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Today on The Joys Of Binge Reading, a real historical fiction treat. Diana Giovinazzo and Antoinette’s Sister, historical fiction bursting with intrigue, adventure, and romance.
Hi there. I’m your host, Jenny Wheeler, and on Binge Reading today, Diana Giovinazzo presents two historical feasts and two formidable women.
Antoinette’s Sister is a tale of power, love, and the entwined lives of two sisters, both queens during 18th century Europe’s most volatile period. One will keep her head, the other will lose it
This is historical fiction at its most entertaining and informative.
Historical Fiction Sales Specials
But before we get to that news of two special historical fiction sales, the first one on Kobo finishes February 28th, so don’t waste any time in getting in and having a look.
I’ve got the first three books of the Of Gold & Blood Series in this Kobo sale. The first three books, with 25% off Normal retail price. Take a look now
Kobo Sale here: https://kobo.com/p/february-boxset-sale !
And then we are sharing in another great historical fiction sale on Book Funnel, with loads of other historical fiction books there. Great quality historical fiction.
I’ve got Book Five in the Of Gold & Blood series, Unbridled Vengeance, and Susannah’s Secret, Book One in Home At Last, on sale.
Great Historical Fiction Sale here: https://books.bookfunnel.com/greathistoricalfiction/ky7epqyx9f
That’s where you’ll find them. Before we get on to Diana though, just let me say, if you enjoy this show, why not leave a comment online so others can find us too? But that’s enough of our housekeeping.
Links for this episode
The Kingdom Of The Two Sicilies: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kingdom_of_the_Two_Sicilies
Caserta Palace: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_Palace_of_Caserta
Ferdinand I of the Two Sicilies:
Where to find Diana Giovinazzo Online
Twitter: TikTok: @dianagauthor
Wine Women and Words podcast: https://www.winewomenwordspodcast.com/
(Editor’s Note – Maria Carolina was called Charlotte by her family, and I refer to her by that name a few times in the podcast. Sorry if this is confusing – but it was one of the names she was known by to her family.)
Introducing Diana Giovinazzo, historical fiction author
Now, here’s Diana. Hello there, Diana, and welcome to the show. It’s great to have you with us
Diana Giovinazzo: Thank you so much for having me. It’s such a pleasure.,
Jenny Wheeler: You’ve written these two lovely books about forgotten women of history, Antoinette’s Sister, which is the latest one and the one we’ll be focusing on here today, but also The Women in Red, which got tremendous reviews when it was published.
Both of them are these forgotten women. You’ve said that getting into genealogy and your own family history is what drew you into writing fiction.
Tell us about how that happened.
Diana Giovinazzo: It was really interesting. I was having a conversation with my dad and we were discussing how my family ended up coming to the United States and the questions of how turned into, well, why. Why were they leaving Italy?
Why were they coming to California? Because there were a massive number of, Italians that left the country going to Australia, New Zealand, the United States and all throughout South America, and my father said well, you should look at Anita Garibaldi and check out her story. I think you’d really like it. That might give you some answers. And so, I did. I picked up a biography and I absolutely fell in love with her story and started digging into the Italian history and what was going on with unification and the country itself.
How Diana discovered twin passions
And I just realized, okay, my genre that I need to be writing is historical fiction, and I just have this love of Italian history in and of itself. So I combined the two and started writing.
Jenny Wheeler: What years did your family first go to the United States?
Diana Giovinazzo: The Calabrians came to United States in 1912, and then the Sicilians a little later.
Jenny Wheeler: Right. So Giuseppe Garibaldi was in the 1860s, wasn’t he? Is that right?
Diana Giovinazzo: It was after that, obviously, but there was still so much turmoil and the after effects of political unification, and what was going on in the south. So many were leaving the south after unification, that caused so much upset.
Jenny Wheeler: Just for people who aren’t familiar with their Italian history, Giuseppe Garibaldi was the charismatic leader who had the credit of unifying all of the different Italian states into one modern nation state, as we might describe it.
And you did a wonderful, fictional life The Woman In Red, of Anita Garibaldi, his wife, who had probably really been a lost person because Giuseppe was so prominent that she was left in his shadow, wasn’t she?
And in this one, the Antoinette of the title is another amazing woman, almost notorious in history. Marie Antoinette, the tragic queen of France. With what’s going on with the English Royal family at the moment. you realize how utterly amazing a bad press or just press sensationalism can be.
