Featured Interview With Anna “Annina” Lorenzi
Tell us a little about yourself. Where were you raised? Where do you live now?
I’m Anna Lorenzi, but my close friends and family call me “Annina,” which means “little Anna” in Italian, maybe because I’m not so tall, but it’s also a term of endearment. I was born in Milan on a rainy Monday morning, the 26th of October, 1981. I grew up in this town in which I still live with my two splendid beagles, and have never stopped “indulging” my passions: writing, music, photography, nature, travel (especially in my beloved USA!), and motorbikes and cars, in particular the “old” ones. Talking about work, I’ve really done a little bit of everything, including founding a company in Texas that operates internationally in the field of classic cars, and for which I’m the exclusive consultant. I publish short stories and articles, participate in literary competitions, collaborate on blogs and for Italian magazines, even managing my own personal blog annina19.com in which I share my creative writing. Now, I’m dedicating myself to the publication of my most recent novel in a professional, but completely independent, way both in Italian and in English and with global distribution.
At what age did you realize your fascination with books? When did you start writing?
I was born in a house with two “devourers of pages” for parents and a library of thousands and thousands of volumes (and still growing, so much so that they don’t know where to put them all!). My first memories are tied to books when I was very small. My mother would get me to go to sleep reading me fairy tales, and I had a set appointment with my father every Sunday morning in his study; I remember that for a long time we always read Pinocchio, together.
I began to write as a child, when I really didn’t know how to do it, yet. I’ve always loved telling stories, inventing them, and narrating what I saw outside and inside of myself. Writing for myself isn’t only a passion, it’s also my first way to communicate; it’s something very intimate in certain ways, almost a need.
Who are your favorite authors to read? What is your favorite genre to read. Who Inspires you in your writings?
I really wouldn’t know how to say who is my favorite author, it’s really hard to choose. The genre that I prefer is fiction, but I also like mysteries, poetry, the classics… every book that can capture, captivate, transmit something profound, move me, and – why not?! – make me reflect.
Honestly, when I write something I try, if possible, not to be influenced by what I read. I want my writing to be completely honest and really and truly mine. I want it to get to the reader as something that belongs to me in the deepest part of myself, like a part of me, and not just like a nice story that I decided to put down black on white.
Tell us a little about your latest book?
My most recent book is called Meeting Laura – A Novel Loosely and Partially Inspired by the Life of… , professionally and amazingly translated by Starleen K. Meyer from the Italian, Incontrando Laura… . It was released this last May 19th as a Kindle eBook and paperback, and is available on all Amazon stores.
It’s dedicated to “…those minds wanting to think, to those hearts wanting to beat, to the brave and the crazy."
It tells the story of a young writer, a challenge that he can’t *not* accept and his "crazy" idea to follow that dream with his whole being. In his pocket, a plane ticket for New York, a few bucks, a little bit of fear, and a lot of determination. A manuscript that he hugs to himself, "as if it were the most important thing on the face of the earth," a book already written, ready to be consigned to the world, but with a surprise ending that draws the reader in. A trip with an uncertain outcome, most assuredly unexpected, in order to meet his muse, and to give her his opus, sensations, words, and emotions for a better tomorrow. An unusual trip, apparently simple, but always intriguing in its "becoming," narrated among thoughts, memories, emotions, and clear images depicting her, Laura, really that same Laura that the whole world knows and acclaims… (or maybe not?)
At this point, everyone usually asks me who Laura is, and so, for once, I’ll preempt the question.
First and foremost, Laura is a person. A person who exists, and yet doesn’t exist. Laura is a well-defined idea of a certain type of woman. To be clear, she actually could have any name. Laura is ‘The Laura’ of my novel, an imaginary person in a tale, the muse of the protagonist. She was partially created out of the inspiration of a real Laura, but it’s obviously not her. My Laura doesn’t exist in the real world. The real Laura is Laura Prepon, a famous and excellent American actress, director and writer, the right person to inspire the description of the character in my novel.
What struck me about her was what she seemed able to transmit something about herself, not so much what she did, but how she did it. Laura seemed to me to be one of those people who choose to follow their own way with courage, determination and consistency, always being themselves, trying to do their part in this world as best as they can, whatever it is, without faking it, without forcing it, without imposed masks and costumes. Doing it for themselves and for others, with heart, mind and soul. Always. So, a person to be looked up to as an example and, why not?, as an inspiration for a writer. That’s why I decided to keep the name ‘Laura’ for the character in my novel, also as an affectionate homage to her and for all women like her.
How long did it take me to write it? Considering that I usually write when caught up in the spirit of the moment, almost as if it were a need to satisfy, following the flow of images and ideas that I suddenly see so clearly in my mind, the gestation sometimes is as long as the actual writing, so all in all, it probably took me about four months to conceive of and write Meeting Laura.
It was an intense writing experience, a feeling that I hope, I believe, I have succeeded in sharing with the reader.
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