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Close Up Radio Spotlights Author Joseph Roccasalvo

  • Broadcast in Books
Close Up Radio

Close Up Radio


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New York, NY – As a student, author Joseph Roccasalvo studied the classics, philosophy, literature and theology. He even received a PhD in Comparative Religion from Harvard with a specialty in Buddhism. But something was missing.

“All this knowledge certainly allowed me to be a good academic,” recalls Roccasalvo, “but I said to myself: ‘Joseph, it's time for you to stop using other people's ideas and research and draw on your own experience.’ That’s when I began to explore my imagination.”

Today, Roccasalvo has published five novels: Fire in a Windless Place, Chartreuse, Portrait of a Woman, The Odor of Sanctity and The Devil’s Interval; four novellas: The Powers That Be, Beyond the Pale, Island of the Assassin, and Alina in Ecstasy; a collection of poetry: Poems for Two Violins; and a collection of stories entitled Twists of Faith.

“I'm very keen on doing what the classical writers always insisted on: you must entertain,” says Roccasalvo. “You have to give your reader a reason for turning the page.”

Great writers must be great listeners to what is happening in their imagination. Roccasalvo considers his novels to be “spiritual thrillers.”

“As a writer, I’m an agent of transformation,” says Roccasalvo. “I find my characters in some sense are very much like myself: filled with surprises. The audience does not know what is going to happen. I myself frequently don't know what's going to happen. I'm learning the story as I write it. I become both reader and writer at the same time.”

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