Thursday, April 4, 2013

A Touch of Fun...with Gary Ponzo

We welcome back to the blog Gary Ponzo, bestselling indie author with a great sense of humor.

The first book in your series, A Touch of Deceit, is consistently in the top 30 on Amazon's police procedural list. How do you keep that going?

I'd like to say it's a really good book and that it resonates with readers, but you know as well as I do some of it is luck with a twist of the Amazon algorithm working its magic. I did spend a good five years writing and rewriting the thing until it passed the beta reader test. Then, I blew up the first 150 pages once I was told the story started a little too slow—a mistake I learned very early and would never make again. Also I wouldn't eliminate the fact that it's a series and every time I release a new book, the first book in the series gets a little bump in sales.

Your books are highly rated and sell well on Kindle. Have you queried Amazon or other publishers? Or do you prefer to stay indie?

Thanks for the kind words. My readers have been enthusiastically supportive and I'm so grateful to them. Have I been queried by Amazon or any other publishers? No. Do I prefer to stay indie? I don't know. I'm approaching over 100,000 Nick Bracco books sold in the past couple of years and the future gets brighter with every release, so I don't know what's on the other side of the publishing world, but I'm sure liking the view on my side of the yard. Does that make me sound like a hick? I'm from Brooklyn for crying out loud. I didn't see a cow until I was thirteen.

What's your biggest challenge in being an indie author?

I should say the biggest challenge is exposure, but really my biggest challenge is finding time to write. I currently have a day job, a beautiful wife and two wonderful kids who are involved with all types of sporting activities, so I really have to work at squeezing in writing. I do most of it at night when everyone is asleep. When I get to the point where I can write fulltime, I'll find other things to distract me I'm sure.

Tell about your fourth Nick Bracco book.

While filming a documentary, the president's brother is captured deep within the Amazon Rainforest by a Colombian cartel. The president calls the one person who has the underground criminal contacts needed to fight this type of vicious enemy: FBI agent, Nick Bracco. Once again Nick relies on his mafia-linked cousin Tommy to help with the operation. When Tommy recruits an assassin to join the rescue team, the rollercoaster comes off the track and everyone becomes a target.

(I spent ten minutes trying to come up with a clever way to tell you about the story, but finally I just copied and pasted the blurb I used on my Amazon book page. I'm still scratching my head to come up with something better.)

What's next for you? Will you continue the series and/or do you plan to write any standalones? Is this a tough decision for an indie author?

I've been writing this standalone psychological thriller for the past five years. Here's the sequence of events which preclude me from finishing this book:

A: I release a new Bracco book and pickup the psychological thriller where I left off.

B: I get emails from people who loved the new book and want to know when the next Bracco book is coming out.

C: I put down the psychological thriller and begin a new Bracco book.

D: (See A.)

This is actually happening as we speak. The first thing I need is a title, though. Since all the others start with "A Touch of . . ." I need to find a new word for the title. A Touch of Despair? Contempt? Treason? Toffee? Help, I'm running out of words.

What do you see happening in publishing in the next few years?

I see a barrage of indie writers flooding the market. I see some really good ones who were overlooked by the publishing industry making a name for themselves. I see others struggle. Some because of poor manuscripts and others simply due to unfortunate events. I see the Big 6 publishers in NY becoming the Big 3 or maybe the Big 2. I see them passing up on some very talented writers in order to publish a book by Snooki's illiterate housecleaner who tells all about Snooki's bedroom activities. I see this book becoming a NY Times bestseller. I see very talented writers pulling their hair out.

Hey that's it! A Touch of Baldness! Nick Bracco infiltrates the publishing world in order to save the country from reading poorly written books by pseudo-reality stars which causes writers to pull out their hair. Okay, sorry you had to see that. I do it ten times a day without an audience.

Readers, writers: What do you think? Will the Big 6 become the Big 2? Should Gary look for a big publishing deal so he can quit his job? Would you read A Touch of Baldness?


  1. Fun!

    You've tricked my brain into turning on earlier than usual. How about A Touch of Insanity? A Touch of Poison. A Touch of Lust.

    Who are the Big 6? (JK)

    Does Gary want to quit his job?

    1. Every writer wants to quit his/her day job. :)

  2. Thanks for posting with us, Gary. And yes, the Big 6 will continue to merge. Once B&N announces its closure/restructuring, we'll see more consolidation. Any many small presses will simply go under.

    (How about: A Touch of Evil, A Touch of Revenge, A Touch of the Fingers)

    1. You bet, L.J., thanks for having me, this was a lot of fun. If anyone else wants to chime in with ideas for the title, feel free. And no, you will not receive a percentage of the gross sales. Nice try though.

  3. What an entertaining read! Welcome back to Crime Fiction Collective, Gary, and I must check out your books! They sound great! You're an inspiration to indie authors, and I hope they'll all spend the time and effort you did/do polishing up their books before publishing - not to mention hiring a good freelance editor!

    1. Thanks Jodie, the nice thing about digital is you can go back and correct things, but it's always best to be clean as possible when you first publish.

  4. Having read A Touch of Deceit, it's nice to read a bit more about the author. Interesting post, Gary.

    1. Thanks Jenny, I got a little goofy there, but what the heck. It was fun.

  5. I'm a brand new fan of yours, Gary.

    Found your via "The View from Above" and have started reading Nick Bracco's adventures. Love the way you write, and hope you can determine your own destiny one way or another.

    My answers are: Probably, Yes, and Of Course!


    1. Hey, thanks Jim. I spent the first ten years of my career writing short stories before I moved on to novels. For me it really taught me how to have a beginning, a middle, and an end. Something that I now do with each chapter of my novel. I think it helps to keep the tension up.

      Thanks for the kind words. It's great to hear from happy readers.

  6. I'm wondering why your books haven't made it to my kindle yet, will have to change that. I love reading mystery suspense thrill and police drama's. I'm currently I work on a crime story (meaning it's in a WIP folder and am working on it between semesters at school). Am looking forward to adding a book to my reading list.

    As for a title, A Touch of normalcy, comes to mind..


    1. Thanks, Debi, good luck with the WIP. Let me know how you like the book. All my readers are welcome to email me at


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.