Here are some FAQ, frequently asked questions we seem to get asked more than any others. Of course, if you have a question and we haven’t addressed it here, please feel free to contact us. We’re pretty much an open book – no pun intended!
|How did you decide on the title of the books?
|It’s quite funny as we went round and round for about six months on what the title should be for our first book. We regularly emailed or asked our family. Lists were made, names crossed out, and added. Then finally, the consensus was to just call it the same as the blog!
The second book was determined by two of their friends. It was comments made on a Facebook post that led them to the title – even before they began writing. They acknowledge these two friends in When Your Heart Finds Its Home.
|When did we first realize we wanted to write books?
|For our first book, It was after a month or two in Rome while wandering the streets, enjoying the food and wine, and revisiting the historic sites. We realized we wanted to share this journey with our followers and ultimately everyone who loves Italy as much as we do.
For our second book, it was because of all the questions we received from our followers on the blog and social media. It was with their encouragement, we completed the story.
|What was the writing process like?
|In both books, we “borrowed” the alternating chapter concept from our author friends, Nancy and John Petralia from their wonderful book, Not in a Tuscan Villa. We each took turns writing about the places we visited, the people we met, and the experiences we encountered.
|Do we really know the movie, Under the Tuscan Sun by heart?
|Yes, we both do! It is still today one of our favorites and we always enjoy watching it with a glass of wine and a bowl of popcorn.
|What was the best money ever spent writing these books?
|We can easily say the answer would be our amazing friend, Maureen. Ilene’s been working on learning Italian but she never realized how poorly she wrote English! She has been our saving grace.
|What did we edit out of these books?
|Just small insignificant experiences that didn’t really enhance our journey in the first book. One example was a survey we were asked to take at the Santa Maria Novella train station in Florence. The man couldn’t believe how much we enjoy train travel in Italy yet never use this form of transportation in the United States.
in When Your Heart Finds Its Home, Ilene had to edit a bit about the pigeon, Bianca. She could go on and on about this bird but wound up limiting her frustrations and removing a few paragraphs!
|Have we always wanted to be a writer?
|For Gary, he never had any thoughts of writing a book while Ilene on the other hand, always dreamed of writing a children’s book.
|Do you have any writing expectations for the future?
|Who knows what the future will bring and what experiences we might want to share.
|Do you have any advice for other writers?
|You need to write from the heart and about something you are passionate about. Of course, this advice is for non-fiction. But for any other kind of writing, just try it. See where it leads, you never know.
|What did a typical writing day in Italy look like?
|It varied from day to day depending on what we had scheduled. Life in Italy has a way of taking on its own purpose.
|What was your favorite part of each of the books?
|in Our Italian Journey, Gary would say, vIsiting Licodia Eubea where his grandfather was born and raised and a town we will always be a part of. Of course, getting our Italian birth and marriage certificates on his birthday just made it extra special. Gary’s answer is certainly one of mine too but I would add the experience we had in Scafati. An evening with Giuseppe and his parents, Gilda and Felice, a moment and experience I will treasure forever.
For When Your Heart Finds Its Home, would be all the adventures we have taken throughout Italy so far.
|If the books were to be made into a movie, who are the celebrities that would star in it?
|Gary’s choice would be Tom Selleck and an easy choice for Ilene would be Diane Lane, after all, she already has the experience!