In his debut novel “Castillo”, Williamsport-based writer Joseph Farley interweaves action, suspense and history to tell a compelling and original story.
“I wouldn’t call myself a history fan or even a history student” said Farley. “However, I just wanted to weave the history of the city (St. Augustine, Florida) as it presented itself into one story.”
When it came time to find inspiration for the book, Farley just had to search in his home state.
“I love Augustine”, he said. “I love the castle, it just spoke to me…. I thought to myself, let’s write a little story about the castle, put it in the foreground, include a bit of history and make it a kind of travel guide … I found that really attractive. “
Judging by the book’s rave reviews, he doesn’t seem to be alone in this line of thought.
While it was just released this year, “Kastillo” has actually been in development for quite some time.
“I got the idea in ’89 and ’90 when I came to Williamsport, and I wrote the first draft in the winter of ’90. And it was on the shelf for almost 27 years. “
After Farley resumed writing the story, she sent it to the publishers and the rest, as they say, is history.
“I gave it to my son, who is an English major and lives in Pittsburgh, and I said, ‘You have to give this to someone who doesn’t know me and not tell them to see if it’s worth running up the flagpole. ‘ Turns out they thought it was a very good start and we played around with it for three months before we released it in April. “
Farley, born in Boston, raised in Florida, has lived in Williamsport for more than 32 years.
“I grew up in Florida, but when I experienced the northern climate, I really loved the snow.” he said. “Also the fact that I could live nine months a year without brutal moisture was a plus.”
In addition to being a fan of the climate, Farley is a fan of community and people.
“The people are mostly nice and friendly and very, very approachable”, he said.
Farley and his wife, a Navy veteran, raised four children in the Williamsport area and are proud grandparents.
When asked about plans for a possible sequel, Farley made very few details to keep the surprises in store for his readers.
“It has to stand alone and still work with the first one”, he said.
Whatever the next adventure, readers will have to wait to find out.
“Kastillo” can be bought locally in the Otto Bookstore and is also available on Amazon and Kindle. A personalized signed copy can be purchased online at www.josephfarley.com.
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