Novelist. Songwriter. Poet. Previously dabbled in high technology. Rich Marcello hopes to join the NBA and learn to dance in the next decade. Meanwhile he writes novels. His second book The Big Wide Calm was published a few weeks ago.
But who exactly is Rich Marcello?
Ha, that’s a good question. I guess when you boil it down, I’m trying to live my life in a way where kindness, compassion, and love govern my relationships. Some days I’m better at it than others, so I keep practicing. Beyond that, I work as a writer, a poet, and a musician, and I like dogs. I have two Newfoundlands – Ani and Shaman.
How did you decide to pursue a writing career?
A number of years ago, I decided to write down everything I believe about love—romantic love, platonic love, and love in a broader community. I’m in the process of writing three novels about these different kinds of love. The Big Wide Calm was just published in July of 2014 by Langdon Street Press. The first, The Color of Home, was published in 2013, and the third, The Beauty of the Fall, will be published in 2015. Thematically, even though there are different characters in each novel, they are tied together by struggling to truly and deeply learn to love, even when their histories or current obstacles conspire against them.
Was getting published hard?
It took time and effort. Along the way, I learned to accept that rejection was the norm in this business. Then several years ago I started working with Langdon Street Press. They’ve been great and that’s made all the difference on these three novels.
Are your characters based on people you know?
What genre is your books?
The Big Wide Calm is literary, millennial coming-of-age fiction. Millennial in the sense, that the heroine of The Big Wide Calm, Paige Plant, is a little older (25) than most coming-of-age heroines. Literary in the sense that it deals with a number of philosophical and existential topics. The Color of Home was also literary fiction.
Which of your books is your most favourite?
I’m really equally proud of both of them. Like most writers I know, I could tinker with a book forever. With that said, with both The Big Wide Calm and The Color of Home, I reached a point where I felt the book was done and I let it go. There’s something about letting a piece of art go that is relational. By that I mean the best novels, in my opinion, have the ability to invoke an emotional reaction in a reader that is unique, that is relational. In that sense, even when someone doesn’t like one of my books, as long as they have some emotional reaction to it, I feel it’s serving its purpose.
Do you have a specific writing routine?
I’m a big believer in writing in the morning, and in a way, going from one kind of dreaming (sleep) directly to another (writing fiction). My best writing comes from that dream-like place where I totally inhabit a character and write from their point-of-view. I tend to write five or six hours each day.
What are your current projects?
I’m working on my third novel, The Beauty of the Fall, which will be published in 2015. Beyond that, I have a good ten novels in me. I plan to write for the rest of my life.
If Rich Marcello could choose only one creative mentor, he’d give the role to Jonathan Richmond and the Modern Lovers. This is not only because he currently resides in New England, where Jonathan started, but because of his life as a contemporary fiction author, poet and songwriter, whose literary inspiration often stems from songs he’s written. Rich grew up in New Jersey surrounded by song and word.
For a while it seemed right to travel the musician’s path, especially during his stint in his college folk group, at The University of Notre Dame, where he wrote and recorded his first original songs. But, as is true for many musicians, graduation led him down a different road, one on which he found his love for high technology. There, he enjoyed a successful career as a technology executive, managing several multi-billion dollar businesses for Fortune 500 companies.
During his time in technology he never stopped creating art, and eventually his love for song and the written word grew to the point where he walked away from his first career to pursue poetry, song, and fiction with the same enthusiasm and discipline he demonstrated in business. In The Color Of Home, his literary voice melds all three together with honest generative dialogue, poetic sensory detail, and “unforgettable characters who seem to know the complete song catalog of Lennon or Cohen.”
He’s currently working on his third novel, The Beauty of the Fall.
The Big Wide Calm is available on:
Connect with Rich Marchello on:
or visit his website:
and his blog: