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Member Spotlights

Member Spotlight: Joe Calderone

author Joe Calderone looking directly at the camera and an image of his book Don't Look Back

Why is writing important to you and why do you think it’s an important medium for the world? Writing is the basis for learning and passing on knowledge to the next generation. In a fractious world, books also can bring us together for a shared experience. The finished product–whether it is fiction or nonfiction or journalism–allows readers to go places and enter worlds they otherwise might never get to experience. That’s priceless. As a writer, you also get to meet people and research topics that are new. It’s continuing education for me. And it is satisfying when you are able to master a new subject area and write about it in a way others hopefully appreciate.

What are your tried and tested remedies to cure writer’s block? Just keep writing. Every day. Write something. Create a new character, a new scene. It may not work but it will likely lead to something else that will. Or do some additional research. That also can open up a new door.

What is your favorite time to write? In the early morning or on a weekend when the house is quiet. I am usually too tired from my day job to attempt anything creative any other time.

What’s the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever received and would like to impart to other writers? Find a good editor. It’s really important to have someone you can work with who can help you with the work.

What excites you most about being a writer in today’s age? I’m an old newspaper guy so ink is in my blood. I love movies and TV and radio but there is something special about the printed word that still resonates. When you spend weeks, months or years writing something, whether it is a newspaper story or a magazine piece or a book, there is that moment when you are about to publish that still gets me excited, nervous, anxious and thrilled all at the same time.

Joe Calderone’s Don’t Look Back: The 343 FDNY Firefighters Killed on 9-11 and the Fight for the Truth is out tomorrow with Post Hill Press.