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Matthew Randazzo finishes 4th book after 5K rejections

Matthew Randazzo V decided when he was 8 that he was going to be a writer.

At 26, he has three published books, and another is coming out soon - an accomplishment for someone who flunked out of kindergarten partially because he couldn't hold a pencil. An educational psychologist recommended that he use a computer, and he's been writing ever since.

After high school, Randazzo attended George Washington University for three semesters before he decided that he was wasting time and money. Since he wanted to be a writer, he should travel, experience new things and meet new people.



Escaped big cities

He lived in England, Germany and Japan and traveled extensively. At 21, he landed in Portland, Ore., where he met his wife, Melissa. They moved to the Sequim area because they didn't want to be in a big city.

Both love the mountains, the water and outdoor activities. He says his goal is to be an integral part of the community.

Melissa encouraged her husband to write while she worked. Randazzo's schedule is to sleep much of the day, spend time with his wife when she gets home, and hike or kayak when possible. Then he writes from 10 p.m.-6 a.m. while she sleeps. That schedule seems to work for both of them.



Spurned 5,000 times

Between 2002 and 2004, he said, he was rejected by every publishing house and agent he approached, compiling 5,000 rejections.

Eventually, a publisher contracted with Randazzo for his first book, an exposé of pro wrestling because Randazzo had contacts in that world.

The result was "Ring of Hell: The Story of Chris Benoit and the Fall of the Pro Wrestling Industry."

His second book, "Breakshot: A Life in the 21st Century American Mafia," is about a Japanese-American mobster. Details in the book led to an FBI investigation and an indictment. It was made into a Discovery Channel special in January.



Maven of mobsters

His third book, recently released, is "Mr. New Orleans: The Life of a Big Easy Legend," which traces the life of gangster Frenchy Broulette during the 1950s and 1960s.

Randazzo grew up in New Orleans and said this book is his and his wife's favorite.

Randazzo's fourth book will be published soon by HarperCollins. The title has not been released, but it is a memoir of Johnny Fratto, an Iowa mobster who now lives in Los Angeles.

Randazzo says he writes books that have wide commercial appeal and historical importance. He has a knack for making friends in many places and getting people to talk to him.

His books are real-life stories written about real people using the first person. He calls them nonfiction novels.

For more information about Randazzo and his books, see www.mrvbooks.com. They are available at Odyssey Bookshop, 114 W. Front St., Port Angeles.



Reach Dana Casey at dcasey@sequimgazette.com.

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