A year ago, almost to the day, my science fiction novella Across Spacetime was launched. To celebrate this, I’ve interviewed Samir Bond, who, with Beatrice Blanche, is a main character in my book.
A: Hello Samir, how are you?
S: Hi Angela, I’m having a great time in London, away from Antarctica. Too cold for me down there. I can’t say that England is a warm place, but is still much better! People to see, places to visit… That’s my idea of paradise.
A: I see. I thought you enjoyed it very much on Mars as well, maybe even more than in London.
S: Yes, I did, still too cold though. It was an interesting phase of my life. For the first time I was off Earth without my family, doing something that was cutting-edge: making history or reliving history, to be precise. I felt special. When you live in an era in which almost everything has being discovered or invented, it’s very difficult to stand out in a big way.
A: Would you do it again?
S: Yes, I would. I met extraordinary people during the Spacetime Programme, from all over the solar system. How ironic that I had to travel back in time to meet Beatrice in London!
A: Yes, life is unpredictable. In the interview she gave me, Beatrice told me that she had a hard time in the past Earth because she had to remove all her implants, but once the withdrawal syndrome was over, she felt fine and didn’t need them anymore, not even when she went back to the future. So I was wondering, what was life in the past Earth for you?
S: Exciting and challenging. Another chance to show myself what I’m made of. Having to rely on my wits and not technology to solve my problems, that was exhilarating. Since I’ve come back from the past, I have reduced my dependence on it. Maybe that’s why I enjoy cooking so much, apart from starring in Across Spacetime of course.
A: You’ve helped me a lot when I was writing Across Spacetime. Is there something that you’d like me to have written differently?
S: Well, yes, actually. You made me say that I missed smart cities. And that was true. However, I’ve realised, too late, that you and your readers would have misunderstood what I meant. So thank you for the chance to put it right now. What I meant is that I missed the smart cities of my century, not the ones connected to a “smart” network, like the 5G one that governments around the world want to deploy in your point of the spacetime continuum. No, we refused to use them. Our ancestors decided against that technology because it was too risky for human and animal health. And also because it was the basis for implementing the so-called Internet of Things, that would have introduced an unprecedented level of surveillance on citizens without any legal reason for it and without full disclosure of the extent and scope of the surveillance. A true Orwellian society. I’m grateful that our ancestors stopped it before it was too late. I hope you’ll be able to do the same.
A: Thank you for this, Samir. Only recently, I’ve realised how dangerous the 5G network is. You're right, its introduction has nothing to do with increasing the speed and quality of our communications. I hope we’ll be able to stop it in this universe too. Can you tell me what is smart about your cities then?
S: Yes of course. In our cities, there is no pollution because we have free, clean energy, and no Homeless because everybody has a comfortable, nice place to call home. We care for one another; no one is left behind or excluded from our society. Everybody is given equal chances, but that doesn’t mean that we are equal. Meritocracy is essential in a just and happy society. I wish I could show you… Maybe in another book?
A: That’d be great! I have loads of other questions I would love to ask you, however I know that you must meet up with Beatrice shortly, so I won’t keep you any longer. I look forward to interviewing you again soon. And please give my regards to Beatrice.
S: Will do. Thanks for having me. It’s been a great pleasure Angela. Till next time!
Today I'm thrilled to host an interview with author Jo Linsdell, not only because we've been collaborating for a while (remember the August bookish blog hops and the Christmas one?) but also because she's a Brit living in Italy and I'm an Italian living in the UK.
For how long have you been living in Italy, Jo?
I came here for 3 days back in June 2001, and I'm still here ;) Crazy to think it's been that long.
Wow. And since you moved to Italy, have you always lived in Rome?
No. Although we've mainly lived in the capital, we also spent some time living in Tivoli. It's a small town near Rome and definitely worth a day trip for those coming here on holiday. It's home to some beautiful villas and waterfalls.
I had the chance to visit Tivoli in my youth and I agree, it's well worth a day trip. How do you like living in Rome?
I've moved around a lot over the years and Rome is the place I feel most at home. As a city it's changed a lot since I've been here, and not all in a good way, but there's still so much to love about living here. There's so much to see and do too. I love history and art, and both are in abundance here.
Agreed. Rome is the perfect city for art and history lovers! I went several times and look forward to taking my daughter there. However, you must miss the UK. Can you tell us what you miss the most?
