacred Covenant University, and huge movie fan, suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder. He witnessed the accidental shooting of his wife by a policeman during a robbery. Vince, however, suspects that her death was intentional. Now, an old friend of his is found dead amid unusual clues. Vince helps the lieutenant working the case, despite his wariness of policemen. Faculty members associated with animal abuse are murdered and strange items are discovered near the bodies. Vince determines that the clues refer to movies, and, with the help of his daughter, his journalist brother, and a female professor, tries to find the killer before another person is taken … out of the picture.


  1. Another good post, Gus. By the way, I finished Out of the Picture and recommend it to anyone who loves movies - or anyone who loves a good book.

  2. Thanks for your support, Sandy.


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