Author Q&A with C. D’Angelo

Author Q&A with C. D’Angelo

A Floridian who enjoys art and music, C. D’Angelo loves traveling and incorporates all three passions into her prose. Although The Difference is fiction, there were some mysteries in her family history and in the last few years, she’s met new family members who brought light to what was in the dark. She’s thrilled to know them and to be able to feel satisfaction in her search. As she sums up so eloquently, “Art imitated life and life imitated art!”

You are an author, but is it your day job? I have been a psychotherapist for 20 years, working with all populations and age ranges. I currently work with the college age range.

Did you always want to be an author? Actually no. I didn’t think about it until almost my mid-30s. I felt like my story of The Difference needed to be told, so I ventured into the unknown and just wrote. It worked out! I hope other people use my story as inspiration to step into unfamiliar territory and try something new. It’s okay to fail, but at least try. The only way to success is to put in the effort.

What is your most recent book and what inspired you to write it? The Difference released on 7-29-21 and already hit #1 in two Amazon categories before that date! It’s my debut novel, in the genre of Women’s Fiction, and is about a woman seeking fulfillment through knowledge about her ancestry and her Italian immigrant grandpa’s secretive past. If she doesn’t gain clarity on her history and improve her mental health, she may lose her boyfriend and worse yet, herself.

My niche is Italian American stories that are multi-generational. What inspired me was a combination of desire to express myself in a new artistic form and to tell the story that came to my mind, taking it on as a challenge to myself. As far as artistic expression, I engage in many forms, drawing, painting, crochet, cross stitch, playing ukulele, sewing…but writing was a new adventure. The challenge came from devoting the amount of time it required when having a busy life otherwise. Also, I didn’t know anything about the process of publishing, but my method was to write then figure it out. And I did.

How do you hope your book uplifts those who read it? The Difference is uplifting due to the main character Rachel’s persistence to find out her family history secret, even though she faces mental health concerns and ancestral roadblocks. She never stops trying, despite many barriers, physical and other. The message my readers hopefully will gain is to never give up and that they can help themself achieve anything through willpower, hard work, and the support of loved ones.

What are you most excited about with this book? There are so many aspects to choose from, but I’ll mention two. For one, the story I created is bringing joy to others. Through readers telling me what they loved in it, I am thrilled because I evoked a range of feelings within them. The relatability of my writing seems to touch people, so that’s a big win for my artistic soul. I influenced their thoughts for a moment in time, and maybe now they can be like Rachel and work toward a major goal. By helping Rachel find fulfillment, I found additional fulfillment. The second burst of excitement is that I am honoring my grandpa, who I adored (much like Rachel). He was an Italian immigrant and because of his desire for the American dream, I am here thriving as a second-generation person. I wish he was alive to see this book, but I feel he knows and is beaming.

What advice would you give to someone wanting to succeed in your professional industry? Know that writing for profit is a marathon, not a sprint. It takes determination, resilience, and grit to make it in this business. I had challenges, every step of the way, but my dream would be realized no matter what. You need that sort of persistence to stay motivated. I think the decision to stick with your goal also needs to occur or every hurdle would knock you down. Being a published author is realistic and you can do it if you prepare yourself.

Being an author today is like running a business. How do you manage all your publicity, social media and keep your engagement up with readers? Well, I wish I had an assistant. Haha. Seriously, it does take a lot of time. I sacrifice much of my personal time and it has become a second career. It is not a hobby anymore by any means. As far as social media, I aim to post daily or almost daily. I keep a list of hashtags, in categories of my theme, on my phone. I save pictures in my phone, take pictures when inspired, and bookmark pictures in Instagram so I have a catalog of what to post. I stick to certain themes, so I know it has to relate to them to post. I’m rigid about my social media and professional image. Regarding marketing otherwise, I have spreadsheets, I set reminders, and have an email system. I talk more about it in my July Behind the Scenes blog post: My ideas may help readers with organizing their lives as well.

Anything else you’d like to share with your readers? I received my first publishing contract by engaging in the Twitter pitch party #PitMad. Every time I have done it, I have had success. So, now I have a business called Pitch Party Prosperity where I help people pitch their completed manuscripts in online parties. My For Writers page on my website has all of my information, including my pitch writing and strategy book, my services of evaluation and coaching, and a schedule of the parties for the year. I’d love to help any writer get those “likes,” which mean an industry professional like an agent, publisher, or editor wants their query material.

You can connect with C.D’Angelo via her website.

Images courtesy of C. D’Angelo

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