Skip to content

An Interview with M.A. Maggiano


M.A. Maggiano grew up in Hoboken, NJ. He received his B.S. in Criminology from St. Leo College and received an M.S. in Strategic Intelligence from the Joint Military Intelligence College. A twenty-year Air Force veteran, he continued in government service and served forty-three years. His career had many different phases in both military and civilian positions beginning in 1972 at the end of the Vietnam War, an assignment to the Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Pentagon during 9/11 and the Iraq War and culminating as an instructor and unit chief for Intelligence training at the FBI Academy in Quantico, VA. He has written three other standalone books besides his work on the two completed Valkyrie series works he has co-authored with his son. He and his wife now live in St. Augustine, Florida.

Who/what made you want to write? Was there a particular person, or particular writers/works/art forms that influenced you?

Writing was always a big part of my job. For years, I wrote different reports, executive briefs, assessments, exercise scenarios, etc. Back around the end of 2000, I met a lady online who was an aspiring writer, and we began communicating about writing. She asked if I had ever written anything for fun, and my answer was not yet. I told her I had two ideas for totally different stories. One was a romance set in Italy titled Roman Interlude. The story involved a young American woman who has an unexpected meeting with a man who becomes intrigued by her and invites her on an adventure that has them traveling through some of the most iconic cities and venues in Italy.

The other book idea would be called Return of the First, which was/is a military adventure set in the near future and involves a U.S. Air Force tactical reconnaissance squadron in England that becomes involved in supporting military action against an aggressive Middle Eastern country very reminiscent of what’s happening in the world today.

I was never a fan of romance novels but was an avid reader of military adventures from Tom Clancy, Dale Brown, Stephen Coonts, and Clive Cussler

What inspired you to start writing this book?

I needed to be productive. The original ideas I had for my initial books sat on old 3.5 inch floppy disks from 2001 until after I retired in 2015. I had thought about writing but never gave it any thought until that time when my wife found a notice in the local Port St. Lucie paper about a writing group that met at the local library. I wrote and published those two books. I also completed London Waiting and had started on a joint project with my son who had an idea for a books series titled Valkyrie: Guardians of the Lost.

Writing and creativity had always been a big part of my professional life. So in retirement I funneled that energy into creative writing and looked for new projects to undertake.

Kona Winds has been my biggest writing challenge to date. Normally I have the complete story line laid out in my head and I let the story tell itself. With Kona Winds I have a title and a basic idea and two main characters. What their interaction and relationship would be was undefined. However, as the story began to develop, my original concept took on a life of it’s on and morphed into something totally unexpected.

Tell us the story of your book’s title. Was it easy to find, or did it take forever?

Two of the books I have written have a simple two-word title. Roman Interlude and London Waiting. As I mentioned earlier, Roman Interlude is a romantic travelogue. London Waiting is a mystery, and almost a treasure-hunt-type adventure as the protagonist tries to find the truth about her family. I liked that formula because it gave a hint as to what the story may be about.

The title Kona Winds just came to me on day as I was sitting outside a Racetrac gas station in Port Saint Lucie Florida. I had stopped to get a drink and was sitting at one of their outside tables watching the palm trees blowing in the breeze. I had lived in Hawaii for three years and knew what the Kona Winds were. As I sat there the title just popped into my head. That’s it; just a title with no idea for a story or plot line. Now came the hard part. Develop a story to go with the name.

If your book had a soundtrack, what are some songs that would be on it?

This is a hard question to answer. When I write I often listen to music that I think is appropriate to what I’m writing. For most of the time I was writing Kona Winds I was listening to iHeart Radio, Island 98.5. Hawaiian Reggae from Honolulu. A playlist from that station would probably fit the storyline.

What other professions have you worked in? What’s something about you that your readers wouldn’t know?

I’m a PADI Certified Master Scuba Instructor and the events that take place during the dive in the first chapter of Kona Winds is based on a real-life experience where I was the instructor. As a professional Scuba Instructor with various specialty ratings, I was also invited to assist the National Park Service in completing their annual underwater survey to determine of the status of the deterioration of the USS Arizona.

What books did you read (for research or comfort) throughout your writing process?

I didn’t read any books during this time. But I did complete over forty hours of research concerning the unique phenomena discussed in Kona Winds.

What is one thing you hope readers take away from reading your book? How do you envision your perfect reader?

Obviously, the biggest thing I would like the reader to take away is the feeling that they enjoyed the story and perhaps gained some insight into the unexplained things in world we live in, or at least have gained some knowledge or ideas to think about. The perfect reader would be someone who is open to the possibilities of investigations confirming the premise of the book. Which is currently considered to be science fiction, but highly in the realm of probability.

Are you a writer, too? Submit your manuscript to Atmosphere Press.

atmosphere press

Atmosphere Press is a selective hybrid publisher founded in 2015 on the principles of Honesty, Transparency, Professionalism, Kindness, and Making Your Book Awesome. Our books have won dozens of awards and sold tens of thousands of copies. If you’re interested in learning more, or seeking publication for your own work, please explore the links below.