Author Name: Angela Paolantonio
Genre: Memoir/Place-Based Travel Memoir/Women’s Studies
Books: Still Life with Saints (2020), The Ghosts of Italy (2016)
Are you a full-time author? If not, what’s your side gig? No I am not a full-time author. Once a twenty-year resident of Los Angeles life and culture, I have been an artist agent and photo editor/director for national and international advertising and editorial companies. Now in Italy, I’m an English language coach and consultant, while also keeping my other art and photography interests alive as curator and consultant for art and photography exhibits, books, and events in both Italy and the U.S.
Favorite author/books: At the moment my favorite international author is Elena Ferrante. I read her Neapolitan Novels, there are four in all, about a year or two before they hit the USA market. They were recommended by an Italian friend. Ferrante captures the life of Italian women’s experiences beautifully, accurately, in spectacular emotional prose. Other favorite authors or books are too numerous to list!
What experiences or people have influenced your writing the most? As a memoirist, experiences and people are the main influences for my writing.
Do you keep a writing journal and if so, how do you use it? I do not journal, however, I have kept and filled many plain notebooks with experiences, feelings, drawings, and ephemera for years, both in the USA and Italy. They resemble more art journals than writing journals. I have referenced them when writing; they inform me of where I’ve been.
Do you belong to a writers’ group? If so, describe your experience: I do not belong to any writers’ group.
Are you up with the sun or do you burn the midnight oil? I’m still a morning person. But with the help of a good Italian espresso or two I can burn the midnight oil with the best of them!
How do you get over a writing slump? I don’t typically have writing slumps. But to loosen up, I may write a letter or a blog post or do a twenty-minute stream of conscious exercise by hand.
Do you prefer writing dialogue or descriptive passages? I love both.
What are you working on now? I am always taking notes—as I recall my own stories of the many experiences I have had here over the years or listen closely when a neighbor or an acquaintance is telling me theirs. So book three or a screenplay…
What advice would you give to someone thinking about writing and publishing a book? It is one of the most rewarding creative processes I have ever experienced. But it is a longer process than you may think at first. The time you put into it is all your own. Be prepared to be challenged.
Do you listen to podcasts? If so, which podcasts do you find the most interesting? I have only recently been listening to podcasts due to our sort of global lockdown. Here in Italy we were the first. I love The Michelle Obama Podcast, Dax Shepard on Armchair Expert is great, and I like You and Me Both with Hilary Clinton. I’ve also been a guest on one called The Literary Goddess.
Favorite escape: An LA movie theater for a matinee. A medieval city in Italy. A simple passeggiata.
Have you ever tried Kombucha tea? I made Kombucha tea super moons ago in LA when an artist friend gave me a starter.
Do you prefer a couch with pillows or no pillows? I prefer a big deep couch with no pillows.
Would you rather rake leaves, shovel snow or weed? I’m an East Coast girl who lived for twenty years in LA, so all three.
Favorite mask – disposable paper, plain fabric, colorful print or something else? A plain white, pleated mask officially issued from the Regione di Campania.
Biggest writing challenge since Covid-19: Publishing Still Life With Saints by the end of this year. We did it!
Website and social media links:
BookLife: Angela Paolantonio
Instagram: AMPaolantonio | @ghostsofitaly
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23 thoughts on “Who’s That Indie Author? Angela Paolantonio”
Hi, Barb – Thank you for introducing us to Angela. Congratulations to her for achieving her goal of publishing Still Life With Saints despite the challenges of the pandemic!
Hi Donna, Thank you for your congratulating comments. The pandemic was definitely a catalyst to finishing Still Life With Saints, though the manuscript was already in the final stage. With all things now global working with my graphic and editing team was an ‘altalena’ breeze.
Hi Donna – yes, that’s quite an achievement – I agree! Thank you for reading and commenting 🙂
Angela’s background certainly feeds into her writing life: artist agent, photo editor, and now language coach. Thanks, Barbara, for the introduction here to Angela and her books. I love all things Italian, the culture and the language, and I know I’d enjoy her books. Happy Valentine’s Day!
Hi Marian, Thank you for your comments! Yes, as a memoirist my past and present lives both in the USA and Italy have informed my writing. I find it fascinating how it all fits together. Happy Valentine’s to you too!
Hi Marian – I’m glad you enjoyed meeting Angela. Thanks for the visit!
Thanks for introducing us to Angela, Barbara. I related to many of her answers to your questions. I’ve never belonged to a writers’ group either. Too many opinions can destroy my creative flow. Congratulations to Angela!
Hi Jill, Very nice to hear that other writers do not want the sometimes intrusive opinions of other writers. To each her own path! But I am open to speaking with bookclubs about the writer’s life. Thank you for your congratulations!
Hi Jill – I’ve been tempted to join one, even though I’ve never actually published a book, but for some reason I have always held back. I don’t know whether it’s intimidating to me or if I just prefer to go my own way with what I write. I think it might be the second reason. Thanks for the visit!
What a fascinating life, I’m sure she’s had!
Yes, I agree, Betsy. Thanks for stopping by!
Always a pleasure! (When I’m able to make it. Ahem. ) 🙂
Busy moms at every age 😉
Thank you Barbara for introducing me to all these new readers. Thank you all for reaching out with your comments and compliments! I am happy to join any future bookclub Q&A’s or conversations about The Ghosts of Italy or Still Life With Saints — or Elena Ferrante.
You’re welcome, Angela!
Thank you for this introduction to a very interesting lady!
Thanks for stopping by – I love meeting new authors and hearing their stories 🙂
Very interesting and great book covers. I wonder if the author/artist designed them herself.
I was also thinking about how nice the covers are. Thanks for stopping by, Karen. Hope you are doing well – such a long winter!
Ciao Karen in Calabria,
Thanks for the great question and compliment on my book covers!
The answer is yes. Both the book covers and their interiors were designed by me and a great friend and book/graphic designer Doug DaSilva who is listed on my website. Not only that, the front and back covers and chapter headers of The Ghosts of Italy are my own images from the village.
The cover of Still Life With Saints is a painting by Italian Baroque painter, Giovanna Garzoni.
Excellent work! Great integration of your photos and love the Baroque butterfly. I notice you have an Italian version – congrats on that! I’m now translating my first book, but I’m a little leery with POD as my experience is that Italians prefer bookstores. I’m still in the research phase. All the best to you.
Hi Karen and thank you for stopping by to read about Angela’s books. Great comments too. Best wishes to you on translating your book!
Thanks, Barb, I’m not sure which is more difficult and time consuming, the original writing or the translation. Of course, I’m going in the wrong direction out of my mother tongue, which makes it nearly an impossible task (despite the Italian language mother-tongue-equivalency certificate I have, lol). I’ve done my first pass and am now working with an Italian friend. What a learning process!
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