IRDA Winning Author Ken Tentarelli on the Best Part of Being an Indie: “All pressure is self-induced.” 

The Advisor was the winner in the Historical Fiction category of the 2020 IndieReader Discovery Awards, where undiscovered talent meets people with the power to make a difference.

Following find an interview with author Ken Tentarelli.

What is the name of the book and when was it published?   

The Advisor; Jan 2020.

What’s the book’s first line? 

“Being a nursemaid for a tax collector is not a job for a knight, and I intend to prove it.”

What’s the book about? Give us the “pitch”.

In Renaissance Italy Nico Argenti uses his legal training to help a small mountain town outwit a vindictive knight. He travels to Lucca, Chianti, and Perugia before confronting the knight’s forces. The Advisor blends history with social and personal insights to build interest from beginning to end.

What inspired you to write the book? A particular person? An event? 

My travels through Italy from the Alps to Sicily, and my studies of the language in Perugia and Rome have given me a great appreciation for the people and history of the country.  That inspired me to write the Nico Argenti series.  The Advisor is the second book in the Nico Argenti series.

What’s the most distinctive thing about the main character? Who-real or fictional-would you say the character reminds you of

Nico Argenti has similar values to Donna Leon’s Commisario Guido Brunetti. Both men have a strong sense of justice and both have close family ties. Of course, Nico is younger, less experienced, and lived in an earlier time.

What’s the main reason someone should really read this book? 

The Renaissance was an exciting time and Florence was its nexus. Readers can sample that time and place by joining young Nico Argenti as he leaves sheltered university life and confronts problems in the real world.

Is this the first you’ve written?

The Advisor is the second book in the Nico Argenti series. The first book, The Laureate, was published in 2019, and the third book, Mayhem in Milan, is underway.

What do you do for work when you’re not writing?

I am a trustee of my local library and a member of the Board of Directors of the adult education program at a local college.

How much time do you generally spend on your writing?

2-3 hours per day, but not all writing. As an indie publisher, a good amount of time must be devoted to promotion.

What’s the best and the hardest part of being an indie?  

The best part is that indie writers can set their own pace.  All pressure is self-induced.  The hardest part is finding the most effective ways to promote book sales.

Which writer, living or dead, do you most admire? 

I enjoy the works of many writers, but one I greatly admire is Richard Russo for his ability to portray such well-rounded characters. It’s hard to tell which are reflect real people and which are from his imagination. My favorite Russo work is Straight Man for it superb humor.