Use no more than two sentences. Why should we read your book?
Coinage of Commitment has a surprise ending unlike anything you’ve ever read, and the characters are distinctive because they insist on having a love better than what the rest of us will settle for: something stronger, something deeper, something worth holding out for.
If you could select one book that you could rewrite and add your own unique twist on, which book would that be and why?
This is something I’ve already done for both my books. Coinage of Commitment and Pocket Piece Cameo were published by Saga Books as print editions in the 07/08 timeframe. Coinage went on to final in the National Indie Excellence Book Awards. Then I stopped fiction writing in favor of contest judging and nonfiction pursuits. In 2012, I was startled to realize that my writing ability had improved dramatically in four years. This was a discovery at once humbling and exhilarating. I decided to rewrite both books and self-publish them as digital second edition eBooks. The reason? Coinage is an special story with an exceptional ending, and the thought that I could substantially improve the book for readers’ enjoyment was an opportunity I simply could not turn away from. Both second edition books were published in January.
Tell us about the absolute BEST fan letter you have received.
The best letter of this type I’ve ever received was from a big six editor. This past summer, while rewriting Coinage of Commitment, I conducted a traditional query campaign, primarily to big six publishers who could get my novels into brick and mortar bookstores. The campaign was not successful, but the Doubleday editor I queried wrote me a personal letter saying that although she could not use the book, the sample…“captures the all-consuming romance Wayne and Nancy feel.” She also praised specific plot elements in the fifty page sample I sent her. This letter lifted my spirits like no other. This busy editor did not have to write me a personal letter. Although traditional publishing is in turmoil, she reached out with a touching gesture, urging me to continue and wishing me best of luck.
Have any of your characters been modeled after yourself?
The answer is an unequivocal yes and no. Okay, so let me explain. I wanted to cut down on the research required for my first book, so I gave the male main my personal background: same high school, college, town, etc. But then I gave this character a personality and value system entirely fictional. Plus he doesn’t look anything like me. Again, this was done solely to cut down on the research load for a book that might never have been published. Nevertheless, many friends who read the book promptly accused me of writing an autobiography—which always struck me as downright funny.
Where do you research for your books?
Most of my research is done over the Internet. But it cannot meet all research needs. I live in Texas, but my books are set In Pennsylvania. For my first book, this was not an issue. It’s set in the 1960s, so accuracy is not quite as important. Plus I used my own background for the male main (see question just above). But my second book, Pocket Piece Cameo, is contemporary, and it’s largely set in Hanover, PA, and at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia’s University City. It took two separate research trips to satisfy the needs. Even then, I had to get lucky. While touring Hanover High, camera in hand, I met a teacher, a native, who was willing to spend time with me, answering questions and giving me a view of Hanover culture that only a native can. She even gave me a tour of the town locations important to my story. I was sooo grateful. Such inside knowledge can make all the difference in a story’s texture, and it’s quality.
What is the hardest part of writing your books?
For me it’s plotting. In the case of Coinage, it wasn’t much of an issue, because the skeleton of the story was something that has always been with me. It was the story I would write if I ever returned to serious fiction. On top of that, on the second weekend of writing, I got the inspiration of a lifetime for the book’s surprise ending, one that’s entirely original. The ending required adding a few new characters, plus a love triangle that revolutionizes the plot as the story progresses. Cameo, on the other hand, took nearly a year of part-time plotting by outline before I felt ready to begin the actual manuscript. Suggestions are always gratefully welcome.
Where are your fans most likely to find you hanging out?
I joined Facebook to meet promotional needs, but I’ve come to enjoy it. I also like Pinterest. Then there’s my website at rcostelloe.com. Readers can always reach me through the site’s contact form.
Morning Person? Or Night Person? How do you know?
Not a close call. The day’s first few hours are the best for my writing, and I rise at 5 a.m. daily to harvest them in their freshest form.
Book SynopsisWayne and Nancy grow up on opposite sides of the country, each certain they must have love better than what others will settle for. Something stronger, something richer, something worth searching for. During the turbulent nineteen-sixties, they meet while he is attending blue-collar Drexel, and she is at neighboring, Ivy League Penn. Although irresistibly drawn to each other, they must overcome obstacles posed by the class and social differences that separate them, as well as opposition from both families, and later, a twist of fate that will be the cruelest test of all. Can they reach the emotional heights they seek? Can they overcome time's downward pulling inertia? Coinage of Commitment is dedicated to all who ever wondered about the altitude love might soar to.
PRAISE FOR "COINAGE OF COMMITMENT":
"Rob Costelloe has created a very thought provoking book that plays on many levels....The standard of the writing is of the highest quality. He states in his biography that he has been writing since he was 8 years old, and that does not surprise me, he is a skilled and splendid wordsmith....The ending of the story comes with a very strange twist in the tale, and one that will surprise the reader." -Simon Barrett, Reviewer, Bloggernews.net
The book is PG-13 rated.
Rob Costelloe wrote fiction as a youngster, and completed his first novel a few years after college. But then the demands of family and career intervened, and his writing was mostly business or technical. But then in 2005, he read an Anita Shreve novel whose ending was so abruptly despairing that he felt outrage on behalf of so many abused readers. The result was two books, Coinage of Commitment, which became a National Indie Excellence Book Award finalist, and Pocket Piece Cameo, both published by Saga Books in the next three years.
Again he went off into nonfiction pursuits, but in 2012, he elected to rewrite both titles for the simple reason that he could make them better stories for his readers. Both titles have been published digitally, and are available from Amazon and other outlets.
Learn more about the author at: www.rcostelloe.com
Next Few Stops
March 25: Laurie's Non Paranormal Reviews: Interview.
A Novel Idea Live Blog: Guest Post.
March 26: Books, books, the Magical Fruit: Interview and Guest Post.
March 30: A Book Lover's Library: Guest Post.