Falling into Freelance with Tullio Pontecorvo

generalpontecorvoFor October, I am beyond excited to be hosting Tullio Pontecorvo!

Seriously, y’all, I’ve been waiting for this interview so impatiently, that I’m having it back tomorrow to talk a different kind of shop.

Politics.

Because this Italian author isn’t just slinging fiction chops, he’s a freelance journalist who specializes in geopolitics, and he’s got some advice for Americans this election.

His current fiction project is a near-future sci-fi novel that explores the relationship between the individual and the ideological in a complex geopolitical environment.

JR: You’ve been more active as a freelance journalist lately. Care to bring us up to speed?

Tullio: Sure. I only did one serious foray into freelancing and it was with Earth Island Journal, but lately, between the blog and my collaboration with Modern Left, that has intensified. I still wouldn’t call myself a journalist. I think of myself more as a writer of opinion pieces and analyses based on my competences. I am currently working on another batch of pieces for both my blog and Modern Left, and there might even be other collaborations in the future, with other people.

JR: What prompted this sudden interest?
Tullio: Well, first off it was the opening of my blog. Building an author platform is slow work. It’ll be easier to manage the blog if I ever publish my fiction works, but until then I need to provide content that engages people, even if it’s for a niche audience.
There’s also the work I’m carrying out for My Country? Europe, of which I’m a co-foun12122897_876873259074565_5711903623596433219_nder. In reality however it all dovetails with my rediscovery of my vocation for politics. The two paths are linked: political activism and writing are distinct, they have their own needs and approaches and different professional standards, but there is a relationship.

JR: Does this detract
time from your fiction writing?
Tullio: Not at all. I am a slow writer in any case, and I need a lot of psychological preparation before I write fiction, so I rarely set aside more than thirty minutes a day for my novel.

JR: I think my characters would revolt, no lie! What’s more important to you, your novel or your articles?
Tullio: Definitely my novel, although doing resea1024px-ilva_-_unitc3a0_produttiva_di_taranto_-_italy_-_25_dec-_2007rch for geopolitical articles inevitably strengthens my understanding of my fictional setting’s mechanics as well. Articles and essays are something I do on the side.

JR: Do you have other fiction works planned aside from your novel?
Tullio: Yes, definitely, and some are even partially written. They have been fridged for now, however!

JR: I look forward to seeing them once they’re warmed up!
Tullio believes the greatest virtue of speculative fiction is the Socratic exercise, that a good speculative story can tell you more about yourself as a reader than about the author who crafted it, because it doesn’t beat you on the head with a stick: it confronts you with a compsocratic-exerciselex situation akin to those we face in every day real life.
And that’s what he puts into his writing.

You can follow him on his blog and Facebook page, or check out the article he wrote for Earth Island Journal under a different name.

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