Publishing Industry Interview with Jo Linsdell
Joanne Denise Feliciani, or her pen name, Jo Linsdell, is a professional freelance writer in not one language, but two. She was born in Gillingham, Kent (UK) in September 1980, but married an Italian and settled in Italy. She now works full-time as a freelance writer for various magazines, newspapers and websites as well as writing her own books.
Jo writes in both English and Italian. Her first book, “Italian for Tourists,” is a phrasebook for the Italian language designed especially for tourists. She self published the book using lulu.com. At her website, http://jolinsdell.tripod.com, Jo also hosts a weekly chat and has regular guest speakers who share advice and tips about various topics related to the writing industry
As our first bilingual interviewee, Jo was gracious enough to answer my questions about her unique career perspective and her thoughts on freelance writing as a whole. My questions are in bold followed by Jo’s response.
How long have you been fluent in Italian?
I came to Rome over 6 years ago and didn’t speak a word of Italian when I arrived as I was planning on only being here for 3 days. Three days turned into 6 months and I decided I was destined to stay. I’ve never been great with languages but living here meant I picked it up quickly. I needed to know Italian as few Italians spoke English and I couldn’t get a proper job without at least the basics. I probably became fluent when I met my now husband. He didn’t speak English so the only way to talk to him was for me to learn Italian. Love is a great motivator!
Is it challenging to write in two languages?
It’s most challenging when I have to use both languages together. If I’m writing in Italian I think in Italian. Same with English. Occasionally I get confused when I have to do both at once but I’m getting used to that too now.
What writing avenues are you currently pursuing?
I’ve self published two books, ‘Italian for Tourists’ and ‘A guide to weddings in Italy’ with www.lulu.com along with several ebooks. I regularly write articles for ‘The Florentine’ (a newspaper for English speakers in Florence) and also write for various websites. I’ve recently started my own blog about Italy http://astheromansdo.blogspot.com that provides information about Italy including; Italian traditions, the culture, the language, tips for tourists, different points of view about Italy and Italians and more…I have several new projects coming up in the New Year including working with a new magazine here in Rome called ‘Voci in Città’. It’s a magazine, in Italian, for foreigners living here.
What was your most rewarding project?
That’s a hard one to answer. I’m most proud of either ‘Italian for Tourists’ as it was the first book I published or my first article, ‘How to complete the paperwork’, to be published in a newspaper. The most rewarding though is the chatroom I started on my website http://jolinsdell.tripod.com. I host a chat every Saturday with guest speakers where everyone can join in a learn more about the writing industry. I like that we can all come together and help each other move forward in our writing careers.
What is your dream as a writer?
I’ve already realized several of my dreams but I never stop dreaming so I’m always adding to my list. The big one is to write a best seller and become known internationally as a writer. I’d also like to write a fiction in Italian.
What advice can you offer writers just breaking into a serious writing career?
There’s so much more to being a writer than just writing. Do some research. Visit websites for writers and join groups where you can meet other writers and learn from their experience. The marketing, queries etc can be overwhelming if you’re not prepared and can mean your writing career is over even before it began.
Is there anything you wish you had been told earlier in your career?
Here I could write an endless list! Number one would have to be to have more faith in myself. If you don’t believe in yourself you won’t get very far. Just because one person rejects you doesn’t mean another won’t think you’re great.
Thank you again, Jo, for sharing your thoughts with me. I have visited Rome and it is a fascinating city in a beautiful country. Your comments here as well as your efforts on your own website will help countless writers hone their skills and find their niche in the world of writing. Thanks again!
Published on www.sixfigurewriters.com December 2006