Today we feature the debonair Jim (Giacomo) Giammatteo, author of two murder mystery thrillers – Murder Takes Time and A Bullet For Carlos. Thank you for talking to us, Jim!
I was a bit worried when Jim’s bio
said he was a ‘headhunter’ especially given what he writes, but not to worry, it wasn’t that kind of headhunter. Jim lives with his wife in Texas, where they run an animal sanctuary. Check out the wonderful picture on Face Book of Jim’s buddy, a huge wild boar called Dennis.
Since the purpose of these interviews has been to focus on the publishing industry, can you tell readers why you chose to ‘go it alone’ and not take the traditional route?
GG: “going it alone” wasn’t my initial plan. For two years I submitted to agents and publishers, and was rejected 103 times. Finally I decided to publish the books myself.
I’ve read rave reviews for your work. Why do you think you’ve been so successful where other authors haven’t?
GG: I think any author who puts together a book is successful. As you know it takes a lot to do that. As to why readers seem to like my books, it’s always a combination of factors, but I think the character depth is one of those factors.
In this changing industry, why are numbers so important? Both Good Reads and Amazon seem to focus on the number of reviews, the ‘stats’ if you like, to gauge an author’s success. How do you feel about this trend?
GG: In some ways I don’t like where the business is heading re: reviews, and in other ways, I see it as perhaps one of the only ways for independent authors to compete with large advertising budgets of the big publishing companies and authors who are established already. One thing that irks me is how Goodreads allows reviewers to simply apply a ‘rating’ without an explanation of why it was rated that way. It tells a reader absolutely nothing. I could go on for days about the problems with the review systems, but for now it’s all we have.
Many authors seem to come screaming and kicking to the whole idea of social media and the interaction. They would far rather just be writing. How much does promotion and marketing take up your time when you’d rather be writing the next novel? Do you resent that time or do you really enjoy the interaction?
GG: I was/am one of those authors you’re talking about. When I launched MTT last April, I had no Twitter account and maybe a dozen friends on Facebook. That was the extent of my social media. I still don’t care for it. I would much rather be writing, and the social media takes up too many hours per week.
Could you give us some of your own thoughts on the industry today and how it led you to your own particular path through it?
GG: I see the publishing industry today much like the dotcom industry was 20 years ago—filled with opportunity and pitfalls. The two biggest challenges, though, are still the same: write books that readers will love, and find a way to gain visibility.
I’ve just finished A Bullet For Carlos. One of the things I noticed was how error-free the story was, not only the format but in grammar and punctuation. Typos were clearly absent, the plot tight, and the story flowing. Writers understand the importance of this so that a reader never has a chance to jump out of the story in disgust. Do you think this is a failing with many published stories today?
GG: I’m a little obsessive about mistakes, but yes, I think it is a huge problem. And not just with independent authors. I recently finished a book by one of the big six/five publishers and it had 7 major errors in it. (yes, I did count them)There is no excuse for that.
Jim, tell us a bit about your novels. A Bullet For Carlos contains mobsters, violence, a serial killer, good cops, bad cops and not to mention three adorable dogs. Do you find it takes you out of your box to write about murders? And if that is so, do you think that makes you a stronger writer?
GG: I don’t think it takes me out of my box. It’s no different than if a SciFi or Fantasy writer is describing a new world or some magic power. I base all writing on characters and story. The characters and the way they would respond to situations are the same regardless of the story; the story only dictates the situations.
I see on your website that you plan more novels in the same world. Is this something you’ve been planning for a long time?
GG: When I decided to write mysteries/thrillers, I knew I didn’t want to get ‘stuck’ in a series. I have seen too many writers start off a series and then have a difficult time branching out from that. I decided to create three different series. So my first novel, Murder Takes Time, is the first book in the Friendship & Honor series, and, as the name suggests, the theme is friendship and honor, but it is presented in a very different light. The sequel to MTT, Murder Has Consequences, will be launched in late February or early March.
A Bullet For Carlos is the first book in the Blood Flows South series, featuring two different detectives and a completely different theme. The theme relates to family but again from a completely different perspective.
My third series is the Redemption series and the first book is Old Wounds. It is based in Houston, TX, and features yet another detective and yet another theme.
Care to tell us about your next project?
GG: I always have numerous projects going on, but the next release is scheduled for late February or early March. It is the sequel to MTT, and is titled, Murder Has Consequences. I’m also putting the finishing touches on a novella that depicts the early life of Dominic Mangini, a secondary character from A Bullet For Carlos.
Giacomo Giammatteo can be found at:
Jim’s novels can be found at:
Have a great day, Giacomo
Giacomo (Jim) Giammatteo
Murder Takes Time
A Bullet For Carlos
Website: Giacomo Giammatteo
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“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated” Mahatma Gandhi