By Jessica A. Walsh
John Leone has recently published his latest book, Workplace Woes: A Day at the Office.
A collection of four short screenplays, Workplace Woes is about office life at an imaginary company called McFrugal LLC and the characters who work there. If you have any experience whatsoever working in an office setting, you have no doubt encountered people like the cringe-worthy characters in this book.
I had the privilege to speak with John about Workplace Woes and his past work experience that inspired him.
Although John said he's had more job titles than can be imagined, he preferred "outside sales", calling on customers and trying to sell them products. "As most customers complained about their work, my job often entailed being an attentive listener, like a friendly bartender, but without the alcohol," he explained. "Consequently, I came to the realization that obnoxious bosses and annoying co-workers were not a unique phenomenon, but are universal and quite often funny without meaning to be."
All of John's characters are based on real people, although some are slightly exaggerated. And even though John is now retired, he admits that he actually misses his old obnoxious bosses and annoying co-workers. He also misses some of his old customers, but gets to enjoy the occasional lunch to keep in touch.
In addition to the occasional lunch, John enjoys spending his time writing, babysitting his grandchildren (whom he started writing for in the first place) and taking art classes. Although he did not illustrate Workplace Woes, he does hope to illustrate future books.
John is also the author of a series of children's books called Sharklock Bones about a talking shark detective. Although Workplace Woes is the first PG-13 book John has published, it wasn't a difficult shift for him since he considers his Sharklock series as books the whole family can enjoy. "But [writing] the children's books [is] more fun. That's probably because I never grew up."
John is currently finishing up book #11 in the Sharklock Bones Series, which all contain an underlying message about marine and ocean ecology. "They hopefully encourage younger readers to be more aware of steps we must all take in the future to keep our waterways healthy," he explained.
Workplace Woes is available on Amazon (paperback and Kindle), as well as Barnes & Noble. You can also find John (and Sharkie) at the Trenton Book Fair being held May 1st and 2nd.