A sympathetic picture of a tragic queen
And one of the interesting things actually, as a little aside to talking to so many historical fiction authors, is how there has been a wonderful rewriting of history of some of the women who got a bad press in their lifetime from their husbands. I’m thinking particularly of Napoleon.
And that’s certainly the case with Marie Antoinette because you present a much more sympathetic face for that queen than the one we’ve been left with. Most people probably just think of “Let them eat cake.” as being her heartless response. So tell us a bit about these two sisters.
Diana Giovinazzo: The sisters, their relationship was so close. When they were children, they were raised as twins.
They were only a few years apart. I want to say it was like two or three years apart that they were born, but they were raised as twins and they looked so much alike even into their adulthood. where after Maria Antoinette’s death, there were courtiers from France who came to Italy, and when they saw Maria Carolina, there was one who actually fainted upon seeing her because she looked so much like her sister.
They were so close, and my main character Maria Carolina was a troublemaker, and she did something that caused their mother to separate them. But that friendship was still very close after the fact.
The sisters were always writing letters. Maria Carolina was always asking about her sister in letters back home for the family.
Marie Antoinette – and ‘German Melancholy’
And so when I started digging into Marie Antoinette’s life and her letters that she wrote to other people, I really got the sense of this depressed woman. and she even referred to herself as having the German Melancholy.
Being so picked apart by the media and being basically torn apart for things, whether she did it or not, I felt sorry for her and I created this sympathetic version of her that really only her sister would see and know.
Jenny Wheeler: Yeah. they were both the daughters of the formidable Empress of Austria. That lady bore 16 children. I think only about eight of them lived to adulthood, didn’t they? But she raised each of those ones that survived were more or less raised with an idea of monarchy in mind.
They were just trained as royal courtiers, right from tiny babies. And she already had her eyes on what kingdom or Dutchy or Baron they could marry even when they were tiny.
So they were not love matches. And this podcast is going out in next month and Valentine’s Month, I thought it would be particularly fun to focus on the romantic aspects.
Tell us about Maria Carolina’s marriage, for example.
An arranged marriage that birthed 17 children
Diana Giovinazzo: Oh, that marriage. That was such a fun relationship to write about. Ferdinand of Naples, of himself. I grew to love him as I continued to write him.
He was one of my absolute favorite characters to create and write about. and it wasn’t a love match to begin with. In fact, she wasn’t even meant to marry him.
There were two other sisters before her that were supposed to marry Ferdinand. And interestingly, and this is where one of those “what ifs” about history, if things had worked out in certain ways how things would have changed.
She was intended to be the Queen of France. Maria Teresa had Maria Carolina set to marry the French King, and she would’ve been the one who would have to deal with all of those rebellions and the French Revolution and all of that, that her sister had to deal with.
But you know, we also dealt with a pandemic here and over there in New Zealand as well, and she lost two sisters to smallpox and she ended up being the default sister who had to marry him.
It was a duty based relationship that she had to carry out. That was something that in Maria Teresa’s letters that I was able to glean with the history and everything where she wasn’t even sure about the match, because he had this reputation.
I don’t want to jump too much into the guns, but he had this reputation for being a nitwit and being childish, but she still had to place her daughter in a prominent royal family that was still very important to her.
Marriage by proxy for 18th century royals
Jenny Wheeler: Yes, that’s right. So, the actual physical marriage took place with her brother as the proxy so that she got married in Austria at, I think 16, wasn’t it?
She was 16 with her brother as the proxy and I think her brother was a rather handsome young man and she’d already seen a miniature of Ferdinand of Sicily, and he had this big nose that was very prominent and he was known for it and took one look at the miniature and thought, oh no, I don’t like him.
And then she more or less had to get on a coach and go to Sicily and meet him for the first time when she was already legally married to him.
Diana Giovinazzo: Mm-hmm. it. It’s a such crazy, fraught idea. And it’s why sometimes with history there’s some things that you just can’t make up.
You really can’t. And she had to go through with this marriage, as vile as he was, and he wasn’t that much older than her. He was like maybe 17 or 18 at the time. And so she was, she still had to go through all of this.
She still had to perform her duties. One of the essential questions I explored in the book was, “What does it mean to have to live ‘for king and country’ when you’re a woman?
