Today, an interview with American Journal’s very own Daria DiGiovanni, discussing her various and sundry roles as journalist, talk show host, and ghostwriter.
1. I guess the standard questions for the average writer should be asked first. Bare with me: “How do you get your ideas?” ”A writer, don’t you have a real job?” Feel free to insert any other dumb questions you’ve heard from the general populace.
DD: To me, life experience is the best source of ideas. My first novel is based on actual events not only in my life, but in the lives of people I’ve known, whether friends, family or acquaintances. Of course, the names have been changed to protect the innocent – ha!
As for the “real job,” I spent many years in the corporate world, mostly in the financial industry, in various capacities from corporate communications to marketing to community relations outreach to recruiting. One of my favorite positions was writing e-proposals for a company that specializes in digital marketing for the hospitality industry. That experience helped tremendously in honing my descriptive writing abilities to give the reader a full sensory experience of a particular place, character or plot point.
Even now, I provide social media services for a variety of clients including authors and small businesses. Among other things, this involves setting up blogs, managing social media platforms, providing content, and navigating through the independent publishing process.
I just spent some particularly wonderful hours, reading this contemporary romance by Daria DiGiovanni.
To begin, the heroine, Madeline Rose, is an engaging character. She deals with the same issues most real women deal with at some point or other during the course of an average American, middle class, family oriented, and traditional life.
I myself, though from a blue-collar background rather than an upper middle class family like Maddy’s, have been exposed to many of the same situations portrayed in the novel, albeit second hand, through the eyes of my sister, who dealt with the same sort of dating woes as Maddy, before she married in 1990. These issues, (being stood up by selfish men, insecurity on the dating scene, and worries about weight and self esteem) are portrayed in a realistic manner by DiGiovanni.
The Rose family reminds me of my own; the novel is set in Southeastern Pennsylvania, near my neck of the woods, as well as the Jersey Shore, Philly, and Florida. I loved reading about the family dynamic similar to mine, with Italian food, sisters who share bedrooms, parents who love and protect their children, (sometimes a little too much), and aunts who love to gamble in Atlantic City. Madeline’s Down Syndrome brother and her battle with anxiety were additional themes that spoke to me.
I imagine thousands of other women will relate to Maddy in some way or other; her story is of the American girl next door, only deeper. Cliques, cattiness and backstabbing women are not to be found in Maddy’s world. What we find are love, laughter, family, hard work, professionalism, beautiful clothes, and pop music.
The hero, Ken, Maddy’s true love, comes across as very down to earth, and a bit insecure about his blue-collar roots and upbringing in a Jersey Shore town. The couple’s sweet beginning turns sour after a series of misunderstandings, missed chances, and over-thinking of average situations.
Initially, I was sad. I wanted Maddy and Ken to get married within two years of their initial meeting, have a family, and live happily ever after. But…this was not to be, and that’s what makes the story.
The separate courses these individuals take, their experiences, (good and bad), and the relationships they nurture with their own families and new friends along the way, make for an exciting ending to this charming novel. Ken and Maddy spend long years living separate lives, making their own choices, building careers, and yearning for each other throughout; the happy ending is worth waiting for.
It’s always incredibly gratifying when a reader’s detailed review affirms their attention to detail and their ability to easily connect with the characters, plot and settings of your novel. While its themes are universal, Water Signs seems to evoke palpable nostalgia and emotional responses with readers who’ve lived in Southeastern Pennsylvania, South Jersey and South Florida. And a wonderful review like this keeps me revved up to complete Sea To Shining Sea!
Water Signs is one of those rare books that makes you feel like you want to meet the characters in person. Yes, they are that real. It is beautifully written with passion for our country and romance. It is one of those books that is just like a good movie, where you hate to see it end. Speaking of more…please Daria, write the sequel as we are left sitting on the edge our seats wanting more. Madeline Rose and her charming husband Kenny will enrich your lives with their love for each other. Yes, a perfect romance does exist.
I fell in love with Rose from the very beginning and couldn’t wait to know more and more about her story. I am rooting for her and hope the author will consider writing a sequel. I would like to be informed if she does. Her writing style kept me engaged and intrigued. I appreciate an author like DiGiovanni who has a keen knowledge of English language and who writes as if you were right there with the main character. Kudos to you!
Better late than never, my 2008 novel Water Signs is now available on Kindle for $2.99. It’s been an interesting journey, navigating through this brave new media marketing world over the past six years. Although I haven’t actively promoted the book in a very long time, I recently realized that 1.) My network of contacts, friends and clients has dramatically increased thanks to platforms like Facebook and Twitter, providing a large new base of potential readers, and 2.) Now that I’ve completed two ghostwritten books and have a handle on social media projects for clients, I can make the time to (finally) finish Sea To Shining Sea.
One of the many benefits of being an independently published author is that you can never really penetrate your market; therefore, there are endless opportunities to reach new readers. And what better way to pave the way to sequel success than to have my audience fall in love with (or in many cases, all over again) Water Signs just before the sequel’s release?
If you would like to download Water Signs to your Kindle for $2.99, click here. For insights into the book’s various themes, literary techniques and characters, click here.
Thank you to everyone who supports my writing — I appreciate you!