teaching

Author Interview: Kathleen Ann Gonzalez

Welcome to my blog interview with writer, Kathleen Ann Gonzalez, author of A Beautiful Woman in Venice and Seductive Venice: In Casanova’s Footsteps.

Kathleen Ann Gonzalez started out as a teacher but was surprised to discover that she is a writer and dancer as well. While she spends most of her time trying to infect teenagers with her great enthusiasm for literature and writing, she still squeezes in time to write about her work and her travels. Her first book, Free Gondola Ride, is about the gondoliers of Venice, while her second book, A Small Candle, includes interviews with participants in the Camp Everytown program. Her 2013 guidebook Seductive Venice: In Casanova’s Footsteps, takes readers to over 90 locations Casanova lived and loved, and it has been published in Italy as well. Gonzalez has published several other essays and articles over the years and has recently completed a book about Venetian women, titled A Beautiful Woman in Venice.

(Courtesy photo by Laura Rice) Kathleen Ann Gonzalez's curiosity about the mythical figure Casanova resulted in her new book

(Courtesy photo by Laura Rice)
Kathleen Ann Gonzalez’s curiosity about the mythical figure Casanova resulted in her new book “Seductive Venice: In Casanova’s Footsteps.” It is both a guide to Venice, which she visits annually, and an insight into the legendary lover.

Hello, Kathleen,

What inspired you to write your first book?

My first book, Free Gondola Ride, was born from my love of Venice. I fell in love with the city within the first five minutes that I was there, on a 1996 spring break trip with my students in Europe. I returned to the city that summer and met a gondolier who piqued my interest in his unique profession. Wondering how to get back to Venice again, I thought, “Why don’t I write a book about the gondoliers?” No one else had done it yet, and I thought I might as well try. I definitely doubted myself along the way, but since I had successfully published some essays and other articles, I decided that I should at least try.

What genre do you consider your book(s)? 

Free Gondola Ride was trying to be a couple genres—history, memoir, and travel book, which is perhaps its biggest weakness as its purpose isn’t so clear. I learned from writing that book that I should have a clearer concept of my purpose for the work. Not that a book has to fit neatly into a single box, but I do believe the writer should know what she’s trying to do. Seductive Venice is a guidebook that I tried to make accessible for armchair travelers as well as those on foot. My latest book about Venetian women is really a history book, with biographies about a host of historical women. I never knew I was going to become a historian.

Do you have a specific writing style?  (more…)

Writing: Symbolism of Flowers

SYMBOLISM OF FLOWERS

Adding Depth to Writing and Understanding

I am currently preparing to teach The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Before I begin the unit, I spend some time going over the symbolism of flowers (and colors), since Fitzgerald beautifully threads this information through his novels. I tell my students that this will help them understand the literature with more depth. If you are a writer, why not go for that added layer of meaning?

Commence with the Wooing (fanning self) 

Then, I address the boys and say, “Gentlemen, take special care with this information. I am helping you woo women. Giving a girl flowers is one thing, choosing specific flowers and being able to tell your intended why–is priceless.” [insert girls giggling and sounds of agreement here]

Older Meanings Rock!

I have gathered the meanings and symbolism over the years and compiled them on this list. Most of the meanings listed are from older texts, especially from the Victorian Era, thus some of the meanings have changed in recent years (I blame the florists), but I stick with the older meanings.

This is one of the many charts in Prompt Me Romance: Creative Writing Workbook & Journal  This workbook is clean enough for teens and sophisticated enough for adults.

Symbolism of Flowers

Downloadable PDF for private use: Symbolism of Flowers

 

prompt me series by robin woods 2019

Want more resources? Check out the Prompt Me Series on Amazon.

amazon.com/author/robinwoods

FAN QUESTION: What Have You Taught?

I noticed in your bio that you are a teacher. What classes have you taught?
Anonymous
I have taught several different subjects, but English is the most prevalent on my resume (and my true love, theatre a close second).  Here is a list, most recent on top.  🙂

1. British Literature*
2. American Literature*
3. Shakespeare
4. World Literature
5. Life Skills
6. Beginning Drama
7. Advanced Drama
8. Old Testament
9. Speech

*=10 or more years

I have also taught seminars on theatrical makeup and aromatherapy…not together 😉

You can probably see a few influences in my writing, eh?