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Sep 13, 2011

Chatting to Joseph Rinaldo

Posted by Wendy Ewurum  |  at  9:31 PM

Today I have Joseph Rinaldo, author of S Spy At Home in the house. I reviewed his book a couple of weeks ago and you can find that review HERE. Joseph I am so please you could take time out of your busy schedule to answer my questions. Thank you.

Joseph your book is so well written that I was left to assume that you are an old pro at writing, but I had never heard of you before you introduced your book to me. Can you please tell me and others like me who you are? 
I am Joe Rinaldo, and I’ve written nine novels, one of which, A Spy At Home, is available on Amazon. By day I work as Credit and Financial Manager for a heating, ventilating, and air conditioning distributor; we sell to the guys that come to your house. When I first started writing, I thought being a numbers guy would make me an oddity as an author. That’s proved to be wrong. The more people I meet in this industry, the more I run across accountants and CFOs. Apparently, creativity infects a variety of people. Of course, I have the same dream as other writers. I hope my book sells a million copies and becomes a smash hit movie. Selling ebooks for about two bucks isn’t the get-rich-quick scheme I thought it was before being published. It’s been a lot of work.

A Spy At Home has a very believable storyline, almost real life characters, and socially relevant issues, such as Down syndrome and Alzheimer’s disease.  What inspired you to write A Spy At Home the way you did? 
Like Garrison, I have a child with Down syndrome. People with Down are living much longer than ever before, which means my daughter might outlive my wife and me. Who would take care of her as well as we do? This question haunts every parent with a dependent child. My wife wrote a short story based on this concern. I blatantly stole her idea and added a spy, stolen millions, a beach house on a Caribbean island…

How much of A Spy At Home is real and how much is fiction? 
Come on, you can’t really believe a guy who wrote a spy novel will answer that question! (mysterious....hmmm)

Was there anything specific you found challenging about writing A Spy At Home? 
This book forced me to think about my daughter getting older and what problems might await.

Did you learn anything from writing this book; what was it? 
Enjoy life at this moment, because we don’t know what’s coming.

Is Spy At Home your debut novel, if so - how has it been received?
This being my debut, I don’t have any point of reference to know how it’s being received. Being an unknown author makes getting the word out about my book exceptionally difficult. We are selling books, so I choose to see that as a very good sign!

I had a bit of a challenge pinning your book down to a genre because as a suspense thriller I thought that it needed a little more action, or as a memoir even though it feels like it, because it is fiction. So where do you see your writing? 
Authors who try to confine their books to a specific genre make their books too formulaic. Take for example romance novels. They all end with a tidy happy ending – not very suspenseful. Restricting oneself to a predetermined genre stifles creativity.  With that said the genre of my books is very hard to pin down. My wife and I have searched numerous times for standardized publishing industry definitions with no success. As silly as it may sound, especially for a person who wants to deal in words as a career, genres are hard to define. A Spy At Home could be considered contemporary fiction, mainstream (this sounds like a synonym for dull), thriller, suspense (what’s the difference between thriller and suspense? Shouldn’t you be thrilled reading a suspense novel, and shouldn’t you wonder what will happen next in thrillers?), drama (any book without intense turmoil probably won’t be worth reading), or adventure (my main character travels to another continent; that’s adventurous, right?). I honestly don’t know where my books fall in the narrow definitions of the publishing world; I do know I have tried to make the characters interesting and multi-faceted, moving through difficulties in their lives. (This is very true, especially w.r.t. trimming creativity down because of genre formula)

I went to your website and saw that you have two more books in the pipeline. What can we expect from those, and when will they be available? 
Hazardous Choices, has been professionally edited and will be released in the near future.  We’re waiting to release it until we’ve promoted A Spy At Home as fully as we can. Here’s Hazardous Choices in a nutshell:
After surviving life in a violent Chicago street-gang through his high school years, Darnell Jackson’s future appears promising. A football scholarship gives him the chance to escape the thug lifestyle.
During his first year in college Darnell safely resides in a small Kentucky town, playing Division Two college football and trying to make something of himself. Adjusting to the new surroundings proves tough, but a teammate and a girl give him hope that his future will be better than his past.
In the summer after his freshman year, he returns to the old neighborhood to be with his mother. The gang reasserts its hold on him, and the leader orders Darnell to kill a member of a rival gang. Nearly dying in a gang fight and mistakenly shooting the wrong rival gang member forces Darnell to re-evaluate his future. As a result, he lies to the mercurial leader of his gang.
When the head gangbanger learns of Darnell’s lie, the small Kentucky town isn’t so safe anymore.

I have seven more books waiting to be professionally edited and released. As we save the money for more editing, we’ll get the others done, too. At present I have three books floating around in my head but can’t find the time to write them. Hopefully, A Spy At Home will be made into a movie, and I’ll have a boat like Garrison’s where I can write all day long! ( I suspect that this is every writers dream and goal).

Where can we get your books? 
My website is; it contains a blurb about A Spy At Home and quotes from reviewers. There is information about me and my book on my Amazon page:, and my blog ( has an excerpt from A Spy At Home.
Once again, thanks for taking the time and I wish you every success in your writing career. And as for that yatch, it can't come soon enough.

About the Author

Most know me as the author to Fabulosity Reads and in actual fact, that is the previous name of this blog. I have since then moved my books to a Wordpress self-hosted blog so that I can have a place to show a different side of me which I am equally passionate about and that is marketing and personal development. I hope you will love being here, watching me grow as I share and learn. My highest hope is that we will grown and learn together in all disciplines affecting our lives. I'd LUUURRRVE to hear from you, so don't be shy...


  1. Great review. I loved your questions and enjoyed the author's responses. I'm putting this on my TBR just from the review.

  2. Thanks Dana. For your support and the compliment. I think he must be a great personality.

  3. Congrats on selling books, that's great. But as one writer to another, I read and write romance and did not appreciate the put-down. All the best!

  4. Oh I see your point Myne. Hmmm, yes from this perspective its not flattering at all. When I read it I was thinking of a discussion that once took place at Talli Rolands place about chic lit where writers felt that sometimes their books were "unfairly" defined as chic lit. While others of the same caliber would get slotted say in contemporary fiction genre. Who makes that distinction? But you are right, there are many facets to this because as a reader i'd be highly vexed if there was no happy ending to a love story. Its not always so but those books that don't almost swear you off that author.

  5. Great interview.

    I have a special needs child as well. Similar concerns are close to my heart.

    Sounds like exciting stuff to read. (=


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