Author Richard Marcello joins us today for our Author Spotlight Series with his second book The Big Wide Calm and shares the very personal story that led him to his creative pursuits.
Richard Marcello has had a passion for music and writing from a very young age. He pursued those passions until he graduated from college and put them aside as he became more successful in the corporate world.
He eventually left the corporate world to become a writer full time, authoring his first book ‘The Color of Home’.
Richard joins us today for our Author Spotlight Series with his second book The Big Wide Calm which he describes as a ‘millennial coming-of-age-story’ and shares with us the very personal story that led him to his creative pursuits.
An Interview w/Author Richard Marcello
Rich, you have such an interesting background of being a musician, songwriter and author. Can you share more information about how you developed all three talents?
Music came first, and was the result of a tragedy. When I was twelve, my father died suddenly and violently. I was with him at the time and blamed myself for his death. One of the main ways I grieved his loss was through music.
I taught myself to play guitar and piano shortly after he died, and I’ve been playing ever since. I remember spending whole days learning songs by ear at a piano or playing guitar until my finger blisters wouldn’t allow me to continue.
The writing started when I was in college. I had a professor who saw potential in my writing and offered to teach me how to write novels. I was broke at the time, so I opted to make some money instead. But I continued to write on the side, and about four years ago I left corporate America to write full time.
Who is your favorite author ?
Milan Kundera. I love The Unbearable Lightness of Being in particular. It’s a great book about ideas that’s also an unusual love story.
What books have influenced your life most?
Anything by Milan Kundera, Mark Spencer, James Joyce, Thomas Pynchon, and Kurt Vonnegut.
What inspired you to write The Big Wide Calm?
About four years ago I got an idea to write three different novels about everything I believe about love. The first, The Color of Home, was published in 2013 by Langdon Street Press. The third, The Beauty of the Fall, will be published in 2015/2016. The Big Wide Calm is the second of three. It’s a millennial coming of age story where the heroine, a twenty-five year old singer-songwriter named Paige Plant, learns to truly and deeply love platonically.
What was the process like writing this book? How was it different than writing your first book, The Color of Home?
I was very fast. I caught a wave and wrote the first pass in three months. Then I spend the next year editing the book and refining it. I’ve learned enough about writing songs or novels or poems, that I know waves like that are rare.
When a wave comes, it’s best to drop everything and ride it to its conclusion. During those three months, all I did each day was write. It’s almost like I was channeling some divine gift and my job was to get it down on paper.
I’m really proud of how it turned out. The Color of Home was much slower. There I was trying to write down everything I believed about romantic love, so there was a fair bit of honing down what I believed and letting it sit for awhile before I committed it to paper.
Describe your book in 30 words or less
Paige Plant is a singer-songwriter struggling to write and record her debut album.
When John Bustin, a former semi-famous singer/songwriter offers to record Paige’s album for free, it feels like destiny.
Paige sets off to John’s recording compound, ready to unfold her future. During the course of the next year, Paige, a big dreamer but naïve about her footing in life, grows a great deal and learns what it means to create multi-generational art.
Why the title, The Big Wide Calm?
I believe there’s infinite well of creativity, of energy, that we all have the ability to tap. That’s what I call The Big Wide Calm. There are many ways into it – almost any emotion can get you there if you learn to go into feeling. With that said, humans have a hard time finding TWBC.
Actually, probably for fear-based reasons, they do everything they can to avoid it. During the course of the story, Paige slowly learns how to tap into The Big Wide Calm, how to use flip negative energy to a positive and use it as a way in. My hope is that readers will resonate with what she goes through, and in some small way, the book will help them take their own step toward The Big Wide Calm.
Why should we read it?
My hope is that in some small way readers will enter into a relationship with Paige and John and learn a little bit about themselves as they witness the story unfold.
Where can we go to buy your book and receive updates on any upcoming releases and book tours?
A good place to start is my website, richmarcello.com