A thrilling start to finish, A Touch of Deceit will have you turning the pages so quickly, your head will spin! Ponzo weaves his story telling pen well and it shows in this first in a series of thrillers. Ponzo provides interesting characters, and in your face descriptions. Descriptions so well you could swear Ponzo knew more about the FBI and its inner workings. It’s a very real live look at what goes on in the background. I know that I enjoyed the characters a lot because they were tough characters, who had to place the everything on the line in order to save everyone from the terrorists. The hero is through and through, just touch and willing to get down and dirty. I also love the way Ponzo writes his bad guys, they are not straight forward and their motives not always clear which is interesting. It makes us want to know of what goes on in the terrorists head. This is another book that you’ll want to pick up! If you love thrillers, great characters, and amazing plots then this book is the one.
A Touch of Deceit
Book Blurb: FBI agent Nick Bracco can’t stop a Kurdish terrorist from firing missiles at random homes across the country. The police can’t stand watch over every household, so Bracco recruits his cousin Tommy to help track down this terrorist. Tommy is in the Mafia. Oh yeah, it gets messy fast. As fast as you can turn the pages.
Where are you from? Tell us a little about yourself!
I’m originally from New York, but moved to Phoenix in the late 70’s. I’ve always had a knack for writing as long as I could remember. It wasn’t until ten or twelve years ago that I got serious about developing my skills. I began writing short stories and started getting published pretty quickly which gave me confidence to continue. Two of my short stories were actually nominated for a Pushcart Prize which really made me feel like I was on the right track.
Tell us about your book? How did it get started?
A Touch of Deceit actually began just a short time before September 11th, 2001. I’ve always liked thrillers and thought I’d try one with a little twist. I decided to create a Sicilian FBI agent, Nick Bracco, who is the head of an elite squad of anti-terrorist specialists. Nick also happens to have a cousin in the Mafia. Their two worlds coincide when a Kurdish terrorist threatens Nick’s family. That’s when Nick’s cousin brings in another family to help track down this terrorist. It’s the Mafia versus the terrorists and the Mafia are actually the good guys. After all, they are Americans.
How do you create your characters?
Who knows where these characters come from, but I can tell you where some of the Mafia characters came from. My father owned a candy store in Brooklyn when I was a teenager and I used to work weekends by myself, so my father asked some of his friends to watch over me while I was there. My dad is Sicilian, so guess which friends would watch me? I knew they were Mafia at the time, but to me they were just guys who would sit at the counter and sip coffee and tell me about their kids and talk baseball. That’s where my Mafia characters came from.
What inspires you to write?
That’s a good question, but I really don’t know how to answer that. I’ve always had the desire to express myself in stories. Maybe it’s an escape? I don’t know. Deep down I feel like my stories might live on after I’m gone and my children and my children’s children can read some of my work and maybe understand me somehow. Silly, huh?
What do you like to read?
I cut my teeth on Sci-Fi–Robert Heinlein, Ray Bradbury, Isaac Asimov. But in recent years I’ve developed an affinity for street thrillers. Some of my favorites today are Elmore Leonard and Nelson Demille. Their dialogue is pitch perfect.
What would your advice to be for authors or aspiring in regards to writing?
Read as much as possible because you never know how much of that language actually sticks to you long after you’ve put the book down. Then just write. Also, I’m a firm believer in having a critique group. I’ve been involved with one for over a decade and it’s so valuable. You learn so much from other writers, plus it’s amazing how much you learn from critiquing other people’s work as well. Very productive.
Anything else you’d like to share?
I’m a firm believer in supporting other writers. I run a blog called Strong Scenes in which I interview authors large and small and try to draw attention to other writers who deserve to be read as well.
Also, the sequel to A Touch of Deceit will be out next month. The title: A Touch of Revenge.