Saturday, February 22, 2014

Author Interview: Maria Chiara Marsciani: Urbino, Unexpectedly Her First Novel

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Maria Chiara Marsciani was born in Rimini, Italy, a town of roman origins on the Adriatic Sea and she moved to the US in 1994. She now lives with her family in Potomac, Maryland and they happily share their home with two cats, one dog and five fish. When she is not writing, she enjoys spending her time reading books and magazines of all sorts, cooking new recipes to test with friends, and gardening even if it is a never-ending struggle with deer, raccoons and groundhogs.

Welcome Maria!

Please share some of the best memories of your childhood:

The first one is definitely having the whole family gathered around the table during the Holidays. I realize now that, as adults, they had conflicting relationships and not always agreed on everything, but I was the youngest, I was left out of the bickering and for me it was just a reassuring and comforting time of the year.
The second one is a trip I took with my mom during which she showed me for the first time the places in Italy where she grew up. It was nice to be just the two of us. She was proud of it and I still remember how happy I was.

About your education:

I majored in clinical psychology. A friend once told me that being a psychologist is not really a profession, but more of a diagnosis. He was probably right. In any event, as soon as I graduated I got pregnant with my daughter and I decided to stay at home and dedicate myself full time to raise her. It was the best decision I ever made.

What languages you can speak and write?

Italian is my primary language, then English. In middle school I studied German and Latin, and a few years ago I studied Japanese, although I have to admit that I can just say a few words of each. One of my goals in life is to learn Spanish.

What is your biggest source of inspiration in life: 

anything that can move me, that gives me emotions. Usually, inspiration comes from small things that touch my chords inside, like a wild bird that stops at the feeder in front of my office’s window, a sequence of notes in a song, or an unusual color of the sky. I can write of things I didn’t experience first hand, but I could never write about something I don’t feel.

What hurts you most in this world:

Close-mindedness. Nothing good ever comes from it.

What is the biggest challenge you have faced?

I have two. The first one it was seeing myself for the first time through my daughter’s eyes: kids see the real you and their frankness has no pity. The second one, and more recent, was being diagnosed with a tumor of the parotid gland (gland I didn’t even know I had!). The thought of not being able to watch my daughter growing up and of not being able to be next to her during the difficult times of life it was unbearable. Luckily, it ended well.

What is your favorite genre and why? 

I like anything that can give me insight, it doesn’t really matter what genre it comes from.

Which of your work has been published so far?

“Urbino, Unexpectedly” is my first novel and has been published January 1st 2014 (my daughter’s 10th birthday). It is set in Italy between the frivolous Adriatic coast, the Alps, foggy Milan and colorful Rome. It is a coming-of-age journey that explores how the power of love helps Clara (22 year-old) to detach herself from family expectations and cultural traditions in order to find who she truly is.

What are your forthcoming writings?

I’m now writing my second novel. This one explores the relationship and the love of an adult couple, but with a touch of suspense.

Your origin of birth and other countries you have visited/ stayed. What best things you liked in these countries around the globe?

I was born and raised in Italy; there, I like the food, the art, my family, and the little hamlets next to my hometown. I left when I was 23 and I now live in the US; here, I like the desert, the vast open spaces, the energy of NYC and DC, and the possibility to dream. I spent three weeks in Japan and I loved the harmony of nature.

Your favorite time of the day? 

Morning. Every day is a new beginning.

Your zodiac? 


Your favorite color and why? 

I used to say blue, but now it is white like a canvas to fill every day with different colors.

Your favorite book?

It’s difficult to choose only one. Children: The wizard of Oz (never underestimate yourself and never be scared) Classics: Pride and prejudice (communication is the key to healthy relationships, but the untold can be so fascinating). Contemporary: The trilogy of ‘The girl with the dragon tattoo’ (how to resist Lisbeth’s personality?).

Your favorite food? 

Pizza! Pizza! Pizza!

Some quickies:

Sun or Moon: Sun
Laughter or Smile: Laughter
Morning or Evening: Morning
Coffee or Tea: Tea. I know it’s not very Italian, but I’m coffee intolerant.
Mountain or Sea: Sea
Long Drive or Short Drive: under three hours, please!
Silence or Conversation: Silence. If you listen carefully, it can teach you more than a thousand words.
Water or Fire: Fire
Air or Earth: Earth 
Tulip or Rose: Roses, any kind, any color.
Left or Right: Center
Glance or Stare: Stare

State your signature line: 

Usually a listener

The last line of your autobiography would be:

And so I did it in my own messy way.


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