Thursday, November 4, 2010

Blog Q&A with Julie Dolcemaschio

Here are a few questions I had for Julie Dolcemaschio author of Testarossa
Photo courtesy of Alexis Rhone Fancher

1. To me family issues are a big theme in the book. Whether it is with Testarossa or the Crane family. Why such a deep connection with family?

Family defines who you are, who you become. John Testarossa comes from a close-knit Italian family. There's a lot of love there, but also some distrust. As a child, John knows of his father's affair, and suffers along with his mother in the devastation that is left in the wake of his father's murder. All of that shaped who John has become-an extremely dedicated detective, friend and lover, and someone who has a deep need to connect with the people in his life. Because of this experience he made some decisions regarding his father that CAN come back to haunt him in the future. I have experienced familial disappointment-I think we all have, and it can be quite poignant.

With the Cranes, I wanted to show that tragedy can strike anyone at anytime. I was raised Mormon, so I understand that kind of deep family bond, and the utter devastation this family feels at losing their only son, a future patriarch-the family's future, really.

2. As a woman do you find it hard to write from a male prospective? Testarossa certainly doesn't talk like a woman.

Good! That's great to hear! Writing Testarossa in the first person was not something I thought a lot about. It was how I began the story, and I never wavered from that. I think his was a story I wanted to tell from his perspective. I will also admit that John is who I'd be if I were a man.

3. In three words, how would you describe your book?

Emotional, believable, connected.

4. I see you plan on having more books in the Testarossa series, do you have it planned out it your head how his journey will end?

Yes, for the most part, I do. Testarossa will have his challenges, and he will continue to evolve in some ways, and not so much in others. I think what makes him not only a great cop, but an intriguing character, is his unapologetic approach to everything he does. He's a certain kind of man, and sees no reason to change. He's a handful. He can be wonderful, then turn around and be a real jerk-both personally and professionally. I think all cops can relate to that-by their very nature they are reactionary and conservative and, while their working world might carry shades of gray, I think their ideals are very black and white.

He will pay for the past, and he'll also have some happiness. I was asked by my agent how I planned to keep the sparks flying if Testarossa and Karen end up together. I've been married 25 years, so I think I can keep the two of them interesting enough for the readers. We'll get to know Alex and some of the other minor characters better, and Testarossa will continue to chase down the bad guys and make the city a safer place, because that's what he does, first and foremost.

5. Do you look to other crime writers for inspiration? Who are some of your favorites?

The writers who draw out their characters well are my inspiration. Joseph Wambaugh, from the beginning, has been the most influential. I've been reading his books since my early teens. He does a tremendous job of showing cops from all angles-from the rookie just out of academy to the hardened beat cop who has seen it all. His characters are funny and sad and dedicated and beaten down and idealistic and narcissistic, and he paints such a fine portrait of all of those things, set in the city I love. Robert Crais writes well-crafted characters as well. I like him, too.

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