Episode 193: The Aesthetics of Writing — Interview with Michael Imperioli

by Gabriela Pereira
published in Podcast

Hey there word nerds!

Today I have the distinct pleasure of having acclaimed writer and actor Michael Imperioli on the show!

Though Michael is best known for playing Christopher Moltisanti in the The Sopranos, a role that earned him an Emmy for Best Supporting Actor, he is also an accomplished screenwriter. He wrote five episodes of The Sopranos and was co-screenwriter for the film Summer of Sam which was directed by Spike Lee.

While still acting and writing for film and TV, with several upcoming projects in the works, Michael has also turned his artistic talent to novel writing with his debut The Perfume Burned His Eyes.

Listen in as we chat about this amazing book, and how to know when you’ve found the story to take all the way to the end.

In this episode Michael and I discuss:

  • Finding your story and taking it to the finish line.
  • Adding layers to your story with a unique narrative framework.
  • When to use an epilogue and how to do it right.
  • The advantages of novel writing vs. screenwriting.
  • The fine art of book covers and why you need the right one.

Plus, Michael’s #1 tip for writers.

About Michael Imperioli

Michael Imperioli is best known for his starring role as Christopher Moltisanti in the acclaimed TV series The Sopranos, which earned him a Best Supporting Actor Emmy Award. He also wrote five episodes of the show and was co-screenwriter of the film Summer of Sam, directed by Spike Lee. Imperioli has appeared in six of Lee’s films and has also acted in films by Martin Scorsese, Abel Ferrara, Walter Hill, Peter Jackson, and the Hughes Brothers.

Upcoming projects include Bruno de Almeida’s Cabaret Maxime, The Last Full Measure alongside Peter Fonda, Christopher Plummer, and William Hurt, and ABC’s Alex, Inc.

The Perfume Burned His Eyes is, his debut novel, is available now.

To learn more about Michael and his novel check out his profile at www.akashicbooks.com.

The Perfume Burned His Eyes

Matthew is a sixteen-year-old boy living in Jackson Heights, Queens, in 1976. After he loses his two most important male role models, his father and grandfather, his mother uses her inheritance to uproot Matthew and herself to a posh apartment building in Manhattan. Although only three miles away from his boyhood home, “the city” is a completely new and strange world to Matthew.

Matthew soon befriends (and becomes a factotum of sorts to) Lou Reed, who lives with his transgender girlfriend Rachel in the same building. The artistic-shamanic rocker eventually becomes an unorthodox father figure to Matthew, who finds himself head over heels for the mysterious Veronica, a wise-beyond-her-years girl he meets at his new school.

The novel is written from the point of view of Matthew at age eighteen, two years after the story begins, and concludes with an epilogue in the year 2013, three days after Lou Reed’s death, with Matthew in his fifties.


If you decide to check out the book, we hope you’ll do so via this Amazon affiliate link, where if you choose to purchase via the link DIY MFA gets a referral fee at no cost to you. As always, thank you for supporting DIY MFA!

Link to Episode 193

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Until next week, keep writing and keep being awesome!

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