What’s the first thing that will come to your mind when you see these books on your local bookstore or the internet?
WOW, right? Just by looking at it, you could see that there’ll be an amazing story inside of it. (but wait till you read the synopsis and the WHOLE BOOK!). these are first TWO installments of the new series, The Italian Saga.
I had the opportunity to interview one of the kindest writer I know who never fail to make her fans feel loved and appreciated. One thing I learned about her after the interview – she is super lovely! you guys will love her. 🙂 Since I’ve been MIA these past few months, I would like to share to you everything about her new novel, An Italian Adventure, the first book of The Italian Saga from the lovely, Gaia B. Amman!
Let’s start with a little information about our favorite author. 😉
Gaia B Amman was born and raised in Italy. She moved to the United States in her twenties to pursue her PhD in molecular biology. She’s currently a Professor of biology at D’Youville College in Buffalo, New York, where she was voted “the professor of the month” by her students. Her research and commentaries have been published in prestigious peer-reviewed international journals including Nature.
A bookworm from birth, she wrote throughout her childhood and won two short story competitions in Italy in her teens. Gaia is an avid traveler and many of her adventures are an inspiration for her fiction. Mostly she is passionate about people and the struggles they face to embrace life. Her highest hope is to reach and help as many as she can through her writing as well as her teaching. She authored the Italian Saga, an irreverent series of humorous and insightful young adult novels taking place against the gorgeous backdrop of Northern Italy. The books, light-hearted and funny at first sight, deal with issues like sexuality, divorce, friendship, abuse, first love and self discovery.
Among her favorite authors are J.K. Rowling, Jandy Nelson, Neil Gaiman, Chuck Palahniuk, Kurt Vonnegut, J.R.R. Tolkien, and Antoine de Saint Exupèry.
(photo creds to her goodreads account)
Well, I think that may be too much…but who cares?! I love Gaia myself and I really want to thank her for this amazing opportunity to interview such bright mind!
To start, can you give us a little introduction about yourself?
Sure! I was born and raised in Italy and moved to the US in my twenties to pursue my PhD. I currently teach Biology in a college in Buffalo, NY, and have a passion for people and books.
You were born and raised in Italy. I know that it helped a lot in shaping your novels but I want to know how. 🙂
Well, I feel that people around the world often think they love Italy, but they really don’t know the Italian culture beyond the good food, wine and gorgeous places. There’s a lot more than that… the religion and superstition, the sensuality, pervasive yet taboo, and many other quirky things. So while I think that one of the most interesting things about my books is “the feels” and the laughter, I guess the Italian set up adds a bit of flavor.
Tell us something about the Italian Saga!
It’s a series of books following the same characters throughout their life ending up doing exactly what they thought they never would. Some find happiness and some don’t. All the books have a lot of emotional depth and humor but each one is self standing, with separate themes. Book one is about childhood, friendship, divorce, siblings, and weird adults. Book two is about puberty, first crushes and first kisses. Book three is a romance on the background of the dark teenage years, drugs and misunderstandings. Book four is about sex, o-la-la!
An Italian Adventure, the first book in the series, will introduce us to Leda. In some ways, would you consider yourself like her? And tell us more about the characters in this beautiful novel!
Leda is a lot like me. She’s a bookworm and a tomboy who struggles to fit in the world. Her life changes through the unlikely friendship with Nico (the Thug, as she calls him) who’s dark and mysterious and a bit of a jerk. Viola, Leda’s older sister, is teenage rebel who drives her parents crazy. Mom is a frustrated housewife who will revolutionize her life and Dad is a stern engineer…who turns up to be quite different from what Leda expected.
I’ve seen the covers for book one and two (Out in the Nest: An Italian Summer) and can I just say that they’re so beautiful!!! They’re really great and very intriguing! Did you decide for the design yourself or did someone helped you?
Thank you! I am so very proud of the covers and the whole collection together will look MARVELOUS! The cover illustration is by genius artist Tom Webb, but I designed everything else, down to the tiny butterfly at the beginning of every chapter ^_^ My hubby Seth Amman, who’s an architect and designer, gave me precious critical advice on the design of the overall cover and one of my best friends, Silvia Paesante, painted the lettering for the title (by hand! With watercolors!)
