Books By
Nick LaTorre

INTERVIEW WITH NICK LATORRE

The books shown on the left are by Nick LaTorre. Click on the cover to order.

This interview was conducted by Lisa Brown-Gilbert on January 22, 2020.

Nick LaTorre has graciously agreed to be interviewed by me, and I hope you all like reading this interview as much as I enjoyed interviewing him. Without any further ado, let's get on to the questions!

Lisa: What set you on your path as a writer, initially?

Nick LaTorre: Since I was a young boy, I’ve had a great deal of admiration for writers, actors, and movie directors. Along with that, I’ve always enjoyed making stuff up, and writing stories is a relatively consequence-free outlet for making stuff up. Like anybody else who wants to be a writer at a young age I made a couple of attempts at writing a novel in my teens, which I quit early on in the process because I didn’t have the discipline, but even though I had trouble with finishing projects, I was always writing more and more.

Lisa: Is there a specific genre that you prefer?

Most of what I read these days is non-fiction. When I read fiction though, it is usually either literary fiction (the high-brow stuff) or I like to read out-there comedies. Joe’s Odyssey obviously fits under the out-there comedy mantle.


Lisa: How do you measure literary success?

Nick LaTorre: The thing I judge Joe’s Odyssey by is whether or not it came out as the finished product I wanted it to be, and I think it did come out the way I wanted it too, and so I’m pleased. However, in the future I hope to write something which is viewed as having literary merit in the way that something by somebody like Walker Percy is viewed as having literary merit.

Lisa: Joe’s Odyssey is such a different take on the college road trip genre. How did you come up with the premise for the book?

Nick LaTorre: This story actually came out of Homer’s The Odyssey, which is why the word odyssey is in the title. When I was in high school reading The Odyssey, me and a couple of my friends would laugh about how preposterous the plotline of the story was, and so I wanted to do something like that where a group of people travel around by boat going from location to location and getting into wacky adventures. I actually do not view it as a college road trip story. The college characters came along because I wanted there to be people to keep Joe company the whole way through, and respond to Joe’s plans as a collective, much like the choruses in Ancient Greek plays. However, I guess it is a part of that genre to spite me.

Lisa: Lovable loser Joe is such an intriguing character. Is he or any of your other characters based on anyone you know in real life?

Nick LaTorre: A lot of characters I’ve written over the years are based on either specific people I know or are composites of multiple people. Elements of Joe are based on people I’ve known, but at the same time I intended for him to be my version of Homer Simpson, or Peter Griffin, or Bender from Futurama, etc. By this I mean my take on a character who is reckless, not too bright, and not bound by rules which people are bound to in reality.

Lisa: How much time did you devote to writing Joe’s Odyssey?

Nick LaTorre: I started writing it in early 2014. After I had written a couple of chapters I put it aside, occasionally coming back to it to add and delete scenes. In May 2019, I put my mind to finish it, and that’s when the real heavy lifting really got started. I finished a full draft by the end of June, then put it aside and did a series of revisions, finishing it in October 2019.

Lisa: What challenges did you encounter while writing Joe’s Odyssey?

Nick LaTorre: On occasion, I would have trouble coming up with a scene to serve as a bridge between two other scenes, but that rarely caused me trouble for an extended period of time. The other challenge would be that some days I just did not want to write a single word, however if you’re going to write a book, that’s the kind of thing you need to blow right past and just do the work. That was part of the point of Steven Pressfield’s “The War of Art.”

Lisa: While hindsight is 2020, looking back is there anything that you would have written differently or changed within the narrative of your book?

Nick LaTorre: There are some additional things I would have added to scenes, and perhaps I would have added a scene or two. There’s nothing I would take away though.

Lisa: What advice would you give to other writers looking to publish?

Nick LaTorre: Keep writing, keep polishing, seek outside opinions, and don't give up.

Lisa: Do you have any future projects in the works?

Nick LaTorre: I have a lot of projects in the works. I have a draft of another book dealing with the Schmorde characters, I have a draft of a book about an ant-war protestor in the sixties, and I have a draft of a book about a young woman who runs into a series of disastrous situations after moving to a new city. I also have a whole bunch of screenplays, which are in various stages of composition and revision. I stay busy!

Lisa: Thank you for agreeing to do this interview with me. I wish you much success with Joe's Odyssey!

Read Our Review



HOME