Hello, my name is JOHN FIORAVANTI. Although I was born in Canada’s largest city, Toronto, I was raised in the small town of Dundas, nestled beside the town of Ancaster against Hamilton, Ontario’s west end.
I don’t think the desire to write began until my 5th decade. But, I was a voracious reader from my childhood onwards. It was my mother who fostered the love of the printed word within me. I remember clearly the day my mom called me into the kitchen while she was preparing dinner. She sent me into the living room to find two books to bring back to the kitchen. Gulliver’s Travels and this gigantic dictionary that weighed 300 pounds (at least it felt like it, anyway!).
Dutifully, I carried the books into the kitchen where Mom sat me on the floor (well out of her way) and told me to start reading Gulliver’s Travels out loud. I was doing fine (or so I thought) until I stumbled over the word prodigious. I couldn’t even pronounce it! Mom stopped me and asked what it meant. I had no clue, so she directed me to the dictionary by pointing with her wooden mixing spoon at the prodigious volume on the floor beside me. It took a while to find it ( it was a really big book!), but I succeeded and she showed me how the entry not only gave the meaning, but also the proper way to pronounce it.
This became our every afternoon ritual. Soon, she began to accompany me to the public library every Saturday. I fell in love with books because the cliche is true, that books are the gateway to a whole new world. I would read novels of different genres throughout high school and into adulthood. I became fascinated by these authors who envisioned a compelling story, created interesting characters and entertaining plot strands, then crafted them together into a yarn that kept me wanting more. How did they do this?
As a high school teacher, I spent three decades working hard to teach my students how to write excellent research essays. It was technical writing and I excelled at it. In my thirties, I took history courses part-time while I was teaching. Circumstances combined against me and I submitted a poorly-researched essay for one particular course. The mark I got back was a B-, and the note from the professor said that it was really a D paper, but it was so well-written that he had to give it a B! I used that story to show my students how important it is to write as well as you can.
As I was about to retire, I wrote an inspirational book about my struggles to master my teaching craft. Basically, it was my story – or the professional part of it, and I discovered in the writing, that I had an engaging storytelling style. Later that year, I was challenged to try my hand at fiction. I approached that with trepidation because, as a reader, I held novelists on a great literary pedestal. Several chapters into my first draft, my wife, Anne, announced that it read like a real book. WOW, I thought… a real book!!!
As an adult, I have always loved writing, but it wasn’t until retirement that I began to see myself as an author. Whether or not I ever write a best-seller, I have been rewarded by the joy of creating the written word. When we created our website, my wife and I were encouraged to come up with a tag line. It didn’t take me long once I searched within my soul. What we arrived at, expresses my truth as a reader and as a writer…
CHERISH THE WRITTEN WORD
by John J. Fioravanti
To learn more about John: