I am pleased and excited that fellow Winter Goose author, Joseph Falank, has a new book coming out. ‘The Painted Lady’ is an emotionally haunting tale that beautifully builds suspense. You won’t be disappointed in this slow burning summer read that pulls at your heartstrings. It will be available for purchase August 5th.
Unlike my always-flawed heroines that must fight their way to correct decisions, Falank’s widower-protagonist is an achingly good man who experiences a horrific personal setback when his wife is murdered.
Need I say more?
As if the plot-line alone wasn’t enough to pull you into the fascinating tale, Joseph writes in a style that puts you right there in every scene with Miles, our grief-stricken widower. Thoughts and feelings this sensitive, highly creative artist experiences will be equally felt by you, the reader. It creates volumes of empathy and builds a deep desire to buffer Miles from the harsh realities he is slowly unraveling.
By the end, you’ll wish Miles were a neighbor you could chat with over a bottle of Sangiovese on a sultry Saturday night.
Joseph (our highly creative author) lives with his wife and daughter in upstate New York. He is also the author of SEEING, a quiet coming-of-age tale, unlike THE PAINTED LADY, which is a “fractured supernatural mystery involving strange happenings and an unusual woman, both appearing after the murder of Mile’s wife.”
I recently asked Joseph some questions and like a true storyteller, his answers are quite entertaining, as well as meaningful and moving – much like the books he pens.
When did you decide you wanted to become a published author? Like many writers, I’ve worked on my craft since a young age (I remember trying to write a zombie story when I was fourteen), and like some, it took the support of an English professor to make me see that getting published wasn’t an impossible goal to obtain as long as I just kept at it. Unfortunately, this professor – my biggest cheerleader at the time – was also the one to turn me off from writing when she gave a scathing review of a novel I was working on (this was back in 2008). Her comments were so harsh, and not even within the realm of being constructive, that I didn’t attempt another story for two years.
It was a conversation with my girlfriend – whom later became my wife – that rekindled my passion for storytelling. One autumn day we were talking about our futures and she asked me, simply, what I wanted to be. I answered, without hesitation, a published author. She bought me a spiral notebook and a set of pens to get me going, and in that notebook I handwrote the first draft of the novel that would, four years later, become my first published book – SEEING.
Have you received any awards or recognition yet for your writing? I don’t have any awards, as of yet, but the biggest recognition I’ve received in my short career as an author has meant as much as any award could. It came from Erik Weibel, who reads and reviews hundreds of books on his site: thiskidreviewsbooks.com. Last year he chose SEEING as one of his Top Books of 2014.
It floored me that out of the hundreds of books he read, out of the twelve he selected as being a Top Book that resonated with him, mine was on that list. I say it meant as much as any award because Erik was the target audience for the book, and that he finished SEEING in a single day and it stuck with him for so long afterward was affirmation for me that I had accomplished what I set out to do with the book.
Where do you get ideas for your books and do you have the next book in mind? I write about things that scare me. Not always boogeymen or monsters or blood, but things in life we have no control over. For SEEING, I wrote, indirectly, about faith and the evidence of signs. When writing the book, I was constantly looking for my own signs from the world that would tell me I was on the right path – holding to the belief that what I was doing writing this story was what I should have been doing. THE PAINTED LADY is about a man struggling to overcome the loss of his wife and return his own life to normalcy. My wife, Rebecca, is my absolute best friend. I don’t know what I would do without her. Writing LADY gave me insight into how someone might cope with such a terrible, devastating loss.
I keep a journal of story ideas in my desk. Because ideas come all the time, I have a system to determine what the next story will be. I wait until the inspiration of an idea goes from being a few sentences on paper to where I’m outlining and it gets so embedded in my brain, cutting deep into emotion, and is so distracting it’s all I think about and feel, before I commit to it. I have the next two stories planned. Next year (2016) I’ll release a novella – a straightforward thriller about a boy trapped with an unstable father – titled AN UNEXPECTED VISIT, and then it’ll be two years before my next novel, which I’m planning to be a huge tearjerker. After that I have numerous ideas stockpiled if nothing fresh pops to mind.
How did you make contact with Winter Goose Publishing? I am very pleased to have Winter Goose be my publisher for SEEING, THE PAINTED LADY, and next year’s AN UNEXPECTED VISIT. I made the connection with them through their online submission manager during an open submission period. I sent them SEEING back in February of 2013 and heard from them a few months later, in mid-April, saying that they loved it and wanted to publish it.
The book came out at the end of June of 2014. I am very proud of the fact that I didn’t know anyone at WGP when I made the submission (didn’t really know anyone in publishing at that time) and earned my first book all on my own. So many writers believe you have to know someone to get a foot in the door, well, I can say that’s not true at all. Hard work and persistence – and sometimes a very long wait – will get you there. Eventually.
In regards to WGP, I cannot say enough wonderful things about them, and, primarily, Jessica Kristie. She has shown me so much kindness and trust and has been such a huge support as I grow into my role of Author. All of us authors at WGP are lucky to have Jessica in our corners.
What do you do for a living and how do you stay focused on writing with your job? For the last nine years I’ve worked in district classrooms assisting students on the Autism spectrum through the Board of Cooperative Education Services (BOCES). My job is to help prepare these students for the world beyond the classroom setting. I work normal school hours. This comes with the perk of having all holidays and summers off, including a handful of snow days sprinkled throughout. I’m quite good with the academics but I feel my sense of humor and overall quiet personality proves far more effective with my job. And while I love what I do, and the people and students I work with, I feel most “at home” in my other two roles: writing, and (relatively new) being a dad.
My busy life does make finding time to write difficult on some days but I take full advantage of my lunch hour at work, and my wife is always supportive of me sneaking off to my office on weekend mornings to write. When writing something new, I have a daily goal of 1,000 words, which, most of the time comes fairly quickly.
Tales of The Painted Lady – Every Friday during the month of July, in anticipation of the novel’s release August 5th, Joseph will be posting an original micro-story that leads directly into the events of the book. Stories can be found on his website: (josephfalank.com)
Winter Goose: http://wintergoosepublishing.com/authors/joseph-falank/