Interview with Isabel Giustiniani for “The Heroine’s Journey” by Peter de Kuster
What is the best thing that I love about my work?
Creativity. I love giving life to stories and characters. I mostly write historical novels. Through words, I like to recreate environments and events of the past. In this way the reader lives them with the eyes of the mind.
What is my idea of perfect happiness?
The serenity given by the awareness of having done my best in every situation and the closeness with the loved ones.
What is my greatest fear?
As I had health problems, I admit that my greatest fear is illness and the possibility of having to depend on others.
What is the trait that I most deplore in myself?
Without a doubt the tendency to procrastination.
Which living persons in my profession do i most admire?
When I started writing, many years ago, I made the conscious choice to take the path of self-publishing. I never sent my manuscripts to any publishing company. I became my own boss. I use external professional skills for editing and other services. The people I admire the most are therefore the “great self-publishers“, especially the Americans, who have been able to transform what might otherwise be a hobby into a real profession.
What is my greatest extravagance?
I love hens, although unfortunately I have no chance of keeping them, at the moment.
On what occasion would I lie?
To protect people I love, especially my children.
What is the thing that I dislike the most in my work?
The fact that, nowadays, the writer must be a “product” as much as the book. The advent of social media has exaggerated the media exposure of people and it is no longer enough to write good stories. Today it is claimed that the author must also be a “seller of himself “.
When and where was I the happiest, in my work?
Maybe it sounds silly, but it was when I revealed to my father that I was writing. Seeing his eyes filled with tears as he washolding the book I had given him, it was a great emotion.
If I could, what would I change about myself?
I would have liked to be stronger in the past and to have begun to follow my passions first, rather than doubting myself and my abilities for so long. What I am now I owe to a long process of maturation. The many defeats I had helped me grow. I’m happy with my life and I would not change anything, especially because I’m still studying to learn more.
What is my greatest achievement in work?
Seeing that people buy and appreciate my books.
Where would I most like to live?
I am Italian and I spent most of my life between Italy and Portugal. My dream as a child, however, has always been to go and live in Australia. Now I live in the wonderful Queenslandand I feel I am In heaven and I would not go anywhere else.
What is my most treasured possession?
I used to have objects that I loved a lot. They were memories and more. Then, due to so many moves around the world, I learned to detach myself from material things. Moreover, life experiences have taught me not to tie myself to anything. My real treasures are family and inner peace.
What is my most marked characteristic?
Being a simple person who likes to joke but who knows how to be, if necessary, pungently sarcastic.
What is my most inspirational location, in my city?
I live in a village of just over 10,000 people in which there is a magnificent lake. Walking along its shores and looking at the water covered with purple water lilies and yellow water buttercups is a wonderful view. The lake is the destination of numerous species of wild birds (cormorants, pelicans, ibises and many others) and is the ideal place to relax the body and the mind, being in contact with nature.
What is my favourite place to eat and drink, in my city?
Because I’m Italian, I love cooking at home. I have a passionfor sweets (I also have a special personalized recipe of “Tiramisu” that everyone asks me for). Since I live here in Australia, I have learned to appreciate the oriental cuisine, especially the Japanese. Often, especially when we go on a trip to the sea, we stop and buy sushi, which is excellent everywhere.
What books influenced my life and how?
The first book that influenced me was “The Neverending Story” by Michael Ende, which I read at age 13. The book, unlike the terrible cinematographic transposition, has different levels of reading, even very profound, with an almost theological vision of Good and Evil. This book, and others like it, have taught me to appreciate and look for the great stories that, even under an apparent veil of lightness and fun, can communicate important messages tous.
Who are my favorite writers?
The Heroine’s Journey of Isabel Giustiniani
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