Today I have the pleasure of speaking with, and welcoming Daniela Sacerdoti and her debut novel "Watch over me" which will be released on November 15th, 2011.
She was born in Italy, in Naples, but grew up in a small village in the Italian Alps. She moved to Scotland to be with her husband, and now lives near Glasgow with their two sons. Though she misses her home country, she adores Scotland and considers herself adopted – there is nowhere she'd rather be. She used to work as a teacher, but became a stay-at-home mum when she was pregnant with her second son. Though she's been writing for as long as she can remember, "Watch Over Me" is the first book she ever submitted.
If you want to know more about Daniela, visit her WEBSITE or get in touch with her through FACEBOOK and TWITTER.
Read the blurb from Goodreads HERE
Read the blurb from Goodreads HERE
A: What inspired the story of "Watch over me"?
D: The inspiration came from several things that happened through the years. First of all, my son’s birth – motherhood was so overwhelming, the feelings I had for Sorley so powerful, I didn’t know what to do with them. I bought a laptop and started writing during my maternity leave (I was teaching at the time). I stopped when I went back to work, and started again after my second son, Luca, was born. By then my beloved dad had died, and I felt very motivated to make something of my dreams and my ambitions. I took a dream I had, an incredibly vivid dream in which I was Elizabeth and I saw Jamie as a wee boy, and the story started from there. Also, I read the incredible poem Hallaig, by Sorley McLean, that inspired me to talk about a place where the spirits of those before us are never really gone. And Watch Over Me was born, written in the space of six months and published nearly as it came out.
A: Just briefly, what would you say about your characters, Eilidh and James? Was it hard creating such characters?
D: Jamie was inspired by someone I love very, very much. It’s a secret as to who he is! Though it’s quite easy to figure out reading my dedication...And Eilidh, well, she’s like an old friend. There’s a lot of me in her, but she’s also her own person. She came to me as she is, it wasn’t hard to create her at all. I miss her, actually! I should write a sequel!
A: What's the message you want to give out through "Watch over me"?
D: I think the message would be to feel free to make your own choices, even if it takes courage sometimes...just like Eilidh did. And to love and cherish family and friends, because they’re all that matters.
A: If "Watch over me" were made into movie, who would you cast in the lead roles?
D: Oh, this was subject of discussion with my publishers and my husband! I think it’s going to have to be David Tennant, Dougray Scott or Gerard Butler for Jamie, and the lovely Kelly Macdonald for Eilidh.
A: Are there some books or authors that influenced your writing?
D: Sorley McLean’s poetry is a great inspiration for me. I also love Banana Yoshimoto lyrical, haiku-style writing, and Philippa Gregory’s ability to paint incredibly vivid pictures.
A: Which book genre/genres do you especially enjoy?
D: Everything! Women’s fiction, YA, children, fantasy, thrillers, anything I can get my hands on! I have a very low tolerance for violence though, so I struggle with certain crime writing and horror is a big no-no. My favourite books of all time are Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte, Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoj, and for children, it’s got to be Anne of Green Gables by Lucy M. Montgomery.
A: What's the hardest and the most fun part in being a writer?
D: The hardest bit is to steal time from the family. I always feel very guilty! And also to set my alarm at four in the morning to write, that’s pretty tough. The best bit is just about everything else! The writing itself, and chatting to people who’ve enjoyed your work (which is happening now for the first time). It’s such an amazing feeling to know that your writing is appreciated and that it touches people.
A: What do you do when you're not writing?
D: I look after my two young boys, Sorley, who’s seven, and Luca, who’s four. I have many hobbies, I love music, reading of course, and cooking...and I love a good blether over coffee with my girlfriends! But I don’t get to do much of these things, as I write nearly all the time when I’m not with the boys.
A: Are you currently working on a new book? (If so when could we expect it?)
D: I’ve just finished the first volume in my Young Adult trilogy, Sarah Midnight. It’s out next May, followed by the second and third instalments six months apart. I’m also working on another YA, Faith, which hasn’t got a home yet, and on the edits of my children’s book, The Really Weird Removal Company, out next Autumn with Floris Books.
A: What advice would you give to those that are trying to break through in the literature world?
D: Be stubborn! You’ll get many, many rejections, so don’t give up. Be disciplined and work extremely hard, writing is a craft that needs to be honed, doesn’t matter how much talent lies underneath. Write for yourself, not for the market. And last but not least, have lots of self-belief, you’ll need it!
I am thankful to Daniela for this lovely interview and for sharing her book with our readers.
Together with lovely Daniela and her publishing company, I will be giving away 2 PAPERBACKS of her debut novel "Watch over me". To enter this giveaway:
1. Become a GFC follower of this blog
2. Leave your comment and your e-mail address in the comment section of this post. (Please note: Entries without an e-mail address will NOT be counted. You can use AT and DOT to avoid spam.
There will be two winners picked by Random.org, which will be contacted by e-mail and will have 48 hours to respond. If not responding, new winners will be picked.
Giveaway opened to UK and other EUROPEAN COUNTRIES.
Giveaway ends November 18th, 2011.