1st Place...PSWA Best Fiction
DELIBERATE DECEPTION won top honors in the PSWA Writing Competition... the 1st Place prize was awarded to Joe Porrazzo at the PSWA annual Conference in Las Vegas on July 21st, 2019.
DELIBERATE DECEPTION was also selected as a finalist for a Gold, Silver or Bronze Medal by the Military Writers Society of America. Joe Porrazzo will receive the award at their annual awards banquet in Albuquerque on 14 Sep 2019.
Dec 14, 2018
This week, we’re talking with Joe Porrazzo about his new book, Deliberate Deception.
Tell us something unexpected about yourself!
I’m actually reincarnated…I was Alexander Hamilton in a former life. Not true…fiction…but definitely unexpected. Let’s see…I’m actually very much an introvert. I guess you have to be to lock yourself up in a room and make up stories. But my friends and coworkers would probably tell you something different.
Where did you get the inspiration for your current book?
To answer that question, I’d have to go back to the prequel, Solemnly Swear. It was intended to be a stand-alone novel inspired by John Grisham novels. But Alex Porter took on a persona of his own and readers asked for a sequel.
Because of the Mob, Alex couldn’t stay in New England so I brought him out here to Tucson. The plot for Deliberate Deception was inspired by a local raffle that I had entered. One day, I went online to see when the draw date was going to take place and came across a page that listed the raffle’s grand prize winners…BEFORE the winners were even drawn! But then the page disappeared and I was left wondering what I had just seen. So that was the catalyst to the book. But then tragedy struck.
I hadn’t planned on including the 2011 Tucson tragedy in my book. I started Deliberate Deception before the shooting took place. I was halfway through the plot when the story broke. I have a small TV on my desk and I monitored the story as I worked on the book. It was a few days later, when they announced President Obama was coming to Tucson, that it clicked and enhanced the plot.
I remember thinking, we just had a politician shot in the streets of Tucson; the authorities weren’t sure if it was politically motivated, or if the shooter was a nut job… but yet they were bringing the President of the United States to the memorial service. Still, it caused a lot of consternation for me. It was still too new, too fresh…too soon to write about the senseless tragedy. Almost eight years have passed now, I’m hoping that’s enough time to be able to use it in a fictional story.
What do you enjoy the most about your genre?
Where is the story heading? Because it’s never in a straight line to the ending. My goal is to keep readers guessing and involved in the story. I haven’t heard from one person who said they had guessed the ending of Solemnly Swear. I love plot twists. There are a few surprises in Deliberate Deception that hopefully the reader won’t see coming. I also use storylines straight out of the news to keep my fiction real. To see the story go all over the map and then intersect nicely in the end is very satisfying for a mystery writer.
How would you describe your writing process?
I think it’s very unconventional. I still work full-time for the Department of the Air Force. So I have to schedule a few hours a day…either early in the morning or in the evening. As far as the process goes, I usually think the whole plot through before starting to write it down. But when I do, I use an outline and I research as I go…but I usually don’t start until I have a beginning and an ending. Unlike most authors, I also like to create the book title up front. It’s the editing, publishing and marketing that is the tough part, and time drain.
What do you think authors have to gain from participating in social media?
Today, being an Indie and using social networking is amazing. The options were limited when I released Solemnly Swear in 2007. To now be able to use Facebook, Twitter, KDP, IngramSpark and all the Indie websites that are out there…it’s crazy. I’m still getting over the fact that I have an actual book trailer video.
What advice would you have for other writers?
Stay dedicated! Run through the tape! Don’t set the bar too low, you may trip over it!
The competition is rough, the work is hard, and you’re not gonna get rich. Do it for the love of the pen. But seriously, edit, edit, edit. I’m a true believer in subcontracting for developmental editing (I learned that from The Editorial Department in Tucson). Then follow that up with a line or copy edit (or both) and a professional proofread.
Listen to the experts. One of the book critics of Solemnly Swear gave an awesome review, but mentioned that my compositional style would have kept his attention at twice the page count (it was 254 pages). Be careful what you ask for…Deliberate Deception has 410 pages in the print copy that is due out soon…the current eBook has 408 pages.
The best advice I’ve ever heard is don’t give up your day job. I never heard that actually…I think I once said that to myself.
How do you select your books’ titles and covers?
That’s a great question. I usually design my own cover until the story is nearly finished and ready for a professional cover. I like to design it to represent the whole story but found that’s not a very good idea. I designed about four covers for Deliberate Deception and the final doesn’t mirror any of them. I found that my covers were giving away to much of the plot and in some cases providing spoilers.
Titles? Solemnly Swear, Deliberate Deception and Revenge Resurrected…I don’t know, but therapy will be involved.
What’s your next step?
I try to grow as a writer on each project. I learn from my feedback, book reviews and talking to other authors and editors. I believe that process paid off for Deliberate Deception…regardless of what happens, I’m really proud of my efforts and the finished product. But I’ll finish the Alex Porter trilogy (unless there are chants for more)…and then try my hand in other genres.
I’m working on a novella with my daughter called The Ghostwriter’s Wife. She was always into ghosts while growing up. I’ve also started the final Alex Porter novel, Revenge Resurrected, which I hope to have out sometime next year. And, oh yeah, “…there’s a million things I haven’t done…”
What book do you wish you had written?
That’s easy, 11-22-63. The book is awesome…I think I have the imagination for it, and every facet of the story fascinates me. I listen to it on audiobook like twice a year. Stephen King stole it from me in another life.
How do you react to seeing a new review for your book?
It’s great, it’s bad…it’s frustrating. Most people don’t understand the time, effort and expense that goes into putting a book and yourself out “there.” But I encourage folks to read my thoughts about reviews on my Amazon Author Central Page.
Connect with Joe Porrazzo:
Pretty-hot.com Interview: https://pretty-hot.com/joe-porrazzo-joe-porrazzo/
Smashwords Interview: https://www.smashwords.com/interview/Backbayzona
Smashwords profile page: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/Backbayzona