(dee-toe) – rhymes with “Cheetoh”
Dito was born in Puerto Rico, raised in Saudi Arabia, and lived on a sailboat for the better part of a decade. He wrote his first novel, Debunked, over three years while sailing from Florida to Mexico with his family. Now he lives in the Arizona desert, where he likes to bullseye womp rats in his T-16 in his free time.
Learn more about his travels at: www.maxingout.com
Q: What’s the deal with “Dito” anyway?
A: I was born in Puerto Rico. The ladies at daycare called me “gordito” because I was a chunky little hombre. My family has called me Dito my whole life. When I decided to take the leap of writing, I wanted to use a pen name that means a lot to me.
Q: How do you pronounce “Dito”?
A: Dee-toe. Rhymes with “Chee-toh”.
Q: Where do you get your writing ideas?
A: Adventure, in all its forms. I’ve read a lot of articles giving advice about “finding underserved niches”, then “writing to market”, but I just try to write stories that would have blown my mind when I was twelve (hence the airships).
Q:Who are your favorite authors?
A: Sir Terry Pratchett will always have my heart. Neil Gaiman. Douglas Adams. Enid Blyton. I’m not sure why I gravitate to British authors, but it makes my spellchecker angry every time I type “endeavour”.
Q: Is it true you wrote Debunked while at sea?
A: It took me two and a half years, the majority of which was spent sailing from Florida to Mexico, with stops in Panama and the Galapagos. The original plan was to head across the Pacific Ocean, but Covid-19 shut the world down just as we were preparing to leave the Galapagos for the Marquesas islands. After 40 days of quarantine (I was the only person who got off the boat, for groceries), we headed north for the Sea of Cortez.
Q: Did you really live in Saudi Arabia?
A: Yes. Lived there from age 4 to 15. Amazing country, with world-class off-roading. My family did a lot of camping in the desert.
Q: What’s it like to sail across an ocean?
A: As with everything on a sailboat, it depends entirely on weather. If conditions are comfortable, it’s a piece of cake. If things are hairy, you will question your life decisions pretty severely. Mostly, it’s an endurance contest – can you be uncomfortable long enough to win the reward of an amazing destination? Great training for life.
Q: Did you really sail around the world?
A: Yes. It took eleven years, on and off. I left the USA with my family at age 15 and got as far as Australia. Went to university in Kentucky. After graduation, sailed with my parents and wife from Oz back to the USA.
Q: Are you married?
A: I have a wife and two daughters. They rock.
Q: What was that thing in the bio about womp rats and a T-16?
A: I bullsye them when I run down to Tosche station to pick up power converters.