10 QUESTIONS FOR…Tom Caraccioli, best-selling sports author

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Author interview with Tom Caraccioli, co-author with identical twin brother JerryTJMug2
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Tom Caraccioli and Jerry Caraccioli are identical twin brothers. BOYCOTT: Stolen Dreams of the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games is their second book. Their regional bestselling book STRIKING SILVER: The Untold Story of America’s Forgotten Hockey Team was published in Jan. 2006.

 Jerry is the Director, Communication for the CBS Television Network Sports Division’s Communications Departments. Tom is the founder and CEO of Lions Roar Public Relations and a former television public relations executive with NBC Sports/USA Network.  Each has been working in some capacity in sports communications for the past 20 years.  They grew up in upstate Oswego, New York.

Among his career highlights, Tom has worked in Major League Baseball for the Boston Red Sox in various capacities in the organization, was the Director of Sports Information at Merrimack College in Andover, Massachusetts, and a managing editor at Professional Sports Publications in New York City before working at NBC/USA for more than five years, where he worked on events such as the Masters®, Ryder Cup, U.S. Open Tennis Championships and 2004 Olympic Summer Games.

Among his career highlights, Jerry also has worked in Major League Baseball for the California Angels and Oakland Athletics organizations, as well as Major League Baseball International as the Director of Media Relations for the Australian Baseball League in Sydney, Australia.  He has worked for CBS Sports for more than 11 years on some of the biggest events in sports including the 1998 Olympic Winter Games in Nagano, Japan, Super Bowls XXXV, XXXVIII, XXXLI, the NCAA Championship and Final Four, as well as the U.S. Open Tennis Championships and the Masters® and PGA Championship.

1. Tell us about your latest book.

Our latest book – BOYCOTT: Stolen Dreams of the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games takes an in-depth look at the events and history of the U.S.-led boycott of the 1980 Olympic Summer Games in Moscow. BOYCOTT also features the personal stories of 18 U.S. athletes who never got another chance to represent the United States in an Olympic Games.  The foreword was written by former Vice President Walter Mondale who apologized to the athletes of 1980.

2. How did you get started as a writer?

I was encouraged in my 8th grade English class when I wrote an essay about sitting behind the Boston Celtics bench and eavesdropping in the huddle during a timeout. I wrote about the fact that I was so close that I could feel the heat and perspiration emanating from the players. It was a fictitious account but my teacher really encouraged me from that point.

3. What does a typical day look like for you?

I try to write in the either early in the morning of later in the evening after my daughter is in bed. I own and operate my own PR firm – Lions Roar Public Relations – so I do not make my living as a writer yet.

4. Describe your workspace.

My second book – BOYCOTT: Stolen Dreams of the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games – I wrote in my office of my 100-year-old carriage house in Philadelphia. My first book –STRIKING SILVER: The Untold Story of America’s Forgotten Hockey Team – was written during my daily commute between Philadelphia and New York where I was working as a public relations executive for NBC Sports and USA Network. My brother and I also spoke every day and communicated via email while co-authoring both books.

5. Favorite books (especially for writers)

I have always loved Hemingway. My favorite is the “Sun Also Rises.” I also enjoy non-fiction history books. Lately, besides my own books, I would say my favorite book has been “Manhunt” about the assassination and subsequent search for John Wilkes Booth.

6. Tell us 3 interesting/crazy things about you

1. I have an identical twin brother Jerry, who co-authored both books with me.

2. I once ran with the Bulls in Pamplona, Spain. Back to Hemingway….

3. My wife and I have 36 nieces and nephews.

 

7. Favorite quote

Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal.” – Henry Ford

8. Best and worst part of being a writer

The best part is completing a story, having it published and then someone telling you it was a great story, they learned something.  The worst, is finding any mistake, a typo, a misplaced comma, whatever, in the final product.

9. Advice for other writers

My best advice is to follow through. Lots of people talk about “writing a book” or “writing that story” but never do it. Don’t just talk about – do it!

10. Tell us a story about your writing experience. 

During the writing of our BOYCOTT book we wanted to talk to President Jimmy Carter about his decision to not send a U.S. team to Moscow for the Olympics. Unfortunately, he was busy finishing his last book and promoting it. We then set our sights on Vice President Mondale who was the administration’s point person. We didn’t have any contacts to get to him so I called information in Minneapolis to take a chance I could get a phone number. The operator asked me if I wanted the business or residential number. I told her both (I ended up with only the business number) and went on to call the Vice President at his office and set up an interview all in a matter of 10 minutes. He was a pleasure to speak with and eventually wrote the foreword to the book.

Where can people buy your books?

BOYCOTT and STRIKING SILVER are both available on Amazon.com and boycottbook.com .For further questions or comments, email tom@lionsroarllc.com.

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