Monday, October 6, 2008

Interview with author Jo Linsdell

Before I began my blog, I searched for a logline that best described what I had to offer as a blogger. I finally chose The Day in the Life of a Writer because that's who I am and how I see my life. Part of that is being on the outlook for inspiring authors such as my guest today. Jo Linsdell has gone one step further than most bloggers and has created a site that showcases some of the finest authors around. And by addressing many of the concerns we face as writers, Jo has found answers to some difficult questions.

I'm very pleased to be interviewing Jo Linsdell from Writers and Authors best writers blog of 2006, and the author of Inside Out.

Jo Linsdell
Born in Gillingham, Kent (UK) in September 1980. Married name Joanne Denise Feliciani. She uses her maiden name, Linsdell, as her pen name. Having passed 10 GCSE’s, she went on to study Business Studies, History and Art A-Levels at Yateley 6th Form. She left England and moved to Rome, Italy in June 2001, where she now lives with her Italian husband and their baby son. She has had various jobs including working in hostels, being a tour guide and teaching English as a foreign language. She now works full-time as a freelance writer. She writes regularly for various websites, newspapers and magazines. Her books, Italian for tourists and A guide to weddings in Italy plus her ebooks; Il dolce Natale: Christmastime in Italy, Some risks are worth taking, INSIDE.OUT, La Befana and The Patron Saint of Lovers are all available to buy at Visit her at or or

You'd be surprised (or maybe not) on how many authors choose their own pics for their blog page, and they turn out looking less than professional. But your profile photo is adorable, not to mention clear and professionally looking. Was it taken in a studio?

Thank you very much. I actually took this of myself using the timer on my camera. It was taken in the lounge of my appartment.

Is living in Rome as wonderful as it sounds?

I came here originally with the intention of staying for 3 days back in 2001 and I'm still here, so yeah you could say it's pretty wonderful ;) I met my husband here at Piazza di Spagna and now we have a lovely little baby, so I don't think I'll be leaving Rome anytime soon.

How has your experience been working with Lulu?

Lulu are a great company to use if you self publish. It costs you nothing as a writer to publish and they are very reliable with royality payments. You have complete control over every aspect of your book. The only down side is that they do nothing to promote your book. If you don't get out there and market your book, you're not likely to sell many. That being said, however you publish these days you will need to do a lot of marketing yourself.

How did you get started blogging?

I got the idea from a member of a non-fiction writers groups that I belong to. We were discussing ways to promote our work for free and she mentioned that she wrote for several blogs and found them to be a great way to get more visability.

How do you see blogging advancing your career?

Blogging is a great way to be seen and a useful tool for making a name for yourself. There's a lot more to being a writer than just writing and there are millions of people trying to make it. Blogging can give you a regular readership and help create a fan base and interest in your work. For example I use my blog to help promote my Italy related books and I use to learn more about the writing industry, network and help others promote their work.

What are some of the biggest mistakes Bloggers make?

Not having a focus and aim to what they post. Everything that you blog about should meet the goal of the site. There are lots of people who blog about "nothing'ness". Write things that people want to read. Offer them a reason to visit your site and to keep coming back to it.

Where do you see blogging going; what's next?

The number of blogs on the internet is constantly growing and the possibilities of what you can add to the site are too. The way technology is progressing I don't think there are any limits..

How did you get the idea for your webpage: Writers & Authors?

I'd visited loads of sites for writers and found through my various writers groups that others were doing the same to learn more about the industry and find ways of marketing their work. It occurred to me that I could create a site that had all the information we were looking for in the one place. This would mean less time spent search the net and more time doing what we really wanted.
I'm also big on finding ways to promote myself and my books for free. You don't need to spend a fortune to spread the word about what you do. At Writers and Authors I offer interviews with other writers free of charge. They obviously want people to see their interviews and so send them to my site. This gets me publicity too. It's an all win situation.

Freelance must be a difficult field to break into. There are so many freelance writers. What do you think you offer that no one else does?

I write mainly about Italy related topics and I'm an expert on Rome. My husband is Italian and having lived here for years I have first hand experience of the country and people. I can give the feeling of being here to what I write that someone researching on the internet or in other books can't.

Does success depend upon showcasing yourself or your writing?

Yes. If you don't get out there and promote no one will know who you are.

Thanks so much for your time, Jo. And best of luck with all your endeavors.

Thanks Joylene.

Jo Linsdell
Creator and Manager
Writers and Authors

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