Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Interview with Rich Marcello, Author of "The Beauty of the Fall: A Novel"

Book Title: "The Beauty of the Fall: A Novel"
Author: Rich Marcello
Genre: Fiction, Literary

Available Formats: eBook & Paperback

Amazon Paperback link: The Beauty of the Fall: A Novel

B&N Paperback link: The Beauty of the Fall: A Novel



Dan Underlight, a divorced, workaholic technology executive, suffers lingering grief over the death of his ten-year-old son, Zack. When Dan's longtime friend and boss fires Dan from RadioRadio, the company that he helped create, he crashes and isolates himself.

Willow, a poet and domestic violence survivor, helps Dan regain his footing. With her support, Dan ventures on a pilgrimage of sorts, visiting Fortune 500 companies to flesh out a software start-up idea. He then recruits three former RadioRadio colleagues and starts Conversationworks, a company he believes will be at the vanguard of social change.

Guided by Dan's leadership, Conversationworks enjoys some early successes, but its existence is soon threatened on multiple fronts. Will Dan survive the ensuing corporate battles and realize the potential of his company? Or will he be defeated by his enemies and consumed by his grief?


Why did you write this book? 

In The Beauty of the Fall (TBOTF), I set out to write about what it means to love in a wider sense of the word, to love in in community, and to do so even when the main character, Dan Underlight, has a lot of loss in his personal life. I was also interested in showing technology in a positive light, in this case as a way to bring people together to work on big problems.  So much of what happens these days results in polarization between folks with good intentions. In TBOTF, I was interested in developing characters who strived to reduce polarization by valuing diversity and finding common ground.

A little more on technology. When I started the novel three years ago, I wanted to write  about technology as a healer and a community builder. There are many good novels out there about the evils of technology, but few, if any, about technology companies that bring about positive social change. The idea of using technology to enable a true democracy, as opposed to the slew of representative democracies in existence today, intrigued me. The events in the world this last year –– the rise of fake news, populism, racism, and sexism—confirmed that I was one the right track. However, as my protagonist, Dan Underlight, emerged, I realized I was actually writing a redemption story. Once I was clear on that point, the themes broadened out to include forgiveness, simplicity and, non-violence.

How did you come up with the title?

It came to me one night in a dream, and luckily, I remembered The Beauty of the Fall when I woke up.

How did you choose your genre?

I decided early on to write literary fiction, and that’s what I’ve written ever since.  This is my third novel of literary fiction.

What inspired you to be a writer?

As a writer, I’m trying to go deeper and deeper into the soul of each of my characters, and so I focus a lot of my effort on their inner lives. That’s what inspires me the most, and it’s the primary reason I became a writer. Hopefully, readers will see the main characters in this book, Dan and Willow, as emotionally complicated and fully realized.

Are you writing another book?

I’m working on my fourth novel, The Latecomers, which is about aging in a world that in many ways devalues age. It’s about how a few folks try to build a community that values age and wisdom. I’m one-hundred-and-forty pages into that novel and hope to have it out in a couple of years.
Rich Marcello, Author of "The Beauty of the Fall: A Novel"


Rich Marcello is a poet, an accomplished songwriter and musician, a creative writing teacher at Seven Bridges’ Writer Collaborative, and the author of three novels, The Color of Home, The Big Wide Calm, and the forthcoming, The Beauty of the Fall, due out in 2016. Previously, he enjoyed a successful career as a technology executive, managing several multi-billion dollar businesses for Fortune 500 companies.

The Color of Home was published in 2013 by Langdon Street Press, and melds together honest generative dialogue, poetic sensory detail, and “unforgettable characters who seem to know the complete song catalog of Lennon or Cohen.” The Big Wide Calm was published in 2014, also by Langdon Street Press. The US Review of Books stated, “Marcello’s novel has a lot going for it. Well-written, thought-provoking, and filled with flawed characters, it meets all of the basic requirements of best-of-show in the literary fiction category.” The Beauty of the Fall will be published in 2016. Faulkner Award Winner Mark Spencer commented, “Few novels are as intelligent and relevant as The Beauty of the Fall. Almost none is as eloquent, compelling, heartbreaking, and ultimately, uplifting.”

As anyone who has read Rich’s work can tell you, his books deal with life’s big questions: love, loss, creativity, community, aging, self-discovery. His novels are rich with characters and ideas, crafted by a natural storyteller, with the eye and the ear of a poet.

For Rich, writing and art making is about connection, or as he says, about making a difference to a least one other person in the world, something he has clearly achieved many times over, both as an artist, a mentor, and a teacher.

Rich lives in Massachusetts on a lake with his family and two Newfoundlands, Ani and Shaman. He is currently working on his fourth novel, The Latecomers.

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