Interview with Joseph Samuel Russo

What is your writing process?
Laborious. I love to write but hate to sit. I have spondylolethesis, (sic) stenosis, herniated discs etc. So I carry little note pads and put pen to paper anywhere/how I can. I even do this in the middle of the night in order to turn off the tapes and shut my mind down. I am a story teller and best at public speaking but authors have to write. I never learned to type or play an instrument for that matter. The signals from my brain go the wrong way before they get to my fingers. I can tell because when I make a typing mistake, which is often, my toes curl up.
Actually I use my computer like everyone else but so much of that technology is a mystery, I'm still struggling with Mason jars. I write, edit, write edit ad nausea. I write any time the mood hits me. I don't sleep much. I want to get a dictation program I can use while walking.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
My Friend Flicka. I fell in love with the notion of having a horse which would have been unusual for a boy from New Jersey. Yet I found an old stable built during the revolutionary war. I lied to the owner I was an experienced rider and I would muck rake stalls for free rides. My first ride alone I became a passenger on a wild ride but I didn't give up. I longed to escape to the west someday. I love the outdoors and wide open spaces. Eventually it all happened. I live in beautiful southern Utah.
How do you approach cover design?
I could draw even before I could write...my mom said. I sketch in pencil first. A good sketch leads to a good painting. I paint in oils and acrylics. My imagination has always been noted by my friends and family. Sometimes I mix various mediums and methods to my art. I want the cover to sell the book. It should be bright because the picture of the book on a site is usually no larger than a thumbnail. I also want the cover to tell the story of what is to come.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
1. The Bible. Unknown to most people there is a much larger story in almost every verse. To understand this a reader really needs a biblical expert historian. Many of the terms and words in the Bible had different meanings 2000 years ago. Forty days and Forty nights used in three different settings simply meant a long time. The eye of the needle was actually the name for a small door next to the large gates into the city of Jerusalem. So when Jesus said it would be easier for a rich man to get into heaven as it is for a camel to get through the eye of a needle he did not mean it was impossible. Some people use the phrase as proof Jesus wants rich people to be taxed unfairly and or we must spread the wealth around, if one truly believes in Christianity. Money isn't evil its how we get it and what we do with it is the real message of the Christ.
2. Wyatt Earp by Stuart Lake. I like books that change what I believed. Wyatt embellished a lot of what he did in order to capitalize on his legend. He did say the fight at the O.K. Corral was a low point but what he did after was much more interesting including refereeing a heavyweight fight with his six gun on to being a counselor for early silent western movies.
3. George Washington's Secret Six by Brian Kilmeade and 4. Washington's Spies by Alexander Rose. These show the genius of George Washington, The tenacity of a small army with a cause and what America is really all about.
5. The Truth Will Out by James and Rubenstein. This book says Sir Henry Neville wrote all the works of Shakespeare but it led me to Sir Edward DeVere to Sir Francis bacon. I now believe Sir Francis Bacon was the real author or a combination of all three who knew each other. But Bacon's story has much more evidence and it is a real tragedy because he and Anthony were the illegitimate sons of the Virgin Queen, Elizabeth.
What do you read for pleasure?
Newspapers, magazines and history books of The Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter Day Saints. The last one is another real pioneer story of America.
Describe your desk
I don't have a desk I have a computer console surrounded by a large window sill, a cabinet and a printer table. Behind these I have some old file cabinets. All of where I write is a cluttered mess. Unlike the rest of my house . There I am anal retentive to a fault about neatness.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I was an army brat lived and traveled all over the U.S. and Europe. One can draw their own conclusions from that but as one can imagine I learned a lot more about culture, mores, morals, languages and the rest than I would if we stayed in New Jersey.
Published 2015-05-08.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.