Tony Faggioli - Bringing Criminals and Cops to Life
After Tony Faggioli finished the The Fasano Trilogy”, the first trilogy in The Millionth Series, he had readers writing him to DEMAND to know what happened to Detective Evan Parker. This resulted in his latest book, Another One. As our Author of the Day, Faggioli tells us all about it and what it takes to be a successful writer.
Please give us a short introduction to what Another One is about.
Another One is about three men, Detective Evan Parker, Father Bernardino Soltera and gang leader Hector Villarosa, each of whom is navigating the dangerous, gang ridden streets of East Los Angeles on a daily basis. Parker, an ex-Army Ranger who did three tours of duty in Afghanistan, is still wrestling with PTSD. Father Soltera, who has been diagnosed with cancer, is trying to help a young girl who has gotten pregnant and is being threatened to get an abortion. And Hector has just gotten out of jail to take back the reins of his gang, when he finds out that his girlfriend has taken up with another man.
What inspired you to write Another One?
After I finished the “The Fasano Trilogy”, the first trilogy in The Millionth Series, I had readers writing me to DEMAND to know what happened to Detective Evan Parker! He was a co-star of that series but had really become a fan favorite, especially with my female readers. I must admit that I was pretty taken aback. I hadn’t really thought about it. The Fasano Trilogy had done very well and I was a little worried about pushing my luck. But when I sat down to contemplate just what would/could happen next? The story just came to me.
Tell us more about Evan Parker - what makes him tick?
Parker lives in a world that is three dimensional, with a two-dimensional perspective. The fog of war has shown him a lot of gray but instead of abandoning his black and white view of things, his coping mechanism has been to become even more entrenched in it. Love and honor are his only anchors when the novel opens. His girlfriend (whom he met in the first trilogy) gives him hope and his promise to his now dead partner to take care of his little nephew gives Parker purpose. On the job, he’s trying to get his bearings, but he’s still never properly dealt with the PTSD that he brought back with him from the war (and has kept hidden from the LAPD) and as a result he’s in for a very rough ride.
In this book you managed to bring both criminals and cops to life as three-dimensional, sympathetic characters. How did you pull this off?
Characters in books, if you can manage to do them properly, should not be all that different than real people. We are such complex, deep, lost, searching and profound creatures. As readers, we want to meet the same type of people on the pages we read. As a writer, my challenge is to provide that. A good cop lives a very different life than a violent gangster, but each of them have dreams and pasts to deal with. And they both have to get up and make it through the same day each morning. Add in a priest, who has to bring a spiritual perspective to his daily struggles, and things get even more complicated. My focus for the novel was “the razors edge” of life and its duality of nature. Because, at any second? The good cop can kill, the violent gangster can hope and the godly priest can sin.
Did you plan from the start for this to become a trilogy?
Yes. I tried to outline it as a standalone novel, but the subject matter for each of these characters immediately demanded proper space to play out.
How do the other books in the series tie in with this one?
Parker is the primary bridge. Father Soltera, Hector and the gang world of East L.A. are new characters (yes, I consider the city to be a character in its own right) but some of the other detectives in the precinct we’ve met before. Beyond that, thematically, there’s still the question of good and evil, angels and demons and the thin veil between this world and the next being explored as a supernatural reality, not an abstract concept or myth.
Besides writing, what other secret skills do you have?
I love business and have always had an entrepreneurial spirit.
What was your greatest challenge when writing this book?
Letting it be itself and step outside of the shadow of The Fasano Trilogy. That trilogy was on the boil instantly. This one begged to be allowed to simmer. Also, one day at Starbucks, I realized that the last trilogy was about the evil all around us. But this trilogy? It was going to be more about the evil within.
Have you always wanted to be a writer? What inspired your debut?
Yes. Since 5th grade. My debut novel last year was inspired by sadness, to be honest. I’d given up my dream of being a writer until my 40’s, when I came home one day and asked myself a question: “Why am I unhappy?”. When I couldn’t find a good answer? I tried a different question, “When was the last time I was truly happy?” That answer was easy: right before I gave up writing, just after I started college. So? I went back to school as (by far) the oldest dude in class and took Creative Writing to see if I still had any game left.
Where do your ideas come from?
God only knows! Lol. No. I’m like any writer, I think. I’m constantly observing and listening, everywhere and anywhere. To people, music lyrics, strangers and friends. There’s a reason while James Gandolfini, may he rest in peace, called us all vampires. It’s an accurate description.
Do you consider yourself a disciplined writer? Do you have a schedule that you stick to, or is it more in the moment?
In my humble opinion, you have to be disciplined. For me that means 9,000 words a week, typically 3k per day, Tues/Wed/Thurs. As an Indie Author I spend Monday’s on stats/analysis and Friday’s setting up the following week’s marketing (both of which feed my business side).
What are you working on right now?
One Way or Another, Book 2 of The Parker Trilogy.
Where can our readers discover more of your work or interact with you?
I love to hear from and interact with readers. The best way is to check out my web page https://tonyfaggioli.com and by subscribing to my newsletter there. I’m also very active on social media.
My Facebook Author Page is https://www.facebook.com/tfaggioli
My Twitter Author Page is https://twitter.com/steelertony