Appointment with ISIL is a literary thriller. This time, Anthony’s libido threatens his life. Anthony Provati flirts with Russian mob boss, Gorgon Malakhov’s mistress. The Russian deals in death. ISIL, the Islamic State in the Levant wants the product. Russian Intelligence supplies the means, and an art theft funds the scheme. ISIL’s targets are chilling. The chase across the Mediterranean is on. Can Anthony thwart ISIL? Will he survive?
Where are you from? Tell us a little about yourself!
I was born in Brooklyn and didn’t leave New York until my mid-twenties. My father was an immigrant from Naples, as were all my grandparents. My parents and the immigrant-Italians I grew up with were the inspiration for my first novel, Birds of Passage, an Italian Immigrant Coming of Age Story. Before I became a writer, I worked in international business. This gave me the opportunity to travel the world. My wife, Jane, and I lived in Greece, Brazil, Belgium, and Netherlands.
Tell us about your book? How did it get started?
Appointment with ISIL, an Anthony Provati Thriller sprouted after I’d taken an Arab history course at the University of Texas and wrote a short story, “The Unkindest Cut,” a piece published by decomP Magazine in October 2015. You can find it here:
Ben Fountain, author of Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, allowed me to sit in during one of his Texas State creative writing classes, and he told his students that the literary thriller was the “holy grail.” I decided to accept his challenge and expanded “The Unkindest Cut” into a novel
How do you create your characters?
I use a character arc template to explore the various aspects of major characters. Despite the preparatory outline, as I write, characters often tell me what they want to do next.
What inspires and what got you started in writing?
We loved living in Greece, I was intrigued by the country’s history and decided to pen an historical fiction about the Persian Wars, i.e. Marathon, Thermopylae, and Salamis. The novel took quite a while to complete, and frankly, was terrible. I realized that I had a lot to learn about writing fiction. I took courses at the University of Texas, including Ben Fountain’s that turned me onto writing short stories. After years, receiving enough rejections to exhaust a landfill, my stories began to be published. That encouraged me to write another novel, and Birds of Passage was the result.
Where do you write? Is there something you need in order to write (music, drinks)?
I have a niche, Jane calls a “man cave,” with a desk, office chair, and a computer. The only thing I need to write is inspiration.
How do you get your ideas for writing?
Ideas come from many sources, a photograph, a comment, an observation, or a memory. I read for inspiration, especially short stories. Most of my writing springs from my experiences growing up in New York, or from what I learned and observed during my travels around the world.
What do you like to read?
I read short stories for ideas. I enjoy novels in many genres. While I was writing Appointment with ISIL, thrillers were my focus. I seek outstanding writers and read their work analytically to improve my writing.
What would your advice be for authors or aspiring in regards to writing?
A writer spends a lot of time alone, reading and working. They pray that someone will read their work. Only the big brand name novelists make much money, so most of us take a de facto “vow of poverty.” These descriptors also apply to the life of a monk or a cloistered nun. Seriously, most writers are driven to write. Rejection comes in buckets. One must turn rejection into fuel for improvement. To paraphrase Edison, success is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.
Anything else you’d like to share?
My stories have appeared in more than ninety magazines including Bartleby Snopes, The Saturday Evening Post, decomP, and Shenandoah. My novel, Birds of Passage, An Italian Immigrant Coming of Age Story, was published by Harvard Square Editions October 2015. My novel, Appointment with ISIL, an Anthony Provati Thriller will be published by HSE in May 2017. Read the first chapter for Birds of Passage and sign up for my blog at http://joe-giordano.com/
Harvard Square Editions will put Appointment with ISIL on Amazon in about a month and B&N after publication. I’ll send you those links when ready.
Birds of Passage Amazon Page: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1941861083
Google +: https://plus.google.com/u/0/?cfem=1