Peter Marino was born July 21, 1960, in Amsterdam, NY. He is the son of Giacchino “Jack” (a mortgage broker) and Noreen Grace (an office manager). He married G.A. Broadwell who is a linguistics professor. Peter Marino is currently an English professor at Adirondack Community College. He is the author of two young adult novels, Dough Boy and Magic and Misery, both of which have won critical acclaim from all the major industry publications. He has also produced plays in the 9th Annual New York City 15 Minute Play Festival, “Slam Boston!” in 2005, 2006, and 2009 and the Samuel French 2003 Short Play Festival.
We asked Peter when he wrote his first book and what influenced him to start writing. His response was “I wrote my first book when I was in third grade, I can’t remember the title now, but it was about a woman named Carrie who was in labor and had to get to the hospital. I think I was influenced by the birth of triplets on the television program My Three Sons. I thought it was the coolest thing that three babies could be exactly alike, so I ran with the idea and had Carrie deliver six. More important is the thrill I felt writing and illustrating my own book, and showing it off to friends and family. It was then I knew absolutely that I wanted to be a writer.”
In his book Magic and Misery, he writes about a young girl who has love interest in both her new boyfriend and a boy who has recently been transferred to her school. He writes about the drama and confusion involved in school as a young person. He says, “I feel this book represents my continuing evolution as a writer. As with any book, it has been years in the making, although I’m sure if you read it, it would only take you a night or two to read.” His other book Dough Boy is written about a young high school student named Tristan struggling with obesity. Marino stated that Tristan was based after his self conscious teenage self and that he want to “capture the intensity of those feelings in that character, such as helplessness and of being an outcast.” The main topic of the novel was being obese in a world where most people fit in because they are in shape. On this he stated, “Blaming the victim is not an uncommon response from society when confronted with disease.” He tries to make it easy for everyone to relate to his characters by creating a wide variety of personalities in them. “I want them to be sophisticated enough so people can see some part of themselves in them, even if their personalities aren’t the same.” We asked which character Marino could relate to the most and obviously it was Tristan (the character based on himself), but he also said that he could relate a little to each the characters.
We then asked Peter when he started writing the book. His response was, “Writing a book can take a very long time, because it has to go through many drafts and edits before being published. The first draft was written over the course of a semester break many years ago, and it was a few years before the final edition was published and printed.” The last thing we asked him was if he had any advice for us and the creative writing class. He thought for a long moment and said, “If you are an aspiring writer asking me for advice, I can suggest only that you write regularly and without fail, because a priority is a priority.”
Article by Brannon Anders and Kate Thayer, 2010