This week SpellBound books are celebrating International Women’s Day by releasing some fabulous books by women. I am pleased to be taking part in the blog tour for Little White Doves. I’m sharing a Q&A with the author with thanks to Zoe O’Farrell for inviting me on the tour and to Linda Falco for answering my questions!
Have you always wanted to write?
Not at all. I really didn’t think that I was capable. I struggled to write a four page essay at school so the thought of 85,000 words? Forget it. I enjoyed reading but could hardly be described as a bookworm. It was much later in life that I discovered the power of words. When I started to write ‘Little White Doves’ I was in a very bad place and I needed a focus tor the sake of my mental well-being. Since I already the bones of the story in my head, I was encouraged to write. I totally lost myself in the the process of researching and writing.
What were your previous jobs? Have they helped you with your writing process?
I worked in the theatre as a costume designer. Bringing characters to life on stage, requires analysing and understanding them, just as in writing about them. Researching different eras and customs was also an important part of my job. There were plenty of crazy, creative and interesting people to observe too. You may meet some of them in my next book.
What was your inspiration for Little White Doves?
This is going to sound so corny but I actually saw the girl in the prologue when I was in that slither of time between wake and sleep. It was so vivid, I saw her running, desperate to escape, terrified, pitching herself towards the fence climbing and falling. The vision disturbed me and I couldn’t forget her. It triggered the whole story.
How do you construct your characters? Do they have traits of people you know?
Yes, most definitely. Some of my characters are a mash up of two or more people that I have known or observed. I was raised in a huge Italian family full of colourful characters and stories that have become Falco folklore. A wonderful resource to draw on..
What does your writing process look like? Are you a plotter or a pantser?
I plotted ‘Little White Doves’ from start to finish to give myself some structure to work by but of course it evolved along the way.
How did you research Little White Doves? Did you enjoy it?
I loved researching for “Doves” I was able to visit some of the East End settings but since the book is set in the past many are unrecognisable now. Fortunately I could speak to people who knew the area at the time. Old photographs and letters were useful and of course the internet. I had to be very careful about historical references and the characters’ timelines as they all intertwine and span several decades.
I’d like to go to Italy to research the next one. Would that be tax deductible?
Who are your favourite writers? Are you influenced by them?
Very often the author that I’m reading at the time becomes my favourite if I’m loving it. I try not to be over influenced by other authors. It’s quite dangerous for me. I recently read Steinbeck’s East of Eden and was so blown away by the writing that I felt too intimidated to write another word for days.
If you could invite three people, living or dead, to dinner, who would they be and why?
Miranda Hart, Sarah Millican and Sindhu Vee. Intelligent, insightful and funny women. I love the way that they find humour is in their observations of the ridiculous in the everyday situations. All things that we recognise and very often stress about. It’s a relief to be able to laugh about them.
Who would you least like to be stuck in a lift with and why?
I can think of a couple of people but I’d better not name them for legal reasons
Who would play the main character/s in a film of Little White Doves?
Luigi — Robert de Niro
Zia Zurra— Sophia Loren.
Nonna Rosa—Miriam Margolyes
Valbonna— Valeria Golino
Donna— My daughter Christina wants to play her
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I still sew and like to keep my hand in by helping to costume shows for a local drama company and I work a couple of days a week in a charity shop.
What is next for you?
I have two projects at the moment. A sequel to Little White Doves and a stand alone novel. One on the hob and the other on the back burner.
Book? Jane Eyre
Film? The Colour Purple
Band/Singer? The Moody Blues/Adele
TV show? Green Wing
Little White Doves is available from Amazon.
You can follow the rest of the blog tour here: