CHRISTIAN PICCIOLINI: 'WHITE AMERICAN YOUTH: My Descent into America's Most Violent Hate Movement—and How I Got Out'
February 28, 2015
Pre-order my client Christian Picciolini’s book, “Romantic Violence: Memoirs of an American Skinhead.” (NOW BEING RE-RELEASED DEC 26, 2017 AS WHITE AMERICAN YOUTH: My Descent into America's Most Violent Hate Movement—and How I Got Out.) It comes out April 28, 2015. I worked with this guy—a real live ex neo-Nazi skinhead turned social activist and lover of everybody—for a year on developmental and copy editing, honing the story down to its sharpest edge. An incredible tale (taking place in Chicago), the memoir follows Christian as he goes from being a shy, innocent, reclusive teenager—from a nice middleclass family but with immigrant Italian, career-obsessed parents—to being pulled into the neo-Nazi skinhead movement by none other than Clark Martell, the first American neo-Nazi skinhead ever.
Jumping in at 14, by 16 he was operating major skinhead cells in the northern U.S. Muammar Gaddafi even at one point offered to “fund” a skinhead race war against the Jews. An enemy of the enemy is a friend. Amidst all of this he stockpiled weapons to prepare for the inevitable race war, was an honor roll student and star athlete despite being kicked out of four high schools, and was the lead singer in the first white power rock band to ever play in Europe. At 21, after having gotten married, bought a house, and having two kids, he was suddenly jarred out of his delirium. He lost it all. His wife, kids, home, his business (a record store), his sanity and self-image. Staring into the eyes of his children meant he could no longer look at his own eyes in the mirror. In 1995, he hit bottom. After years of debilitating depression, he started playing music again, starting a non-racist band. That band toured with Joan Jett.
In 1999, Christian was hired by IBM, doing marketing and operations. He later went back to school and landed a degree in International Business and International Relations from DePaul University. Picciolini began his own global record label and artist development firm, and was appointed a member of the Chicago Grammy Rock Music Committee and the Chicago International Movies and Music Festival. In 2010 and 2011, he was nominated for three regional Emmy Awards for his role as executive producer of JBTV, one of America’s longest-running, nationally-broadcast music television programs.
He has worked as an Adjunct Professor at the college level, and as the Community Partnerships Manager for Threadless, a company that combines a thriving online art community with a highly successful e-commerce business model. Additionally, in 2013, he contributed to Google chairman Eric Schmidt and Director of Google Ideas Jared Cohen’s New York Times Best Seller, The New Digital Age. Most notably, in 2010 he co-founded Life After Hate, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping communities and organizations gain the knowledge necessary to implement long-term solutions that counter all types of racism and violent extremism. He is an explorer by nature; he loves to learn new things and thrives on challenging himself with “positive disruptive thinking.” He values kindness, unselfishness, sincerity, and respect for all people, and believes that small ideas can change the world.
Christian, as you can see, is quite an incredible human being and is definitely part of the global solution. He has attended global UN peace talks, worked on spreading info on the Millennium Development Goals, and works with Life After Hate to help extricate youth from hate, anger, and racism. Features about Christian and “Romantic Violence: Memoirs of an American Skinhead” have recently appeared in VICE Magazine, NOISEY, One people’s Project, Broadway World (BWW).com, The Beachwood Reporter, and The Sound of Hate (89.3 KPCC with pat Morrison), as well as others. WBEZ, a Chicago-based radio station did an interview. He was even broadcast on the Glen Beck Program, a national TV news and political opinion show.
Please check out Christian’s website and pre-order “Romantic Violence: Memoirs of an American Skinhead.” If you like what you read—and you’ve written a novel or memoir—please consider hiring me as your book editor. Check my site under “Editing Services” for rates and more info on my editing. If you have further questions, please email me: firstname.lastname@example.org.
In addition, you agents out there, Christian and I are seeking agent representation. Christian is active on all forms of social media, does national speaking tours with LAH, and has been on magazine and radio media, both online and print publication. Please contact me at email@example.com if you have interest in seeing the query letter or the manuscript itself.
I, too, as a writer, have my own suspense manuscript that is close to being ready for submission to literary agents. Active on Facebook, Twitter, Linked-In, and using this blog/website for traction (I receive 5-6,000 unique visits per month), I feel I am prepared to launch my book once it is ready for agent view. A former literary agent’s assistant, I am a published short story writer (www.alfiedog.com), and a freelance book editor.
Please buy one of my stories at www.alfiedog.com (Alfie Dog Press) for 66 cents a pop. They are short, fun little tales of debauchery.
My mother’s novel, “The Road at My Door,” (Lori Windsor Mohr) is going to be forthcoming from Alfie Dog Press (a U.K. publisher) as well. I will keep you updated as to when that novel will be coming out. Please keep your eyes open for it. A tale of 1960s drama, a local Catholic priest steals a young female narrator’s mother away from the family. A father who has gone into near-catatonic denial (and stopped being an adult), a teenage sister who has fled to South America to be with the boy who impregnated her, Reece (the narrator/protagonist) is left all by herself to suffer the terrible consequences of living alone and in fear of her world crumbling around her. In the end, the only one who can save her is herself. Drawing on internal strength from reading the book “Man’s Search for Meaning,” by Viktor Frankl, Reece finally discovers that she has more character, more will, and more strength inside of her than she ever imagined possible.