Thursday, February 20, 2014

Indie Author Interview: Maria Chiara Marsciani


Indie Author Interview with Maria Chiara Marsciani - Author of the New Adult Romance / Coming-of-Age Novel Urbino, Unexpectedly: a story of love and self-discovery.

For Maria Chiara Marsciani, writing has always been a passion and a need. The day she started writing, it was the day when she learned how to hold the pen in her hand, but life distracted her from writing and, for many years, the only one allowed to know about her many stories and many thoughts were the piles of handwritten pages kept hidden in her closet.

Interview with Maria Chiara Marsciani

Author Maria Chiara Marsciani
Author Maria Chiara Marsciani
Alan Kealey (Indie Author News): What is your (writing) background?
Maria Chiara Marsciani: I have no formal writing education. I college I went to law school first, dropped out of it, and then I took a psychology degree, but since I was a child I had fun writing and inventing stories. I have always enjoyed holding the pen in my hands and in school I was constantly looking forward for the dictation exercises (Yes, I was probably the only one!).

Who are your favorite writers, your favorite books, and who or what are your writing influences?
I grew up in Italy and my first favorite author was Luigi Pirandello, I loved his style and his ability to look into the human heart. Later in life I became a wild fanatic of Tolstoy especially ‘Anna Karenina’ and ‘War and Peace’. As for books, the list of my favorites is very long and continually changes. I think a book is an encounter that, in order to be successful, needs to happen at the right time. Many books that at first I didn’t like ended up becoming my favorites, so I constantly try to go back to the ones I didn’t appreciate the first time. A few titles that definitely left a mark on me are: Pride and Prejudice, The picture of Dorian Gray and Jonathan Livingston seagull.

When did you first know that you wanted to be a writer?
I always felt the need to write, but I didn’t know I wanted to be a writer until recently, I’d say a couple of years ago.

Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yes. I wrote my first story when I was ten. It was a boring afternoon in the middle of winter and I remember taking my dad’s typewriter, sitting down at my mom’s desk and starting typing a horror story that gave me goose bumps while I was writing it. I had SO much fun!

Tell us about your writing process. Do you have a writing routine?
I have a ritual that helps me get into the right mood. First I take my daughter to school, then I sit in front of the computer, I read the newspaper’s headlines and I answer emails. Once I learned what’s going on in the outside world, I’m ready to shut it out, so I put the phone on silence and I start writing. I also keep a notebook on my nightstand because at night, right before falling asleep (and often in the middle of the night), ideas come to my mind.

Please, describe your desk/workplace.
The room where I work was supposed to be my husband’s office, but I took total control of it (who’s the boss anyway?) and now it is the place where I spend most of my time. Looking around I see a lot of flying pieces of paper, a million notes that should remind me of things I have to do, one oversize and extremely noisy printer, a few pictures of my family back in Italy, one wall covered with books, and my pets. Yes, my two cats and my dog stay always with me while I write.

"The hardest is when I can’t find the right words to express them."

What do you find easiest about writing? What the hardest?

It’s the only way I know to truly express all the nuances of my deepest thoughts. The hardest is when I can’t find the right words to express them. As you know, emotions are not “born” as word, as they belong to a part of our brain that is the emotional system, which is quite far form the language areas. While the process of expressing these emotions through writing is the one activity that I love the most, I can’t always easily find the right words to convey what I wish. But that’s the beauty of writing!

What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I truly enjoy the creation process because it brings me closer and closer to understand who I am. And of course being alone with my characters in their world and sometimes struggling with them because they don’t want to follow my directions while they would like to take my story onto a different path from what I originally planned, it’s a lot of fun.

Maria, please tell us a little about your New Adult Romance Urbino, Unexpectedly.
Urbino, Unexpectedly, as the subtitle points out, is a story of love and self-discovery set in Italy. It is about the myriad of challenges related to growing up and taking the future in our own hands. It is also about the eternal conflict between trying to be who we truly are versus what others want us to be and the power of love that can help us overcome our fears. While Clara is living a life that from the outside looks perfect, she is unhappy. The passive embracement of her parents’ values has trapped her in a life she neither likes nor wants or understands. One day, in Urbino, she meets Leonardo and their immediate mental connection crumbles the rules of her safe, black-and-white world and their powerful physical passion shows her the many colors of life.

Urbino, Unexpectedly (Maria Chiara Marsciani)
Click to Read an Excerpt

What inspired you to write the book?
My own struggle to discover who I am…actually, I’m still looking.

