The Starlight Club
by Joe Corso
The Starlight Club is ON SALE for only $0.99. Also available: The Starlight Club 2: The Contender, The Starlight Club 3: The Vendetta, and The Starlight Club 4: Marilyn. Coming soon: The Starlight Club 5: Revenge.
The Starlight Club is currently on tour with Enchanted Book Promotions. The tour stops here today for my interview with the author. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.
The Starlight Club was jumping ...
"They looked like mob guys. They had that arrogance exuded by those who liked to intimidate – those who were the proud purveyors of fear." Amidst the nightly gaiety was the back room, where business deals were made, hits were ordered, and territories were divided.
Trenchie not being a "rat" is just released from his ten year prison sentence. A new life is waiting – complete with envelopes of money and a steak house to call his own. He finds the woman of his dreams who brings along ex-husband baggage. Hit man Jimmy The Hat finds unexpected fame in the most unlikely of places, yet he always stays true to the "boys", especially Big Red. "Crazy Joey Gallo" and his brothers break away from the Profaci family and go "rogue", on their own now. They split their gang into several small groups and spread them out over the five boroughs.
I love a great mobster story, and I'm not alone. It seems like books and movies like The Godfather and Goodfellas are always popping up and I always enjoy them. The Starlight Club fits right into this genre and is as good or better than any of them. It is an extremely well written book, which you can see from the first paragraph, and keeps you interested until the last sentence. Joe Corso has done a great job developing believable and colorful characters, and an entertaining and interesting storyline that will make you ready for the sequel (and you will not be disappointed). Highly recommended.
Interview With the Author
Hi Joe, thanks for joining me today to discuss your new book, The Starlight Club.
For what age group do you recommend your book?
This book is not for kids. I had to write like wise guys talk and that meant using cuss words. That was very hard for me to do because I have two daughters, four granddaughters and one great granddaughter and every time I think that they might read my book I feel bad, but the book is down and dirty, it’s gritty but the story is I’m told very good. I listen to the way people talk and I try to write exactly the way I heard it.
What sparked the idea for this book?
I used to deliver meat to some wise guy bars and the Starlight Club was one of them although it wasn’t called that. But the characters were real and I wanted to catch that essence and I believe that I have accomplished that.
So, which comes first? The character's story or the idea for the novel?
Well the characters' story could be the subject for the novel. I find that if I have an idea on how to start a book, as I write the words the story begins to take me where it wants to go - and I let it. For example when I wrote The Lone Jack Kid I was typing in a line but I was seeing two paragraphs ahead and all the while I kept trying to catch up to those sentences that I could see so plainly in my mind. The reverse was true when I wrote Lafitte’s Treasure. I started that book about two years ago and I laid it aside after I had written about 24 thousand words because I was having a dry spell. I’ve done that with Starlight Club 5 and two other books that I started. Somewhere down the line the answer on how I would finish the book came to me. I would advise anyone who is having writer's block to just put the work aside and work on something else. When inspiration hits you, you can always revisit the book and continue writing where you left off.
Great advice, Joe. What was the hardest part to write in this book?
There was no hard part because the story flowed as I wrote the words. Most of the incidents really happened so I just leaned on my past memories or experience and wrote what I witnessed. The second book, which my brother who is a real vinegar man say’s is better that the first book, was inspired by a boxer friend of mine. I fashioned a main character after him. He fought two fights with a classy Latin fighter named Johnny Torres who later went on to fight for the championship. My buddy and he fought two draws and in my book I had them fight three draws. The part about being drafted into the army was taken from real life but most of that book, unlike the first book, the story was made up.
How do you hope this book affects its readers?
As of this moment the book has 26 reviews most of them 5 star, and a few 4 stars, but none lower. The book has won three awards and what surprised me is that after I wrote it I thought to myself that I’m going to lose the female reader, but to my surprise, they love the book. I think the reader will enjoy the book immensely. In fact I would advise them not to start it while in bed because they won’t be able to put it down and they’ll be up all night
Thanks for the warning! How long did it take you to write this book?
I spend so much time writing on the computer that sometimes I’ll start in the morning and stop late at night, stopping only to eat. Writing the book doesn’t take long to do, it’s the editing that takes forever.
What is your writing routine?
After a light breakfast I'll start writing and after about three hours I’ll take a break and maybe go to Starbucks or Dunkin' Donut and have a coffee a donut. Then I’ll head back to do some more writing. In fact, just today I bought a Varidesk so I can write standing when I get tired. The software tells you when you’ve been sitting too long. That’s a very bad habit that I've gotten into, sitting too long without standing.
