We have a children's book author in the hot seat today. Jeanetta Brancaccio talks about her book Ann's Amazing Adventure.
Jeanetta has always had an entrepreneurial spirit. While keeping busy with her large family, she started a business renting out VW Campers in the 60s and opened a health food store in the 70s, which is still in the family. She has a love for writing, mostly in the forms of poems, positive affirmations, and letters. She also collects Pinocchio memorabilia, simply because it’s a story about unconditional love.
Jeanetta resides in Stuart, Florida, with Donald, her husband of 55 years, is a mother of six and grandmother of 13. While it is not easy to accomplish, she adores having every single family member together under one roof. However, she admits now, as she approaches her 8th decade, that it's better when it's someone else's roof!
Welcome, Jeanetta. Please tell us about your current release and the inspiration behind it.
Ann’s Amazing Adventure is a story based on a true incident that happened in 1959 when our 4-year-old daughter, Nancy, lost her doll on a road trip. The inspiration for the story came over 20 years later when we “found” the doll at an antique show. There was no intent to write a book for publication. Nancy had a daughter of her own by that time, so we purchased the doll. Pretty soon a story began to swirl around in my head. Wouldn’t it be fun to write about what happened to Ann while she was missing? Where had she been all these years? Was she happy? Safe? I thought of the story as a playful, fun exercise which I would give to Nancy’s daughter, Nicole, along with the doll.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Throughout my life, there was never a time that I wasn’t writing something although never considering myself a writer. There was always time in the midst of raising a family and running a business to jot down notes. Sometimes a sentence, sometimes a paragraph, some pieces ramble on as exercises after reading a self-help book or attending a class on personal growth or positive thinking. These writings include family stories which are where my passion is and is what I’m inspired to write about the most. As I approach my eighth decade, I am remembering what I saw or heard as a child as though it was yesterday.
Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
No, I don’t write full time, but every 2 or 3 months I mail a Heritage packet off to my 6 children and 12 nieces/nephews so that family history & stories are passed down to the next generation.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
It’s a rule that I made up for myself that is not a rule that writer’s learn about when they take writing courses and it’s going to sound silly, but it works for me. I couldn’t get started. Every time I sat down to write, that’s all I did, SIT! There were boxes and piles of files of rough draft papers & notes and the impossible task of organizing many year’s -worth of material.
How to make it simple and easy? I said to myself; “Jeanetta, you don’t have to write a book. No, no, no, just one PAGE will do.” Click…there was the answer. My RULE: I can only allow myself to write about one subject on one page. (usually double spaced) These one-page stories have become a series which I find easy to keep adding to.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up and when did you first consider yourself a writer?
As a child I always wanted to be a wife and mother. I never dreamed that I would become a business woman or a writer. The first time I felt that I was an author was on Oct. 13, 2011. That was the day I went to the Governor’s Mansion in Tallahassee, Florida at the invitation of First Lady, Ann Scott. She hosted her first Author’s Tea which included me and two other authors. We read to children from local schools and then joined Mrs. Scott for lunch. The following month, she invited me to the Gator Run Elementary School in Weston, Florida where she did a reading of my book; Ann’s Amazing Adventure. THAT was the first time I felt like an author.
Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
To any would-be writers, all I can tell you is: Remember, to get started, you only need to write one page!
That's great advice, Jeanetta. Every story starts with the first word.