Patrick Scalisi has been writing fiction his whole life. But about two years ago, he decided to turn his passion into a profession.
Scalisi, 27, of Naugatuck, started publishing his short stories professionally in 2008, and has since been published in a number of literary magazines, including “The Willows,” “Neo-opsis,” “Twisted Dreams” and “Space Westerns.”
Open Heart Press picked up his most recent work, “The Registry of Lost Socks,” for publication in the anthology, “An Honest Lie, Volume 2, Delusions of Insignificance.”
Since the publishing company released the volume of 13 short stories in August, Scalisi has been working to promote his first story published in a book.
“It’s my biggest credit to date,” he said.
Although he admitted the title of the books sounds kind of negative when you first hear it, Scalisi said it really centers on the idea of being stronger than you think you are.
The story, according to Scalisi, is about a young girl who looses one of her favorite argyle socks. Her grandmother tells her, matter-of-factly, she must go to the registry of lost socks. The journey to recover her socks sends the girl to fantastical side of grandmother’s house, exploring corners she never knew existed.
“It’s something that I hope will appeal to any reader because it’s very accessible,” Scalisi said of his tale.
Most of Scalisi’s stories fall into the genre of speculative fiction, which is usually defined as science fiction or fantasy.
“Fiction is what I do,” Scalisi said.
His appetite for reading is as big as his impulse to create. He enjoys Stephen King, Terry Brooks, who started publishing epic fantasy adventures in the 1970s, and William Gibson, the father of cyberpunk, a genre that mixes virtual reality with a dystopian future.
Scalisi said he gets inspiration for his stories from a lot of different places, from news article to an odd turn of phrase he overheard.
For example, he got the idea for his story, “Crude,” which was published on the magazine website Read Short Fiction when oil prices spiked to four dollars per gallon.
Another story, which Scalisi recently learned has been selected to headline another anthology, focuses on the supposedly haunted Carousal Gardens, a Seymour restaurant that shuttered its doors over a year ago.
Scalisi has always been interested in the fantastical side of fiction. He gives his parents credit for a typical Star Wars upbringing and great exposure to video games as a child.
After graduating from Sacred Heart University with a degree in English, Scalisi started writing non-fiction articles for Columbia Magazine, where he is managing editor.
Although writing non-fiction was always in the back of his mind, Scalisi never took any steps to make that happen. That is until he read Stephen King’s book, On Writing in 2007.
“After I read that, I realized that if I ever wanted to make anything of myself as a writer, I had to start getting serious about it,” Scalisi said.
Scalisi started submitting his short stories to magazines and publishing companies. Although he has written longer works, he has not yet submitted any for publication. He’s hoping to find a publishing agent first.
“I want to build up my writing credentials a little bit,” Scalisi said.
He hopes to begin that process this year.
Scalisi will talk about his experiences getting started in the publishing world at Howard Whittemore Memorial Library on Jan. 11 at 6:30 p.m.
He’ll be talking about how to get started, how to submit work, and how to get work ready for submission. Scalisi will also have books for sale and signing.
Although he is just launching his career, Scalisi hopes he can help others who want to follow the same path.
“It’s great when people can come together and share what they’ve learned and what they know with each other,” Scalisi said.
For more information on Scalisi visit www.patrickscalisi.com.