Cesario Picca (1972) born and bred in Salento (South Italy) thanks to his parents Francesco and Antonia, lives and works in Bologna as a crime and judicial reporter.
He has already published (2005) the juridical essay ‘Ungagged – the developing concept of freedom of the press’.
His love for thrillers blossomed with ‘Murder at the Tremiti Isles’ in which the main character is a reporter from Salento, Rosario Saru Santacroce, who will soon be involved in many other intrigues and adventures with the same likeable verve and curiosity.
For example, now you can find Saru Santacroce in the new thriller Gioco mortale – delitto nel mondo della trasgressione.
In 2002 Picca was awarded the Piero Passetti prize for “chronicler of the year”. He has been a speaker or moderator at numerous conferences and has participated in many radio and television broadcasts
What inspires you to write?
I’m inspired by the reality, by my work, by what I see and I hear, by the life. I love hearing, seeing and feeling what happens around me and I write it in a romance way. I mix real life experiences and imagination. But I think reality is the most important mine we can draw fully from. When I feel a story and I have many elements to write it I start writing. For example, some months ago I read about a prisoner’s escape and my fantasy turned on pushing me writing a new episode with the character Saru Santacroce like protagonist in his Salento.
Tell us about your writing process.
I’m a crime and judicial reporter and I work breathing crimes, murders, thrillers and suspense so it was not difficult to start writing. But I think there’s always a turning point in our life, the right moment to start doing something and I was looking for it. I started in 2004. It was a frozen evening and I was waiting for police to explain what happened in an apartment where an old woman died. The real story turned the beginning on in my mind. So I started thinking about a thriller and I wrote it. I looked for a real and honest editor to publish the romance but I haven’t found it. So I put the thriller in a drawer and I wrote another one. This second one was Murder in the Tremiti Isles which is set in the Adriatic Pearls in Puglia, in the South of Italy. I created the character Rosario Santacroce, nicknamed Saru, born in Salento like me, journalist who writes about crime stories. The author reveals the often humorous interplay between fellow-journalists, refers to real news stories and packs the investigation with twists right up to the surprise ending. My stories are peppered with amusing expressions in the Salento dialect related to the food, tastes and customs of Salento, that part of South Italy surrounded by two seas, and contain the right mix of eroticism and suspense.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
More or less, the character Saru Santacroce and his creator Cesario Picca are the same person. But there’s a difference between them: Saru Santacroce lives in the fantasy, lives in the people’s mind who love living and enjoying life. On the other hand, Cesario Picca loves living and enjoying life but lives reality which is more different than fantasy or a romance.
Who are your favorite authors?
I usually read classics and Bible. I don’t have a favorite author. It depends on the moment and on my readings. In the past I read Edgar Wallace, Ellery Queen, Cornell Woolrich, Arthur Conan Doyle, Agatha Christie, Jeffery Deaver, John Grisham, Ken Follett.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I don’t like the policy used by traditional editors. Particularly, I’ve never found a serious or professional editor and so I decided to become an indie author. In this case I be grateful for Internet and its revolution which is breaking the mortal grip of traditional editors where connection can make the difference. I don’t think all indies will become writers like someone say because readers (and market) always give you your real value. But a good prayer and some luck can help to be successful.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
The revolution has started thanks to Internet and new means. Sometimes important authors are indie. This is the proof that readers are the real and right unit of measure of talent.
What genres do you write?
I write thrillers and noir. But in my books you can find love for life, but also my novels are full of vivid expressions in the Salento dialect related to the food, tastes and customs of that part of Italy wedged between two seas and contains just the right mix of eroticism and suspense.
What formats are your books in?