How did you get your book published?
I sent out over 500 letters to literary agents and always got a polite rejection from them. Some of the major publishers will not accept a manuscript if it's not sent by an agent. So I looked for publishers that accepted unsolicited manuscripts and sent out over 500 of them along with the requirements they asked for. Some wanted a query letter along with two or three chapters and others wanted a certain number of words. And then one day I received an email from a small independent publisher who accepted my book. After that book was published, he published The Old Man And The King.
What advice do you have for someone who would like to become a published writer?
You have to be able to handle rejection. The way I handled it was every time I received a rejection from an agent or publisher, I said GREAT. I knew that this is just a numbers game and after all the NOs that I received there was going to be a YES coming to me soon. Remember you have to get past all of the NOs before you can get to the YESs.
What do you like to do when you're not writing?
I’m a prolific reader and I’ll read anything interesting.
What does your family think of your writing?
That’s the best part. They’re all proud of me. I’m at an age where most people are sitting on a porch somewhere growing moss on their bodies and I’m writing award winning books. Last December I won three awards at the Readers Favorite Book Contest.
Congratulations, Joe! Please tell us a bit about your childhood.
I grew up in a very rough neighborhood, as you can tell when you read The Starlight Club. I was lucky because I had two great parents. My mother taught me to laugh and my father taught me about being honest. In fact the two greatest influences in my life were my father and the United States Army. One taught me to be honest and the other taught me discipline.
Did you like reading when you were a child?
Yeah. My mother gave me The Arabian Nights to read as a child and I loved it. Soon they were bringing me all sorts of books. I was lucky because my father was always interested in history and I guess I took after him because I, too, love history.
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
Not until I reached the age of 75 did I realize that I wanted to be a writer. In fact the first book I wrote was a book called The Time Portal and I carried that book around not daring to show it to anyone. I was so insecure and unsure of myself thinking who did I think I was thinking I could write a book. But I did write a book and I reluctantly showed it to my daughter who liked it so she suggested that I show it to her girlfriend who was a retired prosecutor, and I did. She loved it and asked to be a partner in it and she would go over the book and make the necessary corrections which I agreed to. I know better today. Today I would have hired an editor instead of giving half the book away.
Did your childhood experiences influence your writing
Absolutely. I guess that's one good thing about growing old. You have a lifetime of experiences to draw from and that's what I did with The Starlight Club which, by the way, is my favorite book.
Which writers have influenced you the most?
If you’re talking about style, then I’d have to say Micky Spillane, but my favorite authors are Ernest Hemingway, Mark Twain, James Fenimore Cooper, Oscar Wilde, Vince Flynn, and a list of others too numerous to mention
Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
You can go to my Amazon page and take a look at what the reviewers had to say about the books of mine that they read. I get phone calls from entire families telling me that each one, starting with the father and mother, have read the book and loved it. My own publicist emailed me about The Starlight Club telling me she couldn’t sleep because she had to finish the book, and that's really a compliment coming from a woman. Another woman, my doctor at the VA, gave the book a great compliment on Amazon. I get emails from all over the world, India, France, and England among other places, about the book telling me how much they enjoyed the book.
That's fantastic, Joe. What can we look forward to from you in the future?
When people ask me why I write so much, I tell them I write while I’m still able to. This year I hope to have Lafitte’s Treasure and Starlight Club 5 ready for publication and, before the year is over, I'd like to have written two more books.
Well, don't let me keep you any longer! Thank you for taking the time to stop by today and best of luck with your future projects.
About the Author
Move to Florida, see the world, and … Write 15 novels!? It may have started out as the typical retirement, but author Joe Corso decided to take a more adventurous route. After a successful, yet tearful, career as a fireman, Corso began writing as a way to fund the Ivy League educations of his grandchildren. He published his first book at 75, and since has written 14 novels and 9 short stories.
One of his most popular novels, The Starlight Club, won the 2012 eLit True Crime category, and an honorable mention in the 2013 reader’s favorite book contest. FIRE: Box 598, a collection of short nonfiction stories of fires and occurrences surrounding them when he worked with the FDNY, won the 2013 Reader’s Favorite contest in the Historical non-fiction category. With cross-genre skills, Corso has written Westerns, Gritty Crime Dramas and even fantasy. He has received a tremendous reception from his work Fire Stories by many Fire Departments. Rising from the ashes, retired New York Firefighter Joe Corso finds himself lost in his writing hoping never to find his way back.