Interview with Giacomo Giammatteo, author of "Murder Takes Time"



Giacomo GiammatteoAbout Giacomo Giammatteo

I live in Texas now, but I grew up in Cleland Heights, a mixed ethnic neighborhood in Wilmington, Delaware that sat on the fringes of the Italian, Irish and Polish neighborhoods. The main characters of Murder Takes Time grew up in Cleland Heights and many of the scenes in the book were taken from real-life experiences. Somehow I survived the transition to adulthood, but when my kids were young I left the Northeast and settled in Texas, where my wife suggested we get a few animals. I should have known better; we now have a full-blown animal sanctuary with rescues from all over. At last count we had 41 animals—12 dogs, a horse, a three-legged cat and 26 pigs. Oh, and one crazy—and very large—wild boar, who takes walks with me every day and happens to also be my best buddy. Since this is a bio some of you might wonder what I do. By day I am a headhunter, scouring the country for top talent to fill jobs in the biotech and medical device industry. In the evening I help my wife tend the animals, and at night—late at night—I turn into a writer. Go check out the website: www.giacomogiammatteo.com. Look around, click some links, and, if you’ve got time, tell me what you think. Contact me at jim@giacomogiammatteo.com.
What is your favorite quality about yourself? 

Optimism. My mother was the most optimistic person I have ever known. Absolutely nothing could keep that woman down. I guess some of it rubbed off on me, and I’m glad about that.

What is your least favorite quality about yourself? 

 Impatience. For a lot of things, I have all the patience in the world. Like for little kids, or people just learning. But for others, including myself, I don’t. I work on it, but as my wife would be happy to tell you, I’m nowhere close to getting there.

What is your favorite quote, by whom, and why? 

“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated” *Mahatma Gandhi

My wife and I run an animal sanctuary. We have 41 loving “friends,” and they are now our family. Our kids are grown, so we had to have something to spoil.

What are you most proud of accomplishing so far in your life? 

I hope you weren't expecting a lot about writing in these answers. If so you better ask some more. The thing I am most proud of is our marriage. My wife and I got married young. She was almost 17, and I had just turned 17. That was 43 years ago. And we’re still married–to each other!

How has your upbringing influenced your writing? 

I grew up in a large Italian-American family. We had lots of Irish mixed in with relatives too. The neighborhood itself was predominantly Italian, Irish and Polish, so there were big celebrations, and at all of them, lots of storytelling. I loved the storytelling and learned from the best ones. The big families also gave me a huge cast of characters to draw from, characters that I knew very well. I am constantly going back to that pool and picking up a character or two for each book I write. Of course it is probably also why my books tend to have a lot of Italians and Irish in them. Or Polish.

What inspires you to write and why? 

I love to share stories. When my kids were growing up, my wife was the one who read to them, all the time, every day. But when it came time to go to bed, I told them stories. I didn’t read them, I made them up, or told them mythology stories until they fell asleep.

What genre are you most comfortable writing?

I love writing mystery/thriller, but I also love fantasy, and I’m playing around with children’s books. For the mysteries I draw on my childhood, and growing up in the city. They tend to be gritty and filled with language of the streets. For the fantasies, I let my imagination run wild. I have three epic fantasies written and I don’t think there is a curse word in any of it. So it is very different writing, with a different voice.

What inspired you to write your first book? 

My son and I were reading books together—fantasy books—and then we would discuss them. We found ourselves constantly analyzing plot and character development and discussing what we would have done differently. So we both kind of agreed to try writing a fantasy novel. It started as more of a father/son project to get him interested in writing, and it ended up with me falling in love with writing.

What do you consider the most challenging about writing a novel, or about writing in general? 

I think it’s letting go of the emotions. I try to draw on real-life experiences for character emotions. Either mine, or someone close to me. It is often difficult to bring them out.

What is your greatest strength as a writer?

Storytelling. People tell me that I develop great characters, but I think that storytelling is it.

About Murder Takes Time

Print
A string of brutal murders has bodies piling up in Brooklyn, and Detective Frankie Donovan knows what is going on. Clues left at the crime scenes point to someone from the old neighborhood, and that isn't good. Frankie has taken two oaths in his life—the one he took to uphold the law when he became a cop, and the one he took with his two best friends when they were eight years old and inseparable. Those relationships have forced Frankie into many tough decisions, but now he faces the toughest one of his life; he has five murders to solve and one of those two friends is responsible. If Frankie lets him go, he breaks the oath he took as a cop and risks losing his job. But if he tries to bring him in, he breaks the oath he kept for twenty-five years—and risks losing his life. In the neighborhood where Frankie Donovan grew up, you never broke an oath.

~ ~ ~ iPad 3 GIVEAWAY ~ ~ ~

Pump Up Your Book and Giacomo Giammatteo are teaming up to give you a chance to win an iPad 3!

ipad

Here's how it works:

Each person will enter this giveaway by liking, following, subscribing and tweeting about this giveaway through the Rafflecopter form placed on blogs throughout the tour.  If your blog isn't set up to accept the form, we offer another way for you to participate by having people comment on your blog then directing them to where they can fill out the form to gain more entries. This iPad 2 promotion will run from June 18 - August 31. Winner will be chosen randomly by Rafflecopter, contacted by email and announced on September 1, 2012. Each blogger who participates in the Murder Takes Time virtual book tour is eligible to enter and win. Visit each blog stop below to gain more entries as the Rafflecopter widget will be placed on each blog for the duration of the tour. If you would like to participate, email Tracee at tgleichner(at)gmail.com. What a great way to not only win this fabulous prize, but to gain followers and comments too! Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

~ ~ ~ KINDLE FIRE GIVEAWAY ~ ~ ~

Pump Up Your Book and Giacomo Giammatteo are teaming up to give you a chance to win a Kindle Fire!

Kindle Fire

Here's how it works:

Each person will enter this giveaway by liking, following, subscribing and tweeting about this giveaway through the Rafflecopter form placed on blogs throughout the tour.  If your blog isn't set up to accept the form, we offer another way for you to participate by having people comment on your blog then directing them to where they can fill out the form to gain more entries. This Kindle Fire promotion will run from June 18 - August 31. Winner will be chosen randomly by Rafflecopter, contacted by email and announced on September 1, 2012. Each blogger who participates in the Murder Takes Time virtual book tour is eligible to enter and win. Visit each blog stop below to gain more entries as the Rafflecopter widget will be placed on each blog for the duration of the tour. If you would like to participate, email Tracee at tgleichner(at)gmail.com.  What a great way to not only win this fabulous prize, but to gain followers and comments too! Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

~ ~ ~WIN $50 GIFT CERTIFICATE ~ ~ ~

One lucky person who comments the most on the Murder Takes Time's blog stops will receive a $50 gift certificate.

If you would like to be a host, email Tracee at tgleichner (at) gmail.com.

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