And what does that mean when you’re a queen? When you have to abide by the will of the king and you have this heir, you have to do these things for your country.
God, the ordained deity is saying, ‘Hey, you’ve gotta do this. This is, this is your job. This I picked you for it. .’ It’s a lot of burden to put on somebody regardless of their age.
Ferdinand has a ‘bad rap’ from historians
Jenny Wheeler: So Ferdinand was a flippant and almost fey, slightly odd character. but you present him as a maturing and much more sympathetic man as he develops.
And I think perhaps with Maria Carolina’s influence he develops into a rather more likable persona as they grow together, doesn’t he?
Diana Giovinazzo: Mm-hmm. I mean, you have to realize, she had 17 children on her own and she went beyond the ‘heir and spare’ mentality where she could have said, ‘I’ve had two boys, I’m done.’
But she continued going to bed with him and she didn’t let him just go off with his affairs, which he still had, but she still went to bed with him.
And so there had to be something to that relationship and I wanted to explore that. And as humans, even if we are immature, even as young adults, and we still carry some of that immaturity with us, but we’re gonna still, there’s going to be the people that are around us are still going to be influential on us.
And in a lot of ways, I think historically Ferdinand does get a bad rap by many historians they just write him off as being this idiot. But there’s so much more to him. As much as there’s so much more to people.
We’re not just this one set idea of what a person should be or can be. We are complex creatures and so is.
The real Ferdinand – fact better than fiction
Jenny Wheeler: The likable side of him was that he did have a real love of the common man,
Diana Giovinazzo: Mm-hmm.
Jenny Wheeler: And he did like to go and pretend to not be king, didn’t he?
Diana Giovinazzo: Yes, yes. Those were his, that was something that historically he absolutely adored and did, where none of his antics in the book, none of his, little traits like where he would go and play chess with the old men by the sea. All of that was actually based on true history. None of that was made up.
He did have that love of the common man and that, I think pulling from that, the fact that he had this love of the people was something that I really pulled into his charact.
Jenny Wheeler: Yeah. And the empress, she gave her daughters rather interesting advice, motherly advice about how to make their marriages work. And Carolina passed that on to her own daughter. could you tell us about that? It was rather wise, although very hard-headed advice.
Diana Giovinazzo: Yeah. if I can quote my own book properly, it was, ‘in everything that you do, you are going to be Sicilian, but in your heart, you’re still Austrian.’ It’s something along those lines. And that was something that she did actually write to Maria Carolina. That was a piece of advice that she had given to her.
An Empresses’ marriage advice to her daughters
She loved to do her letter writing, and that was a letter that she had actually given to her, on her wedding day that she read on her way to, the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies.
And I love that piece of advice. It was just such strong advice, and I wanted Maria Carolina to still bring that forward with her own children because when you have that advice that served you well when you were young, you want your daughters to succeed in these new roles that they end up having when they’re adults.
Jenny Wheeler: Yes. There was one that was a little bit more down to earth as well, where she said the most important thing was to get your husband to believe you loved him even if you didn’t.
Diana Giovinazzo: And, that was something else that she had said that she had told her daughter, is that men are fickle. Make sure you, you cater to his needs.
Jenny Wheeler: The letters that the sisters wrote to one another, the true letters have vanished, haven’t they?
Diana Giovinazzo: As far as I know. and the book has been out for a year, so if somebody came across a letter and said, oh, hey, there are letters, I would love, I would love to see that. But as far as I know I am pretty sure that the letters were burned, at least Maria Carolina’s were.
The sisterly correspondence between two Queens
She also has a Spanish courtier coming in. They’re trying to get to her letters. They think that she’s up to something no good, which may or may not be the case. And so she wants to hide those letters, especially because it’s her sister telling secrets to her and France is under this immense turmoil at the time as well.
Jenny Wheeler: Yes, sure. So the book each chapter pretty well is bracketed by their exchange of letters. So you had a great time recreating what the sisters might have said to one another. How did you approach that task?
Diana Giovinazzo: I tried to think of it. I have a sister as well. She is 12 years younger than me, and I wanted to frame it as how my sister and I would talk to each other.
How my sister and I, we will tell each other things that we won’t necessarily tell other people or even other members of in our own family. And so I wanted to go that route. This is how sisters would talk. These are the letters that sisters would share with each other. And that’s I how I attacked it.