Mostly little things, like proper bacon. Italian bacon is different from the big cut we have in the UK. It's just not the same. Another thing I miss are the houses. Since moving to Rome I've lived in apartments. I miss having a house with a garden. I'd have to move out of the centre to have something like that here though.
I think the thing I miss most though is hearing my own language. When I go to the UK to visit I like that everyone is speaking English. I know that sounds odd. I'm bilingual and have no trouble speaking and understanding Italian now, but I miss hearing my own language. It's nice to go for a walk and just absorb the Englishness.
And I miss the Italianess. So, did you get married in Italy?
Yes. Here in Rome.
What inspired you to write A Guide to Weddings in Italy?
I'm married to an Italian, and thought others might benefit from the research I had to do to get married here. As with anything bureaucratic, working out what documents were needed, where we needed to go, and when, was a long process. Having gone through it all I figured others might find the information useful.
Was it easy for you to learn Italian? Is it why you decided to write Italian for Tourists?
When I first came to Italy I only planned on staying for 3 days and so didn't study the language beforehand. I learnt Italian by living here. It was hard in the beginning but I think the hardest part was getting out of my own way. I was afraid of making mistakes. Self doubt plays a big role in slowing down progress. Once I just threw myself into it and allowed myself to get things wrong it was actually much easier.
A lot of people told me I should write Italian for Tourists. I used to work with tourists and it would often come up in conversation. I used my own experience and the things that tourists wanted to know how to say to create a language guide specifically for them. One of most common comments about other phrasebooks was that there was too much information in them that wasn't relevant for tourists. Stuff like how to buy a house. Tourists don't need to know that, and it just gets in the way of finding the information they do need. Italian for Tourists is a bare bones phrasebook created specifically with tourists in mind.
Do you speak English to your children?
Yes. They both speak Italian and English.
They're very lucky. Changing subject: where is your current favourite place to write, and if you could pick any place in the world where would be your ideal place to write?
I have an office area in the corner of my bedroom with a desk, but rarely use it. I prefer to be comfy in my recliner armchair in the lounge. I don't really have an ideal place as such, but I find I can't concentrate if I'm out and about so would need to be at home, with some peace and quiet.
Your CV is impressive: you’ve written fiction and non-fiction books, you run your own website, you are the founder and CEO of Writers and Authors and Promo Day, have won several awards in your career, were named the Who's Who in the writing industry in 2009, and you are an illustrator too. If you had to pick the thing that you like to do the most that is writing related, what would you pick and why?
Now that is a hard question. It's like picking which of my kids I love the most. Impossible. I enjoy all aspects of my work. As long as I'm being creative I'm happy.
What are you currently working on?
I have several projects in the works at the moment. My new book 365 Days of Quotes for Writers is due for release on 17th January 2018 and so I'm busy with tasks related to the launch.
I'm also finishing writing the KOSMOS series and getting the last episodes ready for publication over the coming months, and working on edits for my novel Do You LIKE Me?
Is there a question you would have liked to answer but was never asked in an interview?
I've answered all sorts of questions over the years. Nothing springs to mind. Obviously the question I like most is "Where can we buy your work?" As I do a lot of different work the easiest answer to that one is my website, www.JoLinsdell.com. It has information and links for all my projects.
Thank you Jo, and best of luck in all your endeavours.
Sincere apologies for not posting a new piece last week. I was feeling too poorly to touch the keyboard. Today, though, I’m fine and I’m excited to share with you info on the two collaborations I’m taking part in this December.
The first one The Advent Calendar 2017, hosted by teacher, author, blogger and mother of two Solveig Werner, starts tomorrow. As the schedule hasn’t been posted yet, for now I’ll tell you that my post will go live on 21th December and that the posts will be “a short story (or long), a photograph (or more), a memory, a recipe, a song, a video, a painting, a poem, a prayer, a legend, a tradition, your books’ (or book’s) characters going on an adventure, a collage, a multi-author story, an interview (with Santa, Rudolph, etc.), a drawing, a dream, a sculpture (well some pictures of your creation)”. Sounds pretty interesting, right?
Being this her third advent calendar, the 2015 and 2016 posts are available on her website.
This is the second time that I had the pleasure to collaborate with Solveig, since last February she kindly published An interview with Angela Guidolin as part of my Book Blog Tour to promote my science fiction romance novella Across Spacetime.
