New Interview about TBOTF

https://sandraely770.wordpress.com/2016/12/21/445/

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Rich Marcello, author of “The Beauty of the Fall”, has invited you to get to know him a little bit better. Find out a bit about him as he answers just a few questions, and make sure to follow him on social media!

Have there been any authors who have influenced your work? If so, who?

I love the work of Milan Kundera, Don Delillo, Alice Walker, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and Adam Haslett, to name a few.

Out of all the characters you’ve written, who is your favorite? Why?

Dan Underlight, in The Beauty of the Fall, is my favorite because he’s so complex. As a writer, I’m trying to go deeper and deeper into the soul of each of my characters, and so I focus a lot of my effort on their inner lives. In TBOTF, I spent most of my time on Dan. I wrote him over and over until I understood his grief at some deep non-verbal level. That’s when he came into focus.

Are there any types of scenes you find more difficult to write? Which ones and why.

When I started writing, it was more difficult for me to write female characters well, especially when the scene was from their POV. But I’ve spent a lot of time working to improve my craft in that area, and now, I’m really proud of the female characters in my novels. I’m particularly fond of Willow in TBOTF and Paige Plant in The Big Wide Calm.

What would you say the most rewarding part of being an author is?

The most rewarding part of being an author is when a reader writes me or tells me that one of my novels or characters resonated in some way that made a positive difference in her life. My hope is that my novels, in some small way, connect folks more to themselves and the world, and so, when it happens, it truly is rewarding.

What advice do you have for authors just starting out in their journey?

To write your first draft of each scene quickly so you fully capture the intended emotion. After that, edit over and over again until the scene is fully realized. In my fiction class, I like to tell students to rewrite a scene five times before they workshop it. That seems to work pretty well.

Do you have a writing ritual? If so, please explain.

I write seven days a week first thing in the morning for about five hours. I’m a big believer in going from one kind of dream time ( sleeping) to another ( writing fiction). I seem to do my best work this way.

Was being an author something you always wanted to do?

I’ve been writing all of my adult life, but only full-time for the last six years. In college, I had a chance to be mentored by a novelist in residence, but I was broke and needed to make money for a time. So when I graduated, I did. Throughout those years, I kept writing––mostly songs and poetry––but I always knew I would come back to writing novels. Hopefully, I’ll get ten or so of them out into the world before I’m done.

If you could have a conversation with any one person, alive or dead, who would it be and why?

I’ll pick two. I’d love to talk with John Lennon about music and the current state of the world, and I’d like to talk with Dalai Lama about love and kindness.

Would you care to provide an excerpt from one of your books as a sample of your work?

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Read more at this link:   https://sandraely770.wordpress.com/2016/12/21/445/

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Barb Taub ~ Writing & Coffee. Especially coffee review of The Beauty of the Fall

Tiger Riding #BookReview The Beauty of the Fall by @marcellor #RBRT

#BookReview The Beauty of the Fall by @marcellor #RBRT

 Title: There Was a Young Lady of the NigerÉ Text: "There Was a Young Lady of the Niger, Who Smiled as She Rode on a Tiger, They Returned from the Ride with the Lady Inside, And the Smile on the Face of the Tiger.Ó Details: Signed and dated, ÒTh: Nast. 1888.Ó Artist: Thomas Nast Medium: Original drawing for ÒHarperÕs WeeklyÓ Image size: 10 x 8 1/4 inches Date: 1888 [image credit: The Phyllis Lucas Gallery] http://www.phyllislucasgallery.com/thwasyolaofn.html

“One may ride upon a tiger’s back but it is fatal to dismount.”—Ernest Bramah

Ride the tiger. That’s what we used to call working for a technology startup. It was a little like a gambling addiction. Objectively we knew the odds were against us. But we weren’t objective. We gave up sleep and personal lives (and occasionally basic hygiene) to stay on that tiger’s back. Our employee number—who was hired first, who had the best stock options, the most first-name access to the c’founders—was mentally tattooed across our brain, and haunted our dreams of the holy grail, the IPO.

I know, I know… and I have the (worthless) stock options to prove it. I know other serial-startup veterans who have papered their bathrooms with their old options. But like any gambler, we also knew the next Next Thing could be the one. And now and then, it even worked. Sort of. I never became a software millionaire, not even close. But I did get the occasional nice payout that bought a car or kitchen remodel.

 

Read more on the website…..

Tiger Riding #BookReview The Beauty of the Fall by @marcellor #RBRT

 

Midwest Book Review of TBOTF

http://www.midwestbookreview.com/rbw/dec_16.htm#sloan

Good news. Don Sloan’s review of TBOTF was published in the prestigious Midwest Book Review.

