Every now and then, I like to shake things up. I’m not the only one! Today’s combination book review/author interview is with John E. Guzzardo whose 3 novels each demonstrate his willingness to “shake things up”. I hope you enjoy this as I did his novel “Change Rising”.
An Uncomfortable Truth
In the first chapter of “Change Rising” by John Guzzardo it’s easy to be seduced by the colorful, play-by-play account of a college basketball game into thinking “This is going to be one of those come-from-behind inspiring sports stories.” But “Change Rising” is so much more than that! It’s a compelling blend of college coming of age story – with all that entails; friendships, mentors, adversaries and of course, young love – with a school and community also “coming of age”.
With each chapter, Guzzardo peels back another layer to reveal more and more truth. Truth about situations, motivations and of course, about himself.
Set in a small college in the South, Jay Ferragamo is the Editor of the school paper The Scope. Homecoming elections become a powder keg threatening to explode on campus and in the community. DeMarcus Milton, an activist member of the Student Government levels accusations of racism in the selection process. As Jay delves deeper, he finds that class – the “good ol’ boy (or girl) network” may be the real culprit.
As the story progresses we see through Jay’s eyes the messy process of growing up, developing leadership, meaningful relationships, assuming responsibility, standing for something and searching for truth.
Guzzardo also raises questions about the role of journalism in uncovering stories and revealing truth. He illustrates the importance of journalists not advocating a position outside the framework of an Editorial Column and the power the press wields.
“Change Rising” is a powerful, thought-provoking look at change, truth and those who pursue both!
John’s blog is titled “GetInJohnsHead” and certainly through his books, we get a chance to do just that. Much of the stories originate from his personal experience as Editor of his college campus newspaper. I wanted to get further into John’s head with some more personal insights – the sorts of things we would ask guests around the table at one of our dinner parties.
- Q: Everyone has “guilty pleasures” – what’s yours?
A: Chocolate covered espresso beans…and cheese.
- Q: If you were ordering your last meal, what would it be?
A: As an appetizer, a slice of beef pizza from the Roman Oven in my college town, Americus, Georgia. They have the only beef pizza I can tolerate. Then, I’d my wife’s linguine and clams, her Caesar salad, with a side order of my mom’s potato salad – sweet tea and a Yuengling to drink. For dessert probably a bowl of ice cream from Honey Hut Ice Cream in Cleveland, Ohio. They have THE BEST ice cream on the planet – it’s sweetened with actual honey.
My wife and I travel…a LOT (all 7 continents) so we are always interested in where others have been, what they enjoyed and what we should avoid.
- Q: What one place have you visited that you’d love to revisit and why?
A: St. Augustine, Florida. My wife and parents go there as often together as we can. We love the shops, the history and the beach. A LOT of good memories.
- Q: What one place you’ve visited that you’d NEVER want to revisit and why?
A: Lebo, Kansas – where my wife went to high school. It’s not even a “one horse town.” I think the horse got repossessed and they replaced it with a moped…that’s how small it is! That and her former “classmates” never gave her the time of day – she deserves better.
- Q: Where have you not been but you want to go and what appeals to you about that destination?
A: San Francisco! First, I’m a Trekkie…what Trekkie wouldn’t want to go to the future home of Starfleet Headquarters? Second, it’s a cultural mecca for so many things…the food, the history, the Golden Gate Bridge, the Embarcadero…you name it. Finally, it’s named for St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals. My wife and I have always loved cats and animals in general.
We hope you enjoyed getting to know author, John E. Guzzardo a little through our interview and that you will use the links below to buy John’s books, read his blogs and follow him on Twitter.