Jenna, what did this book teach you about writing or about yourself?
This book taught me everything I know about writing. I wrote my very first draft of it when I was freshly out of college and had no idea what I was doing (but thought I did), and each subsequent rewrite taught me new things about creating story, bringing characters to life, and engaging a reader. It took many, many attempts to get this book right and after this process I firmly believe that experience is the best writing teacher.
What's your writing ritual like? Do you listen to music? Work at home or at a coffee shop or the library, etc?
I would love to say that I wake up every morning and make myself a cup of tea then spend the morning happily clacking away at my pristine desk, but the reality is that I am a mother of a very active toddler (with another baby on the way) and writing has to fit into the (messy) corners of my life. When I can get away I love to write at the library or in coffee shops, but a lot of the time I am sitting on my couch during nap time pretending not to notice the staggering amounts of laundry and dishes hanging out in my peripheral vision. I will say that having limited time to write creates great fuel--writer's block just isn't an option!
What advice would you most like to pass along to other writers?
Don't give up too soon (if ever)! My first attempts at writing were extremely frustrating because I knew good writing--I just couldn't seem to do it. It took many attempts (honestly 4 or 5 total rewrites) and several years before my book was right, and I'll never forget that feeling of typing THE END on something I truly loved. Give yourself time and commit yourself to making writing a part of your daily life--it takes a lot of work but you will get better and with a little luck you may find yourself the author of something you really care about.
ABOUT THE BOOK
Love & Gelato
by Jenna Evans Welch
A summer in Italy turns into a road trip across Tuscany in this sweeping debut novel filled with romance, mystery, and adventure.
Lina is spending the summer in Tuscany, but she isn’t in the mood for Italy’s famous sunshine and fairy-tale landscape. She’s only there because it was her mother’s dying wish that she get to know her father. But what kind of father isn’t around for sixteen years? All Lina wants to do is get back home.
But then Lina is given a journal that her mom had kept when she lived in Italy. Suddenly Lina’s uncovering a magical world of secret romances, art, and hidden bakeries. A world that inspires Lina, along with the ever-so-charming Ren, to follow in her mother’s footsteps and unearth a secret that has been kept from Lina for far too long. It’s a secret that will change everything she knew about her mother, her father—and ever herself.
People come to Italy for love and gelato, someone tells her, but sometimes they discover much more.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jenna Evans Welch spent her high school years in Florence, Italy, where she drove a scooter, danced in fountains, and ate entirely too much gelato. She now lives in Salt Lake City, Utah, with her husband and young son. Read her blog, The Green Lemon, at JennaEvansWelch.com.
Have you had a chance to read LOVE & GELATO yet? Do you make writing part of your daily life? Do you find that limited time helps get rid of writer's block? Share your thoughts about the interview in the comments!
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