A filmmaker and writer since childhood, Mike has directed numerous shorts, music videos, documentaries, promotional videos and two feature films (NO EXIT and TRIPTOSANE). His first novel, Milky Way Marmalade received rave reviews and was the winner of the 2003 Dream Realm Award.
He is very excited about the release of the first of his exciting new kid-lit series, RUPERT STARBRIGHT: The Door to Far-Myst.
Mike, a certified Yoga instructor, has many interests including gardening (loves growing chili peppers in his rooftop garden), playing guitar, cats (long-time volunteer at NYC’s Ollie’s Place Adoption Center), really good and really bad movies and 70s TV as well all kinds of geeky stuff. He is a dedicated MST3K fanatic. He thinks of music as his religion—especially Classic Rock.
He lives quite contently in a NYC apartment with his wife and soul mate, Suzy and their rescued kitties, Cosmo and Rupert. You can visit Mike’s website at www.mikedicerto.com
The Story behind The Adventures of Rupert Starbright Book 3: THE GHOST OF WINTER JOY
I think many kids look at their immediate world and find it boring. As a kid I escaped into the world of my imagination regularly. Though I did enjoy the characters and color of growing up in a very colorful (albeit sometimes dangerous) neighborhood of East Harlem, NYC, having a very active imagination and a slice of heaven that was my backyard to escape to was a real blessing. In the summer I would climb my crab apple tree and pick the sour fruit that most hated but I loved. In the autumn the carpet of leaves was a blast to kick around in. When the snow came, igloos and snowball fights ruled the day. One day I was tossing snowballs at my sister who was teasing me from the bathroom window, My first three shots missed- hitting the window as it slammed shut. But the fourth ball hit its target. Problem was it turned out to be my Dad!
When Spring returned I would help my parents plant flowers and vegetables in the small plot of soil that received enough sun. The sting of snowballs long melted to memory.
Although I grew up with four sisters and enough friends, I often enjoyed being alone in my world. Stories would fill my head. Worlds morph and form before me. So jump ahead a bunch of years where I found myself in a place in life where the job was a huge cloud of utter boredom. My personal Graysland. An escape was often the beauty of Central Park. So it was on an autumn day, when endless piles of leaves crunched under my feet, when the world of Rupert Starbright was born.He would live in a boring, gray world where the adults were more concerned with raking leaves than the minds of their children.
Rupert would be lured by the song- the music and the colors of a stranger who descends from the sky. Looking back it is obvious that Pie O’Sky was a rock star. Music has always been my greatest inspiration. Especially classic rock. Pie O’Sky with his Jimmy Page hair and Jimi Hendrix clothing was that same musical muse.
He would provide the door to adventure. As a writer- we are always looking for that open door. That chance to get our work seen.
My first Rupert book was THE DOOR TO FAR-MYST. The publisher (Zumaya Thresholds) felt it would be better to split the book into two parts. Thus, the SECRET OF MY-MYST was born of book one. The reviews were great.
I knew Rupert needed more adventures and I would happily send him on them. I discussed a novella with my publisher- one with a holiday theme that could be released in December. Well, the novella became a novel. THE GHOST OF WINTER JOY. This story puts Rupert on an adventure where he will face a ghostly horror and get some clues as to why his home town is so boring. All while desperately trying to save the memory of ancient holiday that the people of Graysland once celebrated.
Perhaps is most exciting and interesting adventure yet, THE GHOST OF WINTER JOY, I hope, will join many others as a tale to be told every holiday season. A story to bring color into the lives of kids of all ages.
Will there be more adventures for Rupert Starbright. I imagine so…
ABOUT THE ADVENTURES OF RUPERT STARBRIGHT BOOK 3: THE GHOST OF WINTER JOY
Title: The Adventures of Rupert Starbright Book 3: The Ghost of Winter Joy
Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy
Author: Michael DiCerto
Publisher: Zumaya Publications
Strange creatures begin to appear in the normally dull Graysland after Rupert Starbright digs up a mysterious bell in his backyard. Rupert sets off on his latest adventure to discover the secret of a mysterious haunted mansion and its creepy occupant and the connection to the old holiday called Winter Joy.