Rhodes Review: Who were some of your favorite characters in Murder Takes Time?
Giacomo Giammatteo: My favorite character was Nicky. I had the most difficult time writing him, which is probably why I liked him so much. After that, I think Mamma Rosa.
Rhodes Review: Which of your characters would you most/least to invite to dinner, and why?
Giacomo Giammatteo: Mamma Rosa because she cooks such magnificent meals. Johnny Much because he’d be frightening to have in your house. At any time, let alone dinner.
Rhodes Review: What would your ideal career be, if you couldn’t be an author?
Giacomo Giammatteo: An editor, but if we limit choices to something outside the publishing business, then I’d have to say something dealing with helping animals or kids.
Rhodes Review: When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
Giacomo Giammatteo: Not until late in life. When my youngest son was a teenager, we started reading fantasy books together. When we finished, we’d discuss them, talk about plots, characters, what we would have done differently. That led to us saying, “hey, we could write one of these.” And so we did, although being a teenager, he quit on me after we plotted out the first one. By then, though, I was hooked.
Rhodes Review: How long does it take you to write a book?
Giacomo Giammatteo: That’s a loaded question. I can usually write the first draft pretty fast. I did this book in two months. But…and this is the key, it takes a lot of time after the first draft to get it to the point where you say, “Okay, this is ready for publication.”
Rhodes Review: What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?
Giacomo Giammatteo: My days are hectic, and yet, organized. My wife and I have an animal sanctuary with 41 animals, so I get up early—6:30 or so—feed some of the animals, do some work with Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, etc… then go to work on my normal job. I take off in mid-afternoon to do the primary feeding of our animals, then back to work. I quit work around 6:00, go inside to eat, spend more time doing social media things, and then spend a few precious minutes with my wife. After she goes to bed, I write until late at night.
Rhodes Review: What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
Giacomo Giammatteo: If you mean writing process, it’s probably writing with loud music and several dogs beside me. If you mean regarding the books’ content, I’d say it would be that I put my animals in all my books. There is always a character/animal that is represented.
Rhodes Review: What are some of your favorite authors/books?
Giacomo Giammatteo: Favorite book of all time is The Count of Monte Cristo, by Alexandre Dumas. Modern day, I’d have to say Frank Hebert, author of Dune, and in the mystery category, John Sandford’s Prey novels.
Rhodes Review: I know you are bringing back Rat and Bugs in the next book, can you provide any details?
Giacomo Giammatteo: I’m not one to spoil things for readers. About all I can say is that it will be another dual plot line, and will take place in Brooklyn and Wilmington.
Rhodes Review: What were some writers who influenced you?
Giacomo Giammatteo: Dumas for his storytelling. Sandford for his brevity. Hebert for his meticulous attention to detail. I can’t compare to any of them, but I strive to get there.
Rhodes Review: What was your favorite part of the book?
Giacomo Giammatteo: When the kids were young. I loved writing that, mostly because the majority of it was real.
Rhodes Review: What was the hardest part to write in the book?
Giacomo Giammatteo: Some of the death scenes. I don’t mean the murders, but the ones where the good guys died. I had to dig deep for those emotions, and it took more than I thought it would.
Rhodes Review: What do you wish was different about the book?
Giacomo Giammatteo: This is a difficult question because I don’t want to sound like an ass, but I really am happy with the book. I don’t think I’d change it.