Being a global company with over 600 employees across the world, thebigword is proud of our talented members of staff and the interesting, amazing things they achieve outside of the workplace. At thebigword we actively encourage our employees to take on new adventures, hobbies and explore their talents.

This month we caught up with Rocco, our Vice President of Sales in Europe to discuss his passion for novel writing and publishing.

Why did novel writing first take your interest?

“Since I was 10 years old, I’ve always loved writing, particularly stories inspired by real events. My passion to discover new things always been part of me!

During classwork at high school, I always chose themes of current events, and loved to add my own interpretation of this, letting my imagination go wild.

I specifically recall a professor giving me top marks for my writing about the Sanremo Festival – the most important annual event for Italian music. This was a great achievement for me (despite me hating Italian pop music, as a rock lover!)”

How long have you been writing for?

“I started writing novels about 10 years ago, and published my first novel in 2009.

I’m proud to say that so far, I’ve published 4 novels. They are all thrillers with themes of ambition, social class, politics, nihilism and emotional impulses. The first novel was published in 2009, with my second published only 2 years later. In 2013 I published a short novel “Fama e successo” (Fame and success) and my latest work was published in 2017 – I spent 3 years writing this novel and it’s definitely my longest.”

Why thriller, in particular?

“I am passionate about crime fiction and thriller novels. At the age of 12, I subscribed to a publishing house and collected all the novels of Agatha Christie and George Simenon. I believe that thrillers, as well as being full of twists, fit well with flashbacks.

I love to disrupt the chronology of a narrative to return to more or less a long epidemic of the past, making this the core theme of the novel. I also love to create characters that are unpredictable and opposite of their true nature, transforming the narrative and bringing it to life.”

How do you make time to write besides your full time role at thebigword?

“My role at thebigword means I’m constantly on the go, and sometimes my novel writing has to take a backseat.

I spent 3 years write 130 pages of my latest novel. When I joined thebigword in March 2015, I was going through the last review of the novel and I finalised this work only 2 years later. Fortunately, I am an early riser and enjoy spending time very early in the morning on my passion!”

Does writing help with your performance in the workplace?

“In the spirit of work-life balance, I feel hobbies are very important for my personal and professional development. They serve as an immediate battery recharge after or before a hard working day!”

Rocco Filomeno – Vice President of Sales, Europe