For 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.
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-founder. 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 research 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 complex situation akin to those we face in every day real life.
And that’s what he puts into his writing.