1st Interview, with National Crime Syndicate Site

Inside the Last Great Mafia Empire...

Thanks to NCS for interviewing me and linking to my book. I'm going to include first part here but you should visit the website for the full interview (if you're interested)....

"Joining us in the hot seat today is the journalist and author Ed Scarpo who runs Cosa Nostra News and also has a book available called Inside the Last Great Mafia Empire in which former Mafia Capo Dominick Cicale makes a contribution.

"Ed also runs a Facebook page called Cosa Nostra News which is dedicated to covering the Mafia in America as well as the Sicilian Cosa Nostra, Calabrian Ndrangheta and Neapolitan Camorra."

We wanted to get to know a little bit more about him and where his interest all started, and as this is the very first interview Ed has given it is certainly one that you don’t want to miss! 
The NCS: Ed, thanks for taking the time out to speak with us at the NCS. Firstly, tell us a bit about yourself and where your mob interest first started from? Has it been a lifelong passion of yours? 
Ed: Sure thing – thanks for asking me… 
I am a lifelong New Yorker–the Mafia was heavily covered in the local media. My grandfather also had connections. He operated a car service and drove members of Carlo Gambino’s blood family. 
When you grow up where and how I did (in Queens with an old-school Italian connected grandfather, for example) it’s inevitable you meet some made guys and associates—I even had ex in-laws who were connected to Ronnie One-Arm. Then I dated a few Italian girls who lived in Brooklyn and through them met a few guys who were connected in various ways. I remember one couple dubbed “Henry and Karen” because he was supposedly a made guy (Goodfellas had recently been released). One girlfriend had a brother who was made. I used to see a lot of familiar names in the newspapers back in the 1980s and 1990s. 
I also read a lot and have a love for history. Any topic I am interested in – WWII, say – I immediately read a dozen books about it. When I started blogging, it was a general interest blog. At some point, I realized I’d been writing mostly about the mob. Then a sort of business decision kicked in – write a blog about the Mafia, 
The NCS: Inside the Last Great Mafia Empire is your first published book, where did the idea for this come from and how long was it in the making? 
Ed: Well, with self-publishing, anyone can be an author. And I am a journalist by profession so writing is my “thing.” When I realized how difficult it was earning off online advertising, I decided I needed product to sell. A book was simply a natural progression. 
Inside the Last Great Mafia Empire was written after I met Dominic Cicale who wanted to talk to me for a blog story. As soon as he’d called me – we have a mutual friend – I smiled to myself and said, I’m going to write a book with him…. So short answer is, I was an author looking for a book idea and Dom was the idea for the book. 
The short-format ebook series has proven quite successful in the fiction arena – I implanted it in the field of organized crime nonfiction. We reached no. 2 on a Kindle best seller list but to be honest, the book Dom did with Rob Sberna about Lufthansa was much more successful. ITLGME is mostly about the murder of an unknown gangster (George Sciascia) and also provides a brief glimpse inside the last years of the Bonanno family under Joe Massino. 
I’d like to add, if I can, that I also partnered up with Frank Gangi (that book, about Gangi and Tommy Pitera, I am still writing. It’s a difficult book – the material very dark and depressing). It is the Gangi book that is holding up Volume two of the Cicale files, which will focus on the Bronx.