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Theme of Absence Interview
Joe Giordano Joe Giordano
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: Austin, TX
Friday, August 12, 2022

  1. How long have you been writing and what got you started?

When my wife Jane and I lived in Greece, I became fascinated with Greek history and decided to write an historical fiction account about the Persian Wars: Marathon, Thermopylae, and Salamis. My prose was terrible. I needed to learn how to write. I enrolled in some UT Austin classes and tried my hand on short stories. I received a truckload of rejections. Ten years ago, my pieces began to be accepted and my stories have appeared in more than one hundred magazines including The Saturday Evening Post, and Shenandoah, and my short story collection, Stories and Places I Remember. My novels include, Birds of Passage, An Italian Immigrant Coming of Age Story, and the Anthony Provati thriller series, Appointment with ISIL, Drone Strike, and in June 2022, The Art of Revenge.

  1. What is the best piece of advice you have for new writers?

Write about what you know and love (mostly this). Read great writers to improve your craft. Perseverance is one of life’s least appreciated success factors. Accept rejection as part of the game. When the combination of your life’s experience and writing skills reach the necessary threshold, you’ll be published.

  1. What is your favorite type of fiction and who are your favorite authors?

I read analytically, trying to learn from great writers. A mentor of mine, Ben Fountain’s Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk was excellent. Cormac McCarthy cynically explores the depths of human evil. As I write thrillers, I enjoyed Le Carre. I also read lots of short stories for enjoyment and inspiration.

  1. Do you favor the traditional route or self-publishing?

Two independent publishers, Rogue Phoenix Press and Harvard Square Editions, have published my novels and short story collection. The gauntlet of their approval process improved the final product.

  1. Are you an outliner or discovery writer? Or somewhere in between?

I conjure up an idea of what the story is about, who the characters are, where they’re going, what their goals and motivations are, and how they’re going to end up, and I keep it in my head using a classical character arc and novel structure with interweaving plots. Plunged into some difficult situations, the characters often reveal to me what they’ll do next.

  1. Have you attended any conferences or writing retreats? What was the experience like and do you have any to recommend?

The annual Thrillerfest Conference in New York provides seminars on writing but more importantly, an opportunity for thriller writers to pitch your novel to a slew of agents in a “speed dating” format.

  1. How do you deal with rejections?

Writing is art and the reader, not the writer, determines what they like. Fiction writers receive rejection about as often as we breathe, and we should embrace feedback as both an incentive and as a tool to improve. Fear of rejection keeps some from submitting their work for publication, but you’ll only succeed if you punch through the negativity. Persistence is one of life’s least appreciated success factors, and acceptance becomes all the sweeter.

  1. In your opinion, how important is a writing degree or MFA when it comes to achieving success in writing fiction?

While I don’t have an MFA, I have advanced degrees in other fields. Education provides skills and opens doors. Your talent, diligence, sense of responsibility, and hard work determine how far you’ll go.

  1. What are your writing goals for the next five years?

I’m sure every writer hopes their book will be adapted for the screen. My goal is to create vibrant characters and put them into challenging situations. That’s the touchstone of any good movie. I often visualize my scenes and rehearse the dialogue, a sort of mental storyboard, to insure believability of my writing.

  1. Is there anything you’d like to plug? Feel free to share a link.

Just released, my latest novel, The Art of Revenge is a riveting, action-packed, suspenseful and at times terrifying chase around the world that will have gritty thriller lovers salivating for more – a must read for those who like hanging on the edge of the cliff by only their fingers.

The Art of Revenge features two unlikely heroes. Anthony Provati is a jazz pianist, art gallery owner, and sailor, who has a mob boss uncle. Valentina Esposito was orphaned at birth but is rewriting her destiny by becoming a brilliant computer programmer. They undertake a global pursuit of murderous Russian and North Korean operatives to foil a terrorist plot funded by forgeries and the ransom of stolen paintings.

Please visit my website https://joe-giordano.com/

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Name: Joe Giordano
Dateline: Austin, TX United States
Direct Phone: 512-565-2229
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