My Daily #Meltdown: The “Real” Joey!

Welcome to My Daily Meltdown, where I count down to release day with tidbits of background information on the creation of Melt.

Today I bring you the “real” Joey: the man who not only inspired my story – he is the heart of it.

In the back of my book there’s a question and answer section. Here’s one of the questions:

Q: What inspired this story?

A: I take boxing lessons, and got close with my trainer, Joe. He told more than once, “My dad used to beat my mom.” That was sad, but a little too vague to be inspiring. Then one day he looked me in the eyes and said, “My dad used to come home every day and shove a gun down my mom’s throat.” That was a specific image that stuck in my head. He also told me about becoming a teen alcoholic, and how violent he was while drunk. He was tagged a “bad” kid – but no one ever bothered to find out what was going on inside. Finally, he told me about the one girl who believed in him, and loved him. One night he said to me, “You’re gonna write my story. I just know it.” I went home, and opened The Wizard of Oz – which I’d instinctively purchased a few weeks prior. I didn’t know why – but I always listened to the guiding voice in my head. The page I turned to was the scene in which Dorothy and her friends return to the Emerald City. The Guardian of the Gate is shocked to see them, saying:

“But I thought you had gone to visit the Wicked Witch of the West.”

“We did visit her,” said the Scarecrow.

“And she let you go again?” asked the man, in wonder.

“She could not help it, for she is melted,” explained the Scarecrow.

She is melted. That line resounded with me. I wrote it three times a piece of junk mail. Then I wrote, “Melt.” And I knew that was the title of my book. I started writing Joe’s story – it just came pouring out – with quotes from The Wizard of Oz interspersed. The first section is called “No place like home,” and we witness the father abusing the mother in front of Joey and his brothers. In “Munchkinland,” the second part, Joey meets good-girl Dorothy in Dunkin’ Donuts. This unlikely couple heads down the metaphorical Yellow Brick Road looking for a way to beat the odds and be together. But what’s waiting for them ahead?

So, now you know the real backstory. (Perhaps I shared this before – I apologize if so. I am bleary!)

I still work out with Joe, though I did take a hiatus during which I curiously had no desire to box. Now, I’m back and loving hitting things. I don’t spar – I would probably get knocked out in one second – but it’s fun to pound at Joe’s pads. Uppercuts are my favorites.

Anyway, I took a picture of him the other day when we were done.

Remember, he is no longer a teenager!

Here he is:



#Meltdown  The "real" Joey!

The “real” Joey!











PS: There was a “real” Dorothy – a “good girl” he loved – but I didn’t even know that until I’d started writing the story. It was like I knew without knowing.

Strange, how our universe works. And wonderful!

Bye for now.


If you live in the area, please come to my launch party on Nov. 6  at 7 pm – Joe will be there! (Also there will be cake and prizes!)

Long Island Writers House
24 Meadowood Ct
Huntington, NY 11743

Here’s the link:


I invite you to join my street team and help spread the word! My fans are my secret weapon 😉 I will bestow great rewards for your efforts, because I appreciate you so very much!!!

You can see the prizes to be won on the Facebook group, but here’s one big incentive:

You can win exclusive access to read the sequel to MELT months before it’s available to the public!!

Here’s how you join Castrovilla’s Crusaders:

Step 1: Fill out sign up form:

Step 2: Request to join the Castrovilla Crusaders Facebook Group:

Step 3: Review the list of potential tasks and point levels, and check out the amazing prizes (in files section of FB group)… then get started!

Step 4: Submit completed tasks to earn points to win prizes! Submission form:


Don’t forget to pre-order Melt on Amazon for $2.99 to get your $2 Dunkin’ Donuts gift card! Just contact me at with your receipt now through Nov. 5, and I’ll e-mail it to you! Have a cup o’ Joe in Dunkin’ Donuts while reading about Joe in Dunkin’ Donuts!


Have you seen the amazing MELT book trailer created by a teen??? Here it is:



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