Today I’m interviewing an author who has a book with an extraordinary title: The Schwarzschild Radius. I wonder how the author came up with that (although, silly me, I did forget to ask).
Q:When did you start writing?
GF: I’ve been writing seriously since I was 20. That’s when I started my first book, which was never published.
Q: Is The Schwarzschild Radius your first book? If not, please tell us a little about your first book.
GF: My first book was about 20-year-old Vietnam veterans who came back in the early 70’s and started these ultra-violent street gangs in New York. These weren’t just street punks, they were battle-hardened soldiers. The gangs had thousands of members and they waged war on each other for control of the streets, drugs and God knows what else. They had names like The Seven Immortals, The Savage Skulls, The Ghetto Brothers, The Savage Spades. These names don’t do them justice—they were bad-asses. I knew some of them. My second book was In the Talons of the Condor, which has won many awards, most recently, Second Place in the 2014 International Latino Book Awards.
Q: Why did you choose to write a thriller?
GF: I started out reading the classics when I was young. Later, I came to admire devices like plot twists and surprise endings. There are many more of those in thrillers than in The Brothers Karamazov, for example. I really liked The Day of the Jackal. Forsythe combined research, suspense and a beautifully elegant writing style into a blockbuster and that book really set the bar for me.
Q: Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
GF: Yes, forget the advice about “Write what you know.” With the internet, you can sound like an expert in any field in two hours. I say, “Write what you want.” Write what fills you with passion, because you will need that motivation to see you through the writing process to the end. And it’s a long road. Also, you must write all the time. You must think like a writer, which means you’re always on the look out for good dialogue or a good topic to write about as you go through your day. Always relate your experiences, especially bad ones, back to writing. This is the mark of a real writer. And, of course, never give up. That goes without saying.
Q: Can you tell us about your works in progress?
GF: Yes, I’m writing a conspiracy political thriller. It’s a far cry from The Schwarzschild Radius, and the good news is that my protagonist is ex-Special Forces which makes a lot of things easier, like prevailing over the bad guys. I needed a main character with special forces experience and lo and behold, Detective McKenna of the Schwarzschild Radius fit the bill to a T. It saved me the trouble of creating a new protagonist.
About The Book
Author: Gustavo Florentin
Genre: Thriller / Suspense
Rachel, an 18-year-old Columbia University student descends into the netherworld of runaways and predators to find her sister, Olivia, who has suddenly disappeared. After getting a job in a strip joint where Olivia worked, then doing private shows in the homes of rich clients, Rachel discovers that Olivia has been abducted by a killer who auctions the deaths of young girls in an eBay of agony. As she closes in on the killer who has taken Olivia, Rachel becomes his next target.
Gustavo Florentin was born in Queens, New York and received a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the Polytechnic University of New York. He spent a decade in the defense industry working on the F-14 fighter jet and classified electronics projects. After the fall of the Soviet Union, many thought America wouldn’t need weapons anymore, so while others waited for the peace dividend, he moved on to the financial sector in New York where he is currently a network engineer. His passions include violin, travel to exotic places and exploring worldwide conspiracies. He lives in New Jersey where he is working on his third novel. His thriller, In the Talons of the Condor, won the following awards:
WUACADEMIA–Prix d’Or Best Novel
The Verb First Chapter Contest–First Prize
Mount Arrowsmith Best Novel 4th place
The Writing Show–Second Prize best first chapter of a novel.
Second Prize–16th Annual International Latino Book Awards
Publisher website: http://curiosityquills.com/books/the-schwarzschild-radius