Books have the power to imprint on us. Once you read a book it stays a part of you for the rest of your life.

As part of my series about “How to write a book that sparks a movement” I had the great pleasure of interviewing A. C. Zito.

A. C. Zito was born in 1996 in the city of High Point, North Carolina. He grew up there and graduated from High Point Central High School in 2015. A.C. then went on to attend universities including Appalachian State and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte along with going to Guilford Technical Community College.

Thank you so much for joining us! Can you share the “backstory” about how you grew up?

I grew up going to Catholic school, and it was there that I learned of my love for reading and writing. I created my first short story in sixth grade called The Story of Dragonswhich was my first hint of something I had never seen before. In high school, I wrote my first poem for a girl which ended on a happy note because she ended up being my Prom Queen and me her Prom King. In college, I wrote my first book, and the rest is history.

When you were younger, was there a book that you read that inspired you to take action or changed your life?

I believe my reading fantasy drove me to write in that genre. Books like A Wrinkle in Timeand the Septimus Heap Seriessparked my curiosity but one book series I remember clearly is the Charlie Bone Series. I remember riding my bike down to the ice cream shop when I was about twelve years old and reading Charlie Bone from underneath the table while I sipped on a Coke. I would sit there and read for about an hour before I would then head off and go explore the neighborhoods on my bike some more.

What was the moment or series of events that made you decide to bring your message to the greater world?

I first began a website, and it was started with two other people including myself. We were a writing club that called ourselves The Paperbacks, and we originally called our website The Wordhole. It was me, Luke Beane, and Audre Sylvester. Eventually, we all drifted apart and started living in different places but that writing club sparked a writing bug in me that just hasn’t gone away ever since.

What impact did you hope to make when you wrote this book?

I put The Gazeboon my website in hopes to impact the world in a new way. I had met with my friend, Luke, and he talked of the author, Andy Weir, first put his book: The Martianon his website so he could eventually get published and it took him places he never dreamed of going. That same impact was my hopes when first publishing The Gazebo.

Did the actual results align with your expectations?

Treating my website where I have my book for free like it is a blog opened my eyes as to where the writing world is going and who knows where it will end.

What moment let you know that your book had started a movement?

The moment that I began researching to help bring website traffic to my book instantly made me aware that I wasn’t doing what any ordinary writer has done in the past to become the successful writer they had become. I was doing it different. And I knew right then and there that I was on a different rollercoaster ride.

What kinds of things did you hear right away from readers? What are the most frequent things you hear from readers about your book now? Are they the same? Different?

I love hearing when readers said they’ve read my book more than once. I never wanted to be the type of writer that wrote a book hoping that the reader would only want to read it once and that’s it. I wanted to write a book that people can enjoy, and they can keep enjoying for the rest of their lives.

What is the most moving or fulfilling experience you’ve had as a result of writing this book?

Knowing that what I enjoy doing by writing can bring out enjoyment in others by reading my writing is such an amazing thing. I would never take for granted my ability to write and it has me so blessed that this is what I’m passionate about and what I do.

Have you experienced anything negative? Do you feel there are drawbacks to writing a book that starts such colossal conversation and change?

No, since this is such a new experience there hasn’t been any negative drawbacks but, in the long run, there might be. If it comes to it then publishing books on websites can put the writing world on its axis causing loss of jobs for some and a shift in an influx of jobs for others.

Can you articulate why you think books, in particular, have the power to create movements, revolutions, and true change?

Books have the power to imprint on us. Once you read a book it stays a part of you for the rest of your life.

What is the one habit you believe contributed the most to you becoming a bestselling writer?

I believe educating yourself is the key to success and how I like to educate myself is not only through books but through YouTube videos as well. I love knowing that finding the world’s simplest problems is all but at the click of a button.

What challenge or failure did you learn the most from in your writing career?

I think what most people have trouble dealing with is patience. Failure doesn’t come from when you don’t have patience, failure comes when you accept failure over the clear and obvious other choices in the matter: having patience.

Many aspiring authors would love to make an impact similar to what you have done. What are the 5 things writers needs to know if they want to spark a movement with a book?

I believe education is key. I love to study books. You can never think of it as a waste of time. Another thing to look at is practice. It’s hard to think you’ll get something right the first time. The third is having fun. If you want to be a good writer you should, first and foremost, enjoy what you do. Fourth is the inspiration. You should be willing to sit on a rock once and while and get inspired so you can get where you’re going. And lastly is taking risks. This one doesn’t come easy for a lot of people, but it is one of the most important key factors.

The world, of course, needs progress in many areas. What movement do you hope someone (or you!) starts next?

I believe the movement that needs to occur most is the bringing of the internet to every part of the world. I truly believe that the internet is going to help solve the world’s toughest problems and, first and foremost, everyone should have it so that progress can start and so that our progression can continue.

How can our readers follow you on social media?

I can be found on my website: where links to my YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn page can all be found there.


  • Sara Connell

    Bestselling Author & Writing Coach

    Sara Connell is an author and writing coach with a private practice in Chicago. She has appeared in Oprah, Good Morning America, NPR, The View and Katie Couric. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, Tri-Quarterly, Good Housekeeping, Parenting, IO Literary Journal, and Psychobabble. Her first book Bringing In Finn was nominated for ELLE magazine Book of the Year.