How does it feel that a story that was once in your mind is now read by many people out there?
Amazing. Unbelievable. When I received the first proof of the book I cried for joy. I don’t think I had the smidgeon of an inkling of how much work goes into writing a book. I think I rewrote book one at least fifty times
So some personal questions haha. How do you deal with writers block? Any tips?
YES! Write about writers’ block, about the frustration and the anger. It doesn’t even matter that your words are coherent, just vomit it all out. Soon enough you’ll realize you are writing and you can start veering the topic. I wrote a whole blog post about it here
I know you’ve been through a lot of work for these books to be published. Any advice for aspiring writers out there?
Just do it. Push through. Never give up. If you are a writer nothing will deter you, ever. JUST KEEP WRITING. And follow my blog (this is a fragment sentence! It’s for effect! ha ha) 😉 It has a lot of advice for aspiring writers and it gets above 4,000 visitors per week. I love helping out when I can.
What’s the best thing that happened to you, so far, as a writer? (I know you’re already loved as a professor!)
Getting fan mail. It’s the best! Someone you don’t know blogging about your book, letting you know that your book changed your life. *SWOON*
For you, such a random question haha, what’s more challenging, WRITING or TEACHING?
None of the two, I love both of my jobs 😀
Back to your books, when’s the release and where can we buy it?
Book one released on November 1st as paperback, Kindle, and Audiobook, and is available worldwide. You can buy it offAmazon, Barnes & Noble, or in any bookstore. If it’s not available at the bookstore just ask to order ISBN 9780996805100 and they will get it for you
Book two will be released on January 30, 2016 (SO SOON!) in all 3 formats, book 3 around April/May, and book 4 around August.
Thank you so much for letting me interview you. Your fans (ME included) are very lucky because we feel so loved by you! You take your time to reply to our messages 🙂 last question, (it just popped in my head haha), who/what’s your inspiration in writing?
It was my pleasure! And to answer your question, my inspiration are all the people around me, anyone who’s struggling or feeling alone, anyone whom, I think, could benefit from reading my stories Thanks again and have a great one!
Well, there it was! Personally, the first time I heard about her book, I was immediately intrigued. Who doesn’t love Adventure and Friendship? and it’s set on ITALY!!! I couldn’t be more excited 😀 Be sure to check it out guys!
Here’s a little synopsis from AN ITALIAN ADVENTURE and OUT OF THE NEST, AN ITALIAN SUMMER!
Title: An Italian Adventure
Series: The Italian Saga #1
Publishing Date: November 1, 2015 (It’s released! Yay!)
Humorous coming of age tale of friendship, sisterhood, and family drama set against the gorgeous backdrop of northern Italy.
Recommended for fans of Jandy Nelson, John Green, Neil Gaiman and Sherman Alexie
Italy, the late 80s. Leda is a bookish tomboy whose life is turned upside down by shady Nico, who just moved north from Sicily. Their unlikely friendship will evolve through a whirlwind of adventures leaving both kids transformed. Ultimately, Leda will discover that adults aren’t always right, marking the end of childhood and the beginning of everything else.
Title: Out of the Nest, An Italian Summer
Series: The Italian Saga #2
Publishing Date: January 30, 2016
Crushes, friendship, and intrigue against the gorgeous backdrop of Northern Italy. ITALY, 1990. LEDA is a bookworm and a tomboy. As her world splits into girls and boys, she can t seem to fit anywhere. On the background of the 14th FIFA soccer world cup, Leda embarks on a new series of adventures dealing with hormones, periods, zesty boys and her own fears in what will be the best summer of her life. Set against the gorgeous backdrop of Sardinia, the Dolomites, and Tuscany, this humorous yet insightful journey through first love, friendship, and first kisses will leave you breathless, marveling at the customs of a country most people think they know.
(check it out on AMAZON!)
As Gaia stated, BOOK 3 will be released around April/May and BOOK 4 around August! Write it on your calendar guys! 😉
Be sure to follow Gaia on her social media accounts for updates on her books and life! 🙂 just click below.
Again, Thank you so much Gaia! It was fun talking to you 🙂
HI GUYS! I’ve been MIA for almost five months? I’m so sorry. I’ve been busy with school stuff 😦 But hey! I’ll start posting again my reviews etc. Thank you so much for reading!