Monday, February 17, 2014

Interview of Author Mark Tedesco

Displaying Mark Tedesco.jpgAW: Tell us about yourself…

Writing is a talent and passion that I recently discovered. My first book was in the form of a memoir, in which I reflected on my years in a Vatican seminary. I wrote it as part of my own
growth process; only afterwards did I show it to others who encouraged me to get it published. It is the same with my other published work: I write from passion and his own interest, and not for an “audience”. Currently, I teach history to high school students in Los Angeles. Being in contact with so many
young lives broadens one’s horizons and the interesting stories teachers tell could also be the subject of a great book!
After eight years living in Rome, I feel drawn to the ancient world. Egypt, Greece and Rome all have a life of their own in my imagination. After hearing of the story of John and Paul, two 4th century soldiers under Constantine, I began a quest to learn about their world and their lives, resulting in the publishing of my latest novel.

AW: What genera do you write and why?

Memoir: I reflected on my experience in a Vatican seminary and beyond in “Undeniable Longing: My Road to and from the Priesthood”. This began as a reflection written for myself but unexpectedly evolved into my first book. By reaching deep into my own experience others have gained insight into their own.Poetry: “Loving, Hoping, Believing” are poems that welled up within my already written. These poems are an intense expression of love, passion and longing. Historical novel: “I am John, I am Paul: A Story of Two Soldiers in Ancient Rome” was the result of eight years of research and writing. It is a true and beautiful story of the bond and commitment of two Roman soldiers in the 4th  century.

AW: Tell us about your book….

Displaying 16145331.jpg“I am John, I am Paul; A Story of Two Soldiers in Ancient Rome”.  The book is a historical novel, the product of eight years of research, and gives an accurate picture of life in 4th century Rome under Constantine and Julian, Emperors. The story is truly gripping as these two soldiers experience the cataclysmic times in which they lived, their bond to one another, and their decision to follow “The Way” .The nature of the bond between the two men is left up to the reader to decide, but their
attachment to their belief and to one another is apparent. Fox News reviewed the book in these words: "Adventure, intrigue, faith, commitment, love and hate and everything between! Mark Tedesco has done it again, fashioning what is arguably his best work yet! He entices you on a phenomenal journey into the fascinating lives of two 4th century Roman soldiers, John and Paul, in a tale of loyalty and love that grabs you by the throat from the very first sentence and holds you spellbound, gasping for air as you're swept from chapter to chapter with barely a moment to breathe. An unbelievable marriage of fact and fiction that will leave you applauding or appalled
but never bored or indifferent. A must read!"-Tony McEwing, Fox News

AW: What was your inspiration for this book?

When I was visiting a friend in Rome nearly ten years ago, he told me the story of John and Paul, two soldiers who lived under the reign of Constantine. When he told me the last recorded words that John said to Paul, I wondered about what type of life they lived up to that point that enabled them to have such a bond with one another and a conviction about the meaning of their lives. This started me on a quest to find out more about these two soldiers. After that, the book wrote itself.

AW: Do you have a favorite character and why that one?

John is my favorite character because he is the seeker. He looks for the meaning behind things rather than just accepting them at face value. He delves into the Mithraic mystery cult in order to try to make sense of his exile; he later opens himself up to the “Way” so that he might partake of Paul’s journey. His courage and loyalty are unquestionable, yet he is able to feel empathy and love.

AW: Did you find anything particularly difficult in writing this book?

The challenge in writing this book was to gather the research and to make sure that everything written was historically accurate. Fortunately I studied Latin and was able to read the original Latin records, and I was also able to return to Rome many times to research and understand the cult of Mithras and the home of John and Paul. The most difficult scene for me to write was the scene towards the end of the story when Fulvia,
the sister of John, is brought some tragic news. Without giving the plot away, the writing of this scene took a toll on my emotionally and tears were rolling down my face as I typed the words.

AW: What project(s) are you currently working on?

I am currently working on the follow up to my first book; it will be a memoir entitled “Dimensions of the Heart”. In it, I will explore relationships that have lasted and others that have not, and the lessons contained in each one.

AW: Do you have any interesting writing quirks you want to tell us about?

Weightlifting is my hobby and I love to lift alone or with friends. The gym is part of my daily routine and I love to set fitness goals or just let off steam by physical exercise. Also, at least twice a week I am asked if I am in the military or am a police officer; I am neither but rumors still spread. A coworker stopped me in the bathroom once to inquire: “I heard you fought in Desert Storm!?” I laughed.

AW: Do you have any advice for writers out there?

A true author is an artist and writes out of his/her need to write. It is a passion which is its own reward. Commercial success is icing on the cake, but if it becomes the motivating factor, the creative core becomes stale. Commercial success does not equal greatness and I hope that aspiring authors write something great.

AW: Where can we find you?

AW: And of course we have to know, where can we find your book?


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