travel

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…)

Photo: “It’s All About Me”

I was organizing a few photos and ran across this one from last summer. In addition to writing, I am passionate about photography. I just wish I had a little more time to practice. Anyway, this was captured in an animal park not far from the coast of Oregon.

It's All About Me_By_RobinWoods

3 Reasons I Love Pinterest

pinterest-for-brands

Pinterest is a tool.

Forget finding recipes, advertising my books, and procrastinating from writing (gulp), I really use Pinterest as a research tool. I am a very visual person and I can never seem to remember what I bookmarked where. It’s kinda funny since I can plot an entire novel in my head and keep track of all the threads without really writing anything down. Maybe my brain is too full of plots and dialog to smoosh in anything else, but I digress.

1. I can use a secret board to research a novel; and after I publish the book, make it public.
This is an instant extra for my fans.  They can look at the actual content I used to create my book and pictures that helped inspire me. Examples: The Watcher Series and Allure.

2. Beautiful pictures inspire me. Simple, but true.

3. I can create an ongoing list of reference tools that can be used over and over again.
I have these boards so far, but I am adding new pins on an almost daily basis.

  • Writing Reference: The CraftJust-Pin-it-Pinterest
    Quotes, ideas,  prompts, pictures, and advice–all about the craft of writing itself.
  • Writing Reference: Characters
    Information for character looks, descriptions, word lists, fashion, and more. (Pretty much everything having to do with the external appearance of characters, including facial expression).
  • Writing Reference: Weapons & Weaponry
    This not only has references to knives, guns, and axes; but how to stand when throwing a knife or shooting a gun. I want my characters to be as realistic as possible, so I look up information like blood splatter patterns.
  • Writing Reference: Jewels and Jewelry
    Do you know what the birthstone for your lead character is? Do you know what the different shapes of diamond cuts are called?
  • Writing Reference: This and That
    A growing list of random resources like the “Psychology of Color”, “How to Write a Magic Spell,” and “Offbeat Nature Names.” So, basically, it is my miscellaneous board until I have enough pins to copy a group of pins to a new board.
  • Eras: Victorian Age 1837-1901
    I have started keeping boards on different historical era’s for the future.  My two most deveoped boards are for the Victorian Era and the 1920s (see Allure above).
  • I also love this board by author/editor, Tamar Hela, that is full of inspirational quotes.

So, Pinterest isn’t just something to fritter your time away, it is a powerful tool.  But, of course, you can’t beat the cookie recipes! For all of my boards, click here.

Pinterest

Link to all of my boards: here.

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