Meet Luciano Sabatini
Luciano Sabatini, PhD, is an adjunct professor at Hofstra University where he teaches graduate courses in bereavement and group counseling. As the bereavement coordinator at St. Bernard parish in Levittown, NY, he leads support groups, trains support group facilitators, does private counseling and is often a presenter at bereavement conferences. A prolific writer, he has authored four books and many articles that have appeared in professional journals.
Can you give us a brief synopsis of each of your books?
Bereavement Counseling in the School Setting This book is about counseling grieving teenagers based on the work I did as a high school counselor and administrator. It was written for educators, especially counselors, social workers, and psychologists. It includes both short term and long term interventions in working with youngsters who have lost a family member.
Luciano: An Immigrant's Journey of Rediscovery This is a memoir about how being an immigrant (I was 4 when I came to this country) shaped me as a person. My early struggles led to a distancing from my heritage which precipitated a life-long search, which culminated in regaining my identity.
Lessons Learned on Grief A book that I use in my support groups. It highlights all that I have learned about grief from my personal losses and what I learned as a bereavement counselor in working with grieving individuals for over 35 years.
The Day that Changed Long Island Our home in Massapequa was flooded by the storm surge of Superstorm Sandy. The book, written as historical fiction, tells the story of Superstorm Sandy from the perspective of a family who lived through it. Included are the struggles of our community and how Long Island was changed by the storm.
Your most recent book, The Day that Changed Long Island, will appeal to Long Islanders who lived through Superstorm Sandy and anyone who has survived a catastrophic experience such as that. Some still undoubtedly struggle years later so I’m sure they will relate to the family in your story. What is the positive takeaway for your readers?
The duality of human nature is evident throughout the book. Acts of kindness from family and friends are often contrasted with acts of greed and selfness by those seeking to profit from the misfortune of others. Also, while the resilience of storm victims is uplifting, so many lost their homes and livelihood.
Some are still waiting to move back into their homes nine years later.
How has your career as a mental health professional and bereavement counselor influenced your writing?
What I have learned from my work as a bereavement counselor is the individuality of people. Everyone grieves differently and must be allowed to heal in their own way. There is no one right way to grieve so as a mental health practitioner I must respect that. That theme runs through my writing in my bereavement books and my most recent book. My memoir similarly tries to capture my self-actualization, my own personal journey, as I allowed myself to grow into the person that I am today.
What was one of the most surprising things you learned about yourself while creating your books?
My ability to communicate my ideas to a very diverse audience. Whether the reader is a professional colleague or someone in my support group with average education, the feedback is the same. The books are easy to read and my most salient points easy to understand.
How long did it take you to write your first book?
My first book, Bereavement Counseling in the School Setting, took me about four months to write. I had many excellent notes from my work with adolescent support groups which made it easy to write.
The other books took much longer.
Of the four books you’ve authored, which one took the longest to write and why?
My memoir was the most challenging and took me two years to write. Since my parents had died, I had to interview two elderly aunts who helped me reconstruct the early years. I learned about their immigration from Italy to Argentina and ultimately the U.S. They gave me a glimpse of what I was like as a child. My memoir made me revisit my life at age 65. This introspection took time as I revisited many facets of my life as an immigrant boy and realized I developed many misperceptions to justify my lack of success through my formative years. This reflection helped me correct many false narratives that I lived with much of my life.
Which one was the easiest to write? Why?
The two bereavement books were the easiest because I have been doing this work for so long and have become so knowledgeable. Also, the graduate course I teach at Hofstra requires a lot of research on current practices, so I had a wealth of information to draw from.
What is your writing process? Do you wait for inspiration or write every day?
I write every day, usually two hours in the morning. Once I start a book, it becomes part of my life and thought process. When I am doing house chores, walking, shopping, showering, biking, I reflect on what I wrote that morning and refine my ideas. The next morning, I edit the previous day’s writing first, then I incorporate new ideas from daily reflections into the next chapter. I’ve rarely experienced writer’s block. Like running marathon, once I start, I keep going until I’m finished.
Do you consider yourself to be an Indie author and if so, why did you choose that publishing route?
I have both self-published and used a reputable publisher. I like self-publishing because I do not have to follow the time constraints of the publisher, but it is a lot more work especially the editing and formatting. A publisher provides the expertise in these two areas that I lack, but I like the freedom of self-publishing. I lean towards self-publishing when writing on bereavement and using a publisher when writing fiction.
What is your advice for other aspiring authors?
Before I wrote my memoir, I took a course at the Hutton House Lectures at CW Post. The teacher who is an established author and journalist gave me good insight on the writing process. Equally important, I was able to share with 10 other students my writing samples and got to read theirs. After that I joined writing clubs with other authors. The feedback and editing suggestions were great and I used them to improve my writing. Many libraries and college continuing education program have writing clubs. The big challenge is to find a small one. The larger the club, the less opportunity you will have to read your pieces to the group. I have found 8-12 to be an ideal size for a writing club.
Do you have any additional books in the works? If so, can you share a tidbit?
There was a television series several years ago, Men of a Certain Age. The focus was on issues that middle-aged men face in our society. I’m thinking of writing a book on being a male senior citizen in a digital society where aging and wisdom that comes through life experience is not valued. How our tech society has left an entire generation feeling disenfranchised.
To learn more about Luciano or to purchase his books, visit: