Interview with Joe Occhipinti (author of Children of the Three Suns Trilogy)

Here I am with another interview this time with Joe Occhipinti author of Strangers in the Gale (first book of the Children of the Three Suns trilogy).  I’m so happy that I got the chance to interview him because I’m a big fan of him and his novel! It’s really awesome and I wish someone would make it into a movie. Please welcome, Joe Occhipinti! (I think it’s really cool how he travels to different places with his family!)
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Joe lives in a small town in Pennsylvania with his wife, Laurie, and son, Paul.  As a geographer he teaches as adjunct faculty, and he also co-owns a small, independent used book store and gift shop.  Joe has traveled extensively in the U.S. and abroad, and has lived in Italy, Canada and Argentina.  He is an avid hiker and nature lover, enjoys the practice of martial arts, and occasionally loves to get his hands dirty behind a potter’s wheel, in a woodshop, or some other interesting manual endeavor.
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Q: What inspired you to write Strangers in the Gale?

My wife and I lived in South America for a year in an indigenous village in the Andes, a very isolated and beautiful place.  Laurie was doing her Anthropological Ph.D. field research.  I went for the adventure, and of course to be with her.  To get a sense of what it was like, imagine living inside the Grand Canyon in a tiny adobe village, except there are no highways to take you there, just harrowing dirt roads over some of the tallest passes on earth.  It was my experiences there that inspired me to write this novel.  It was truly an amazing place.

Q: Was becoming an author your childhood dream?

No, I never thought I was much good at writing as a child.  The first time I considered becoming a writer was as a freshman in college, when one of my instructors took an interest in me and encouraged me to write.  After that I got much better at it and now I love to write and do it all the time.

Q: What is the most challenging part in writing a novel?

The hardest part for me is to get into the routine of writing every day for an extended time.  I was fortunate that I had plenty of free time when I lived in Argentina.  Mostly I hiked in the mountains, made friends and wrote.  For my second novel I was busier and I had to discipline myself to write daily. It was challenging at first, but once I got into a rhythm it just flowed and became a wonderful part of my day.

Q: What is your favorite part about writing a novel?

There are lots of thing I enjoy about writing, but what I really love about it is developing my characters and the relationships among them.  It’s amazing how emotionally attached I got with some of the people in my book.  Krynna, one of the main characters, feels like a daughter to me.  Isn’t that funny?  I never expected to be so taken by an imaginary person.

Q: If Strangers in the Gale were to become a movie, what part of the world would it take place in?

My novel is set in a far-away solar system on an imaginary ocean world filled with powerful storms.  I think it would need to be filmed on a tropical island, and if a hurricane came along during production all the better.

Q: How long did it take you to write Strangers in the Gale?

I wrote the book in a stretch of about six months, working pretty much every day.  When I was finished it was almost 170k words.  Since then I’ve edited the book several times and have cut it back to a more manageable 118k words.  I don’t even know how much time I’ve devoted to it but I can tell you it’s a real lot.

Q: Besides writing, what else do you like doing?

As I mentioned earlier I love to hike and be outdoors, and as you might guess I’m a bit of a traveler.  I also practice martial arts and other sports.  Honestly, I love to try new things and explore, but what I really like most is sharing my life with Laurie, my son Paul and all of the good friends I’ve been blessed with.


Thank you so much for your time Joe! Check out my review of Strangers in the Gale here.

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Well hello there! Thank you so much for stopping by. Little Book Star is a young adult book blog ran by Leigh, an 18 year old avid reader. This blog consists of book reviews, giveaways, author interviews, and more! Feel free to explore!

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