I am happy to have Laura Fabiani, whose book Daughter of Mine I just reviewed, here today for an interview!
Has your job as a counselor influenced your writing at all?
I do tend to write best about what I know and have experienced in life. Working as a counselor has opened up my world to different personalities and backgrounds. I am a people person, a people watcher. I love to find out why people do or say certain things and what makes them tick. Being a counselor also showed me the darker side of life, which replaced the naiveté of youth. I also get inspired and influenced by books, music, family and the everyday mundane things I do, both as a mom, wife and teacher. Doesn’t sound too glamorous I know, but that’s where creative writing comes in handy! It’s all in the way you display things.
What made you decide to write about Italy?
I have loved Italy since I first visited my relatives at the age of four. My mother is Roman and her whole family is still living in Rome. My father is from the mountainous region of Abruzzo. I can still remember the first time I saw the Coliseum or tasted my first gelato. I speak the language and can easily blend in with the Romans when I visit, although I was born and bred in Montreal. The experiences of my trips to Italy have always been exciting and fun, and I wanted to translate some of that in my novel.
I noticed that you teach creative writing. What would you define creative writing as? What differentiates it from other kinds of writing?
I would define creative writing as writing that is inventive such as fiction and poetry. In the non-fiction category it would cover memoirs and any topic written creatively versus journalistic, academic, or technical. I stress originality in my workshops. I aim to inspire my students to find their writer’s voice and to be proud of it.
What was the last really great book you read?
I finished reading The Last Queen by C.W. Gortner last month, and it is a book I still think about. Gortner’s writing is beautiful and rich with stunning prose and historical detail. I was enthralled by the story of Mad Juana, the last queen of Spain. I can still remember the last sentence of the book—one of the best endings I have read. There are few books in which I can actually remember the last words written.
Can you tell us three interesting facts about yourself?
1. I have noticed in the last few years that I can get claustrophobic. Having seen the effects this has had on another family member who won’t take elevators, travel by plane or keep the windows closed while sitting in a car, I am determined to beat this fear by purposely putting myself in situations that would warrant sweaty palms and a rapidly beating heart. For instance, last summer my 6 year-old son convinced me that sliding down the dark, winding tunnel at the giant water park was “a blast”. I swallowed my fear, smiled at my son and got an exhilarating ride that ended in a might splash and a wedgy!
2. I don’t drink coffee, only tea. The exception was in Rome in 2007 when my uncle took my husband and I to a renowned bar that makes the best espresso and cappuccino in the city. My uncle brushed off my protests of not liking coffee and bought me one. After my husband licked his cappuccino cup clean and asked (hoping I would say no) if I was going to drink mine, I did, more out of curiosity than anything else. It was amazing! I haven’t had coffee since.
3. I like to cook and experiment with different foods and spices. The best-tasting meals were when I was pregnant with my daughter and EVERYTHING tasted delicious. It was like I was rediscovering food again, a veritable feast for my taste buds. I can make a killer tiramisu. (Yeah…the fat content might kill you but the taste will be heavenly.)
If you were going on a trip and could bring only three books along, what would they be?
Since I will soon be going on a trip, I gave this question some thought. If the number is limited to three, then it would have to be…the Bible (I strive to read it daily), Here Burns My Candle by Liz Curtis Higgs (I recently won this historical novel and can’t wait to read it!) and Lucia, Lucia by Adriana Trigiani because a funny book is the perfect read on a plane.
Thank you so much, Laura, for stopping by today! I would love to try that tiramisu lol! Also, check out Laura’s book review blog here!