Interview: James LePore

Today we are pleased to welcome James LePore to Rhodes Review. Mr. LePore’s latest Novels Gods & Fathers is available today at your bookstores or online.

Thank you for joining us Mr. LePore.

Rhodes Review: What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?

James LePore: I write every day in the morning for four or five hours.

Rhodes Review: What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

James LePore: I play golf, I read, I take walks with my wife.

Rhodes Review: What inspired you to write Gods and Fathers?

James LePore: I had been following the story of the Rafik Hariri assassination since it happened in 2005. My first instinct was that Syria was behind it, and that Iran was behind Syria, which was not unique to me. Almost everyone who follows Mideast politics reacted the same way. I remember wondering at the time if the UN commission appointed to investigate the assassination would have the courage to aggressively pursue it. I was then surprised, and disappointed, to see that Washington, in 2009, appointed an ambassador to Damascus, for the first time since we withdrew our embassy after the Hariri assassination in 2005. I then began seeing articles suggesting that the US might be offering Syria a get-out-of-jail-free card if it would help broker a peace between Israel and the Palestinians. This was the genesis of the political aspect of the plot of Gods and Fathers. (It turns out that the UN has indicted four memebers of Hezbollah, who take orders from Iran, in the Hariri case, an act of courage I did not see coming. This is still brewing, however, and God knows what will happen).

As to the personal story, the one involving Matt DeMarco and his son, Michael, my inspiration came, as always, from my great interest in the dynamics of family. I had not explored the father-son relationship in my prior work and felt it was time. Family pain can be very intense, but dealing with it is one of the fundamental ways in which we grow, or not grow, as human beings. When things got very difficult, both Matt and Michael had choices to make, choices that would determine the nature of their relationship for the rest of their lives. The real story of Gods and Fathers lies in how and why they chose the way they did.

Rhodes Review: What was your favorite part of Gods and Fathers?

James LePore: I liked writing the action scene involving Bill Crow in Stone Ridge, New York. And the scene toward the end between Matt and his ex-wife, Debra, in a restaurant, is one of my favorites.

Rhodes Review: What was the hardest part to write in Gods and Fathers?

James LePore: I have a hard time with love scenes. I hope I did okay with Matt and Jade.

Rhodes Review: How long does it take you to write a book?

James LePore: From the first word to my last look at the copyedited final version, one year.

Rhodes Review: What are your favorite authors/books?

James LePore: I am a big Hemingway fan and also love Alan Furst. I recommnend anything written by either of them.

Rhodes Review: Do you have any suggestions to help others become a better writer?

James LePore: Read the great novelists. Write every day. Find a professional editor whose criticism you know is right even though it hurts to hear it. Be ready to rewrite.

Mr. Lepore is currently on tour promoting his book Gods and Fathers.  Be sure and enter our giveaway for A World I Never Made another of his novels here. Also check out our review of Gods and Fathers here.

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2 Responses to “Interview: James LePore”

  1. Rhodes Review - Review Section Says:

    […] Fathers. As part of this tour, we present an interview with Mr. Lepore. You can read the interview here. You can also enter a giveaway to win a copy of Mr. LePore’s yet to be released A World I […]

  2. Francine Brandt Says:

    Very concise review, Rick. It really makes me want to read his work, and most importantly, you address writing, and how he handles his craft. Would never have thought of reading him before this!