Book Title: A Life By Design (The Italian Family Series) by Lucy Appadoo
Category: Adult Fiction, 211 pages
Genre: 20th Century Historical Romance, coming of age story set in Milan, Italy
Release date: Aug 24, 2018
Format available for review: ebook (mobi, PDF, ePub)
Tour dates: Sept 24 to Oct 12, 2018
Content Rating: PG-13 + M
When 20-year-old Elena Allegro leaves the Italian village of Laurino to study Fashion Design in Milan, she’s certain her dreams are about to come true. Despite her father’s warnings that risk comes with her newfound freedom, she loves her studies and develops a love interest with Francesco, the handsome young entrepreneur who offers her a part-time job in a Milan clothing store.
It seems like an idyllic situation—until a stalker targets Elena, tormenting her with mind games and threatening her safety. In the face of escalating danger to herself and to Francesco, Elena must fight for her freedom, her love, and her survival.
Lucy is an author of romantic suspense, historical fiction/coming of age, short story thrillers, and non-fiction books. She is also a Registered Counsellor/Wellness Coach, and works as a Rehabilitation Counsellor for the Australian Government.
Lucy enjoys reading romantic suspense, romance, thrillers, crime novels, family/historical drama, and sagas. 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, exercising, 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.
Q. What was the first book you ever wrote?
A. The first book I ever wrote was a romantic suspense novella called Crystal Light back in 2015. Looking back at the story now, I realize that I have developed immensely as a writer. I will most likely re-edit the story at a later date.
Q. What is the first book, you ever read
A. The first book I ever read takes me back many years. It might’ve been the Dr Seuss series as I enjoyed the clever rhyming of words to formulate a story.
Q. What is your favorite picture book?
A. I really like The Hungry Caterpillar. It’s a clever way to teach about the process for a caterpillar to turn into a butterfly, and the images stay forever in my mind.
Q. What is your Key for such success?
A. The key for success is to be true to yourself and your deepest passions. You cannot let fear get in the way of your true and ultimate goals as you will live in misery and never shine.
Q. What are your favorite literary journals?
A. The only literary journal I have perused includes the Vine Leaves journal with Jessica Bell that focuses on vignettes. Other than that, I don’t read literary journals as I write in the commercial category of fiction.
Q. How many hours a day do you write?
A. I work four days a week in a government role so I only get to write in the evenings or weekends. Generally, I might write 3-5 hours a week as I need to juggle my other tasks, including blog post writing, non-fiction writing, and working towards starting up a coaching practice.
Q. What is the most unethical practice in the publishing world?
A. The most unethical practice in the publishing world is piracy or stealing other people’s hard work for personal gain.
Q. Have you ever gotten reader’s block? When & why?
A. I have had reader’s block when reading something (mostly nonfiction) dry or that is repetitive. I also get reader’s block when a fiction text sound inauthentic and genuinely made-up. These had occurred several months ago so were not recent.
Q. Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym?
A. No, as I prefer to be myself. I like to be authentic in my writing by allowing the community to know that I am the person who writes in a myriad of genres.
Q. What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?
A. The best money I ever spent as a writer was when I completed Nick Stephenson’s My First 10,000 Readers online marketing course. I also love to spend money on ‘how-to-books’, editors or writing courses as they’re a great investment in my learning.
Q. What did you do with your first advance?
A. I have never had an advance as I have never published a book. However, I had an offer by a publishing company years ago that went bankrupt. I self-publish my books.
Q. How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have? List them here, if available.
A. I have a romantic suspense book called Crazy Hearts (working title)in the editing phase at the moment. I am also in the process of writing a book on grief and loss.
Q. What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
A. I research by talking to people, using the Internet, using Time Etc to do research (virtual assistants that I only once), taking notes when travelling, and reading books of relevance.
Q. If you didn’t write, what would you do for work?
A. I work for the Australian government as a Rehabilitation Counselor four days a week and write in my spare time. I am not a full-time writer as yet.
Q. Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?
A. I read my book reviews and struggle with the bad reviews. I generally learn what I couldn’t done better from the bad reviews and try not to take them to heart. I feel great with the good ones and like to thank my reviewers if they’re signed up for my monthly newsletter.
Q. Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?
A. I like to have secrets as I write in the romantic suspense genre. I’ve also written short story thrillers so I’ve had secrets and mystery in them that only a few people might discover