We asked author Anna Florin about her novel.
Q- “Tell us how you developed the storyline for this novel.”
A- “I had heard bits and pieces of this story from my husband for almost twenty years and thought… what a life his grandmother led. It had all the elements anyone could ask for in a story. Annie, his grandmother, experienced love and joy, fun and excitement, tragedy and loss. The whole gambit. I felt compelled to share her life with the world.”
Q- “Besides your husband, did you have any other help writing the story?”
A- “Yes. My husband explained many of the situations, but we interviewed other people as well. Tony Bond, another character in the story, was in his late eighties when we interviewed him. He was still sharp as a tack and he enjoyed reliving the events in his life as he related them to us. I then incorporated them into the storyline.”
Q- “Was there anyone else?”
A- Florin looks away before answering. “I think so. I felt I had some help from the other side. Whenever I got stumped, whenever a case of writers block came along, I would sit back and rest. Before long, thoughts were filling my head on how to proceed. I believe they were not my own thoughts. I think I got help from the relatives up there in Heaven.”
Q- “So, you’re saying you had Devine Intervention?”
A- “Well, not from God, but definitely from someone who knew their story.”
Q- “Are all the characters in the story real?”
A- “No, not all of them. Alfonso and his friends are fictitious. He’s there to give information about the time period… he’s there to inform. A few of the neighbors are also invented, but the majority of characters are real people.”
Q- “Some of the scenes play rather slow. Why did you spend so much time on any one scene?”
A- “I tried to give the reader a sense of how slow life was back then. It really did take all day to do the laundry. Riding the train from New York to Salt Lake City really did take three entire days. I wanted people to feel how this time could have been spent. I wanted people to understand the difficulty immigrants had when they came to America.”
Q- “Is this book only about Italian immigrants?”
A- “No, hardly. I try to emphasize the trials of all immigrants, but especially immigrants of color. In the early to mid-1800s, most immigrants came from Northern European countries. Their skin was lighter and even though the first generation had great difficulty in America, their children melted into the fabric of society quite easily. Not so for immigrants whose skin color was darker… immigrants from Southern Europe, Japan, China and Mexico. They came in the late 1800s, early 1900s, and endured harsher treatments not only because of their skin color, but because Americans believed they didn’t need any more immigrants in this country. The newcomers were competing with them for limited jobs, taking less pay and working longer hours. They were making working conditions worse for those who were already here. Thus, the later immigrants were not welcomed as easily as the ones who came over fifty years before.”
Q- “You’ve got quite a list of informational sources at the end of your book.”
A- “Yes. I wanted people to understand what was happening during this time period, so I brought in thousands of historical facts to anchor the reader to that time and give them a real flavor of what was happening, and why.”
Q- “How long did "La Immigrata" take you to write?”
A- “I spent over three years researching, writing and preparing the book for print.”
Q- “How much will someone pay to purchase your book?”
A- “La Immigrata" is available in print or in e-book formatting (any style). The paperback sells for $30.00 for the two book set, or you can buy the e-book version at a much lower cost.”
We thank author Anna Florin for talking with us today and encourage readers to look for her book, "La Immigrata."
Buy "La Immigrata" today from Featherwood Publishing. Visit www.featherwoodpublishing.com . Paperback copies sell for $30.00 for the two book set, or link over to www.smashwords.com and pick up an e-book. Book One is listed at no cost and allows the reader to step inside this immigrant’s life and become familiar with her story. Book Two is being offered for only $6.99.
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