Interview with Genevieve Davis

When did you first start writing?
I have been a diarist for my entire adult life. I also wrote essays in college. Both are good practice for being a writer. I was accustomed to words flowing from my brain into paper or the computer. I came to book writing late in life. Age is no excuse not to write! In fact, it's a big plus!

I was encouraged by many people to write a book of my grandmother's life, even though I was a professional artist. Principally I was encouraged by Bill Meindl, Publisher of the University of Wisconsin - Green Bay's Voyageur Magazine, about the history of northeastern Wisconsin. I met Bill at a historical reenactment in Clintonville WI. He said if I would write an article, he would publish it. So I took a trip to the Hollywood Hotel in northern Wisconsin and wrote an article which he did publish in the magazine. Many other people encouraged me to write the book as I went along and then I started to make a movie. So many people came on board to help me tell the story. You can see the trailer and clips at
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Sharing amazing stories!
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Sailing, drawing Lake Michigan, seeing plays, watching films, walking in the parks, camping.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
One of the earliest was "Pinky Puff"
What is your writing process?
Take down notes. Organize notes. Research, if it's that kind of book. Organize the research. Find a voice that will give an interesting viewpoint on the material. Write, write, write, revise.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
When I was 12 I read Edgar Allen Poe and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. I remember entering into a completely different world when I read their stories. It was frightening and wonderful at the same time.
How do you approach cover design?
An image that represents the entire book and is arresting to look at.
What do you read for pleasure?
Describe your desk
My maternal grandfather [who I talk about in Fanni's Viennese Kitchen] built it out of scrap wood. It's a beautiful, grand desk that is the most uncomfortable piece of furniture I own. He made it for a short person. It's a mess, smeared with papers, electronics and a few nice things - like a card that says "Vivere il presente" that a seller of prints wrote out for me in Venice and one of her brother's prints of people in costume at Carnevale. I also have the beautiful star shaped floor tile replica that a friend's father once gave me in Italy - of a portrait of a beautiful woman. There is also a picture of my Grandma, [the subject of Fanni's Viennese Kitchen] who was married to the grandfather who made the desk, at age 75 and another pic of her - her passport picture at 35. And a picture of my Dad in his salad days, wearing a spiffy suit. Also some stuff I made - a model of a house I once photographed on Block Island when my brother was married there. And two pots I threw, with Egyptian design motifs on them - hippos and papyrus.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
Living in Wisconsin most of my life has given me a frankness and freshness of outlook and a peculiar sense of humor that ranges from the dry to the stupid.
What's the story behind your latest book?
Fanni's Viennese Kitchen is about the Grandmother whose influence I feel to this day. She was the most wonderful person and I am lucky to have known her.
What do your fans mean to you?
I appreciate your appreciation!
What are you working on next?
The Lady and the Monk - a Medieval fairytale of love, loss and seduction.
What are you working on next?
The Lady and the Monk - a Medieval fairy tale of love, loss and seduction.
Published 2015-09-06.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Secret Life, Secret Death - Going down in flames in Al Capone's Chicago and Northern Wisconsin
Price: $7.99 USD. Words: 82,040. Language: English. Published: September 5, 2015. Categories: Nonfiction » True Crime » Organized crime, Nonfiction » Biography » Woman biographies
A young mother makes some hard choices that land her and her son in the Mob in the Roaring 20's, in the thrall of rum runners and crooks. The book includes a young Al Capone, John Dillinger and Northern Wisconsin crooks. A fascinating hunt for the author's grandmother's secret life and death in human trafficking, bootlegging and alcoholism, and the devastating effect on her family.