Jenny Wheeler: Turning to The Woman In Red and Anita Garibaldi. Give us a thumbnail sketch of her life, how she came to marry Giuseppe Garibaldi and what her role in his career was.
Anita Garibaldi – a fierce and wonderful one-of-a-kind woman
Diana Giovinazzo: Oh gosh, a thumbnail. It’s how can you create a thumbnail for a woman who is so fierce and so wonderful. Anita Garibaldi was raised as a gaucho.
She was Brazilian. She was a tomboy who just didn’t fit the mold and she ended up at the age of 14 having to marry a man, arranged by her mother, another marriage where she was forced into.
And he was gone. And there was again, rebellion in the country. There was a civil war that was brewing between the north and the south, in Brazil. And Garibaldi had already been kicked out of Italy.
He was on the run fin France because he had stolen a ship. Because he was, it was a squash buckler, debonair, missionary, not missionary, a mercenary. He was a mercenary.
And so he comes to Laguna and the legend states that he saw this woman, and she was on a balcony and he declared “she must be mine” and dove into the water and picked her up, and they took off and left happily ever after.
And in actuality, she still had the stigma of being married, even though her husband was gone.
They had this torrid love affair, and she became a freedom fighter along with him. In fact, she was the one who taught him how to ride horses. She taught him how to live like a gaucho and get involved in the guerilla fighting as he did.
Anita – a Quick Note to her husband’s life
And so she was very much his confidant and everything, and she unfortunately, in a lot of ways has become a QuickNote in his story, which is really unfair and unfortunate to her.
But she was just this larger than life woman who decades after her death, he still referred to her as the ‘Queen of his soul.’ So it was this epic love story that I really wanted to capture
Jenny Wheeler: Yes. How did you carry out the research for these two books?
Diana Giovinazzo: Al ot of, books, a lot of, historical, biography was what I used. With Anita it was a little frustrating because there’s this element when it comes to historical women where with queens like Marie Antoinette and Marie Carolina, I knew exactly what she did on a daily basis. Maria Antoinette, you can go and look up exactly what she wore and when.
That’s, that’s how much information you have on these women. And within Anita Garibaldi, who was a poor woman, there’s nothing. And so I had to use what I could from Garibaldi journals, from the biographies of various people. Anita couldn’t read or write. And her story was told by a woman who had interviewed her.
They like sat and talked, chatted over coffee and then she would go home and she would write down everything. She kept the journal of what Anita had said and done up until a certain point.
The magic of Google Maps in a pandemic
And then I actually had to go and explore the culture of that specific time period and what women during that time period would be doing.
I had to piece together. this woman from what little historical record I could get and what women of that time period in Brazil would be doing.
Jenny Wheeler: You mentioned on your website, that did remind me that you are a passionate traveler and you got stuck at home with Covid travel restrictions when you were writing the Antoinette’s Sister book. You didn’t even get a chance to go to the Kingdom of the two Sicilies. Tell us about that frustration.
Diana Giovinazzo: Oh, it was so awful for somebody who I actually in 2020, I had a trip to Italy that I was going to be taking, for the first time in years, that had been able to go back to Italy and everything got canceled.
And so I was here in this room in my office and basically, it was books and Google Mpsa.
Google Maps was amazing. It’s amazing tool for those who can’t travel, right? Let’s also look at the fact that travel can also be something for those who have, who, can benefit from it.
Who can actually afford to travel? Cuz travel Let’s face it. It can be expensive. You save up for years just to go on a trip and sometimes you don’t necessarily have the funds to travel.
The palaces Diana could research at home made the story
Google Maps was amazing for me. I was able to, I call him a little dude. I know that there is a name. We discussed it on my podcast once and I completely blocked out what his name was because he forever will be little dude to me. And I would pick him up and I could place him on a road or in a palace.
So Caserta especially was the palace I based so much of the story on because I could actually walk through the palace. and give myself my own tour.
And you could still look up what the plans are, the blueprints of the palace were. And when it came to the Austrian palaces, I would do something similar.
The palaces that I could research from home, or the palaces that I put in the books because I could get a more accurate description of those palaces based on what I was only able to do.
Jenny Wheeler: We’ve mentioned about history being written by those who conquer, or those who’ve got access to media. Were you aware of that?
