Skip to content

An Interview with Zack Albertini


Zack Albertini is a writer from New Jersey. After almost ten years of producing television and digital media, Zack dedicates his time to his current work in progress, The Scents of Memories, and a new passion of his, poetry. He has been a storyteller since he can remember, as a child growing up in Philadelphia and coming up with comic books and movie scripts, through his decision to focus on journalism at La Salle University (2013), and his time producing content for ESPN. It has always been about storytelling. Now, as Zack enters the next phase of his life, he focuses on the next set of stories, while he raises a son and daughter to tell their own stories, along with his wife.

What inspired you to start writing this book?

When I started writing this book, I was going through a transitional moment in life. There were things that I felt I needed to speak on, particularly about my mental health, my journey, and the guilt that I was putting on myself, but I couldn’t find the words. This story became my way of doing that. It became my way of telling everyone what was going on and a way to remind myself that it was okay. That I’ll find my way.

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

The current title is The Scents of Memories, and it’s an homage to the idea that a scent can remind you of different moments throughout your life. This idea is actually what inspired me to write the book, so the title came relatively easily. It was slightly different at the beginning, but it always had the same concept.

Describe your dream book cover.

I think my ideal cover would be simple. A title at the top, my name at the bottom, and a minimalistic illustration of a bowl of pasta in the middle. It’s symbolic of the opening scene, and a few other moments throughout the book.

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

I’ve been toying with the idea of putting together an unofficial Spotify playlist for this book, so there are plenty of ideas. There would be some Noah Kahan (“Homesick,” “You’re Gonna Go Far”), JP Saxe (“If Love Ends”), Ed Sheeran (“Nina”), Daniel Caesar (“Please Do Not Lean”), and VERITE (“Gone”), among others.

What books are you reading (for research or comfort) as you continue the writing process?

I’ve been reading Sally Rooney, because her storytelling style and dialogue remind me a lot of what I’m trying to put on the page. A Gentleman in Moscow, by Amor Towles, is my go-to comfort book. I read it annually. I’m forever impressed by Towle’s storytelling and the relationships he builds within his stories. But I love to read a bit of everything. I recently caught up on the latest installment of Pierce Brown’s Red Rising Series, Light Bringer, and I’m eagerly awaiting the next story.

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

I spent most of my post-graduation life working in television or digital media production, specifically in the sports media realm. I’ve worked on some of the most widely viewed, daily sports television programs. It was a dream that I accomplished and has given me the confidence to work towards another dream of mine—becoming a published author.

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

I’ve always loved creating stories, whether trying to create comic books when I was younger or coming up with movie ideas in my dining room. I would sketch pictures of their costumes or a scene in my head. When I was younger, they were inspired by the media I consumed: X-Men, Power Rangers, and Dragon Ball Z. As I progressed through school, the storytelling evolved and I took an interest in journalism. My college professors helped mold the writer I am now. As did the writing I produced for television. Now, my stories come from lived experiences or observing the world. But, like my reading style, my stories are spread among genres. Their underlying themes, however, are more closely related to my world.

Where is your favorite place to write?

While I love writing at home, my favorite place to write is a coffee shop, which is strange because I need minimal distractions when I work from home. For some reason, being engrossed in the world around me, with my headphones on and the keys at my fingertips, the words flow a bit easier. But I also love working from my home office with my dog laying at my feet. Airports and train stations are up there as well. There’s something about traveling that gets the words flowing.

Do you have any writing rituals?

Not particularly. I do need a beverage by my side. Typically, it’s a cup of coffee.

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

I hope my readers know that they’re not alone. Much of what I write is for someone who has always felt a little out of place in their world. I’ve felt that way in my life;some moments were more difficult to move through than others. I hope my stories can help someone get through those moments.

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.