Interview with Jordan Petrarca, author of Mafia University

12 Nov 2018

What can you tell us about your new release, Mafia University?

Mafia University was an idea I came up with 15 years ago when I was at college. My frat brothers and I were obsessed with the movie “Goodfellas” at the time, so we came up with mobster nicknames for ourselves which I eventually turned into a story.  I finally decided to make it into a book and I’m very proud how it turned out.  The story mixes the college experience and the mafia lifestyle together in a unique way and I hope that readers will be entertained and appreciate its original storyline.

What or who inspired you to become an author?

When I was in sixth grade, I wrote a play called “The Murder of Big Bird” about the assassination of Big Bird on Sesame Street.  My English teacher liked it so much that she had me cast some of my classmates and perform it in front of the class. From then on, I knew I had a talent for storytelling. For the longest time I wanted to be a screenwriter, but after I read about thirty books in a year, I decided that I could write one.  I just want to entertain readers with my original storylines the same way I have been entertained by all the great books I’ve read in my life.

What’s on your top 5 list for the best books you’ve ever read?

Top Five Books in no particular order… “The Godfather” by Mario Puzo, “Omerta” by Mario Puzo, “The Stand” by Stephen King, “A Game of Thrones” by George R.R. Martin, and “Charlotte’s Web” by E.B. White

Say you’re the host of a literary talk show. Who would be your first guest? What would you want to ask?

If I hosted a literary talk show I would want my first guest to be Mario Puzo, because to me, he wrote the most iconic book in history, “The Godfather”. I know he is no longer with us, but I would love to sit down with him and talk about “The Godfather” for the entire show.  I would ask him what inspired him to write organized crime stories and I would ask him how he came up with some of the best characters to ever be written down on a page.

What’s your favorite thing about writing?

My favorite thing about writing is dialogue. I love writing conversations and I feel like that is my strongest aspect of my writing.  When someone reads a book of mine and says that my dialogue made it feel like it was real, it puts a special smile on my face.

What is a typical day like for you?

A typical day for me is waking up early in the morning and lying in bed with my wife and twin girls, before I go to my full time job working with autistic children.  After work, I pick my girls up from their grandmother’s and I spend time with them until they go to bed.  When my girls go to sleep, I either read or write, then watch a show or two before bed with my wife.

What scene in Mafia University was your favorite to write?

My favorite scene I wrote in Mafia University was when one of the villain mobsters from New York City shows up at the university the story takes place at and visits a backroad country bar in the middle of nowhere.  A conversation between a city guy like him and a bunch of hillbillies was hilarious to me.  It was a lot of fun to write.

Do you have a motto, quote or philosophy you live by?

I live one day at a time and try to be the best father and husband I can possible be.

Jordan Petrarca is the author of the new book Mafia University

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