Sadly, Carolina and Ferdinand lost their Kingdom of the Two Sicilies. Napoleon did come down through Europe and basically destroy their reign just like he, well not him, but as a successor of the revolution, they’d destroyed Mary Antoinette.
Napoleon – ‘one of history’s biggest dirtbags’
And I’ve become aware from other books that we’ve talked about on the show that Napoleon, when he sat in his island of St. Helen, he very much was aware of what version of history he wanted to leave about himself. He was still wanting to make sure that he came out of it really well.
Tell us a bit about that last phase of their lives when Napoleon invaded.
Diana Giovinazzo: Napoleon was such a narcissist.
Jenny Wheeler: He was?
Diana Giovinazzo: Say, looking back at history now, like, yeah, he crafted this, narrative for himself, but really, he was one of history’s biggest dirtbags. That was such a scary time for them, because France was so meddlesome and they talk about. The French Revolution, and it wasn’t a revolution that was contained within France.
They were spreading anarchy, which was so terrifying for the rest of the Italian peninsula, particularly because they went into the peninsula and they were taking whatever they wanted from not only in the nobility, but from the common man as well. And when that started happening, she was of course getting the letters from her family who were already you set as a nobility in the north.
And she was also getting a lot of refugees from France and from Northern Italy. It was very similar to issues that we’ve discussed in our own country about these refugees coming in. What are they gonna bring with them? Are they going to be terrorists?
Terrorism was coined during the French Revolution
Because terrorism was first coined and created during the French Revolution. And so it was terrifying for her and for her family.
And she grew up on this idea that she was chosen by God to rule and she and her brother, Leopold, they both tried to be these enlightened rulers, but that didn’t necessarily work.
I don’t think monarchy really works. And that’s something that I’ve actually, when I’ve talked to people in other conversations in writing this book, I’ve become more of a proponent for democratic processes, of Republican processes where you, the people have the right to rule.
I’m more, along the lines of like Garibaldi and Anita for freedom that I am about Maria Carolina’s rule of ruling.
Ruling and a monarchy doesn’t necessarily work with enlightenment. Those two kind of crash, they don’t really go. And so you see the fall of that and you see how, especially towards the end of her life, things are falling apart and she’s trying to hold on and she’s not really relevant even with her own kingdom, within her own family.
Maria Carolina’s world crumbles
And so it starts to really crumble. And some of the stuff I don’t get into in the book because there was a lot of back and forth. Which doesn’t make for good writing when you’re trying to create this story. And having a chapter where Maria Carolina goes to Austria, and then Maria Carolina comes back to the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, and then she goes back to Austria.
Going back and forth for several chapters just makes for a really long book where you’re not really having a lot of plot going on. And there is a point in this, in the history of the kingdom in Sicily, where they become the par. or Yeah, Parthinian Republic held by Murat, who was Napoleon’s brother-in-law who did awful things to the people of The Kingdom of the Two Sicilies.
There was a lot of abuses happening, because of him. And then after that all fell apart, they were able to get it back, but she was still devoted to Naples. Still devoted to her kingdom.
Jenny Wheeler: I must admit, I did do a little Wikipedia search after I’d read the book, and I see that after she died, Ferdinand married very quickly after she died, and that made me feel a bit sad as well. It seemed like towards the end of their lives they did lose contact a little bit. At one stage, she vowed she wasn’t going to have anything more to do with them until they got their kingdom back or something like that.
The Woman in Red translated into Italian
I think he might have had an affair with one of her ladies in waiting. was she the woman that he finally married after she died?
Diana Giovinazzo: No, He ended up marrying an actor, and it was one the royal family was not fond of, and that’s when he married her he ended up abdicating the throne and her son came in.
But he was carrying on with her before their marriage had actually dissolved. She had gone to Austria and started living in Austria, and I think for a while she had a townhouse in one of the palaces outside of Naples.
She had already stepped back from the royal life and pretty much retired. And, so he had his mistress.
Jenny Wheeler: And married her as soon as she died. Yeah.
Diana Giovinazzo: Oh yes.
Jenny Wheeler: Has the book found a market in Italy? Has it been translated into Italian?
Diana Giovinazzo: The Woman In Red has, Storia de Anita has, the Italian translation. and I absolutely love,the translation and the translator and the process of that.