Who do you see as your target audience and where can we buy the book?
I think anybody from 18 and up could enjoy reading ‘Urbino, Unexpectedly’. A young audience can identify with Clara’s dilemmas and insecurities and see that sometimes, in life the only opportunity we have is to take risks, while a more mature audience can definitely think back, live a passionate love story and enjoy a full immersion in the Italian culture.
Urbino, Unexpectedly is available online on Amazon, B&N, Booksamillion and probably other retailers. Bookstores: Politics&Prose (5015 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington DC) and Winchester Book Gallery (185 North Loudoun Str. Winchester, VA).

"The writing style. No gimmicks, no unnecessary emphasis [...]"

What makes your book special?
The writing style. No gimmicks, no unnecessary emphasis or fireworks.
It’s a direct, blunt and unfiltered look into a young girl’s soul. Perhaps not politically correct, but let’s see what the audience says.

How would you describe the success of your book so far?
Way beyond my expectations!

How long did it take it to write the book?
A little over a year. And many, many sleepless nights.

"[...] don’t be afraid of finding your own writing style."

Can you give some advice for other Authors regarding the writing process?
Ignore the market trends and don’t be afraid of finding your own writing style. Give yourself time to let your thoughts emerge from the depth of your subconscious. Finally, find a routine that works for you, and that helps your ideas to reach the surface.

Are you working on another book project? Can you tell us a little about it?
I am currently working on a new book very different from the first one. It is a novel about a couple whose marriage is going through a big crisis and, while they try to deal with it, each one of them in a different way, they find themselves in the middle on a mystery that unsettles the whole neighborhood.

"I’m a paper book lover."

Where do you see the book market in 5 or 10 years? Will there be only eBooks and will book stores disappear like record stores disappeared?
I really hope not, but maybe I say that only because I wish it won’t happen. I’m a paper book lover. The pleasure of having a book in my hands and being able to turn the pages is immeasurable, but I’m always slow to pick up innovations. The same is with clothes fashion, when I finally start wearing something it is usually time to wear something else.

What is your e-reading device of choice?
I have none. Yet.

Do you write full-time or do you have a day job? When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
When I was pregnant with my daughter I made the decision to enjoy my last nine months of freedom and after she was born, I decided to dedicate myself full-time to raise her. It was the best decision I ever took. I could say writing is a part-time job because my whole afternoons are devoted to my daughter’s activities and her homework.
When I’m not writing I love reading, walking my dog, taking care of my plants or trying new recipes.

How can readers connect with you?
My website www.mariachiaramarsciani.com has a contact form they can use to send me emails.
They can also go to my Facebook page www.facebook.com/marsciani or tweet @mcmarsciani
I’d be very happy to hear from them!

Thank you very much for the Interview, Maria Chiara.



About the Book Urbino, Unexpectedly: a story of love and self-discovery

Urbino, Unexpectedly (Maria Chiara Marsciani)
Click to Read an Excerpt
One year. One love. One life.

Can love really help us to find out who we truly are, or is it just an out-of-fashion statement?

Italy early '90s, but it could be today. Clara is twenty-two; she studies in Milan and is about to become a lawyer. From the outside, everything is exactly as it is supposed to be, but Clara is unhappy. She finds Milan depressing, she hates law school and, anywhere she goes, she feels “like a fish out of water.” Embracing her parents’ values has trapped her in a life she neither likes nor understands. Her father is a famous surgeon and a reserved, pragmatic man whom she fears; her mother is a well-connected, flamboyant socialite used to supervising and influencing Clara’s every move; her roommates are often a source of trouble and, her grandma, who lives upstairs in the family’s home, is Clara’s only confidant. In Urbino, she meets Leonardo, a young doctor who lives in Rome, and from their first handshake, her destiny is changed forever. Their immediate mental connection crumbles the rules of her black-and-white world and their powerful physical passion shows her the many colors of life. But this is only the beginning.

Clara’s newfound confidence, her decision to quit law school, and her intention to marry Leonardo trigger unforeseen conflicts and bring to the surface deep-rooted jealousy that force her to redefine not only the relationships with her parents, but also the meaning of true friendship. Clara is faced with the dilemma of having to choose between her own happiness and the peace of mind of the people around her. She has to understand if spreading her wings and living life her own way it is more important than the reassuring feeling of being a ‘good girl’ who always behaves.

- "Clara's journey is one that many women can relate to. Living your life the way that would please your parents and believing it's what you want but realizing its not at all the life you want! [...] It's a hard road when her mother wont give up trying to stay in control of her daughters life but this story is great, touching, romantic and I recommend to all! " - Reader Review



Links to the Book

Link to the Paperback Urbino, Unexpectedly with Excerpt on Amazon

Link to the eBook Urbino, Unexpectedly with Excerpt on Amazon