The Big Wide Calm: Interview with Rich Marcello

Hello readers, today I have a lovely interview with the author Rich Marcello and his book ‘The Big Wide Calm.’ Here is an overview of the book to give you a taster….

Paige is a rock star. The world just doesn’t know it yet. She’s got the charisma, the drive, and, of course, the mega-musical skills. All she needs is to make her debut album, one that will change the world, inspire revolutions–and make her galactically famous along the way.When John Bustin, a former semi-famous singer/songwriter offers to record Paige’s album for free, it feels like destiny, like the next step on her way to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Guitar in hand, Paige sets off to John’s recording compound, ready to unfold her future.But the ever-elusive John, with his mysterious history, and Paige, a big dreamer but naive about her footing in life, clash as much as they coalesce. Before they can change the world through Paige’s music, the improbable duo must learn to work together. A coming of age story and retrospective, The Big Wide Calm focuses on human nature and the complexities of love through the eyes of young and old on the journey of creating the perfect album.

I interviewed Rich about his book and his work as an author; hope you enjoy!

1) My first question is, where does the title for the book ‘The Big Wide Calm’ actually come from? I believe there’s this place underneath all emotions that is the source of creativity, of true and deep love, of almost everything we do to fully live our lives.  That’s what I call The Big Wide Calm.  There are many ways into TBWC, but one of most difficult is to learn to go into your pain, your fears, your sadness, and use those things as a doorways.  So the book is really Paige’s journey into The Big Wide Calm at one level, and at another the name of the album she’s working on in the year she spends with her mentor, John Bustin.

2) So, what was your inspiration for the book is it from personal experience or was it another source of inspiration?I’m a big believer in writing in the early morning. I like the feeling of going from one dream state ( sleeping) to another ( writing fiction).  So, most of my inspiration comes from dreaming about characters and stories.  Every now and then I’ll run across something from real life that I use in a story. For example, I recently ran into a woman with the most creative hair style I’d ever seen.  I asked her if I could take a picture of it and she agreed. Then I used it to describe the hair of one of the main characters in the book I’m working on now, The Beauty of the Fall.

3) Describe your main character in three words? Was this the overall feel you were going for when you first created Paige? Artistic. Strong.  Sexual.  Yes, that’s what I was going for.

4) Is there anything you would change about the book if you were to write it again?  No.  I’m really happy with the way it turned out.

5) Did you always know you wanted to be a writer? If not, what inspired you to become an author?  I’ve been writing since I was around twenty in one way or another.  Poetry. Songs.  Novels.  About four years ago I got the idea to write three novels about different kinds of love.  The first, The Color of Home, which is about romantic love, was published in 2013 by Langdon Street Press.  The Big Wide Calm, about platonic love,  just came out and was also published by Langdon Street Press.  The Beauty of the Fall, about love on  a wider scale, will be out in 2016.

7) What are you currently writing and when can we expect to see it on the shelves!  As I mentioned above,  The Beauty of the Fall will be out in 2016.

6) Finally, sell your book to my readers in one line! Go with Paige Plant as she searches for The Big Wide Calm, for what it means to truly and deeply love.

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If Rich Marcello could choose only one creative mentor, he’d give the role to Jonathan Richmond and the Modern Lovers. This is not only because he currently resides in New England, where Jonathan started, but because of his life as a contemporary fiction author, poet and songwriter, whose literary inspiration often stems from songs he’s written. Rich grew up in New Jersey surrounded by song and word.

For a while it seemed right to travel the musician’s path, especially during his stint in his college folk group, at The University of Notre Dame, where he wrote and recorded his first original songs. But, as is true for many musicians, graduation led him down a different road, one on which he found his love for high technology. There, he enjoyed a successful career as a technology executive, managing several multi-billion dollar businesses for Fortune 500 companies.

During his time in technology he never stopped creating art, and eventually his love for song and the written word grew to the point where he walked away from his first career to pursue poetry, song, and fiction with the same enthusiasm and discipline he demonstrated in business. In The Color Of Home, his literary voice melds all three together with honest generative dialogue, poetic sensory detail, and “unforgettable characters who seem to know the complete song catalog of Lennon or Cohen.”

He’s currently working on his third novel, The Beauty of the Fall.

You can buy a copy of the book here or alternatively see more on the authors website here! Or alternatively connect with Rich on social media with the links below!

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Interview with Miranda Uyeh and her debut book ‘To Die Once!’

