Peter Arpesella is an actor and award winning writer based in Los Angeles, originally from Rimini, Italy. His family owned the historical Grand Hotel, where family friend, Federico Fellini, set his award winning “Amarcord”. After his successful excursion in the investment banking world, Peter discovered that storytelling is a lot more fun and moved to the States to work as an actor and writer.
His one man show,” Life & Me… What A Couple!” ran at HERE Performance Space in New York City; he hosted “Cult Network Italia”, for Stream TV; worked with Michael J. Fox on “Spin City”, and was Tom Cruise’s Italian coach in “Mission Impossible III”. Peter can be seen in the block buster comedy hit “Think Like A Man, and in the acclaimed TV show, “Mad Men.”
Peter’s voice can be heard in several feature films, from the English version of the Oscar winning “Life Is Beautiful” to “Madagascar III.” His short story, “The Little Old Lady, is published in Frightful Stages by Hayworth Press and the Psychotherapy Patient Journal.
Among others, Peter wrote an original screenplay that won the Grand Jury Prize at the New York International Film Festival, which inspired the story of “Good Like This.”
Peter loves to sail and always loves a good laugh. He’s a volunteer recording audiobooks for Learning Ally, helping TreePeople, Heal The Bay and Habitat for Humanity. He lives in Los Angeles with his actress/writer wife, Annie Wood, and their dog-ter, Lucy.
What inspires you to write?
Life. And the need to tell a story.
Tell us about your writing process.
It starts from an idea, or something I see, read or hear that intrigues me, excites me. That often creates an image in my mind. As I keep looking into that image I either get to see other images, or find a title – or working title – and mostly a theme. If I get excited while all this happens, which may take seconds or days, I then start working on the story. I like, as best I can, to sketch out or structure, outline the story before I write. If there are scenes or moments that are screaming to come out of me, I write them out immediately. When I have an idea of the theme, possibly the title and the beginning, middle and end of the story, I start writing. Outlining always made my writing better. it’s never something rigid, it’s just a sense of the story, in more or less detail. As I write, I will depart from the outline if the story and tis character want me to, and I will discover new possibilities. If needed I”ll adjust the outline. it’s a fluid, lively process.
The first draft is to get the story out of me and onto the page. I need the story to become its own thing, before I can really work on it. That’s what the first draft is for me. Like the first table-read for an actor. Then, draft by draft, re-write after re-write, I work on the story to make it as good as I can. While this happens, I am a sponge, I channel everything that can make my work better. I use everything that inspires me and can add to a character, a scene, a description, a moment. I welcome everything (that feels good), I try everything. I’m not afraid of criticism, I’m not attached to anything that can be taken out and make the story better. I love everything that can make my story better. Overall, I make a pact with myself, to write the truth. The human and emotional truth that I know, about what I’m writing, without compromise.
When my writing touches me, or moves me, or makes me laugh or makes me cry, I get a sense that I’m on a decent path for the story.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
Yes, constantly. I watch and listen, a lot more than I talk, though. When the scene’s organic and real, I’m basically transcribing what I hear and see in my mind. It’s basically dictation.
What advice would you give other writers?
Submit your writing, make it available for readers when it’s ready, however you choose to do that.
When you read other work, or see a movie, or even witness a scene in life, forget about “I like it- I don’t like it.” That’s inconsequential, from a creative standpoint. Try to understand why they did what they did, see if you would’ve done something different, why and what exactly, and see if it can help you make your writing better.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I’m a story-teller (not a story-writer). I write so my story can be told and create an experience in others. The story must be published, or made into a movie, it has to be told.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I think it’ll continue to be a growing industry. It’ll grow using new technologies to make it easier and easier for readers to enjoy the stories we write.
What do you use?
Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?
Fiction, medical, non-ficiton, comedy, romance.
What formats are your books in?
Both eBook and Print