Published: January 2016
Number of pages: 283
Synopsis:Innocents Abroad collide with La Dolce Vita when the author and her husband arrive in the ancient city of Rome fresh from the depths of Oregon. While the author endeavored to learn the folkways of the United Nations, her husband tangled with unfamiliar vegetables in a valiant effort to learn to cook Italian-style. In between, they attended weddings, enjoyed a close-up with the pope, tried their hands at grape harvesting, and savored country weekends where the ancient Etruscans still seemed to be lurking. Along the way they made many unforgettable friends including the countess with a butt-reducing machine and a count who served as a model for naked statues of horsemen in his youth.
But not everything was wine and wonders. Dogs in the doctor’s exam room, neighbors in the apartment in the middle of the night, an auto accident with the military police, a dangerous fall in the subway, too many interactions with an excitable landlord, snakes and unexploded bombs on a golf course, and a sinking sailboat, all added more seasoning to the spaghetti sauce of their life.
Their story begins with a month trying to sleep on a cold marble floor wondering why they came to Rome. It ends with a hopeful toss of coins in the Trevi Fountain to ensure their return to the Eternal City for visits. Ten years of pasta, vino, and the sweet life weren’t enough.
Part memoir, part travelogue, Coins in the Fountain will amuse and intrigue you with the stories of food, friends, and the adventures of a couple who ran away to join the circus (the Circus Maximus, that is).
Buy the book: Amazon Barnes & Noble iTunes Amazon.UK
City of Illusions: Amazon
About the author:Life was routine until the author decided to get a law degree. Then a chance meeting led her to run away to the Circus (Maximus) – actually to the United Nations office next door – where she worked as an attorney in the HR department and entered the world of expat life in Rome.
Her publishing credits include a memoir about ten years in Italy titled Coins in the Fountain, a novel about expats in Rome, City of Illusions, and flash fiction in literary magazines. She continues to travel in her spare time, having fitted in over 100 countries. And when she is in Rome, she always tosses a coin in the Trevi Fountain to ensure another visit.
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Did anything from your childhood play a role in helping you become a writer?
My earliest memories are my mother reading to me, beginning with The Wizard of Oz - a travel story. I wanted to travel too and I spent time studying maps and twirling an old globe that
stood on its wobbly stand by my parents’ fireplace, dreaming of visiting Greece, Egypt and even
more exotic places. I read books about archeologists digging up Roman ruins and the remains of
ancient Assyria. I read adventure stories under the covers at night with a flashlight until I fell asleep
dreaming of travel. So the combination of reading and dreaming naturally led to writing, first about
travel and now expanded to memoir and fiction .
What is a writing roadblock you've had to overcome? How did you overcome it?
It is easy to be overwhelmed with dismay at critique but I learned to carefully consider everything
that was said and take what was useful. Getting good critique is essential even if it sometimes hurts
to see your darling baby torn to shreds!
Describe your typical writing day.
I’m an early riser. I do write nearly every day unless I am traveling and usually have several projects going: a blog post, a piece of flash fiction, and now a new novel.
What does your writing space look like?
I have a home office. In front of me is a poster from an exhibit in Rome. To the right is a poster from the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia, and to the left is a painting on parchment from
Ethiopia. On the desk are dictionaries and my Thesaurus (I’m old fashioned and like paper). Behind me is a large bookcase filled with books about Italy histories, novels and travel guides along with other books from the over one hundred countries I
have visited. The floor has a carpet we bought in Jordan and I have a red leather fainting couch near
the window just in case!
Are there other books in the works?
I am working on my second novel (the first is City of Illusions set in Rome. It is the story of a young couple’s struggle with expat life and involves antiquity theft). The new novel is set in Rome and an island in Puget Sound and features a murder and the widow’s quest to rebuild her life.
Why are you a writer?
Because I believe that everyone should have a creative outlet. I am not gifted at painting, sculpture ormusic but after a lifetime of writing for work I have the ability to string words together and lots of
stories to tell. Much of my writing is about Italy. I have a very strong affinity for Italian life and want
to express that feeling so that others can enjoy it.
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