About L.A. Di Paolo

My Story

I am…I will not say what I am because I am not someone special. But I can and will say how I came to write this first novel. My experiences and perhaps some inner sensibility, some internal drive, led me here, though they might have taken– and might still take me somewhere else. If I had to pick one road which most assuredly brought me here for having followed it most consistently, I would say it was “Reading Road” that got me here because, as I traveled it, I developed a strong desire to write, so that I too might express those things which the reading elicited in me.

The Beginnings

And it was my parents–who always had a book or magazine, and a dictionary nearby–who helped me discover the pleasures of reading. My father, in particular, helped me understand the importance of mastering languages for having benefited from it when he founded and grew a successful construction company in Canada, though he had come from a poor agrarian family in Italy. It was because of my parents, then, that as a child and young teenager growing up in an Italian district of cosmopolitan Montreal I found myself spending much time reading so that I might enrich my vocabulary and develop a mastery of the languages spoken at home and in our community. But instead of the magazines and novels they read, I devoured comic books, whether they be in Italian, French, or English. As I read to learn, I discovered that I loved the written word, and I began to ingest all manner of written works.

As I grew older, comic books no longer satisfied me and my interests in reading materials shifted along with my growing interest in science and philosophy. I began reading endless books, magazine and journals. Strangely, one of the publications that most inspired my imagination was the now defunct OMNI (a pseudoscientific/science fiction magazine of the 1980s).

The Shift

As an older teenager and young adult, I realized that these authors, these thinkers, these fiction and non-fiction writers alike who dedicated themselves to writing, all had something to teach me, something valuable for me to learn and to try to apply in my own life. So I read on. And it was after setting my eyes on Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven” in my English class at the Collège Français in Montreal, that I became so enamored with the feelings that words can carry, as well as with their ability to express our thoughts about real and unreal things, that I began “putting pen to paper,” first to experiment with the process, and afterward to share–then or later–with those around me, what passed through my mind or germinated there as I thought about the world, the universe, nature, or the human condition.

So, as many others have done and do, I started writing a diary that I continue to this day, nearly forty years later. In university (where I obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Ecology and another in Business Administration from Université de Montréal, followed by a Master’s Degree in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Iowa State University) I wrote essays on science and the human condition. I also wrote public opinion pieces in commercial newspapers, and created and published the first French-language tropical fish magazine in Quebec. I loved writing, and wherever I found an opportunity to communicate by means of it things important to me, I did it.

The Decision

As I entered adult life in full, however, its obligations and responsibilities along with the professional path I chose eventually led me away from writing, and so it remained–aside from what I was able to put in my journal–until the summer of 2006. By this time, I had a wife and three children and was established in Pottstown, Pennsylvania. On a day of that summer, a thought came to me, a thought that had already germinated in my mind during high school but had soon died from lack of something to say, and I decided to get back to that old wish to write a book. And this time, the thought lived and continued to grow to give life–at least in my mind and within the electrons of my computer–to what has become my first novel, Conquerors of K’Tara, though it had begun as a simple story for my kids.

The Novel

Unsurprisingly, my two youngest loved the idea, and they imagined themselves in the characters I began forming. My middle child, who loves all things sci-fi and fantasy, thought he could help me and decided to read the manuscript and critique it–a role he took seriously, and actually excelled at. But as I wrote and rewrote, the story quickly evolved into a work much greater in scope than I had at first imagined, and I found myself weaving into it ideas about science, philosophy, politics, and religion. But it is no surprise that this occurred because these are the topics that inspire me and through which I see and try to understand the world.

The novel, then, is the product of what I am: a person who loves writing because of the ability it gives me to express my thoughts and imaginings, as well as my explorations about our world and universe, and about what lives and dwells in them equally.

I hope you will find enticing what I have chosen to put here about the novel, and that you will choose to share your own thoughts on the creative process as it relates to writing, or on what you read here by posting on my blog, on Goodreads.com if you are a member, or on Facebook. Learn more about Conquerors of K’Tara.


My Other Writings

L’Aquario: The French-language tropical fish magazine I published for the clients of the tropical fish import company I founded in Montreal at 24 years old (and then shut-down to pursue my studies in Biology). The motto on the FrontPage of the magazine was (translated from French) “The sharing of one’s knowledge is the noblest of gifts,” and so I wrote and invited others to write as well. In the 1992-04 edition, I also started illustrating the magazine with small goofy strips.

  • The first issue. Very simple, short and done with WordPerfect (for who remembers): Acquario 1991-06
  • The second issue already included articles from contributing experts, as well as questions from readers: Acquario 1991-07
  • In this issue, I started including drawings I made, as well as photos: Acquario 1991-11
  • Here, I started creating short comic strips, and professionalizing the look: Acquario 1992-04
  • In this last issue, I included technical drawings I made, along with my own photos: Acquario 1993-02

The Niche: Student newspaper of the Iowa State University Department of Ecology that I co-edited and co-authored. You will see here that my mastery of English still left to be desired, but I wrote nevertheless because I found it important to try and elicit useful debate within the community or simply to entertain fellow students with my stories.

Newspaper article: In 1995, I wrote (in French) an editorial for the Journal La Presse de Montréal, after Mr. Parizeau – the then Prime Minister of Québec – saw his motion for the Independence of Quebec defeated in the Referendum.

Recent Posts

It is not the walls that are too tall, but rather the ladders that are too short.

– l.a. di paolo

Meet L.A. Di Paolo

FEBRUARY 21-23, 2020

Farpoint 27, Delta Hotel by Marriott, Hunt Valley, MD

L.A. Di Paolo will attend Farpoint 27, an annual gathering for fans of all genres of imaginative fiction – Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror, SuperHeroes – in all the media formats in which they might appear – Cinematic Movies, Television, Podcasts, Web Video. Mr. Di Paolo will promote his novel and short stories, as well as autograph copies of Forebodings (Book 1 of Conquerors of K’Tara), and of Eruption (Book 2 of Conquerors, hoping that it will have been released by then).

Meet L.A. Di Paolo

MAY 04, 2019

Book Signing at Towne Book Center, 220 Plaza Drive B-3, Collegeville, PA, 19426

L.A. Di Paolo will be signing copies of his book and short-stories at Towne Book Center and Wine Bar & Café on Saturday 04 May 2019. Come to meet the author, buy a copy of the book, short stories or posters of Scorch and the Serpent, have them or copies you already own autographed, and have some wine and browse other books in this most wonderful book store, all on May 4th 2019.

FEBRUARY 15-17, 2019

Boskone 2019, @ The Westin Boston Waterfront, Boston, MA 02210.

L.A. Di Paolo attended Boskone 2019, New England’s longest-running Science-Fiction convention, to promote his novel and autograph copies of “Forebodings.”

NOVEMBER 16-18, 2018

PhilCon @ Crowne Plaza in Cherry Hill, 2349 Marlton Pike Cherry Hill, New Jersey 08002.

L.A. Di Paolo attended PhilCon 2018, where he launched the new edition of the first book of his novel, Forebodings – Conquerors of K’Tara Book 1.

OCtober 08, 2018

Phoenixville Public Library • Phoenixville , PA

L.A. Di Paolo participated in the Phoenixville Public Library Open Mic night, reading an excerpt from his novel. You can watch the video here (from min 1:55-7:39).

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