Jo, can you tell us a little about yourself and your work?
Where to start… I was born in Gillingham , Kent ( UK ) on 16th September 1980 and now live in Rome, Italy with my Italian husband and our two year old boy. I came here for three days back in July 2001 and ended up staying. It was actually much easier to do than you’d think. I just kept saying “I’ll stay for just another week…” Weeks turned into months and finally after about 6 months of living out of a backpack I decided to go back to the UK and get more of my stuff.
I’m a freelance writer, writing articles for websites, newspapers and magazines. I cover basically anything connected with Italy , the writing industry and parenting, although I’m always open to new topics too 😉
I’m the founder and organiser of an annual online event for people in the writing industry called ‘PROMO DAY’, where people from all over the world come for a day of promoting, networking and learning at http://jolinsdell.tripod.com/promoday. This years will take place on Saturday 15th May.
I also recently became Editor of Robin Falls Magazine (www.robinfalls.com) which is a fantastic new online magazine for creative souls to show off their talents. Submissions are now open for the Spring issue.
My favourite job though is being a fulltime mummy
understand you’ve just released the pocket edition of “Italian for Tourists.” How long have you lived in Italy , and did you speak Italian before you moved there?
I came to Italy in July 2001. As I mentioned before, with the intention of staying for just three days. Back then I could only just manage saying ‘ciao’. I learnt Italian by listening to people and watching TV programmes. The moment when I really started trying to learn though was when I met my no husband. We met through mutual friends at Piazza Di Spagna and the chemistry was instant. He didn’t speak much English though and so I decided I had to know more for each time we saw each other. Love is a great motivator!
What prompted you to write your book?
There were lots of phrasebooks on the market but they all contained too much information or made it seem complicated to learn Italian. I had worked in hostels and as a tour guide and often heard tourists complaining that they couldn’t find what they were looking for in their phrasebooks. A tourist doesn’t need to be able to negotiate the sale of a house or know how to hire a plumber. What they want is an easy to use book containing the basics to help them get by during their trip. That’s how I came up with the idea for Italian for Tourists.
Everyone that purchases a copy of the book can download a free Homeschoolers Kit from my website http://jolinsdell.tripod.com which is full of exercises for practising the Italian learnt in the book. Italian for Tourists: Pocket Edition is available from www.lulu.com and www.amazon.com
I understand you’ve recently become editor of Robins Falls Magazine. Can you tell us a little about the magazine and how you came to be editor?
Robin Falls Magazine is an online publication for creative people to show off their talents. It was created by April Robins (author, radio host and many other talents). The first edition came out in December 2009 and was a huge success. Submissions are now open for the Spring issue (deadline 1st February 2010).
You’re holding another PROMO DAY on Saturday, May 15th. Can you tell us a little about that, and who can participate, and how?
PROMO DAY is an annual online event for people in the writing industry to promote, network and learn. It’s free to attend and open to everyone. Last years event had 1364 visitors and feedback was fantastic.
This years event is set to be even bigger and better. I’m introducing a new forums feature to help make the event more international. This will mean that people from different time zones can participate in all the discussions through out the day, increasing the possibilities for everyone.
The workshops will still be LIVE chats as with previous events. I’m still looking for presenters and moderators for the workshops, so if anyone is interested please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Each workshop will last for one hour.
What future projects do you have coming up?
I’m currently working on a novel. It’s a mystery romance set in Tivoli , the small town near Rome where we currently live. Villa D’Este is a large villa in the centre of the town with amazing gardens full of impressive and beautiful fountains. As it’s one of my favourite places, I decided that it would be perfect for my book.
I’m also working on a Guide to Rome.
Anything else you’d like to add?
Thank you for having me here today.
In October 2010 I’ll be guest presenter at The Roman Writers Retreat being held in Rome . I’m really excited about working with the other presenters, Carolyn Howard Johnson and Eve Caram.
I’m organising details so that writers from Europe can take part too. Visit my website http://jolinsdell.tripod.com for more details on how to be involved.
Visit me at the following websites: