To write and publish a debut novel is both a terrifying and thrilling accomplishment. To not only release that debut novel in one country, but to also reach out and offer one’s debut in another country is not only terrifying and thrilling, but amazing and brave. British writer Matteo Sedazzari released his debut novel in the United Kingdom, but has since then branched out to America for readers there to enjoy it, as well. “I’m an outgoing [and] friendly person,” Sedazzari said. “I would consider myself a dedicated, passionate writer just trying to build up my career at the moment. I have been writing for many years. This is my first debut novel and it’s something I believe I can be good at and pursue at this moment in time.”
Sedazzari’s debut, A Crafty Cigarette: Tales of a Teenage Mod, is a fantastic coming of age novel about a young boy growing up in the United Kingdom during the 1970s. As this young boy grows up, he discovers the popular band, The Jam, which leads to him becoming a Mod. Little did he know that by embracing the Mod lifestyle, he would discover his passions as well as himself. It is an excellent addition to the pulp fiction genre that any reader of any age will enjoy. “The book has done well in the UK and I have a good feeling it will be a success in America because America has had a lot of English literature over there for many, many years,” Sedazzari said. “It is a timeless piece about youth and passion. It is about an outsider and being an outsider is not a bad thing. It’s actually a really good thing because, if you’re successful, you really do live by your own rules and, if you enjoy yourself, then you actually become the envy of people on the inside.”
A Crafty Cigarette is a pulp fiction that also can act as a non-fiction for it really shows readers of any age what it was like in England during the 1970s. It was an exciting time, for many bands were coming out and many kids were becoming Mods, including Sedazzari whose main character is loosely based off of him when he was young. “Being a Mod, I could be different, and I got a voice and it gave me a lot of confidence, hell a lot of confidence, and to discover The Jam, [a group of ] self-educated working class men, they gave me the confidence to be courageous,” Sedazzari said. “People forget how important a band is. You can view a band from two points of view, is how I see it. You can be a total fanatic and worship them, to have posters of them on every wall and everything they do you love, or you can be influenced by them and that, to me, is the great process. That’s how I see being an outsider: you’ve got to be brave, but you have fun doing it at the same time.”
While The Jam and living the lifestyle of a Mod were his passions growing up, Sedazzari has discovered new passions to pursue for the present. He loves to bike ride and walk around museums in the United Kingdom and has a great and small circle of friends, but his passion is most certainly reading and writing. “I’m finding new things that make me go ‘wow.’ I don’t have that connection with music anymore. I still love music. I think books have taken over; words are taking over. It’s my new sort of cultural security blanket,” Sedazzari said. “If you’re going to be the same person you were twenty years later or thirty years later, than what have you learned? You haven’t learned anything. I’m happier now in my forties than I was in my twenties. I’m happier now in my forties than I was when I was a teenager because I found who I am. I’ve learned so much about myself from writing.”
To complete A Crafty Cigarette, Sedazzari was on a strict time table of six months; however, even with the short timeline, it was not difficult for him to write. “Once I wrote the first two chapters, it became easy and it became easy because I really enjoyed it. I actually got addicted to doing it,” Sedazzari said. Just by reading his debut, readers will see that Sedazzari’s addiction to writing truly reveals his passion for writing and that is why it has done well in the United Kingdom and will most certainly do well in America. “It becomes an addiction, to me, but I’m doing it for myself. If anyone questions me for doing it, then fine. I’m not harming them, I’m just trying to develop and pursue the career that I want and to make the money that I want to travel the world and that’s why I want to be successful: to just have the money to have the freedom to travel. That’s what I want, to see the world and to write about it and to expand my mind.”
Sedazzari self-published A Crafty Cigarette and likes the fact that being self-published gives authors more control on where they can market their books, where they can look for reviews, interviews, and other features publishers may not seek out so easily. At the moment, he says his mind is limited for he writes his stories based on the experiences he has had, but that is why he wishes to have financial freedom to travel: if he sees more of the world, he can write so much more. He has traveled to the United States twice, and hopes to visit again in the future, and has traveled a lot to Italy and Menorca. “I do think travel is important for everyone; for everyone to see more of the world and learn about yourself,” Sedazzari said. “I had written short stories, but when I wrote A Crafty Cigarette, I had no idea what writing would do to you for writing a novel, what a wonderful experience it would be, but it is, it is. You come out of it like, ‘[Wow], it’s done now. I just created this world in my head and put it on pen and paper.’”
With Sedazzari getting his name out into the world with his debut, he plans to self-publish more works in the near future including a sequel to A Crafty Cigarette and a collection of short stories. His collection will include 14 stories ranging in different points of view and different perspectives and will be released more than likely in November of this year. “I think the second book I’m writing will probably be bigger in America because it’s more diverse and it’s crazier. I like madness and I definitely want to come back to America,” Sedazzari said. “You never know what going to happen. Once you put your feelers out, then the right people come into your life. I have no idea who is going to come into my life in the next six months.”
For a writer who writes about a passion that shaped his character’s and his own life, readers will easily be able to see Sedazzari’s passion for writing after finishing his debut. Other writers and their stories such as Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl, Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, Martina Cole, and one of his all-time favorite books, Kenneth Grahame’s The Wind in the Willows, are a few that have inspired him. “If all of these writers [share] one thing, they’re not trying to separate you. They’re not trying to tell you about their pains and woes. They write for one purpose only: to entertain you. To make you lose yourself in a story,” Sedazzari said.