Who’s That Indie Author? Angela Paolantonio

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:
Website: angelapaolantonio.com  
Blog: lamericana@blogspot.com
BookLife: Angela Paolantonio
Instagram: AMPaolantonio | @ghostsofitaly


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Who’s That Indie Author? Kaitlyn Jain

Author Name: Kaitlyn Jain

Genre: Non-fiction, travel, memoir

Book: Passports and Pacifiers—Traveling the World, One Tantrum at a Time

Are you a full-time author? If not, what’s your side gig? I spent fifteen years doing marketing and project management in corporate America. As of a few weeks ago, I’m taking a (short?) break to focus on writing, along with overseeing virtual learning.

Favorite author/books: Bill Bryson, Isabelle Allende, Malcolm Gladwell, To Kill a Mockingbird

What experiences or people have influenced your writing the most? I’ve been blessed with great teachers and a fantastic college professor who encouraged my creativity. Traveling with the kids in Scandinavia inspired the book. I recognized the absurdity of what we were doing, but also the pure joy, and I wanted to encourage others to see the world.

Do you keep a writing journal and if so, how do you use it? I’m not the best at keeping it current, but I use it while traveling and write in it when I have time.

Do you belong to a writers’ group? If so, describe your experience: Yes. We meet twice a month to review two pieces. Each of us brings diverse strengths and we’re all at different phases. It’s been a great learning experience—and I’ve read more sci-fi in the past year than I have in my entire life.

Are you up with the sun or do you burn the midnight oil? Neither. I love sleep so try to get in as much as I can while the kids are asleep.

How do you get over a writing slump? Reading a good book, writing in my journal, or just getting out there and experiencing new things. I come up with my best ideas when I’m running or putting my littlest down for a nap—and try to remember what I was thinking in case I fall asleep before she does!

Do you prefer writing dialogue or descriptive passages? I usually start with descriptive passages and change to dialogue to improve the flow. Descriptive is easier for me but the dialogue balances it to make the reading less dense.

What are you working on now? Since I’m launching my first book February 2021, I’m focused on successfully getting this out the door! I have started a second book, similar in content, but with a different spin.

What advice would you give to someone thinking about writing and publishing a book? Go for it! It’s important to try new things and push yourself to do things you’re not quite sure you can do. I find that challenges are merely opportunities you haven’t succeeded at yet.

Do you listen to podcasts? If so, which podcasts do you find the most interesting? Not really.

Favorite escape: I love reading and travel. I’ve visited nearly every state and 25+ countries. This year, when we couldn’t travel, I read a lot and hiked with my family.

Have you ever tried Kombucha tea? No. My mom loves it though so, based on my genes, perhaps I will at some point.

Do you prefer a couch with pillows or no pillows? Pillows, for sure, though they’re always a mess in my house. They need to be put back or rearranged since they’re inevitably removed for some fort or turned wrong when the kids are pretending the floor is lava.

Would you rather rake leaves, shovel snow or weed? Not weeds. I got poison ivy this summer and it was MISERABLE. I like shoveling because that means there’s snow to play in and go sledding. You can take the girl out of Michigan, but can’t take the Michigan out of the girl.

Favorite mask – disposable paper, plain fabric, colorful print or something else? Reusable and colorful. I usually wear a green mask bearing the name of my kids’ school since I’m PTA president and need to encourage sales.

Biggest writing challenge since Covid-19: Focus and time. Without childcare for three months (and my husband and I both working full-time), it was quite difficult to do much beyond put food on the table. Plus, for my genre, actually going anywhere! I can’t wait to travel with my kids again.

Website and social media links:
Website: www.kaitlynjain.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/PassportsandPacifiers/
Twitter: @KaitlynJain
Instagram: kaitlyn.jain


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Who’s That Indie Author? Gerald Yeung

Author Name: Gerald Yeung

Genre: Travel Memoir, Humor

Books: Kong Boys (2020); Wannabe Backpackers (2009)

Are you a full-time author? If not, what’s your side gig? I am a tech project manager aspiring to be a full-time writer one day.

