Thursday, October 11, 2018

Interview with writer Joe Albanese

Writer Joe Albanese is in the hot seat today to chat with me about his new crime-comedy, Caina.

Joe Albanese is a writer from South Jersey. His short fiction, nonfiction, and poetry can be found in publications across the United States and in ten other countries. Joe is the author of Caina and Smash and Grab.

Welcome, Joe. Please tell us about your current release.
Caina is a crime comedy about a small-time criminal, who in order to escape debts to multiple gangs, assumes the identity of his successful twin brother, only to find himself involved with the mob, the DEA, and a drone delivery company.

What inspired you to write this book?
A lot of it comes from my relationship with my older brother growing up. We aren’t twins like the characters in the book, but we are only a year apart. So I had teachers a year after him and they'd always accidentally call me by his name. I got tired of correcting them all, so eventually I just started answering to it. He was always more likable than me. He was definitely more attractive, had more friends, was smarter, more social… he was a bit of an asshole too. Our relationship is good now, but growing up I kind of hated him.

What exciting story are you working on next?
I recently got a publishing offer on a novella I wrote. Unfortunately, I’ve been dealing with peaks in my anxiety and depression from coming off another medication that did not help, so I turned it down since I’m not in a good enough place mentally to make the book as successful as possible. The money to stress ratio is not worth it right now. It was probably a bad decision because I know how hard it is to find someone who wants to invest in your work, and I was running out of publishers to submit it to, so turning it down burned that final bridge, at least for that story.

About a month ago, I finished the final touches on another crime novel, which is the longest thing I’ve written so far. I submitted it to several publishers, but for the same reason, will probably not be able to accept any offer to publish (should I get one).

If I get another idea for a book I want to write, I probably will. I don’t know if I’ll want to try getting it published, but who knows? Maybe one day.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Either when I got my first story published in a magazine, when I got my first check, or when I started hating more successful writers.

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
I used to write full-time. Now it’s more on and off. When I did, I was on that depressing writer’s schedule where I slept all day and wrote all night to avoid distractions. Currently I’m in a re-evaluation stage of life and trying to find a more traditional job to pay the bills. Unless this book really takes off and I become financially secure. Then I can go back to being a full-time writer.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I think most writers are really professional procrastinators, so I’m probably not alone in this, but I always do whatever I can to avoid that initial step of sitting down at the computer to write. “How can I write when there are dirty dishes in the sink?” “I think the smell of brownies in the oven would really get the creative juices flowing.” I get so many more chores done when I’m writing than I’m when I’m not.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
In high school I wanted to be a journalist. Then I took a class and hated it. I got my degree in Criminal Justice, which may be why most of my stories have a criminal element to them. I went to college to be a cop, but I lost interest and didn’t like the idea of enforcing laws I disagreed with.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
You can follow me on Twitter @JoeAlba88. I’m not too active and don’t get political, but I share updates and post my poetry that I get published online.


Thanks for being here today, Joe! Happy writing.

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