 

The Beauty of the Fall
Rich Marcello
Langdon Street Press
322 1st Ave N, Suite 500, Minneapolis, MN 55401
http://www.langdonstreetpress.com
ISBN: 9781635054026, $16.95, 378 pp.
ASIN: B01MFCTYYW, $9.99, 283 pp., http://www.amazon.com

Ten-year-old Zackery Underlight is dead. His father Dan, however, is just learning to live again.

There is a certain haunting lyricism to this remarkable book about a father coming to grips with the death of his only son — a death he feels he caused. There’s also a tortured search for self-renewal and forgiveness that extends far beyond the natural grieving of a parent for his child.

Other recent losses for Dan include a failed marriage and the sudden evaporation of his high-powered, high-tech job — the one that consumed so much of the time he now feels he should have spent with Zack.

On the one hand, he feels keenly the unfocused anger and seeming senselessness of his situation. But, on the other, he feels the need to harness and channel his rage and guilt into something constructive and therapeutic.

So, improbably, he begins an offbeat pilgrimage across America, covering twelve thousand miles, thirty-two states — and 234 Fortune 500 companies. His goal: to construct a Lilliputian pyramid of small stones on the campus of every corporate giant across the nation.

If this sounds strange, it somehow makes perfect sense in the context of this masterfully written book. Dan is searching for something intangible as he pursues his odd quest. At one point prior to beginning, he ponders to himself:

“How can I extract meaning from the universe when loss and betrayal have corroded and burnt my cherished memories? How can I reconstitute after being charred and dissolved?”

It’s a fair question about the vagaries of the cosmos, and, as he brings his odyssey to an abrupt halt just off I-5 in California — the result of being robbed by a hitchhiker — he decides to turn his energy in a new direction: the startup of his own tiny technology firm.

ConversationWorks, or “CW,” takes off like a bullet shot into cyberspace. It’s a brand-new social media app that places far-flung parties in a series of virtual conference rooms to find solutions to weighty problems facing the world.

At least that’s the idealistic objective. Here’s Dan’s overarching vision of the singular, groundbreaking concept:

“ConversationWorks is a local problem-solving network with global scale. It’s software that allows small group conversation to scale all the way from coffeehouses, to towns, to cities, to the world, with the primary goal of collectively working on problems that matter to its users.”

It is, effectively, a technology platform where “conversations are active and focused on solving problems instead of socializing.”

So, imagine Twitter without the interaction-limiting, forced brevity; Facebook without the memes and cute kittens. Instead, there is substantive dialogue and meaningful social change through consensus and aggregated resolve.

The software and revolutionary VR hardware that make it work, however, are quickly subverted by early adopters to far less noble notions — such as ordinary business teleconferencing, family-to-family interactions, virtual blind dates, and even pornography (which the team quickly bans).

And through it all — the eager market acceptance, the explosive worldwide growth — Dan is still filled with relational angst.

He parts ways with gentle Willow, his first companion since he and his wife split up. He clings desperately to his core development team at CW. And he increasingly has extended conversations with his dead son — full-blown, holographic encounters in which a now-teen-aged Zack gives his father sage advice on his day-to-day decisions.

And there are other, darker rituals into which Dan drifts, seeking solace in a self-imposed purgatory amidst universal acclaim for his world-changing creation.

These carefully paced reveals of a deeply conflicted character — coupled with a fascinating glimpse into how high-tech start-ups are born — make this one of the year’s best works of literary fiction.

Its rich depth, satisfying substance, and willingness to examine key social issues such as global warming and battered women, force the reader to confront the truly inconvenient truths all around us while remaining invested in the story’s key players.

Indeed, the book strikes a beautiful balance between detailed, fact-filled exposition and the need to drive the central storyline forward — often with compellingly evocative prose and poetry:

“Against my cheek, her shawl smells like freshly woven wool on a cold fall day and feels like a refuge after too many unkind nights.”

And, this, upon hearing of Zack’s death:

“Ghosts pass through me like dry ice, drain whatever life energy exists.”

And, finally, this, after a boardroom showdown with Dan’s former boss:

“Olivia smiles as if the blood is already on her teeth.”

So much good imagery en route to a satisfying conclusion.

This is a rare read, and one to be savored, especially now, when seeking respite from the current worries of an uncertain national — and international — future. It’s good tonic for the soul; a restorative tale of perseverance against tall odds.

Five-plus stars to Beauty of the Fall. From start to finish, it never disappoints.

Don Sloan, Reviewer
Publishers Daily Reviews