Today I’ve managed to sneak a little time with Stef Smulders, author of the ‘Living in Italy: The Real Deal’ about the draw of the Italian landscape and turning this into inspired prose. Stef, thanks for joining me today. You can start off today’s interview by giving a little introduction to this book for the audience.
My book consists of short witty stories about our adventures as two Dutch expats living in Italy. The reader is introduced to a full range of real-life and slightly exaggerated Italian characters, from the trustworthy to the rogue, from the gentle to the shameless, flesh and blood Italians. Some are stereotypes, others unexpectedly original. Yet they never fail to amuse and entertain.
Where did the idea to write down these amusing tales originate?
I started from the daily weblog we wrote from the moment we decided to move to Italy.
Looking back on your observations, what struck you most about the adventure of living in Italy as a foreign expat?
That Italy and the Italians are different from Dutchmen but worth learning if you see the humor of the sometimes hilarious cultural differences.
Were you intrigued enough about the cultural differences to try and find out why these differences exist?
No, not especially, I just documented my own experiences.
Was documenting these experiences satisfying?
Yes, the writing itself, composing short stories that are fun to read was rewarding. I write for the joy of it. I do not know how many stories will end up in it until I am finished.
Have you finished writing about your Italian expat experiences, or are there more stories to tell?
I am working on part three, in Dutch. Part two has already appeared in Feb this year.
How do you keep your motivation up when you are writing?
I start to write when I feel ready and have an idea that has to be in the story. Then I write in one go about 1000-1500 words.
Do you ever find yourself less inclined to write? How do you deal with these periods?
I just continue to write.
Do you also power through the editing process? Are you the sole editor on your works?
No, friends or volunteer readers from the Internet also edit my books.
And before I let you go I’d just like to know if you have a single tip for authors thinking of entering the self-publishing game.
Do it, the possibilities are fantastic. But be prepared to spend time and money on publicity.
Stef thanks for spending just a little time with me today and I wish you the best of luck with your third instalment of your Italian adventures.
Want to find out more about Stef? Connect here!