The second one is A Bookish Christmas Blog Hop, organized by my friend, blogger and author Jo Linsdell. You may remember her from last August because I took part in her Book Lovers’ Blog Hop.
It will begin on 10th December and will last for a week. Every host will introduce a bookish question, answer it and publish the answers of other bloggers.
My post will go live on 15th December and the theme is A fictional creature to replace Rudolph and meet on the roof. The day before I'll reveal which fictional character I'd like to kiss under the mistletoe. Nice to be a little be naughty sometimes!
Here’s the schedule so far:
10th: A book you love so much you want everyone to find under their Christmas tree this year so they can read it too. Host: Belinda Bekkers
11th: A book cover that has a wonderful Christmas feel to it. Host: Jo Linsdell
12th: A book you'd like to find in your Christmas stocking this year. Host: TBA
13th: A fictional character you'd like to spend Christmas with. Host: TBA
14th: A fictional character you'd like to kiss under the mistletoe. Host: Laurie Lucking
15th: A fictional creature to replace Rudolph and meet on the roof. Host: Angela Guidolin (me!)
16th: 5 fictional characters you'd invite to your New Year's Eve party. Host: TBA
I'll be back next week with further updates. In the meantime, I hope you'll join us over at Solveig's blog for the The Advent Calendar 2017.
At the wee hours of last Sunday morning I appeared on The Brian and Sherri Show. I enjoyed talking to my hosts about Across Spacetime, how I’ve became a writer and my book signing at the Folkestone Comic Con next 7th May.
If you’ve missed it, here's the link to the Facebook episode. I'm in from 17.43.
Or you can listen to the podcast.
What part did you enjoy the most?
Me, when I was asked to keep them updated on my future publications and invited me back on the show!
I had the pleasure of meeting Angela today for coffee and to discuss her novelette just published in Nebula Rift called Homecoming.
It’s a sci-fi story that keeps you intrigued until the end and is a must read. I asked Angela some questions and here are her replies.
Where do you get your inspiration from for your stories?
From my life experiences, the people I meet and the questions I ask myself about life. Usually I think about a theme and I allow the plot to form in my mind before starting to write. It can take months before I am ready to write a story, but then the process is quick because I have laid out the whole plot.
How long have you been writing?
Four years, on and off and part time.
Have you got a special place where you do your writing?
Yes, I have occupied half of the dining table for lack of rooms in my flat (as you can see in the photo). I add pictures/paintings to immerse myself deeper in my story, and I remove them when I am done. Also, I find that listening to music gets my creative juices flow.
Do you write different genre? If yes, which ones?
I can write poems and plays, but usually to feel satisfied the genre must be sci-fi. I enjoy the freedom it gives me to explore controversial/delicate subjects, or write about episodes of my life without hurting anybody. Recently, I decided to write a story about how I met my husband. It was meant to be a romance, but I turned it into a sci-fi novelette, called Across Space-time, which should be ready within a year. I could not help it.
Can you tell us what Homecoming is about?
Yes, of course.The main character, Shr, is an adventurous and determined soul, who agrees to incarnate as a human being for at least two lifetimes, to have the chance to become part of the ruling class of the Sunnians (inhabitants of the Sun) as an Energy Creation Supervisor. She studies hard to pass the mandatory tests that allow her to progress on her spiritual path, and seeks the fun side in all of her experiences. A little reluctant, Shr agrees to spend part of her eternal life on Earth, and boldly leaves the Sun during the solar storm of 1859, but no training has prepared her to face her new harsh reality.
When Shr least expects it, she is called back home to the Sun. Feeling responsible for the people she should leave behind, Shr decides to risk her career and ignores the oath she had taken before incarnating as a human for the first time, to come back when her time was up. Only when she has completed her mission, she returns home to face a disciplinary hearing.
To her surprise, she finds out that her disobedience has started political unrest and that the Solar Affair Minister, the highest office on the Sun, holds her responsible…….
Do you miss home?
Yes, because I have been away for a year. Luckily my parents have learnt how to use Skype!
Have you published anything else?
I have another short story called A New Beginning that is part of the Folkestone 2014 Anthology. The anthology will be launched at the Book Festival Fringe Event which will be held at Fresh and Easy in November 2014.
Angela has said that she is willing to answer any of your questions relating to her story as she does realise that sci-fi is not to everyone’s taste and some of the wording can be difficult to understand. Add your questions to the comments and I will pass them all on to Angela.