Q&A: Blind Author Belo Cipriani Discusses the Business of Writing


This is the second of a two-part post about Blind author Belo Cipriani, a San Francisco-based memoirist whose first work of fiction comes out later this year. Read the first part here.



You’re coming out with your first book of fiction soon. Any release date yet? Can you give us a hint about the tale? Where should I direct readers to buy it?

My novella, Nightlife, will be published by ASD Publishing in September 2012. It’s a story about a pill that allows people to choose their dreams. The main characters find themselves socializing and getting to know each other in their sleep. Dates, romances, and heart breaks occur while on the pink pill. Readers will be able to purchase Nightlife via my publisher or via major online retailers.

Meanwhile, my publisher is currently translating a few chapter excerpts from Blind into Spanish. They want to test the waters first before translating the entire book.


You do writing residencies annually. Which one is coming up next? How do they work, and what advice would you give other writers interested in going beyond their writing groups?

I will be in residency at Yaddo summer 2012 in New York. During the fall 2012 and spring 2013 I will be Writer in Residency at Holy Names University in Oakland California. Residencies have proven to be extremely valuable for me because they have offered a place and time to write. In many cases, I am in residency with other writers and artists from other disciplines that have positively affected my creativity. There are websites that list residencies, yet I learn about them mostly from my writer friends.


Many of my writers are curious about fellowships, too. What are they and how does one go about getting one?

There are all sorts of fellowships with a wide range of criteria. Some seek out emerging writers while others look for accomplished authors. Some award big bucks and housing, yet those are rare and highly competitive. In 2011, I was a Lambda Literary Fellow and spent a week taking writing workshops with top notch writers and attended publishing panels in Los Angeles. This week long event is one of the best experiences of my writing career.

(ATW note: For more information on finding a place or some cash as a writer visit Erika Dreifus and/or Hope Clark.)


Find out more about Cipriani on his info-packed web site


You have a publicist who gets you bookings on programs such as BlogTalkRadio.com. What kind of efforts has she achieved for you so far? Did you get an agent before or after Blind’s release? What advice would you give other writers on finding a good publicist?

I am represented by a celebrity publicist. I signed an NDA limiting my ability to relinquish her identity to the public. She basically does not want people to find her. Like many successful agents, they do not want to be queried. She actually scouted me at a literary party in Los Angeles.


We all need community. Writers and blind people are two groups who especially discuss this. Do you have any other blind writer friends?

Yes, Susan Krieger has been a major supporter of my writing. I met her at one of her readings at Stanford University and we have stayed in touch ever since. I am a big fan of her work and highly recommend all of her books.


My thanks to Belo Cipriani for granting me some precious time and allowing me to write about his courageous journey.



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