Can she end the turmoil and escape the firmly built trap to find the freedom she craves?
Dancing in the Rain
The Italian Family Series
by Lucy Appadoo
Historical Coming of Age/Romance/Family Drama/Adult
March 24, 2017
PG-13 + M
(There is physical abuse and death involved.)
(There is physical abuse and death involved.)
Fifteen-year old Valeria Allegro works diligently on the family farm in Italy, where she is torn between her duty to her family and her desire to find freedom from her strict, domineering father. She finds solace in Dario, a young student who provides a blissful escape—until a neighbour’s son, Gregorio, decides he wants her for himself.
This raises an alarm for her father, which leads to family conflict and aggression. When Dario is threatened and her family is plagued by a series of suspicious accidents, Valeria is desperate to keep her loved ones safe. Can she end the turmoil and escape the firmly built trap to find the freedom she craves?
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Lucy Appadoo was kind enough to take some time and answer some questions for us because it's always interesting to corner an author and find out more about them and their writing. Right? Well, I'm definitely thrilled. Thanks very much, Lucy, and let's begin!
What does your writing schedule look like?
I write mostly every day and in the evenings or on my day off (as I work four days a week in my main job). On the days I don’t write, I do writing-related work that includes marketing, blogging, or researching for a particular project. It never stops as there’s always something I can do to increase book sales and improve my professional branding.
Are there any specific ritualistic things you do to help you dive into that writing world?
I like to delve into a trance or meditative state so that I can quieten my conscious mind and tap into my subconscious mind. This helps me to generate ideas without thinking too much about the structure of the book. The creative process comes from the subconscious.
I also like to stretch my body as a way to enter a different mind state. Getting in touch with my body helps with idea generation.
How do the other books in your series relate to Dancing in the Rain?
I first wrote A New Life which was a more modern version of my parent’s marriage after arriving in Melbourne, Australia. I then had the inspiration to write The Beauty of Tears as my father had recounted interesting stories about his childhood, so I wanted to capture some of those experiences in The Beauty of Tears. I later captured my mother’s experiences in Dancing in the Rain. These two childhood characters later meet and marry in A New Life.
You can choose to read about the childhood experiences of either Roberto (The Beauty of Tears) or Valeria (Dancing in the Rain) or you can choose to read about Roberto’s and Valeria’s marriage after arriving from Italy to Melbourne in A New Life.
I'm sure you don't only write in life but also live. . .maybe sometimes even stumble into the daring side of things? What’s the most courageous thing you’ve ever done?
I would say the most courageous thing I’ve ever done is putting myself out there as a self-published author. Exposing yourself that way gets you scrutinised and judged. I made myself vulnerable and open to criticism, and that takes courage.
I am an introvert so exposing myself and showing myself to the world is a challenge when I’m not outgoing. I am proud for having delved out of my comfort zone.
While were speaking of courage, what’s the scariest thing that ever happened to you?
I felt scared beyond normal when my son stopped breathing in the hospital seventeen years ago. I had such an abnormal fear that he was going to die after the doctors had resuscitated him. He was on a ventilator, and each day for ten weeks, I lived in fear. I wanted to die myself and I couldn’t cope with the fact that my son might never come home. We managed to bring him home after taking him off the ventilator, but he died in my arms. My son, Jared is forever with me and will always be missed. I am now blessed to have two beautiful daughters.
Wow. That is a terrifying moment. Let's step back and instead ask about the strangest thing that's ever happened to you.
I was working in my office one afternoon when the manager requested my help to stop a customer from stabbing herself in the wrists with a pen. A few other people were holding this woman down, but she was very strong, and kept picking at stitches on her wrist (she had self-harmed previously). We were all holding her down, but I struggled with her strength as she continually picked at her stitches. The police eventually arrived.
In that moment, I wasn’t scared. However, it was strange as this woman was harming herself and I’d never had to stop someone from stabbing themselves before.
I found out later that this woman had a personality disorder, was in actuality, a man dressed as a woman (that explained her strength), and had tried to strangle her previous caseworker. I was in shock. Had I known this earlier, I would’ve feared for my life.
It appears that you're definitely not at a loss for inspirations...chilling ones. How do you write your characters and their actions in your stories?
My characters come partly from people I know, partly from my imagination, and partly from my experience with people. I get into a trance-like state to delve into my character’s skin. I work hard to understand their personality type and motivations, so that their behaviour matches that character type.
I create character outlines (physical description and personality) and place them into a sketch of chapter outlines to create my story. The character and chapter outlines are written by hand, but then I type the story on the computer. There’s something about writing by hand that seems to get the creative juices flowing.
I like to get my chapters or scenes arranged as it helps to structure my thinking. It also seems to stimulate my creativity so that when I start writing, the chapters I had in mind might change as my creative self takes over from my rational self. I go with the creative self initially and don’t worry too much about whether it makes sense. The characters live in my mind when I feel creative. The characters seem to take a life of their own. It’s amazing how the mind works.
Thanks again for stopping by!
And here she is. . .
Lucy Appadoo is a registered counsellor and wellness coach with a part-time private practice. She also works as a rehabilitation counsellor for the Australian government. In her spare time, she self-publishes or writes nonfiction and fiction texts. She previously worked as a rehabilitation consultant, caseworker, English as a second language teacher, and proofreader.
Lucy has postgraduate diplomas in psychology, education, and English as a Second Language teaching, as well as specialised qualifications in grief counselling and hypnosis. She has also completed wellness coaching courses (levels 1-3) at Wellness Coaching Australia.
Lucy enjoys reading romantic suspense, romance, thrillers, crime novels, family/historical drama, and sagas. She writes in the genres of romantic suspense, historical fiction, and romance. She has enjoyed travelling to exotic places such as Madrid, Mauritius, and Italy, and draws on these experiences in her creative writing.
Lucy’s favourite authors include Kendra Elliot, Christiane Heggan, Theresa Ragan, Tara Moss, Nicholas Sparks, Adriana Trigiani, Erica Spindler, and James Patterson (to name a few).
Lucy’s interests include meditation, playing tennis, journal writing, reading fiction and nonfiction texts about writing, coaching, and counselling, ongoing professional development, spending time with her husband and two daughters, and socialising with friends and family.
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