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I recently reviewed Miranda’s new book ‘To Die Once, which you can find in my reviews section. ‘ Here is my brilliant interview with her about that brilliant book ! ENJOY!

How were you personally inspired to become a writer and what inspired you to write your most recent creation ‘To Die Once?’ I first took notice when I came across a Christian fiction book (which I can’t remember the title) for the first time by author, Norma Jean Lutz. After she replied to a letter I wrote to her, it only increased my excitement and planted a seed in my heart. As time passed, I forgot about that book because I’d delved more into mainstream titles. God, however, lovingly reminded of who I’m supposed to be. I wrote all about it in a blog post I titled, ‘Why I Believe In Christian Fiction.’

Which writers inspire you? Love this question! I simply can’t get enough of Francine Rivers, Karen Kingsbury, MaryLu Tyndall and Julie Lessman! I, also, recently discovered K. Victoria Chase.

Give us an insight into your main character; what makes her so special to you? Jennifer is a beautiful sweet, tender, and adventurous dreamer, but not on the wild side, and somewhat naïve too. When I picture her, I see a rose. She’s also a Christian. She’s special to me because she wasn’t afraid to break out of the norm for what she wanted and believed in, although, her decisions cost her a lot.

‘What was the hardest thing about writing your debut book ‘To Die Once?’ At first when I starting writing I constantly wrestled with how honest I should make the thoughts/monologue of the characters. I wanted to write a book that exposed the raw feelings of people in the circumstances created in the story, but of course doing so without crossing the boundaries set for a clean/Christian romance read. Eventually, I decided to put the truth out there, as I felt it was important if the message of grace would be understood to the depths that I hoped it would be. When you read “To Die Once,” you’ll get my meaning. Making the decision was one thing, but crafting it so it turned out exactly how I hoped was another feat of its own.

If this book is part of a series, tell us a little about it? This book is part of the Child of Grace Series. There will be four books in all. I’m presently working on book #2, “To Lie Once”, a story centered on Jennifer’s sister, Joyce. It has a “good girl gone bad” feel to it. I’m truly excited writing it! The Child of Grace Series center on God’s redeeming power of grace, told through the stories of these four siblings—Jennifer, Joyce, Matthew, and Charity, in that order.

What book/s are you reading at the present? On my desk I have “Called To Suffer” and “To Be Called A Friend”, both by Patricia Stuart; “The Movement of Crown Series” by Nadine C. Keels, “Love’s Promises” by Sandra Leesmith, and some others.

Explain a little about the Christian element of your book as it features quite heavily throughout, is it a main feature or is to make the reader think about their own faith? Both actually. My writing centers on my beliefs and faith. They can’t be taken out of it. So, yes, it is a main feature. But I also hope my readers will walk away with something valuable. I, myself, have benefited much from the works of other Christian authors. I’d like my books to have as much impact as well. You can find out about my story in this piece, “Why I Believe In Christian Fiction.”

Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character/s from your most recent ‘To Die Once’ book if it were made into a film? Hmm, still scanning my brain for an actor that would do Rodrigo justice. But I think Paula Patton would play Jennifer well.

And finally, any tips to get through the dreaded writer’s block? Ah! That. Well, it’s VERY important to have the general idea of your story sorted out so it’s a foundation you can build on. Make it clear to yourself what you want the expected end to be. That way when you’re stuck you can brainstorm for ideas that will develop the story towards that end. You don’t have to have all the details pinned down at first, just something you can work with. Eventually, as you develop the story, everything will be fleshed out—dialogue by dialogue, monologue by monologue, scene by scene, and so on. Understand, though, that the first draft of a manuscript merely lets you put together your scattered ideas so that the story has a direction. You know what you want and the general idea is clear to you at this point. Subsequent drafts let you flesh out your characters, clean up their dialogue/monologue, tidy the settings and other descriptions, and put your theme into better/sharper focus. When your brain is tired, let it rest for as long as it needs. If you’re sure of what you want but you’re having trouble putting it into words, use resources instead. The internet is great for this as it is a mega database for anything you want to find. I’ve used videos, pictures, scenery around me to help describe what I want when my mind was too foggy to do so itself. I’ve written several simple posts about it on my blog: How To Keep The Creative Juices Flowing.

How can you get involved?

  • You can follow the series right here: https://www.facebook.com/ToBeAPerson
  • Or if you are a tweeter you can follow the #ToDieOnce hashtag on twitter to follow the author and the influencer bloggers to keep up to date with the reviews!
  • Or if you are an avid pinner on Pinterest, readers can view the board set up for To Die Once here!

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