Tag Archives: novel

Traveling Tales

Travel is a great inspiration for writing but ideas for great poems, essays, and stories do not always come immediately. Yes, I wrote the signature story for Simply a Smile (to be released this month by Cane Hollow Press) in one night after seeing the Chinese Soldier exhibit at the High Gallery. But, consider my latest published essay–Two Cups of Coffee–in Easter Iowa review’s current issue. That story is about an incident that happened forty years ago. I do have a notebook full of ideas and my trip journal to help me move the muse along about my May trip to Turkey with my daughter, but so far all I have written on that trip–for publication–is an article on food.

Sometimes a travel location becomes a site for action in a book that is not related so much to the place as to the characters and plot. My also-this month release, Secretes of the Heart features Ft Fisher in Wilmington NC (a great place to visit) and my beloved Rome. Our family spent Christmas there this past year and I double checked all of the places where my characters would walk, eat, etc while we roamed Rome.

Last book in Legacy of Honor Series

Last book in Legacy of Honor Series

Packing a suitcase has been a writing inspiration for me since childhood when I would take trips with my Grandmother and of course, every family vacation.  I keep notes, take pictures, and purchase silly little souvenirs–all become mnemonic devices for the creation of word-built works at a later date. So, don;t worry if you feel overwhelmed by the beauty and excitement of your latest trip. The writing side of the trip may not happen for a while–but if you are a lover of words, you will begin to find the source of tales in the stories you tell about the good time you had.

Travel is wonderful–for the soul and for the pen

Collection of short stories by Joan Leotta

Collection of short stories by Joan Leotta

Join the Party

Usually I post about performing and writing on Friday—this post is late, for a blog hop, but join the party anyway, if you can

Join the Party

There are times in the creative process, when I am putting a book together that I think of it like a party– I’ve invited some folks I’ll call characters and created games for them to play. We call that plot.

Some of the games may seem mean to you readers, but I try not to be too mean, since I do, truly come to love my characters. They are invited guests in my life, I have invited them in. The character traits I give them, well, I have to be able to deal with those for however long it takes me to write the book. For a continuing character, the traits have to be ones I can tolerate over time.

Sometimes the person is modeled on a friend, or a relative. The characters who are less desirable–well, they still have to have some reason for me to have them around long enough to carry through the plot–but then again we do invite some people who are not really good friends when we give a big party–the person in the office who simply has to come because you invited everyone else, the neighbor with the noisy dog, but then again all the neighbors are coming, etc.

How about you? Would you like to be invited to my next party? At present, book two of my Legacy of Honor Series with Desert Breeze Publishing is in production. It should be out in May.

Book One, Giulia Goes to War is for sale for 3.99 on www.amazon.com

Giulia is the story of a young woman who leaves her traditional Italian-American family in Western PA to work in the shipyards of Wilmington NC. There she finds adventure and true love–with a young engineer who is NOT Italian. Will her family accept him? Will the German spy trick them into revealing secret information?

The process is much the same for the characters I create for my performance programs. I think about them and craft folks I’d like to invite to my party–which in the case of a performance means they “live” onstage for about forty-five minutes and in my head for as long as it takes to create and learn the program–and whenever I recall that program to mind.

Naming the characters is a dance all its own. Names have to fit the characters and the times.

The third book in my Legacy of Honor Series will deal with Giulia’s daughter and the time and era is the Vietnam Era. The main character, Anna Maria will need friends around her own age (20s) on both sides of the Vietnam War support question. If you would like to come to the party, I’ll name one of the characters after you, first name or first and last name, as you wish. You can choose which side of the issue your character supports. I will choose one person–from the people who “like” my Facebook page Joan Leotta Author and Story Performer https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Joan-Leotta-Author-and-Story-Performer/188479350973

or purchase the book, Giulia Goes to War in the next two weeks.

Leave your email on my page so I can contact you!