Monday, June 25, 2018

Interview with women's fiction novelist Flavia Brunetti

(Cover artwork by Cinzia Bolognesi)
Novelist Flavia Brunetti joins me today. We’re chatting about her new women’s fiction, All the Way to Italy.

Born just outside of Rome, Flavia Brunetti grew up bouncing back and forth between Italy and California, eventually moving back to the Eternal City and confirming her lifelong commitment to real gelato. Flavia holds a Master of Arts degree in Government and Politics from St. John’s University and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from John Cabot University. Today she travels the world working for an international humanitarian organization and spends her free time writing and wandering around her beloved Roma in constant search of bookstores and the perfect espresso. You can find her city blog on Rome at and her portfolio of published writing at

Welcome, Flavia. Please tell us about your current release.
This is an airplane read in the best sense of the word (I hope), the kind of book that goes down easily but says something—a travel tale for the new generations. I think my favorite description of it is actually on the back cover: “This is the powerful story of those in search of a balance between wanderlust and the necessity to come home, a reminder that although we may be fragments, we are never a lost cause.”

What inspired you to write this book?
I grew up calling two places home—Rome, Italy, and a little town near San Francisco, California. This was both amazing and, at times, somewhat difficult. I grew up loving traveling and spending a lot of time in airports, but the separation from my family, and the pull of belonging to more than one place at the same time, was a bit of a constant—and as I grew up and met other people who wandered, I started to think more about the sense of belonging, the need to feel home, how our cultures mold us but can also serve as roots for us to grow into something both traditional and brand new. I wanted to write a book that a fifteen-year-old girl could hold in her hands when she was faced with a big change, that would help her to know that everything would work out for the best, even if she wasn’t her own best friend yet, even if she felt like the world, because of where she’s from or what she’s suffered, wasn’t on her side. I wanted to write about the strength of memories but also the strength of carving your own way, with an open heart and mind to absorb all the lessons there are out there, gently. Maybe most importantly, I wanted to write about kindness in a world climate that struggles with embracing different cultures.

Excerpt from All the Way to Italy:
“This is a story for the third generations (the fourth, the fifth, the sixth generations), for the not-so-lost generations, for the hybrids. For the people who feel more at home in an airport than they wish they did, who yearn for one place to call home but also always, inevitably, long for something they do not know, miss places they have yet to behold, people they have yet to meet… For the ones that see Rome everywhere they go—or Tunis, Paris, Dublin, Aleppo, London, San Francisco, you name it, it’s yours. You bring your home with you.”

What exciting story are you working on next?
At the moment I’m focusing on my city blog on Rome, Which Way to Rome. I love writing the Instagram captions, which very often end up being mini-stories, paired with my favorite pictures from an afternoon stroll through the city. I want to start working on a sequel to All the Way to Italy soon: either exploring Little’s story a few years down the line when she’s graduated and moved to a different country, or a flashback to Sira’s youth. Which would you guys like to read next?

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
My aunt still has my very first attempts at poetry, when I was a tiny girl in Rome learning my letters. Writing has always been a constant for me, through all the changes, and it’s been both a challenge and a great comfort.

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?
In my “day life”, I work for an international humanitarian organization. I used to think that this had nothing to do with my writing, but in truth, it’s allowed me to travel, see places, and live in cultures that I possibly otherwise wouldn’t have run into, and that has been the source of a lot of inspiration (and the urge to write about transnationalism!). Finding time to write… Balance, I think, is tricky in most situations, and I don’t always manage it, but I do my best. What’s worked the most thoroughly for me is breaking down what I need to do into smaller squares through a to do list; if I’ve had a long day at work, I’ll get through at least one thing on my writing to do list. And if I need a break, I take it!

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I wouldn’t classify this as interesting, but… I have a really hard time writing without eating, even if it’s just nibbling on something. White chocolate-covered raisins, and the little Reese’s bites, are my kryptonite.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
For a very long time, I wanted to be a veterinarian, and this was a dream from when I was a little girl all the way up to high school when I realized two things: the first was that I did not have a proclivity for either math or science, two subjects a doctor needs to be good at; the second was that, at times, I’d have to put animals down. So there went that (especially for the latter reason, since I think the former could have been won, since we can do anything we put our minds to!), and lots of dreams came after that. But, in all honesty, through all of the dreams, writing was always there, from the beginning until today and, I have no doubt, for the rest of my days J.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
I’m passionate about Rome and Italy, but also about traveling and adventures in general, so I’m thrilled to hear from readers about their experiences – I’m always reachable through my blog Gmail,, or you can find me on my blog and social media.


Buy page:
Amazon | Also available on most other platforms, both in print and e-book formats

Thank you for being here today, Flavia!

1 comment:

Flavia Brunetti said...

Thank you so much for interviewing me for your wonderful site, Lisa! This was so much fun!