Author Spotlight Saturday ~ Meet Donald R. Grippo

Please Welcome Donald R. Grippo to Genuine Jenn this Saturday! 

Tell us a little bit about your book(s) and yourself

Before retiring in 2010, I practiced oral and maxillofacial surgery in northeast Connecticut. I’m married to Pauline and we have three daughters. I’ve lived in several towns and cities in Connecticut as well as New York City, Syracuse, New York, Nashville, Tennessee, and Sanford, Florida.

I received degrees from Syracuse University, Meharry Medical College School of Dentistry, and Cornell Medical College / The New York Hospital. My history includes working as a jail guard and a prison dentist.

My hobbies include reading prose and poetry, playing tennis, and studying martial arts.

To Sleep…Perchance to Die is a story of an ill-fated love triangle that involves deception, betrayal, and murder. One of the characters is non fictional but portrayed in a fictional manner. That character is well-known Hartford, Connecticut criminal attorney, Hubert (Hubie) Santos. The novel is a tale that combines fiction and with fact and is meant to entertain and inform the reader. Among other things, the reader will be introduced to the field of oral and maxillofacial surgery, northeast Connecticut, and a famous Connecticut lawyer. Chapter heading are lines from Shakespeare’s sonnets and poetic references are found throughout the book.

When was your first book published? 

A Guide to the Guy or Gal Who Takes Your Teeth Out was published in 2007. It is a collection of eight short stories about oral surgical problems and their treatment. It was meant for older children and adults. The intention was to allay fear associated with oral and maxillofacial surgery. The book was inspired by the questions a young patient of mine asked.

Are you currently working on anything?

I have sent Revenge Best Served Bloody, the sequel to To Sleep…Perchance to Die, to my publisher for editing. It is slated to be released in June, 2014. I’m working on the outline for the third novel of the Bret Manley series.

Why did you decide to become an author?

I’ve been an avid reader of prose and poetry since my early school days. Becoming an author has been in my mind for as long as I can remember. Over the years I started novels only to discard them after one or two hundred pages. The modest success of A Guide to the Guy or Gal Who Takes Your Teeth Out, especially the feedback I received from readers and parents, was an incentive. 

In addition, I knew that in retirement it would be essential to maintain intellectual activities. As a result, I decided to embark upon a new career in writing. I knew it would be a uniting of my vocation with my avocation. 

I took creative writing courses, read how-to books, joined the Florida Writer’s Association, and attended writer’s seminars and meetings. I’ve found that a writer’s quest for knowledge never ends. Becoming an author has opened a new world for me.

Who and what inspired you to write?

My number one inspiration has been my wife, Paulie. She has encouraged me at every step of the new road I’ve taken.

Writers such as King, Cornwell, Michener, Clancy, and P.D. James have been role models. I’m in awe of their ability to put words to page.

Stephen King’s book, On Writing, not only teaches writing techniques, but also highlights the importance of persevering in one’s goal of becoming a writer. Another point of kinship I have with him is that we both came from humble beginnings.

When you are writing, do you like to listen to music? What is on your playlist? 

I don’t play music while I write because I wouldn’t hear it. When I write, my focus and concentration is on my computer and what I’m putting on the page. I tend to block activities and sounds that are around me.

Who is your favorite character in your books?

My favorite and most important character in my books is Mai Faca. She is psychologically complex, has several layers of personality, and to me is the most interesting character of my novels. Mai is able to drive a plot in overt and subtle ways.

Do you ever take characteristics or nuances from close friends or family when working on character development and if so has that friend or family member noticed and what was their response to it? 

Most of the characters in my books are composites of friends, work associates, patients I’ve treated, and jail and prison inmates with whom I’ve dealt. Those who feel I’ve used their persona in my characters have been pleased and flattered. No one has been offended. 

In To Sleep…Perchance to Die, my non-fictional character, Hubert (Hubie) Santos, is my cousin. He’s a well-known Connecticut attorney who gave me permission to use him in my novel. I’ve tried to give a true picture of him. He also is pleased with the result. 

What is your favorite book of all time? 

The Moon and Sixpence by Maugham. 

Tell us in one sentence why we should read your books.

The plots of my books are a weaving of fiction and fact that make interesting and pleasurable reading.

List your books that are available. 

To Sleep…Perchance to Die (2013)A Guide to the Guy or Gal Who Takes Your Teeth Out (2007)
Revenge Best Served Bloody (the sequel to To Sleep…Perchance to Die) is scheduled to be released in June, 2014)

Where can people connect with you? 

People can connect with me through my website ( that has links to twitter and facebook. Also, I can be contacted through my publisher, Turn The Page Publishing.

Thank you Donald R. Grippo for taking your time to be part of Author Spotlight Saturday!  

This post is also part of the Book tour for the following:

~*Disclaimer: This post was written by Genuine Jenn. All opinions are honest and my own.*~


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