Shattered Melodies: Meet the hero: a character interview with Joe Lucitano

UntitledWhen I sat down to write Shattered Melodies, I had a blast doing character interviews with Claire and Joe. It’s one of my favorite parts of the writing process because, for me, the characters talk, and I just listen to what they’re saying and write it down.

So here’s Joe!

Jessica Eissfeldt: “So, Joe, tell me a bit about yourself.”

Joe Lucitano: “Let’s see….” He tips the brim of his hat up. “Well, I was born on a farm outside of the city here – San Francisco – we raised hogs. Not exactly an auspicious beginning.” He laughs. “But I always had a hankering for what was new, what was happening; I didn’t know much else that kept me entertained than that saxophone of mine.”

Jessica Eissfeldt: “That’s great! And you met Claire in school, too, right?”

Joe Lucitano: He nods. “I went to school in San Francisco and that’s when I met Claire. In the third grade. She’d just moved to town and looked so cute in that blue sailor suit of hers with the wide collar and the silver buttons.”

Jessica Eissfeldt: “What do you love about jazz?”

Joe Lucitano: “A combination of things. I love jazz because of how I feel so free when I’m playing, how I can just blend myself into the melody and let it play me, not the other way around. My fingers are keying the notes but I’m not the one in charge…”

Jessica Eissfeldt: “And what can you tell me about Claire?”

Joe Lucitano: He expression turns to sadness and I see a faraway look in his eyes. “Do you know why I gave her that locket? I wanted her to know that someone gave her love; that she was important, that she needed love; like we all do.” His voice is hoarse. He clears it. “And inside — she never told you what’s inside that locket, did she?” He looked up at me, then tosses his cigarette into the ash tray, the only glow coming from the now fading orange tip in the otherwise dark room and as he leans forward, all I can see are the whites of his eyes reflected in the glow from the street lamps outside the window framed by undrawn curtains.