And here starts a new series. I have some pretty amazing writer friends and they’re all doing amazing and wonderful things that make my inner cheerleader flip through the air, one of those amazing friends is Vanessa Carnevale. Vanessa and I met through an online blogging course we did and when we realised we were both writing coaches and writing books we clicked, but really she invited me onto her podcast first and things went from there.
I was lucky enough to have the chance to see some early pages of The Memories that Make Us, so I have been so excited to see this process come to fruition. And getting the book into my hot little hands was so exciting. I also was lucky enough to go along to her book launch where we got to celebrate her amazing achievement and make our very own flower crowns. My hats off to florists, you guys make everything look so effortless. So, before I waffle on too much here is Vanessa Carnevale, if you have any questions for her, feel free to leave them in the comments.
What made you want to write stories and books?
My love of writing came from a love of reading. From a young age, I’ve always been an avid reader and I think that must have sparked my love of storytelling and fictional worlds.
What does your collection of books look like?
I read a lot of contemporary and historical fiction, so my bookshelf reflects that. I really love fiction that whisks me away to another time and place, and/or moves me emotionally.
The Memories That Make Us is about Gracie, who wakes up with severe amnesia and has to decide whether she wants to live the life she has no memory of or start a new one. Where did the inspiration for this story come from?
The initial spark of an idea came from a question about whether we make our memories or our memories make us. I started thinking about all the sliding door moments we have in our lives and that led me to think about whether I would live the same life again, if given the chance to start over. (Yes, I would.) From there, Gracie’s character started forming in my mind.
Did you have to do any research to for this story? Yes, I needed to research memory loss and also flower farming, which forms the setting of the novel. I read books, visited flower farms, and even started my own cut flower garden.
What are your favourite flowers? Peonies and roses.
What does your writing process look like?
I’m finding that every book is different. With this one, I started with an outline and filled in the gaps as I went.
What’s your favourite tea and why?
I don’t really have a favourite tea. I’m a huge fan of herbal tea and I like trying new ones all the time.
What’s some great advice to give writers who want to get published?
Read as much as you can and as widely as you can, be open to feedback, and believe in yourself.
What was the best writing advice that was give to you?
I’ve been given lots of words of encouragement along the way so it’s hard to pinpoint the best advice as at varying stages of my career and writing process, the advice has been what I have needed to hear at the time. As far as all-round good advice goes, I would say that writing from the heart can’t really lead you astray. Write the kind of book you’d love to read and enjoy yourself along the way.
Who are some of your writing heroes?
One of my favourite novels is The Help by Kathryn Stockett. I loved the cast of characters in that book, especially Skeeter.
What’s your typical writing day look like?
On my set writing days, I do the school run and then come home, pop the kettle on, light a scented candle and then dive in. If I start to feel a bit stuck throughout the day, I take a walk, do some meditation, or spend a few minutes in the garden. All those things help clear my mind, making it easier to come back to the work.
Such a pleasure to hear from her and if you’re sold on her words, head over to the links below to grab her latest book The Memories That Make Us now. And if you want more grab a copy of The Florentine Bridge, you won’t be disappointed.
Vanessa Carnevale is an author and freelance writer who has contributed to The Green Parent, The Huffington Post, Muse, and Italy magazine, among others. She is the author of The Florentine Bridge (MIRA) and The Memories That Make Us (Fiction HQ). She was a finalist in the Best New Author category for the AusRom Today Readers Choice Awards 2017. Vanessa is also the host of Your Beautiful Writing Life Retreats in Tuscany, Italy and Australia. She loves travel, tea, and flowers and often dreams of escaping to the country. You can connect with Vanessa at www.vanessacarnevale.com