Interview with Michael D. Piccola, USS Intrepid Museum

intrepid's odysseyInterview with Michael D. Piccola. Piccola was the author of “Intrepid’s Odyssey” and came up with the idea of the USS Intrepid Museum. Sadly, Mr. Piccola passed away and joined his beloved wife in heaven. He was a wonderful man and I so enjoyed working with him on his website for many years and trying to help him get the word out about his book. I didn’t want this interview to be lost, so I wanted to be sure to post it here. This interview was given in 2012.

Original Interview with Michael D. Piccola

Michael D. Piccola is the author of Intrepid’s Odyssey. I’ve known Mike for a couple of years now, so I asked if he’d be willing to do a quick interview for my readers. As you’ll be able to tell from his responses below, Mike is absolutely brilliant about military history and has a ton of knowledge about planes and ships.


Lori: Mike, when did you first get interested in ships and airplanes?

Mike: I started with aviation at the age of nine. Then, like most kids of my age, I started building model airplanes and ships. As the years went by, I built U-Control gas-engine flights, Gliders, and R/C models (airplanes & Boast).uss intrepid

Lori: Tell us how you came to know so much about airplanes…

Mike: When I became of age, I went to Spartan School of Aeronautics in Tulsa, Oklahoma. I received my Commercial Pilot’s License and Flight/Ground Instructors’ Ratings. I served in the Korean War and was honorably discharged. Then, I enrolled under the G.I. Bill and acquired my Single and Multi-Engine Land & Sea Ratings. A few years later, I got my Instrument Rating.

Lori: What did you do after school and the military?

Mike: I was then employed as an air traffic controller and later as a radar instructor with New York Air Route Traffic Control Center, Long Island.

Lori: Where did you get the idea for an aircraft carrier museum?

Mike: The center had a tenth anniversary celebration, where I had a room at the center and displayed my 200 models/dioramas. I built a diorama for a gentleman I met where he had an idea to build a STOL-Port (Short Takeoff and Landing Port) in NYC using two WWII decommissioned U.S. Navy aircraft carriers. This was when I got the idea of an aircraft carrier museum. After eight long hard years, it became a reality, which is located on the Hudson River in NYC, where it is visited by many people from around the world. I then started to write my book, Intrepid’s Odyssey, telling how I conceptualized the USS Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum.

Lori: If you could share just one thing with your readers, what would it be?

Mike: I am happy that I saved one of America’s great historical US Navy aircraft carriers from the scrap heap, which helped win the war in the Pacific and WWII. I think the Intrepid is a tribute to the American people.

Lori: Why is it important to ensure that history doesn’t lose things like the Intrepid?

Mike: So generations from now, not only could people know how this WWII carrier helped make our nation the greatest in the world, but they could see first-hand part of what helped secure our freedom and liberties, helping other nations around the world to enjoy these same freedoms too.

Lori: How can someone protect their idea if they are working on something similar?

Mike: An idea cannot be copyrighted like a book, movie or other substantial entities. When an idea is considered by professionals (who you can trust) and they find your idea worthwhile… All I can say is to hire a trustworthy lawyer.

Lori: A little about you… what do you do in your spare time?

Mike: When I retired in 1999, with over 41-plus years with the FAA, I volunteered with two museums where I have built over 45 dioramas. One is the Cradle of Aviation Museum, and the other, American Air Power Museum, both on Long Island. I returned to college in 2010, named American Military University, in West Virginia, which is an on-line accredited college. I hope to attain my Master’s Degree in World War II History. I’ve started my sixth class this month, with six more classes to go which is about two more years. I finish with 36 credits. With this present class, I’ll have 18-credits.

Lori: Anything you’d like to add that we haven’t discussed?

Mike: All I’m praying for is that my story of being the original Founder of the USS Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum reaches many, many people around the world. Thank you for this interview.

I’d like to take a moment to thank Michael D. Piccola for sharing some of his knowledge with us. You can visit the USS Intrepid Sea Air & Space Museum in New York City.

Final Note: I’m not sure if many copies of Mike’s book are still out there, but if you can get your hands on one, it is a must-read for any history buff. 

Why Success Shouldn’t Matter to Writers


Cupid’s Quest is on sale for only 99 CENTS! Get your copy today  View a trailer of the book at the bottom of this post.

It is easy when you are writing book to get focused on the bottom line. How many books am I selling? I’ll admit it – There have been times when I’ve clicked on my own book’s link multiple times in a day to watch the ranking and see if there are any new reviews.

When you hear success stories about someone you know hitting that # 1 spot on Amazon’s bestseller lists, or hitting the New York Times, it is easy to compare yourself to those writers. I’ve done it. I suspect anyone published has done it.

I’ve thrown money at advertising, tried book tours, and offered contests and giveaways in the pursuit of gaining new readers. And while these things are not bad in and of themselves, when you are spending as much on promotion as you are making then you might want to reconsider your focus.

That’s why I recently did a lot of soul searching about my fiction writing. I am lucky. I have a husband with amazing benefits through his job. This allows me to work for myself. I am also lucky in that I make an income from my nonfiction writing, editing, and web design business that I’ve built over the years. I spend about 2/3rds of my time ont hat and 1/3 on my fiction.

Still, fiction always has been and always will be my first love. My dream is to one day just write fiction. But, that dream seems pretty far off and it is easy to get discouraged that I might never reach that goal. I have a dual-sided perspective. I’ve been published with a bigger publisher (Thorndike), I have been with a small press (Amber Quill), and I am now indie publishing my books. I’ve sold foreign rights (Japanese so far). You see, I’ve gotten the advances, earned out on them, gotten smaller checks here and there and still not made enough to write fiction full time. I suspect I am in a big group of published writers. Part of the reason I decided to take control of my own books was because there were sales that never showed up that I know for a fact were made because I bought them myself to “gift” to readers during a book tour and to see if they would show up.

