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 emjoyed 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 second novel, The Big Wide Calm, which will be published on 2014.
Your real name and pen name?
Please share some of the best memories of your childhood
In the summer, my family went to the New Jersey shore to vacation for two weeks. While there, my father and I would tie chicken wing to the end of a string and go crabbing. I remember one time we caught about a hundred crabs, and immediately took them to my grandmothers house to be cooked. Then the whole family sat around the kitchen table with all the crabs piled high on the table within easy reach, and we feasted.
About your education
I have a business degree, an electrical engineering degree, and a Masters in Computer Science.
What career did you plan during your education days
High Technology executive which is what I ended-up doing for a time.
What languages you can speak and write?
What is your biggest source of inspiration in life.
My family, both biological and chosen.
What hurts you most in this world:
There is a great deal of suffering, much of it unnecessary.
What is the biggest challenge you have faced? How did you overcome it?
I went through sudden loss of loved ones a few times. With a lot of help, I was able to grieve and move on.
If you had to live a day of your life as one of the living or dead personality, who would it be and why? John Lennon. I think he's the greatest songwriter and musician of the last fifty years.
What is your favorite genre and why?
I like literary fiction, mostly because of the depth of the characters and the stylistic experimentation that goes on in those novels.
When did you start writing? What is the purpose of your writing?
I've been writing all my life- poetry, music, fiction. The last three years I've really dedicated myself to being a novelist. I'm hoping my novels in some small way connect with people and the characters or story lines help them look at the world from a slightly different vantage point.
Which of your work has been published so far? Would you like to share a synopsis of your work?
I'm in the middle of writing three novels about different kinds of love. The first, The Color of Home, was published in December of 2013 by Langdon Street Press.
What are your forthcoming writings?
My second novel, The Big Wide Calm, will be published on July 15th of 2014.
My third novel, The Beauty of the Fall, will be published sometime in 2015. Both by Langdon Street Press.
What are your future plans?
I plan to write for the rest of my life. I'm about 100 pages into The Beauty of the Fall. Once that's done I'll start on my next book. I have a million ideas.
What four top most things you take care of while writing a book?
I spend a lot of time on the voice of the main characters, on making the language poetic where appropriate, on going as deep emotionally as possible with the main characters, and on storytelling.
How much real life goes into a fiction writing?
I use very little from real life. A snippet here or there that might work with a character, or a place I've visited that seems right. Mostly, I start with the character and the voice. Once I've got that down, it's much easier to see what snippets to use given the character and the story. I also invent a lot as the story unfolds, which is probably my favorite part of the process.
Is high level of imagination important to have for an Author?
For me, it's essential.
Your dream destination on Earth?
I love Italy. I could live in almost any city in that country.
Your origin of birth and other countries you have visited/ stayed. What best things you liked in these countries around the globe?
I was born in Newark New Jersey, in the United States. Due to my technology jobs over the years, I've been to just about every country in the world. I love the people and culture in each country the best. There's so much diversity across the globe. I'm really fortunate that I've been able to experience a lot of it first hand.
Your favorite time of the day?
Morning. I write every morning starting at 5:30 and I love the silence.
Your zodiac/ sunsign?
Your favorite color and why?
Blue. I have no idea why. :-)
Your favorite book and why?
Gravity's Rainbow. I love everything Pynchon has written.
Your favorite celebrity and why?
The Dalai Lama. I'm a Buddhist.