Thursday, June 13, 2024

Q&A with Kathy Iandoli




Kathy Iandoli is the author of the new novel King of New York: A New Mafia Tale. Her other books include God Save the Queens. She is a professor of music business at New York University, and she lives in the New York metropolitan area.


Q: What inspired you to write The King of New York, and how did you create your character Jimmy? 


A: The concept of King of New York was something that I had been thinking about for quite some time, as I wanted to delve into the fiction world in a way that I felt connected to.


I've been a fan of mafia tales for quite some time, but also the common themes across organized crime families of different cultures. There has rarely (if ever) been a story that weaves them all together.


As for Jimmy, he is a composite of family, me, and other people I've known and studied.


Q: Did you know how the novel would end before you started writing it, or did you make many changes along the way?


A: I definitely knew how I wanted the very end to play out. No spoilers, clearly, haha, but the middle was something that shifted as I wrote deeper into the characters' personalities.


Q: How did you research the book, and did you learn anything that especially surprised you?


A: I read extensively about organized crime. I spoke with family and friends, and conducted some off-record interviews. I knew there were similarities across families, but honestly I didn't know just how similar.


Q: What do you hope readers take away from the story?


A: I hope that readers can see the deeper familial aspect woven throughout the story, while appreciating that heroes can be villains and villains can be heroes. Jimmy is by no means a perfect character, but to me he is much more hero than villain.


Q: What are you working on now?


A: I still have a whole other literary career outside of fiction. On the nonfiction side, my collaboration with Eve on her memoir titled Who's That Girl? arrives on September 17. My collaboration with Lil' Kim on her memoir titled The Queen Bee arrives in early 2025.


And then perhaps a sequel to King of New York if all goes according to plan, but there are some other nonfiction works coming too.


Q: Anything else we should know?


A: I have a mindfulness journal coming out as well on November 12, for anyone looking to open up their writing capabilities—set to the theme of Hip-Hop.


--Interview with Deborah Kalb

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