“Fiction and well-being writer. Author of Loveandpizza.it, Founder of “The Writing Shed”, the “go to” online magazine for women searching for wellbeing, empowerment, and to regain their self-esteem and confidence. Avid reader of chick lit, crime and historical novels. Amateur photographer. Believes that writing can help heal broken hearts, build up self-esteem, and empower people.”
D.P.- What’s your favorite song for writing?
D.P-A.- It depends on the part of the story I’m writing. When I wrote “Loveandpizza.it”, I created a playlist with Italian songs that would put myself back in Napoli, and set the mood to the love stories, and mishaps, and also the tense parts. When I am writing my courses or articles for The Writing Shed Magazine, I like to listen to classical music or country music ballads.
D.P.- Do you have a writing routine?
D.P-A.- Not really, as I work full time and only have evenings and weekends to write. But when I sit down to write, I forget about the world. My husband usually says that “I’m in the zone”, and that the world could fall apart around me and I wouldn’t notice.
D.P.- Dancing or singing?
D.P-A.- I love both, but I guess I sing more than I dance. I love music and I’ll sing along (and loud!) to the ones I like, even if I get all the lyrics wrong.
D.P.- Beach or woods?
D.P-A.- Definitely the beach. I am an ocean lover! Everything about beaches fascinates me. When it’s sunny, when there’s a storm, rough or calm sea. I just love it. The sound of the waves breaking at the shore, the salty smells. That’s why a house at the beach, where my writing space would have a panoramic view of the ocean, with a golden retriever by my feet while I write, is my ideal place to live!
D.P.- Coffee or tea or something else?
D.P-A.- Coffee. Always. Although I won’t say no to a gingerbread latte, or a glass or two (or three, or four) of Baileys!
D.P.- Share a guilty pleasure with us.
D.P-A.- I’ve recently finished a Gilmore Girls Netflix marathon!
D.P.- Who is your favorite TV or movie character and why?
D.P-A.- Alicia Florrick (The Good Wife). She’s an amazing character, and I believe has so much to offer in terms of the “model” of a chick lit heroine. She has so much to teach women about resilience, and focusing on her goals and keeping to her values, all while being a good mum and a good professional.
D.P.- What book do you recommend the most?
“D.P-A.- Tuesdays with Morrie”, by Mitch Albom. This book was the first book I read as “self-development“ material. My father recommended the film, and I found out about the book later on. Morrie’s lessons touched me deeply and made me aware of things about myself I never knew existed. Feelings, fears, love for some people that had gone way too long unshown. This is a book I usually buy people as a gift. 🙂
D.P.- How do you get ideas for stories?
D.P-A.- I tend to get ideas from my surroundings. People I meet, situations I am a spectator of. Sometimes things in my own life. I don’t write as if it were me, because that would be too tacky, but I find a character straight away that could relate, and react and develop even the tiny situation into a funny short story or a novel. My next novel, which I’m writing at the moment, was inspired on the fact that one day, tired of feeling down, I went and bought a sewing machine by impulse, so I could make pretty things. I guess I went as far as four cushions and a pair of curtains for our bathroom!
D.P.- What’s the best advice you’ve gotten about writing?
D.P-A.- I can’t remember where I read it, but it stuck with me: keep writing, no matter what. While writing my first novel, there was a long period when I just couldn’t think about what to write. I literally put the half-finished thing aside. It wasn’t until I did NaNoWriMo, in 2015, that I brought it back to life. I guess that the “pressure” of writing 50,000 words in a month gave me that emergency of finishing in a way that I’d be happy to call it a “complete first draft”. From then on, you became much easier. I edited it myself, and sent it to my beta readers. It was a lot of hard work, but the novel was finally published on 13th February 2016, exactly three years after my mother passed away, as I had wanted to pay a homage to her with my first published novel.