One thing with that complete control, though is that I can also track sales daily. This can really put one’s focus on sales. Sales are not why I started writing. At first, I was writing for myself. I was writing because I loved it. It was so much fun.

During my soul searching, I realized that writing is still fun but that I need to get back to the reason I sent that first book to a publisher so many years ago (it was rejected, by the way). My goal is to write a story, to have fun doing it, and to hopefully touch just one person’s heart or make them look at things in a different way. If I accomplish that, what an amazing thing. How many chances in life do we get to impact another person in that way?

So, if you are writing to get rich or focused on how “successful” you are, it is time for you to do some soul searching as well. There’s nothing wrong with making money off your books, but what is the core reason you are writing? What drew you to writing in the first place? If you can recapture that, you can recapture your passion. Isn’t living a life doing something you are passionate about the true definition of success?

Welcome #RRBC Spotlight Author Yvette Calleiro

Yvette CalleiroWord Museum welcomes #RRBC Spotlight author Yvette Calleiro. Yvette has received the honor of becoming Rave Reviews Book Club’s spotlight author and will be on tour this week.

Today, Yvette shares the story of the Chronicles of the Diasodz, how she came up with the idea for the series and how it grew from there. We are also featuring her book The One Discovered. I know you’ll enjoy reading this series.

Once Upon a Time…

by Yvette M. Calleiro

Every story has a beginning. Yet when I first encountered the Diasodz, it was in a dream. The scene that I saw would take place at the end of book one.  The characters and the story line did not come to me in chronological order, so I had to take some time to see the whole picture before I could begin writing.  As the characters began to speak to me, I found my beginning for book one.  It’s the start of Sofia’s story, but it isn’t the beginning of the Diasodz’s world. So, I thought I’d give you a small introduction as to how the Diasodz came to be. In book two (The One Enlightened), you will learn a lot about the hows and the whys of the Diasodz’s predicament, so I won’t give away everything just yet! 😉

In the beginning, there was God….Yes, I wanted to start from there. Whether you are spiritual or not, the creation of a species must start with a creator.  Call him Allah, God, Budda, Zeus, a chemical reaction…whatever you want, but creation happened.  So, my story starts with the fact that there was a God AND a Goddess.  There were angels and arch-angels.  In my world, the God and Goddess were equal, but the Goddess was most revered by all, including God.

When God created humans, he created them as equals, but Adam held Eve to be more valuable, as God did with the Goddess.  Lucifer was not content with the hierarchy that was set up and wanted change.  He schemed and connived until he had many angels who agreed with him.  Unfortunately for Lucifer, he fell in love with a female angel.  Because of his own superiority complex, he thought she would follow him anywhere.  When he finally confronted God about becoming the dominate gender, the love of his life stood on the God and Goddess’ side.

In his anger, Lucifer couldn’t think clearly.  He wanted to hurt her the way she had hurt him, and in doing so, he brought pain and suffering to humans.  Lucifer was cast out of the heavens along with the angels who stood by his side.  He vowed vengeance and promised that God’s precious creation would never find peace. In the aftermath, an arch-angel asked the Goddess to protect the humans, and She created the Diasodz for that purpose.

By Her wishes, the Diasodz would live the first eighteen years of their lives as humans so that they could truly understand the struggles of those in which they were bound to protect.  Around his/her eighteenth birthday, he/she would experience a “death day.” His/her body’s human life force and human characteristics would “die” and his/her spirit would transform into that of a Diasodz, a being with supernatural abilities to heal and protect humans from the evils created by Lucifer.

Yet, as with humans, the Diasodz were given free will.  Many Diasodz became influenced by Lucifer to join his entourage of evil over time.  As a race, the Diasodz made choices that caused the Goddess to turn away from her creation, and their powers have been fading ever since. And so we come to Sofia’s story, where she must find out who she really is and whether she can discover it in her heart and soul to save the Diasodz from fading forever…

Check Out This Book: The One Discovered

TheOneDiscovered - Cover Design 10The One Discovered
by Yvette Calleiro

How do you choose when both options have dire consequences?

Sofia is a 17 year old who is quite content with her life.  She has a caring boyfriend who also just happens to be her best friend since birth.  She has a loving mother.  She is successfully completing her last year of high school and enjoys her part-time job.  She can’t imagine wanting more from her life…until Ar’ch (pronounced Ar-rick) enters her dreams, sparking a burning flame inside of her that she can’t seem to extinguish nor does she want to.

Ar’ch is a Diasodz (Die-ah-sodz), a species created by the Goddess back when God created humans.  Diasodz were made to heal and protect humans, but when the Diasodz turned their backs on helping humans and left Earth to live in their own world, the Goddess abandoned them.  Since then, their powers and their very lives have been fading.  A prophecy foretold that a young girl born on Earth would be the Diasodz’s savior.  Ar’ch and his brother, Angel, travel to Earth to retrieve her and bring her back to their world before her death day in order to save their kind.  Ar’ch knows the drill: find the target, capture her, and safely bring her home.  But what happens when the target captures his dormant heart?

Choices create action.  Actions have consequences.  When faced with the truth, what choice will Sofia make?  Will she be able to accept the consequences that follow?

To learn more about Yvette M. Calleiro, or to purchase, The One Discovered, please visit:

Twitter: @YvetteMCalleiro