And we were in Italy, this past September, and it was really exciting to go to an Italian bookstore and find my book on the shelves in Rome. That was an experience that I’ll never forget.
Jenny Wheeler: That’s fantastic. Do you read and write Italian yourself?.
Wine Women and Words podcast
Diana Giovinazzo: Yes, I’ve been studying Italian for about three, almost four years. I’m starting to read more, but it’s still such a process because it’s such a gorgeous language and it’s still very complex. And so I’m still, I’m just enteriug into reading books that haven’t been translated into English yet.
Diana Giovinazzo: And I’m speaking a little bit better than I, I used to. but I come from a generation, I’m third generation Italian, so by the time I came around, Nobody was teaching any of us any of the proper Italian. I only knew the swear words growing up. During my father’s generation and my grandparents’ generation, there was this push that you had to speak English.
This very big question. I think a lot of it comes from that World War II generation, and carrying that on, that you’ve have to speak English and you’ve got to assimilate to Americanism. I think my generation ended up losing a lot of the Italian culture because of that.
Jenny Wheeler: Turning from your books to your wider career, did the things that you did before you started writing help feed into your writing career?
Diana Giovinazzo: Absolutely. The podcast that I do with one of my best friends, Wine Women and Words.
We are sitting down and talking with authors, and you can tell where we are in our own writing journeys because sometimes certain thing aspects of books will pop out to us. Like if you’re writing multiple perspectives, how did you set the setting?
What life before writing taught Diana
And we’ll ask the author, how did you do these things? And we’ll have these conversations with them about that. And so that was very, helpful.
And then there’s also being able to make friends with other authors and, podcasters because there’s a great podcasting community and as I’m sure you know as well. And before being a writer, I was also a paralegal, and so research is my jam.
I love to research. that’s all one of my favorite things. So I just shifted my research from legal stuff to history.
Jenny Wheeler: Yeah, that’s great. Yes. Talking about the podcast, it is called Wine Women and Words, as you mentioned. How did you get going on that?
Diana Giovinazzo: This is what happens when you’re best friends with somebody. Michelle called me up and she was like, ‘Hey, I’m going to set a podcast. It’s a task I’ve got to do for school. and it’s going to be called Wine, Women and Words, and you’re going to do it with me. And I was like, I have absolutely no idea how to do a podcast.
And she was like, neither do I. This is going to be fun and that’s how we got started. We had no idea what we were doing. And about, maybe six months or so, we started inviting authors on the show with us and. eventually we got a format, we got an idea of how to do it, and we’ve been doing it for almost six years now.
If you want to be a writer, ‘Read Everything’
Jenny Wheeler: Wow. Yeah. That’s great. And do you do a lot of historical fiction on that show?
Diana Giovinazzo: We do a mix. I think that’s one of the benefits of the podcast is that it forces me to read everything, not just my own genre. Michelle is writing his, fantasy. We’ll get fantasy authors on, we’ll get romance authors on. It’s a really healthy mix of different books.
Jenny Wheeler:. What is your advice to people that might be just starting out in a writing career, from what you’ve heard from other writers and your own experience, what do people say is the best way to approach it?
Diana Giovinazzo: Well for me, the advice that I always give to people who want to be writers is to read everything.
That’s the primary advice. Read everything from the back of shampoo bottles to the classics. Read everything. Because that’s the best teacher when it comes to writing, is to learn from what others have written and done, and seeing it on a page before you.
And then you’ve got to have that tenacity. Especially if you are, seeking a traditional publishing role, or traditionally published book. You’ve got to have that tenacity to be able to deal with agents, to get an agent, and then, to be able to deal with reviews and all of that.
You’ve got to be able to thicken up before dealing with all of that, because you’re going to get a lot of rejections.
Trad or Indie – which way to go?
Jenny Wheeler: would you advise people to seek traditional publishing or would you suggest going indie? Have you got any preferences there?
Diana Giovinazzo: I think it all depends upon, what you want for the book and what you want for yourself.
For me, looking at when I was starting to pitch The Woman In Red, when you go indie, there’s a lot of work that you have to do for yourself.
You’ve still do a lot of marketing either way, both traditional and indie, but not distribution, cover design and all of the mechanics that a traditional publisher would handle.
