Description of Coins In The Fountain
Innocents Abroad collide with La Dolce Vita when the author and her husband arrive in the ancient city of Rome fresh from the depths of Oregon. While the author endeavored to learn the folkways of the United Nations, her husband tangled with unfamiliar vegetables in a valiant effort to learn to cook Italian-style. In between, they attended weddings, enjoyed a close-up with the pope, tried their hands at grape harvesting, and savored country weekends where the ancient Etruscans still seemed to be lurking. Along the way they made many unforgettable friends including the countess with a butt-reducing machine and a count who served as a model for naked statues of horsemen in his youth.
But not everything was wine and wonders. Dogs in the doctor’s exam room, neighbors in the apartment in the middle of the night, an auto accident with the military police, a dangerous fall in the subway, too many interactions with an excitable landlord, snakes and unexploded bombs on a golf course, and a sinking sailboat, all added more seasoning to the spaghetti sauce of their life.
Their story begins with a month trying to sleep on a cold marble floor wondering why they came to Rome. It ends with a hopeful toss of coins in the Trevi Fountain to ensure their return to the Eternal City for visits. Ten years of pasta, vino, and the sweet life weren’t enough.
Part memoir, part travelogue, Coins in the Fountain will amuse and intrigue you with the stories of food, friends, and the adventures of a couple who ran away to join the circus (the Circus Maximus, that is).
Life was routine until the author decided to get a law degree. Then a chance meeting led her to run away to the Circus (Maximus) – actually to the United Nations office next door – where she worked as an attorney in the HR department and entered the world of expat life in Rome.
Her publishing credits include a memoir about ten years in Italy titled Coins in the Fountain, a novel about expats in Rome, City of Illusions, and flash fiction in literary magazines. She continues to travel in her spare time, having fitted in over 100 countries. And when she is in Rome, she always tosses a coin in the Trevi Fountain to ensure another visit.
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Author interview :
How did you do research for your book?
Both my memoir, Coins in the Fountain, and the novel, City of Illusions, are set in Rome. Since I lived there for a number of years I do know the city. But I also used my many photographs and books about Rome and Italy to ensure accuracy. And I used the opportunity for research to visit the city.
Where do you get inspiration for your stories?
Much of my inspiration comes from my travels. I’ve visited over 100 countries and met some interesting people along the way, both locals and expatriates – people who have made the decision to live away from their home countries, whether for a year or forever. I find their views on life are usually very different than those of people who do not travel.
There are many books out there about Italy. What makes yours different?
There are many memoirs about expatriates moving to Italy, but for some reason there are few about living in Rome. I’ve read numerous stories about restoring old farmhouses in Tuscany, lingering near the Grand Canal in Venice, and occasionally about life in Sicily. But the majority of books about Rome are fiction – thrillers or historical novels about ancient Rome or the Renaissance. Coins in the Fountain is a peek into my expatriate life in modern Rome, both its many joys and occasional difficulties.
Do you have another profession besides writing?
When I retired from the United Nations I gave up working for a monthly paycheck and took up writing and active participation in the local writing community and other volunteer work. I’ve been on a number of boards and commissions since then and find my days as full as those when I jumped on the bus to my office in Rome.
How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing forever, but only immersed myself in the art and craft of creative writing for about ten years. It’s a very different process from legal or administrative writing and it was a big jump to retrain my synapses to move from passive and factual to creative and colorful.
Do you ever get writer’s block? What helps you overcome it?
I do get stopped once in a while. My best cure is to do something else (like ironing or mopping), have a cup of coffee and try again. Another good alternative is a long walk – it’s amazing what pops into your head when you are outdoors in the sun.
What advice would you give beginning writers?
Recognize that writing is a process that you must learn, and that you must practice, practice, practice every day if possible.
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