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!
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