Jera’s Jamboree : Author Interview Joseph Rinaldo

JJ is delighted to have indie author Joseph Rinaldo on the blog today.

Headshot Joe Rinaldo

Joseph Rinaldo lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with his family that included a cat named Caesar. Caesar plays himself in this book.

The protagonist in Valerie’s Retreat runs off with a man sixteen years her junior. My wife is sixteen years my senior, so many of our triumphs and trials have made their way into this book. Our relationship provided a good foundation for the two main characters’ lives together. The way his and her friends react to their age disparity also derives, at least in part, from my own experience.

For approximately one year I labored as a Head Teller at a bank. This employment history enabled me to create a believable bank robbery. The theft described in Valerie’s Retreat is easy to conceive and execute, but leaves a very clear path to the perpetrator. That is why the characters had to immediately run.

If you are part of a book club, I would be more than willing to be a guest at one of your meetings where any of my books are discussed. Please feel free to contact me through my website ( or on Facebook.


Hi Joseph,

Please summarise Valerie’s Retreat in 20 words or less.

Valerie’s Retreat tells about the life of a Cougar. Not the sex-hungry older woman looking for another younger man trophy, but a woman you could relate to and will probably like.

What was the idea/inspiration for your novel?

Valerie’s Retreat follows the life of a forty-one-year-old woman who happens to fall in love with a man sixteen years younger. My wife is sixteen years older than I am, so that might have helped foster this idea for a book. The jokes Valerie must endure, such as, “Do you have to cut his meat for him?” are actual barbs my wife received during our dating process. Like Valerie, I also worked in a bank. Unlike Valerie, I never considered robbing the bank where I worked.

Valerie doesn’t consider herself a “Cougar”. Franco, her boyfriend, happened to attend the same church singles dance on the same night. They talked, talked some more, went on a date, and presto- they’re boyfriend/girlfriend. That’s how it happened with my wife and me. “Cougar” makes the women dating younger men seem somewhat predatory. That isn’t the case at all with Valerie or my wife. For the record, my wife never considered robbing a bank either. Well, maybe considered, but never planned it out.

If you could choose to be one of your characters in your book/books which would you be? and why?

That’s tough to answer. All of the characters in my books have flaws and inner turmoil. Who wants to take that on?

Did you do any research for your book?  What resources did you use? 

Research for me falls into two categories: intentional and inadvertent. Intentional is when I needed to learn about extradition treaties between the US and an unnamed country in Valerie’s Retreat, I looked it up. If you do a lot of intentional research for a work of fiction, I suspect the book will be terrifically boring as you try to show off all the stuff you’ve learned. The much more important research happens as life goes on. Valerie is a hodge-podge of people I’ve met, seen, and made up. Watching other people react or studying patterns of behaviour, that’s the kind of knowledge that makes for an interesting story.

Which authors have influenced your writing?

This question is not: Who does your writing style mirror? But people often read the answer and hear, “He likes Dan Brown, so that’s what his books are like.” I read a book by Bob Woodward about the CIA during the Reagan years. Shortly after that I wrote A Spy At Home. Garrison, a CIA operative in A Spy At Home, sees his professional life as a wasted career. The idea germinated while reading Mr. Woodward’s book; however, none of the factual account from his work made it into my novel.

Do you have a book trailer?  

I have a trailer for Valerie’s Retreat, A Mormon Massacre, and A Spy At Home. The process of writing the script, working with the actors, and filming is a great deal of fun. Unfortunately, the trailers have not accomplished anything so far. I would recommend not making one. Please feel free to leave comments on any of my trailers’ YouTube pages. I’m interested to know what you think.  Here are the links:

Valerie’s Retreat:

A Mormon Massacre:

A Spy At Home:

What has been the worst part of your writing journey so far?

Editing! I hate rereading my own work and thinking, does that word fit there? Does that scene fit here in the story? Should the scene be included at all? Can I create a better plot twist? Does Valerie’s friend Janet come across as intelligent? Does… you get the idea; I hate that part.

What tips do you have for other aspiring writers?

You really need to find someone who will tell you if your work stinks. Most people won’t. In fact, it’s very hard to find someone honest enough to do that.

How do you launch your books?

We focus on the internet in a variety of ways. The toughest part is to get people to read that first book.I understand people are hesitant to give independent authors a chance. If any of my books: A Spy At Home, Hazardous Choices, A Mormon Massacre, or of course Valerie’s Retreat (all available on Amazon) interest you, please go to the free “Click to Look Inside” and sample the first chapter. If a book grabs you that quick, you’ll probably be glad you got it. Also, if you are in a book club that reads one of my books. I’d be honored to join your discussion. Feel free to contact me through Facebook or my website,

Thank you for your honesty Joseph.  Wishing you success with your projects!

V.R. book cover for KindleValerie, a middle-aged woman, leading an average life as a head teller at a bank finally finds her soul-mate, Franco. He’s sixteen years younger and studying for a Ph.D. in Archeology, but they click. Suddenly, the evil hand of fate causes their lives to fall into a downward spiral. They lean on each other. Trying to find happiness they happen to commit a little crime – make that a little felony, and dash out of the country. Now they’re happy – mostly.


Author Links

author website:
author blog:
Amazon book link (US ebook):
Amazon book link (US paperback):
Amazon book link (UK ebook):
Amazon book link (UK paperback):
Twitter profile:
Facebook author page:
LinkedIn author profile:
YouTube video book trailer:
Goodreads book page:
Other novels available on Amazon:
A Spy At Home
Hazardous Choices
A Mormon Massacre
Google+ page:
Library Thing profile:
Pinterest profile:
Shelfari profile:
Other YouTube video book trailers –
A Spy At Home:
A Mormon Massacre:



One thought on “Jera’s Jamboree : Author Interview Joseph Rinaldo

  1. Many thanks to Jera’s Jamboree for this great opportunity to talk about my novel Valerie’s Retreat, available now on Amazon in ebook format for only $2.99! Joe Rinaldo

JJ always welcomes comments. Let us know what you think!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s