Sunday, October 2, 2011

Up Close & Personal with Author - Joseph M. Rinaldo for A Spy At Home

Where were you born and where do you call home?
Born in Danville, Illinois, grew up in Owensboro, Kentucky, now
residing just outside of Nashville, Tennessee.

What is the name of your most recent book and if you had to sum it up

in 30 or less words, what would you say?
A Spy At Home. A thriller with a heart.

If you gave some of your characters an opportunity to speak for

themselves, what would they say?
“Buy the book!” Seriously, though, I think they’d say “Please don’t
judge me until you know the whole story.”

Do you have plans for a new book?

Yes, my new ebook, Hazardous Choices, will be released within the month.

Is this book part of a series?


What or who inspired you to write? I was reading Three Weeks with My

Brother by Nicholas Sparks. At the point where he told of getting a
one million dollar advance I knew I had to try this writing game.
That’s an excellent book, but I knew I could write that well.

Would you like to give away a copy of your book on this blog? Yes, I

would be happy to participate in a giveaway.

How did you come up with the title and cover design? When I write a

novel (I have eight more waiting in the wings to be released), I
usually just throw around a few titles I think are fitting, and my
wife comments on them. I usually reach a decision early in the process
of writing the book, if not before. I hired a website consultant to
create the cover design, and I think he did a wonderful job.

Have you based any of your characters on someone you know, or real

events in your own life? I am the proud father of an adult daughter
with Down syndrome; I based the character of Noah, the protagonist’s
son, on her.

What books have most influenced your writing most and why? I don’t

know that any books have really influenced my writing; my style and
tone are unique to me – however, I have been very impressed with some
books that I’ve read, and my desire is to be the best writer I can be.

Is there an Author that you would really like to meet? Gillian Flynn,

who wrote Sharp Objects. That is a perfect book, and I enjoyed it

Do you prefer ebooks, paperbacks or hardcover? I am the proud owner of

a Kindle, and I write books that will become ebooks, so of course I
have to say ebooks!

Where do you prefer to buy your books? Amazon; it’s so convenient to

buy and download that fast.

Are you a self-published (Indie) Author? I am. I self-published A Spy

At Home using Amazon’s KDP program, and one thing I have learned from
that experience is that a writer needs an objective editor to read his
book before it’s released.

Have you ever read a book more than once? Nope. Too many books, too little time.

What book are you currently reading and in what format

(ebook/paperback/hardcover)? I am currently reading Portrait of a
Monster, by Lisa Pulitzer and Cole Thompson. The book is about Joran
Van Der Sloot and the Natalee Holloway case. It’s a hardback book my
wife recommended to me. She is still “hooked” on physical books for
the most part.

What book do you know that you will never read? Gone With the Wind.

Saw the movie and was not impressed. If I’m going to invest that much
time in a book that long, I’d rather read one that has NOT yet been
made into a film.

Is there anything you would change in your last book and why? No. I

was pretty well satisfied with it.

Who designed the cover of your book? I hired a web consultant to

design it for me. I came up with one on my own, but it wasn’t anywhere
near as good as what he designed.

Do you have a book trailer? No

What are your thoughts on book trailers? Don’t know. Seems like a lot

of work for something you post on your web site or YouTube.

Do you have any advice for other writers? Yes; completely ignore the

advice of other writers. No, seriously, my only advice would be to
ignore “write what you know”. That puts limits on your creativity that
don’t need to be there.

What is the best advice that you have ever been given when it comes to

writing? Get a professional editor to edit your manuscript. You can’t
rely on your own eyes, and a loved one or friend cannot be objective.

Do you write under a pen name? No

Do you ever write in your PJ’s? Geez, a little too personal, I think. 

What are your pet peeves? There are many; most recently, I had a

run-in with someone’s pit bull that they were letting run loose, so I
guess it would be careless dog owners.

Cats or dogs? Cats, definitely. We have two: a 20-pound tiger tabby,

and a 10-pound calico.

White wine or red? Neither. Don’t drink.

Coffee or tea? Sweet tea.

Favorite food? Chocolate

Vanilla or chocolate ice cream? See answer above

What do you normally eat for breakfast? Don’t eat breakfast.

What are 4 things you never leave home without? Cell phone,

sunglasses, something to read, and the love of my family!

Laptop or desktop for writing? Definitely laptop – way more comfortable

Where and when do you prefer to do your writing? Not by choice, but

because I work full-time, I mostly write at home in the evenings and
on weekends.

If you were deserted on an island, who are 3 famous people you would

want with you?
I don’t care, as long as one of them knows how to build a boat!

One of your favorite quotes – “All things in moderation.” This is my

favorite because most people don’t get that it’s a joke! It was said
by a Roman comedic playwright as a joke, and apparently no one but me
gets that.

List 3 of your all-time favorite books? Sharp Objects, The DaVinci

Code, The Count of Monte Cristo

List 3 of your all-time favorite movies? Star Wars (all of them), Pulp

Fiction, Shawshank Redemption

What is a movie or TV show that you watched recently and really

enjoyed? Documentary about PTSD in soldiers returning from Iraq and

Where can your readers stalk you?

My blog:
My Facebook page:
My Goodreads author page:
Twitter: @jmrinaldo
Is your book in Print, ebook or both? At this time, only in ebook format.

About the Book : 
A retired CIA operative comes to believe he wasted his professional life not only promoting questionable American policies, but missing life with his family. To ease the pain he diverts millions that the CIA expected him to use funding a coup attempt that would establish a pro-American government in an African country. Seeing the coup would fail, Garrison decides to save the money for himself. You, the reader, can decide if he's a villain with evil intent, a hero with altruistic motives, or a regular guy sick of working for peanuts in a dangerous environment. 

Back at home he and his wife look forward to their golden years being luxuriously comfortable and opulently relaxed. Unfortunately, after his wife dies in a tragic accident, he must learn all that she knew about caring for Noah, their mentally retarded son. After a life of planning for contingencies, the former spy must deal with the possibility that he may die before his son. Who will care for the son when the dad spent a life out of the country and now has no one to lean on?


  1. Author looking for reviews - please leave a comment. Patti

  2. Awesome, fun interview! Thank you so much, Patti!
    All comments welcome!


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