What have you had published?
I have four books published that are available on Amazon. In Valerie's Retreat the forty-one-year-old protagonist meets a wonderful man sixteen years her junior. Even though they seem to have nothing in common since she is a Head Teller at a bank and he's studying for a doctorate in Archaeology, the pair clicks. A Spy Home is a memoir of a former spy who near the end of his career comes to the realization that his life's work of promoting rebellion in third-world counties for American interests was a waste. Out of bitterness, he steals over nine million dollars on his last mission. The money was meant for a pro-American rebel group in an impoverished country. His retirement is spent learning what he missed at home with his family and wondering if the CIA will figure out he has their money. Hazardous Choices describes the difficulty a young man has trying to fit in during his first year of college. In Chicago he served as a gangbanger for the vicious Neptune Knights, and in a small Kentucky town where he received a scholarship to play division two football he tries to fit in with the other students. His understanding of the world doesn't make much sense in this environment. A Mormon Massacre tells about a young man in his early twenties who had been raised hating the Mormon church. To fight what he believes is a cult, Jeremiah goes undercover as a convert to rescue women from abusive plural marriages.
What genre(s) of book do you write?
As you can see from the above description, I don't have a favourite genre. The stories that pop into my head get written down. They haven't fit nicely into a genre, which I think makes them more interesting. I just read 11/22/63 by Stephen King. The book was great, but I have no idea what if any genre it fits into.
What inspired you to write your first book?
The actual impetus for me to begin writing came while I was reading Three Weeks With My Brother by Nicholas Sparks. When I got to the part where he received a million-dollar advance, I thought, “Holy cow! He’s a good writer, but I know I can do this, too.” I’ve been writing since that day in 2004.
How long did it take you to write “Valerie’s Retreat”?
That's harder to answer than one might think. I wrote the book in a few months, since I was working part-time. However, I reread/edited it twice, my wife edited it once, and we had a professional editor. Start to finish, all of that takes somewhere in the nine month range.
What is the working title of your next book(s)?
Life After Life; right now I love that title but it might change.
Do you self-publish your books or go through an agency?
We self-publish. We being my wife and I. We have a great professional relationship. When one is working, the other leaves the room.
What part of writing books do you find the hardest?
I especially hate, after I've typed it, going back and doing that first edit. That seems to take forever because that's when I find the most mistakes.
What do you do in your spare time?
We like to go boating as a family, and I jog to stay fit.
Who is your favourite author?
I really liked Gillian Flynn's Sharp Objects, but I'm not sure she should be a favourite after only one book. Writing a series sounds very boring, but I loved the Hunger Games series.
What’s your favourite genre to read?
I don't choose what to read by how it's formatted. Sharp Objects might officially be a thriller? Suspense? I don't know. Maybe I'm a weirdo, but I've never cared about genre.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
You really need to find someone who will tell you if your work stinks. Most people won't. In fact, it's very hard to find someone honest enough to do that.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
I understand people are hesitant to give independent authors a chance. Some of the indie stuff IS really bad. If any of the books I've mentioned interest you, please go to the free "Click to Look Inside" and sample the first chapter. If a book grabs you that quick, you'll probably be glad you got it. Also, if you are in a book club that reads one of my books I'd be honoured to join your discussion. Feel free to contact me through Facebook or my website, www.josephmrinaldo.com.