Favorite authors/books: Authors: Bill Bryson. Lauren Weisberger. David Sedaris. Augusten Burroughs. Books: The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid. A Wolf at the Table. Born a Crime.

What experiences or people have influenced your writing the most? I love reading about other people’s travels. I live vicariously through books like The Motorcycle Diaries because I don’t have the grit to “rough it out” like many people. When I took a “backpacking” trip with my childhood friends the summer we turned twenty, I decided to keep a journal. One thing led to another and I discovered my passion for writing (and what I like to write about).

Do you keep a writing journal and if so, how do you use it? Only when I travel. A few years ago, I made the switch from pen and paper to my iPhone. Storyist is a good app for writing.

Do you belong to a writers’ group? If so, describe your experience: I don’t but would love to one day.

Are you up with the sun or do you burn the midnight oil? Up with the sun for sure. I go to sleep at 10.

How do you get over a writing slump? I reread my favorite books and passages. They inspire me to tell myself, “well, I think I can do this.”

Do you prefer writing dialogue or descriptive passages? Dialogue comes more naturally to me.

What are you working on now? I’m taking a break after releasing Kong Boys this summer. Next I would like to try fiction.

What advice would you give to someone thinking about writing and publishing a book? Write something that interests you first. Writing should be enjoyable. Then think about what may interest your readers.

Do you listen to podcasts? If so, which podcasts do you find the most interesting? Yes. Fantasy Football Counsellor is my secret to get ahead in my fantasy league. 🙂

Favorite escape: Golfing on an early Saturday morning

Have you ever tried Kombucha tea? I have not!

Do you prefer a couch with pillows or no pillows? Without for sure. I even started sleeping without pillows.

Would you rather rake leaves, shovel snow or weed? Weed. I spent seven years in Upstate New York and have had enough snow for the rest of my life.

Favorite mask – disposable paper, plain fabric, colorful print or something else? Anything reusable and eco-friendly

Biggest writing challenge since Covid-19: Keeping up with my two small kids at home (20 months and 4 months)

Website and social media links:
www.geraldyeung.com
https://www.facebook.com/geraldyeungauthor


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Who’s That Indie Author? Martha Miller

whos-that-indie-author

Author name:  Martha Miller

Genre:  Travel Memoir

Books:  Times New Roman: How We Quit Our Jobs, Gave Away Our Stuff & Moved to Italy

Bio:  Martha Miller is a former retail executive who had been downsized twice, and decided to take life into her own hands. She and her husband quit their “secure” jobs to move overseas, complete an education, experience another culture, and change the course of their lives. Martha began writing about the new life she was living in Italy, eventually becoming a frequent contributor to Wanted in Rome, an English-language magazine. Her work has also appeared in GoNOMAD.com, Transitions Abroad, Go World Travel, International Living, LifeinItaly.com, Family Circle, Parents, The Christian Science Monitor and The Writer.

Favorite thing about being a writer:  There is no better feeling in the world than a reader telling me my writing has inspired or entertained them. I love when they say they didn’t want “Times New Roman” to end.

Biggest challenge as an indie author:  At first it was distribution. I didn’t understand the need for my book to be available from large book wholesalers. Bookstores and libraries have contracts with certain wholesalers like Ingram and Baker & Taylor. If your book is not available here, they cannot order it no matter how interested they are. After I got my book into Ingram, Barnes & Noble, indie bookstores and libraries started ordering.

Favorite booksHeartburn by Nora Ephron. Authors who make me laugh out loud have a special place in my heart. I’ve always got a memoir going, and am trying to read more classics. I read The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde last year and loved it, and Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury this summer. It was not at all what I expected.

Contact Informationtimesnewromanbook.com, marthamillerwrites.com, email: martha@marthamillerwrites.com

Awards/special recognition:  Media: Times New Roman has been featured on The Good Life Radio Show, with Mike the Wine Guy, Simple Living, LifeinItaly.com, and Transitions Abroad.

Reviews: Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards, Martha’s Italy  (a different Martha), Lola et La Vie – Book Blogger Reviewer (Holland)


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