Thursday, 2 August 2012

Author Spotlight - An interview with "Gina" from Guilia Goes to War

Question: Gina, you are the youngest of four children. Do you find that gives you a special place in the family?

Yes, of course. Italian families of that era, in general, gave boys more freedom than girls. My two older brothers, not seen much in the book, have a lot of freedoms that Giulia and I do not experience. As the oldest daughter, Giulia bears the brunt of all of the old world protective ideas our parents want to use in rearing us. Of course I support her efforts at independence--it makes it easier for me.

Question: You have red hair and so does your cousin Carmie. DO many Italian Americans have red hair?

Well, in the writer's family there are redheads--a long line of them descending from the grandfather on one side--and they are from the Naples area. Many Italian red-heads hail from Venice, but there is a large pocket near the Naples -Salerno area too. The author's mother was a green-eyed red head and all Italian.

Question: Does it bother you that Giulia seems to confide mostly in cousin Carmie instead of you?

She addresses that in the book--after all, Carmie is her exact age and I love her too. But as I get older, both Carmie and Giulia become closer to me. In fact, in Letters From Korea, I go and live with Carmie in Pittsburgh. Don’t forget, she is another red-head!

Question: A bit about the author and her writing habits

As a spoken word artist, story performer, I am on stage with original retellings of folk and fairy tales and one-woman shows that illustrate the lives of famous and regular people from various eras in American history.

Over the years, my writing has concentrated primarily in non-fiction to supplement our family income and fill my need, yes, need, to write. I write to explore ideas and learn about things that interest me and I write to entertain and edify.

I want people to laugh and learn when they see me onstage or when they read something I write. My "motto" is "Encouraging words through pen and performance."

With the series, Legacy of Honor, " I hope to illustrate the lives of ordinary people on the home front during various periods of American History--World War Two (Giulia Goes to War), Letters from Korea (The Korean War), and the last two (as yet untitled) will deal with Vietnam and Desert Storm. In each I hope to tell a love story between a man and young woman and show the young woman's road to independence and self discovery in a period of change in our history. For example, Giulia is one of the many young women who left home and went to work in a man's domain. She faced opposition from family not only in her relationship with someone from outside of her own ethnic group, but also as a girl who was in the workforce and living away from home.

We will see in the second book that her struggles paved the way for her younger sister to move more freely into the workforce. Of course, Gina will face other struggles in the early 1950s.

I like to add real incidents into all of my writing. History is a great interest of mine, and several of my short stories have won awards from the Lower Cape Fear Historical Society. Most of the details about each period are real. If my fiction deviates from reality, I note those deviations in the forward.

So, if you like light and sweet romance possibly with a bit of mystery, set in the latter half of the twentieth century, read Giulia Goes to War and get ready to read the others in the Legacy of Honor series.

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