I grew up in an immigrant family in Utica, New York. It was a small city, but large enough to have its own Mafia franchise. In the late 1970s and early ‘80s there was a war between a group of young upstarts and the older established gang. The details were murky at the time, but the body count was not.
Upstate Mob Story is my attempt to tell a story based on that period. It is purely fictional, as should be clear by the supernatural elements. Some of the place are real though; the Florentine Cafe was one of my favorite hangouts, and still exists.
It is my first novel. (Well, actually my fifth, but the four I wrote as a teenager are best left in the desk.) I was inspired to write by my grandfather, Ivan Smolij, an emigre Ukrainian novelist of some note, with seven books to his name.
My next novel, Brood: The Dirt, is about a monster that terrorizes the Ukrainian community of Utica. I hope to complete it in 2020.
I studied Ancient Greek and Musicology in college (two unrelated minors). I no longer use the Greek but continue to play the bass and piano in bands. By day I write software for a library services company near Boston. I live in Ipswich, Massachusetts with my wife, Peggy, and our four children.
Thank you for reading!
Author photo thanks to Mike Connolly