Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Italy is author Jo Linsdell's speciality

Today I have the pleasure of speaking with freelance writer and author, Jo Linsdell. Jo is also the organizer of PROMO DAY!—an online event for people in the writing industry. Thank you for joining us, Jo. It is a pleasure to have you here!

Thanks for having me.

Q: You specialize in articles, poems, and books about Italy. What is it that inspired you to write about the place you’ve called home for the past several years?

I love Italy. I originally came to Rome for 3 days at the beginning of 2001 and ended up staying. I’ve moved around a lot over the years but this is the first place I’ve ever felt at home and I have no plans to leave anytime soon.

My writing is based on my own experiences since moving here and the fact that I’m fascinated by the traditions and history of Italy. I hope to share my passion for this country and help others to experience it in the easiest way.

Q: Did your past occupation as a tour guide and working in the hotel business help you when you sat down to write your books?

It helped a lot with the writing of my first book ‘Italian for Tourists’ which is a phrasebook designed specifically for tourists. When deciding what information to include I thought about the words and phrases I needed when I first arrived here and the most common questions that tourists used to ask me.

Q: What is your writing process like? Is there a time of day you find yourself more productive than others?

I usually write in the mornings as I teach English as a second language in the afternoons. I don’t have a fixed writing process but I always start the day by making a to-do list. This helps to keep me focused on what needs doing.

Q: In addition to your many books about Italy, you wrote a memoir titled Some risks are worth taking, which is your story of leaving England and moving to Italy, and the changes that happened in your life. Why did you feel the need to share this story with others?

Friends have told me for years that I should write a book about my life. Coming to Italy was the best thing I’ve ever done and probably the biggest risk I’ve taken. I came here by myself planning to stay for 3 days and ended up staying. Everyone thought I was mad going by myself (including me) as I didn’t know anyone in Italy or even one word of the language. Now I’m happily married to an Italian I met at Piazza di Spagna and pregnant with our first child. It turned out to be the best risk ever. If that’s not a good reason to start sharing about my experiences I don’t know what is!

Q: Let’s talk about PROMO DAY!. Due to the success of the first event, another PROMO DAY! has been scheduled for Saturday, June 23, 2007. What is PROMO DAY! all about?

PROMO DAY! is an all day, online, international, promotional event for people in the writing industry. Blatant publicity is not only allowed but encouraged. There will be two chatrooms open all day (one for promo and chatting about books and one for writers to discuss the industry). There will also be a free downloads page packed full of files containing useful information about various topics related to writing, a samples page for posting examples of your writing e.g. a first chapter of your book which can then be discussed and reviewed during the event, a page full of links to useful sites for writers, a section dedicated to promo video’s/ book trailers, and more…

Q: How did you come up with such an innovative idea to connect people throughout the writing industry?

I do a lot of my networking online. I’m a member of several writers groups and take part in the annual Muse Online Writers Conference. This experience combined with my ‘cheap ways’ lead me to thinking of ways I could use the internet to promote my books for free. As I have a good support network of other writers online through my various groups I thought it would be nice to help them too.

Q: Is this event only for published authors?

No, it’s open to everyone. Published, new writers, publishers, editors, journalists, avid readers… everyone is welcome to join in the fun!

Q: What are some of the exciting things people can expect to take away from PROMO DAY!?

For one, it’s an opportunity to promote their work and network with others in the industry. It’s also a possibility to get to know authors better and find out about new releases. With all the files for free download it’s a great way to learn more about the industry too.

Q: Do you think we’ll see more PROMO DAYS! in the future?

Definitely. I’m hoping to make it an annual event or maybe even every 3-6 months. With baby on the way I’m having to rethink my original plans a little.

Q: Is there anything you would like to add?

I recently started a site for people in the writing industry called Writers and Authors ( It has interviews, competitions, links to sites for writers and much more. Anyone interested in being interviewed can email me at with ‘Writers and Authors’ in the subject line.

Thanks for spending some time with us today, Jo. I wish you great success on PROMO Day! and with all your future endeavors.

Thank you for having me here.

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