My author interview on March 19, 2022, courtesy of author Jill Piscitello

https://jillpiscitello.com/

INTERVIEW:

What was the inspiration behind your latest release? 

The idea for the story came from a series I wrote in my late twenties. In between caring for my daughter and helping my husband in his business, I wrote several novellas set in a vacation resort on a tropical island. It was superficial, frivolous stuff that will never see the light of day. I had grown to love two of my characters so much, Clare and Richard, I wanted them to have their own standalone story. What laid the groundwork for the plot was probably my deep-seated regret for not having been blessed with a sister. In Misty Dreams, Clare’s sister plays a key role in the mystery the story revolves around.

Where do you get your ideas? 

The books I read are the inspiration for my stories. I’ve been an avid reader since I was a child, and I can’t remember a time when I didn’t want to write.  When I’m experiencing the dreaded writer’s block, reading a good book will get me back in the mood.

Have you ever traveled when researching information for a book? 

When it comes to research, I’m mostly a couch surfer, though I draw inspiration from my actual travels. Ever since I was a little girl I have loved traveling to new places. I believe traveling and living in different parts of the world have helped shape me as a person and as a writer and impacted the way I see the world.

When did you begin writing? 

I don’t remember not ever writing. As a little girl I loved writing essays for English class. One of the first fiction pieces I wrote was in elementary school, a fantasy short story on book characters coming to life in the school library when the clock struck midnight.

What has been your biggest challenge? 

My biggest challenge has been English not being my first language. Although I read a lot of English books, using the English lexicon in my writing doesn’t come easy to me. I worked on Misty Dreams for several years before I felt comfortable enough to send it out into the world.

What does literary success mean to you?

Literary success to me doesn’t mean monetary reward. That would be nice, of course, but just knowing people are reading my book gives me a great sense of fulfillment. Having doubted for so many years my ability to write for other people’s enjoyment, I still have trouble believing I can and did.

What writing tips or marketing advice would you like to share

The most important advice I would give new or aspiring writers is, don’t let your insecurities get in the way of your writing. Don’t let self-doubt and lack of self-confidence hold you back. Spend time learning the fundamentals of writing and becoming more competent in your own abilities. On the marketing front, I would advise to start setting up social media platforms well ahead of a book launch to start building an audience. I was never a fan of social media, and the thought of putting myself out there for the whole world to see was terrifying. Today, I regret not having had the foresight to do that.  

Which authors inspire you?

Nicholas Sparks is a long-time favorite, and the one I draw the most inspiration from. Despite his obsession for serious subject matters and less-than-happy endings, he writes books that impact me on an emotional level and that stay embedded in my memory. I’m also a big fan of Jojo Moyes since reading “Me Before You”, for the humor and warmth she infuses in her books.

What project are you currently working on? 

I’m currently working on a second stand-alone novel. For a while I toyed with the idea of a Misty Dreams sequel, but I struggled to find inspiration. Not being a fan of romance series, I decided to write the story I wanted to read.

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