Q&A with Jos. C. Donato
Q: What was it about your great grandfather, Antonio Lochetto, you found so compelling that you felt moved to write a novel based on his life?
A: His righteous and adventurous spirit, without question.
Q: As an Italian American, how did you feel writing about a period in history that was very difficult for Italians?
A: It made me feel that present-day Italian Americans should be more aware of what took place just a few generations ago. I hope this book can contribute something positive about Italian culture, a sort of antidote to the present day reality show mentality that tends to be very demeaning.
Q: What was most difficult about writing this book?
A: Being true to history yet write a piece of fiction; there had to be the right proportion between the two.
Q: What is a greater passion– writing or preserving family history? Do you have other books in the works?
A: I’d have to say that preservation of family history comes first. My second book is about my father’s family experience in Brooklyn, New York during the 1920s.
Q: On an emotional level, what did you gain by writing this book?
A: Appreciation of my ancestors’ stamina and family bonds.
Q: If your great grandfather was here today to see what you’ve written, what do you think he’d say?
A: I think he’d appreciate that someone acknowledged his strong convictions.
Q: What's next on the horizon?
A: An adventure novel about 19th century trappers and mountain men out west. I wrote half of it 20 years ago and stuffed it in the attic. It's good to see it come to fruition. It will be out Spring 2016.
Q&A about Joe's latest novel, Joshua's Eden
Q: What drew you to the time period spotlighted in your new book, Joshua’s Eden?
A: I always had a longing for this time and felt very drawn to it.
Q: What was your introduction to the American West and what does the American West represent to you personally?
A: I’d have to say that my imagination was sparked when I was 12 years old, mainly through books by Zane Grey. I think, for me, the American West represents independence and individual initiative.
Q: What inspired the other-worldly events in Joshua’s Eden?
A: My lifelong interest in parallel existences. It was good to have no boundaries and let my imagination meld with all possibilities.
Q: This tale of survival and living from the land is juxtaposed with your obvious love for animals. How did you find a balance between these two extremes?
A: By acknowledging the harsh reality of life as well as the potential of human compassion.
Q: Would you go back in time to the American West as you have portrayed it, and if so, how would you find yourself in this challenging and beautiful landscape?
A: Maybe I would visit this era and this place to complete an unfinished destiny.
Q: Rumor has it that a past life memory sparked this novel. Is this true?
A: I always mourned not having a brother, and I can say that some truth lies between the pages. There are many facets to the realities surrounding us.