Writer finds inspiration from mob boss grandfather

Wed Nov 26, 2008 6:24am EST
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By Belinda Goldsmith

SYDNEY (Reuters Life!) - As the grandson of mob boss Vito "Don Vito" Genovese, author Phil Genovese grew up with a surname in which he took little pride, but he has turned his childhood experiences into fiction as he breaks into writing.

Genovese has just self-published "The Grandfather Clause," which was 10 years in the making and largely written on Sunday afternoons when he sneaked off from his family.

"The Grandfather Clause" is about a young New Jersey boy who cherishes his grandfather's visits but learns over time that he as the boss of a New York crime family and years later has to penetrate his grandfather's world.

In reality, Genovese was raised by an accountant father and mother on the Jersey shore and only has a few memories of his grandfather, the head of the Genovese crime family, who died in jail in 1969 at the age of 71.

Genovese spoke to Reuters about his childhood and writing:

Q: When did you start to write?

A: "I am in my mid-50s and started out thinking some day I may like to write a book but I came out of school not really knowing what I wanted to do and ended up being an executive in a mobile transportation company. In 1996 I bought the first family computer and thought maybe this could enable me to write."

Q: Is it autobiographical?   Continued...

<p>The cover to the book The Grandfather Clause is seen in a handout image. REUTERS/Philip A. Genovese, Jr./Handout</p>