Interview with Mariuccia Milla

When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I am a landscape architect. I read, and I watch Agatha Christie's Poirot.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
It is not easy. I usually see something about a particular author. I wish there was a way to answer a questionnaire and get a book list. But not just listing books that I like, more about my aesthetic sensibilities and interests. That way, I could find other new authors.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
My first story was a series of tales, but I never wrote them down. I used to tuck my little brothers in and they asked for a story every night. So, I lifted two friendly goblins from a children's mag story, and created the adventures of Harry and Pete. They sometimes had to descend into the valley of the hobgoblins, which was terribly foggy. They had to wear sunglasses to see when they were there. Go figure!
What is your writing process?
Get up and write before I even look at email. After that, I can do some work for pay. I promise myself two hours a day. That way I am more likely to do it. But I think about what I've written and what will happen next, all day long.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
We had so many books in our house when I was a child, and I am particularly fond of those written by female authors in the 1940's. I loved Dr. Seuss, and the funny words he invented. Every Friday my mother went to the library and came back with all of our requests and then some.
How do you approach cover design?
I do it myself and get as much input from friends and family in different age groups.
Because I am a designer, I can use Illustrator and Photoshop very well. One thing I do not do, is try to emulate the other book covers in my category. I don't write just to make money, and so I won't make a cover just to sell my book. I suppose that's wrong, but I have to like it.
What's the story behind your latest book?
Well, when I was twenty-five, I left my job, apartment, and boyfriend in New York to have an adventure. I went to Italy, Milan to be precise, to look for a job at an architectural studio. I decided to start my book the same way. It deviates from my history pretty quickly, and became a mosaic of experiences related to my own, and invented, that reveal the beauty of life in urban Italy.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
The desire to control my own destiny. I am also terrified of rejection. This way, I can always blame my lack of sales on my obscurity rather than on the quality of my story.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Great psychological support! And I love the Meatgrinder!
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
The way the story takes on a life of its own, and I become a spectator.
What do your fans mean to you?
Everything. They give me the opportunity to share, and I consider that an act of great generosity.
What are you working on next?
Another book. It doesn't take place in Italy, but one of my characters has migrated into it. It is a story of diverse people who converge in the Finger Lakes region of New York State. That is a similar theme to Meet Me in Milano. I am a landscape architect, so I like to see what happens to characters when I throw them into a particular landscape during a certain season. Love happens, and betrayal, and maybe some unpleasant things as well. Time will tell.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Trial and error! I don't have much of an advertising budget YET, but I try to produce quality content on Facebook and Instagram and grow my organic reach. However, with all the noise out there, paid advertising is a must.
Published 2018-10-01.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Stories of Food and Life
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 20,080. Language: English. Published: February 5, 2019. Categories: Nonfiction » Cooking, Food, Wine, Spirits » Italian, Nonfiction » Relationships & Family » Friendship
A collection of 12 short stories make this fictional memoir about Italian cooking highly digestible. Wouldn't you like to know how to make a delicious strawberry risotto? Or learn something new about figs as Mariuccia tells you about her kids playing in her Italian country garden? Food is a celebration of life, so read this and go cook for your friends.
Blue Sky With Clouds: An Ordinary Adventure and Quest for Love in the Finger Lakes
Price: $8.99 USD. Words: 94,290. Language: English. Published: October 1, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Women's fiction » General
Longing to escape the stifling life she leads in Milan, Lella seeks solace with her protégé, Livia, in a scenic snapshot world of the Finger Lakes region of New York. Livia is trying to distance herself from the devastating loss of her father back in Italy. Both women struggle in their temporary home amid the beautiful landscape of hills and lakes as it transforms from summer to autumn.
Meet Me in Milano
Price: $8.99 USD. Words: 90,650. Language: English. Published: October 5, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Women's fiction » General
After cheating on her inattentive boyfriend in NYC, Melinda takes off for Milan, Italy, to find a design job in an architectural studio. But Jonathan is such a good guy that he follows her there, just to keep an eye on her. The scene shifts from Milan to Lake Como, Rome, and Naples, where the characters gain ever-changing perspectives on what they believe about themselves and one another.