You’re doing that if you’re in doing indie, and if you don’t want to have to control that. If you’re okay with somebody saying, no, we’re going to change the cover, or we’re going to change the title…
If you’re okay with that, then yes. Traditional publishing is good because traditional publishing could also it gets you more in, in the door when it comes to distribution. Distribution is usually the big thing. and so it just depends on you and what you want for your pull.
Jenny Wheeler: Yes. Looking back now over your writing career, if there’s one thing you could change, what would it be?
Golden advice from author Diana Giovinazzo: “Don’t stress”
Diana Giovinazzo: Not to stress so much. If I could tell past Diana, 2017, 2018 Diana, as she’s just about to pitch her book. “Don’t stress too much, because it’ll happen.
I think that’s the only thing, because we put so much on ourselves to be perfectionists when it comes to our writing, when it comes to just working nonstop and just stressing about whether or not this is going to happen.
If you take a step back and be like, okay. It’s, going to happen. Have faith that’s going happen, man, you know, believe in it and you can manifest it. And I think that’s really, you sometimes get lost when you’re in the trenches of trying to get it to happen. Otherwise, the way things worked out, I wouldn’t change anything.
Anything at all.
Jenny Wheeler: That’s wonderful. What have you got on your desk now for the next 12 months? What are you looking at doing?
Diana Giovinazzo: I don’t have anything specific. I’m working on some pitches that I’m going to be giving to my agent and I’m in this nice little lull and I am doing a lot of reading. I’ve got a lot of reading for the podcast I’ve got to catch up on and get ahead of, and a lot of my own personal reading that I want to read.
Jenny Wheeler: That’s great. But you will be sticking with historical fiction? You’ve got some ideas in mind for how you’d like to go.
Where to find Diana Giovinazzo online
Diana Giovinazzo: Yes, absolutely. I have some ideas on my mind. I love historical fiction. , so many of us have fallen into historical fiction, either based on genealogy or we started writing historical fiction and we realized, hey, this was my favorite genre, even before I started thinking that, Hey, I could write this.
I love the genre. There are so many fantastic books out, that I’m going stick with it. this is my jam. This is what I love, and this is what I’m going to keep writing until the day I die. And I tend to die with a pen in my hand.
Jenny Wheeler: Wonderful. Now, I’m sure that I know the answer to this question already, but do you enjoy hearing from your listeners and your readers, and where can they find you online?
Diana Giovinazzo: Oh, I absolutely love my readers. Authors live on adoration so please, if you love a book, please let me know. I absolutely love to hear from readers You can find me on my website, you can contact me directly from that and online. Diana g Author. it’s the same handle, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and even TikTok.
Jenny Wheeler: Wonderful, and you’re doing Tiktok.
Diana Giovinazzo: Yes. mostly I’m mostly on Instagram. That’s the one that you see most of, on there. But I do some TikTok. right now I’m building a little book insert that looks like a little bookstore. So that’s mostly my TikTok right now is me building that.
Jenny Wheeler: Diana, it’s been wonderful talking. Thank you so much.
Diana Giovinazzo: Thank you so much for having me. It’s been such a pleasure.
If you enjoyed Diana Giovinazzo you might also like…
Another “World Changing Woman” Allison Pataki has made it her specialty to discover the relatively unknown women of history whose lives changed the course of empires, whose names have largely been forgotten.
Women like Désirée Clary, the first love of Napoleon’s life. She might have ended up as Empress if he hadn’t met Josephine, but she went on to found a famous royal house which still exists today.
In The Queen’s Fortune she tells us the story of this fascinating historical figure.
Jenny Wheeler: Binge Reading is going fortnightly this year, as I’ve already mentioned, but for those of you who miss that announcement, but we’re having the occasional bonus Encore show now and then. The idea is to allow me more time to write my own books. And this month we’re going to have a bonus episode for Valentine’s Month.
Next week on Binge Reading.. Roselle Lim’s magical rom coms
Roselle Lim returns with another delightful romcom with a magical edge. That’s Roselle Lim and her latest romcom Sophie Go’s Lonely Hearts Club. That’ll be on. February the 28th. Sophie Go’s matchmaking skills are put to the test as she learns the depths of loneliness, heartbreak and love by attempting to make the hardest matches of all.
That’s it for today. Thanks for listening. Stay with us, won’t you? And if you’ve enjoyed the show, why not leave your comments so that others can find us too and happy reading.