W-E-L-C-O-M-E to my little corner of the planet. Take a seat, get comfy. You're among friends, so please feel free to comment. Thank you for stopping by and I hope you enjoy my ramblings. Be sure to scroll all the way down to get the daily puppy ~ they're so cute!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

"A Spy At Home" ~ Joseph M. Rinaldo

First, I would like to say "A Spy at Home" is a very good, engaging read.  Joseph Rinaldo has managed to intertwine likable, believable characters with a far-fetched plot and make it all work. It's the author's dream of starting with an empty box, filling it with lots of goodies anybody would be thrilled to get as a gift, and then tied up nice and neat with a beautiful ribbon and ending up with a story that I couldn't put down! There is heartfelt love and a connection with family from Garrison (the lead character) and his wife Louisa along with their adopted child Noah who has Down syndrome,  an almost otherworldly type of intrigue with Garrison being employed by the CIA, laughter and tears at the pitfalls and triumphs of everyday life, and a little sarcasm and wit.  I'm pleased to be able to bring you a close encounter with the author and get first hand from him how his story came to life. 

K: Do you prefer Joseph, or do you go by Joe? I'm a Kathleen and I prefer it, but sometimes people assume it's OK to call me Kathy and I don't object, but I don't prefer it.  That's why I ask. 
JR: I use Joseph on my book covers, but I  go by Joe, and that's most comfortable for me.

K: I have novels I started as long as five years ago I'm still completing and/or editing. It's a long process and I wondered,  how long did it take you to write "A Spy at Home"?  
JR: About a year. It took a long time to revise, edit, and get it to the stage (formatted and all) where it was ready to upload to Amazon. It was the first ebook I published on Amazon's KDP program, and formatting it was a nightmare! I love the way it looks now, though, and I'm very proud of the hard work that went into it.

K: I hear you! That was the most difficult part of getting my first book done for Amazon. The e-reader format is so different than paperback.  I almost gave up, but I agree with you, it's worth all the work. 

K: The protagonist is multifaceted what with being a trained spy, husband, becoming an adopted father, and he manages to juggle it all admirably, weaving himself from wearing one hat to another effortlessly.  I admire an author who can give such versatility with a character they've created.  I think we as the creator of the characters must interject a little bit of ourselves into each one we create. I always leave a little piece of me in all of my creations.  How much of him is you?

JR: I think that his determination is all me. The long absences from his family wouldn't work for me; I enjoy spending time with mine, and no matter what, I make time for them. The character of the adopted son, Noah, who has Down syndrome, is very relevant to my situation. I married a woman who had an adult daughter with Down, and when I became her stepfather, I threw myself heart and soul into being her DAD. My nature (and my career as a credit manager) demand efficiency and dependability, but I am also flexible and spontaneous. My family is the most important thing in the world to me, but I also understand that without devotion to the work I do, I could not be the best father and husband to them.

K: Tell the story behind the story.  How did you come up with such an intricately woven tale, intermingling international security and conspiracy, a family trying to be ordinary and simple, yet due to the spy status turns complicated, and put it all together to make sense in one story?

JR:  It's always difficult to pinpoint where a story idea comes from; I read a lot of spy novels on the order of Clancy and Higgins, but I also wanted to put a human face on the spy business. The character of Noah was always in my mind, and I guess the fears my wife and I have about what might happen to our daughter if we died before she did inspired that part of the story.

K: I've been so intrigued by the spy aspect, that's obvious from the title, but it really is detailed about an agent for our government, and some for other governments we don't really want to know about.  How did you come by all this information? Is it first hand? That's the big question!

JR:I could tell you about how I came by the information about the spy business, but then I'd have to kill you. National security, you know. Seriously, that's what creating fiction is all about. Reading a lot, and then letting the voices in your head guide you on your journey to your own story.

K: The twist in the story I won't give away, but I have to say it takes a pretty diverse mind to come up with something like that! Definitely the signature of a studious author throwing in complete surprise that takes the story on a whole 'nother plane.  What else have you written, anything already published, and what is coming in the near future?
JR: I have nine novels completed; A Spy At Home was my first to be published, and the second, Hazardous Choices, has just been released on Amazon, also as an ebook. Hazardous Choices is the story of a young Chicago gangbanger who tries to escape the thug lifestyle by accepting a football scholarship to a small rural Kentucky college. The question is: will he be able to leave his deadly past behind, or will it follow him?

Another book, Mountain Meadows Aftermath, is in the revision/editing stages right now and hopefully will be released next year. It is the story of a young man seeking revenge on Mormon zealots for the long-ago massacre of his ancestors and the more recent abuse of his mother during her first marriage to a Mormon. 

 A Spy At Home can be purchased on Amazon at: Amazon also my website and on Goodreads
Look up A Spy At Home on  Facebook

Readers who are interested in purchasing my newest ebook, Hazardous Choices, can find it on Amazon

Thank you, Joe!  It was a pleasure reading your novel and I wish you much success!  I'll be checking into "Hazardous Choices", and I encourage my readers to as well. I think most everyone will enjoy Joseph's style of writing and the intriguing tales he tells.  
I hope ya'll enjoyed learning a little more about the author and the story.  I like to know what makes people tick, especially other authors who come up with storylines that hold a readers attention.  

What's next for me, you ask? I knew you were on pins and needles!  I've got so much going on right now, I think I'll probably start blogging more than once a week to get it all in, so be on the lookout for that.  The easiest way to keep up, is join here as a follower and you'll get automatic e-mail updates letting you know when something new is posted.   I'm working on more interviews, I'm working on getting bands out on the road for some shows in YOUR town soon! And, as always I'm writing, working on short stories or poetry or blogging or whatever is in the webs of my musty brain function.  It could be an early sign of  psychosis, but the test results aren't back yet on that.  

Hug somebody today!  I'm going to this afternoon, and I may never let go again!

Conspiratorily yours, 

~ K

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