1. Tell me about your book Lost in Translation and where you got your inspiration for it?
Lost in Translation is very close to my heart. I’m half Italian and have many many wonderful memories of this side of my family. I spent lazy, indulgent summers in Italy with my grandparents that are so rich and vibrant in my head. I knew I had to share these experiences mixed up in a fuzzy romantic comedy with the world. There is no place like it in the rest of the world and although the physical place is incredible, to me this is all about the people.
2. If you could have one meal for the rest of your life what would it be?
Being half Italian, this is the easiest question for me. A special dish from up North called cappelletti. I think I may be addicted to it. This is basically a stuffed pasta that’s served in a chicken broth. Seriously, the flavors are incredible! I remember as a child ‘helping’ my grandmother to hand make these stuffed tortellini for hours!
3. Mountains or the beach?
I’m so glad you asked this question. Beach. Always. I live in New Zealand where we’re kind of spoilt for choice. Where I live however, we have the most beautiful beaches in the world. Funny story though….Last year, my husband and daughter were swimming with our brand new Go Pro (which I’d reluctantly agreed to buying). Suddenly I saw him and her literally running on water to get out of the ocean. My immediate thought was, ‘they’ve broken the Go Pro!’ But as my husband came closer he breathlessly explained that a shark had swum into him. I laughed it off only to review the footage and see it for myself. The press got hold of it and it went viral. It still makes me laugh to this day. If you google, “When you’re swimming with your daughter and a shark swims past”, you’ll see it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QjDjLOir7xw
Needless to say, the poor shark was more frightened of the people, than the other way round…
4. You’ve just been kidnapped and the people from the last TV Show/Movie you watched have to save you. Who is it?
Suits.-Michael or Harvey Yes, please kidnap me!!!
5. What is your best childhood memory?
Hands down would be spending time with my Italian grandparents every summer. I was super spoilt by them. The reason is that I was the first grandbaby and the first girl in the family. They took me to Italy with them for a month when I was four. To this day, I remember the trip, the food I ate and the family that welcomed me in.
6. What feels like love to you?
Family. Walking along the beach hand in hand with my husband of twenty years. Watching my teenagers turning into socially responsible, kind adults and enjoying life.
7. How would you survive a Zombie apocalypse?
I have a teenage son who has scoped out every area of Tauranga New Zealand where we live. We drive past a salt factory and EVERY time he says, “that place would be awesome in a zombie apocalypse.” So I guess I know just how we’d survive J
8. What genre do you write in and what draws you into this genre?
ROMANTIC FICTION- I have written two books. One in the genre of New Adult and my latest one as a romantic comedy. They’re quite different as one’s pretty serious whereas the other’s light-hearted and hopefully a real feel good story. I am an avid romantic. I would struggle to write anything else. I have explored fantasy but it always ends up being second to the romance!
9. Have you ever considered collaborating with another writer? If Yes who, if no why not?
Yes, and I did this in my last book. My cousin lives in South Africa and we decided to play with the characters in Lost in Translation so that we could make sure each had their own specific voice and style. It was great fun waiting to read her email with the next chapter. I could literally see the story taking shape before my eyes.
10. Do you let a book stew – leave it for a month and then come back to it to edit?
Lost in Translation was written in 2013. I left it and returned to it many times before finally feeling it was ready in 2017. By getting some distance, I was able to see it from fresh perspectives. This really helped me to refine, nut out and then change pieces that needed work. My editor was also really helpful in helping me to strengthen the story where it needed it.
11. What are your thoughts on good/bad reviews?
I really value all reviews! The good reviews lift me up and encourage me to keep writing. The bad (never really bad….but maybe less positive) reviews help me to work on those bits where I could strengthen my work. These reviews have absolutely helped me to develop as a writer. I am eternally grateful to all of them.
12. Have you written any other books that are not published? Do you intend to publish them?
Yes, I have a great book that’s in draft. I love the story and the characters. I will publish it but like, Lost in Translation, I’ll take my time to polish and strengthen it as much as possible before release. Watch this space…
Anna has to decide whether to risk all her plans for a short summer fling in Italy or play it safe.
Michela lives in the beautiful country of New Zealand with her very understanding husband, two children, two cats and one fat chocolate Labrador!She has always loved reading and remembers one of her first books being "The Lord of The Rings" Trilogy which she read repeatedly (perhaps that's why she ended up living in NZ?). Her main passion however is writing books about young adult love. This can be graphic and hard to read at times but she believes that these stories need to be told.