It was the Harry Potter series — and the experience of sharing in the adventures with his daughters — that led retired New York City police officer Cris Pasqueralle to become interested in the young adult fantasy genre. A voracious reader for many years, Pasqueralle decided to write a novel of his own, one that would allow kids and teens to stretch their imaginations while exploring a tale of magic, mystery and the strength of family bonds.
Published in August of 2014, Pasqueralle’s Destiny Revealed tells the story of 13-year-old twins Jack and Maddie Austin, who learn a shocking secret about their identities and embark on the adventure of a lifetime.
What was your childhood like, and how did it shape who you are today?
I grew up on Long Island with a lot of kids on my block and we played outside constantly. This helped me to develop an imagination that has aided me greatly in my writing.
Growing up, who were your biggest creative influences?
I would say two teachers I had. My fifth grade teacher, Mr. Tomani, always encouraged us to use our imaginations, to think outside of the textbook, to ask questions, to dig deep into our thoughts. My ninth grade English teacher, Mr. Shuck. He opened up a world of classic literature. Helped me to appreciate and love the works of Steinbeck, Poe, and Shakespeare.
What was it about the Harry Potter series that ignited your literary spark?
When my children began to read the Harry Potter books, I read along, first as a parent to see what my children were reading, and then as a fan. The writing is brilliant, the way each book grows with the audience is masterful. When fantasy books turned to vampires, my daughter asked me to write something about wizards, and The Destiny Trilogy was born.
What was the most challenging aspect of writing Destiny Revealed?
Laying out the challenge for twins Jack and Maddie was challenging. I wanted Destiny Revealed to be different than other fantasy stories. I wanted to keep the family together, most stories that feature young protagonists have the parents die, or out of the picture in some way. I wanted the parents to be a part of the story. So, the challenge was how to keep them in the story while having the twins go out on their own?
Does writing come easy to you? If so, has it always?
I’ve been writing, without much success, since high school and have always had a story in mind when sitting down with pen and paper, so, in that aspect, it has come easy. Getting my work out to the public was the challenge, but perseverance pays off.
What do you miss most about your time on the police force?
The thing I miss most about the police force are my co-workers. There is a brotherhood in the police department that can’t be found in other aspects of life, and writing is a very solitary undertaking.
Who has the best pizza in the Levittown area, and what are your go-to toppings?
The best pizza in Levittown can be found at Domenico’s Restaurant. As far as toppings, I’m a cheese guy, nothing fancy.
What are you working on next?
Next up is the release of book two of The Destiny Trilogy, Paths of Destiny, which is this fall, and I am currently working on book three. There are also plans to develop Destiny Revealed into an animated film.
How did the opportunity to develop an animated version of Destiny Revealed come about?
My publisher, Cosby Media Productions, is a multimedia company and their film division thought Destiny Revealed would make a good film.
If you had to offer one piece of advice to aspiring writers, what would it be?
My advice for aspiring writers is read everything, not just your genre, and keep writing. Don’t ever be discouraged by rejection. I kept at it and it took me nearly thirty years before I found a publisher. So keep going, your big break could be just around the corner.