He’s the one whose book was my comfort while I deal with a twisted ankle. His book detailed a songwriter’s experience while writing and cutting out her debut album.
It took me on a journey and before I review it, I ask him to feature in this blog’s FIRST interview and he readily agrees!
Here’s Rich Marcello with his thoughts on Love, Art, Books and Writing
Q: What is the book’s genre/category?
A: It’s literary, millennial coming-of-age fiction. Millennial in the sense, that the heroine of The Big Wide Calm, Paige Plant, is a little older (25) than most coming-of-age heroines. Literary in the sense that it deals with a number of philosophical and existential topics.
Q: What events/inspirations led up to you publishing “The Big Wide Calm?
A: A number of years ago, I decided to write down everything I believe about love—romantic love, platonic love, and love in a broader community. I’m in the process of writing three novels about these different kinds of love. The Big Wide Calm was just published in July of 2014 by Langdon Street Press. The first, The Color of Home, was published in 2013, and the third, The Beauty of the Fall, will be published in 2015.
Q: Is there a common theme or life-lesson in your books?
A: Yes. Thematically, even though there are different characters in each novel, they are tied together by struggling to truly and deeply learn to love, even when their histories or current obstacles conspire against them.
A: For The Big Wide Calm, I wrote very fast. Basically, I caught a creative wave and finished the first draft of the book in three months. Then I edited it for another year. The biggest challenge was literally dropping everything else in my life so I could make room to ride the wave and channel all of my creative energy into the book. Because I’ve been writing songs, poems, and novels for a long time, I know it’s rare to catch a wave like that, so I made a decision to honor it and drop everything else I was doing. In a way, it was an easy choice, albeit not a practical one.
Q: Looking back at both of your publications, What do you think you did that makes your books stand out above the rest?
A: I try to infuse my books with a great deal of emotional intimacy. In addition, because I’m also a songwriter and poet, I try to incorporate poetic and song elements into my writing. Sometimes I’ll spend a couple of hours on a paragraph until I get the words right. The combination of emotional intimacy and poetic writing is what helps the books stand out.
Q: On that note, would you have changed anything that you have done?
A: No, I’m really proud of both books. Like most writers I know, I could tinker with a book forever. With that said, with both The Big Wide Calm and The Color of Home, I reached a point where I felt the book was done and I let it go. There’s something about letting a piece of art go that is relational. By that I mean the best novels, in my opinion, have the ability to invoke an emotional reaction in a reader that is unique, that is relational. In that sense, even when someone doesn’t like one of my books, as long as they have some emotional reaction to it, I feel it’s serving its purpose.
Q: Besides personal life, where do you draw most of your inspiration from?
A: From dreams. I’m a big believer in writing in the morning, and in a way, going from one kind of dreaming (sleep) directly to another (writing fiction). My best writing comes from that dream-like place where I totally inhabit a character and write from their point-of-view.
Q: What can your readers expect from you in the coming years?
A: The Beauty of the Fall will be out in 2015. After that, I plan to write for the rest of my life. I figure I have a good ten novels in me.
Q: What advice would you give to writers just starting out?
A: Write the first pass of any scene quickly, and then rewrite it until it’s sensual enough that the reader feels like he or she is actually there.
I’d love it if you let me know how you found this review in the comments below!! I’m looking at featuring more and more authors on this blog and your feedback is vital to me!!