Friday, January 16, 2015

Annalisa Russo tells us about her "Angels"

Please welcome Annalisa Russo to the blog today. Her new release, An Angel Healed, is available at all online retailers.

Annalisa, do you plot or let the story unfold as you write?
I find using plotting cards to let the story unfold helps when you have to delete or add a scene. In the past I used an outline, but find the cards a great deal more flexible. You never know where your characters will take you!

Do you have trouble saying goodbye to characters?
I fell in love with a character from the first book in the Cavelli Angel Saga, Seth Truitt. He’s twelve in the first book and a “newsie” (a boy who hawks papers in the 1920’s). I couldn’t let gooooo of him, so the series that started out as a trilogy, turned into a Saga where, in the fourth book, Seth returns to Bellaluna, the Cavelli ancestral home as an adult. I don’t know what he’s been up to since he left, but I’m sure he’ll eventually tell me.

What tips would you give a new writer?
Write, write, write! After you send off the query letter, start another book. The first thing an editor will ask if she is interested in your book is “What else do you have for me?”

How did you come up with the title?
The Cavelli Angel Series is based on the love stories of three brothers, Michael, Raphael, and Gabriel Cavelli. Their mother named them after the archangels—and angels they’re not! The titles are An Angel’s Redemption (Michael’s story), An Angel Healed (Raphael’s story), and Angel Lost, Angel Found (Gabriel’s story). I’m writing Gabe’s story as we speak. I hope it will be available in late summer.

I love this! What a great concept.

How much of the book is realistic?
Since I grew up in an overpopulated, second generation, Italian family, the Cavelli Angel Saga books mirror my youthful experiences even though the stories occur in a different time period—the 1920’s. Family values don’t change, sibling loyalties and disagreements remain the same, and the love of parents for their children is timeless.

What are your current projects?
Besides writing the third book in the Cavelli Angel Saga, I’m taking notes for a Christmas story that has been rolling around in my head for a long time. It’s finally coming together, and I’d like to get it down on paper soon.

And now let’s get a little personal…

Who do you see as a hero in your life?
A quiet boy in the sixth grade who was the only one to stand up to the class bully. I’d say all of my heroes have some of the same qualities as that boy.

What did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a teacher. Period. So I became one and then left teaching after a divorce because I couldn’t support my three children on a teacher’s salary. After I had an empty nest, I went back to the profession and taught fifth grade math. Go figure.

What is your favorite drink?
I make pretty good hot chocolate and there is nothing better than the middle of winter in the Midwest, a roaring fire, a good book, and hot chocolate (with a splash of Bailey’s) topped with whipped cream!

Are you fun to go on vacation with?
Yes, I’m flexible, adventurous, and like nothing better than new places. I have a file of torn out magazine articles for when I’m able to indulge myself.

What is your favorite comfort food?
From my childhood: polenta with sausage in tomato sauce and homemade ravioli, And, from my Nonna’s table, the soup of the day that mysteriously has yesterday’s leftover vegetables in it. Cooking is a hobby of mine, and I have a knack for knowing, by reading the recipe, if it will be worth making.

You can find out more on Annalisa by going to her website:

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Find out more about Annalisa’s books on Goodreads:

Purchase her books on Amazon

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