Thursday, March 17, 2016

Coins in the Fountain by Judith Works Giveaway & Interview

Book Description for Coins in the Fountain:

Innocents Abroad collide with La Dolce Vita when the author and her husband
arrive in the ancient city of Rome fresh from the depths of Oregon.
While the author endeavored to learn the folkways of the United Nations,
her husband tangled with unfamiliar vegetables in a valiant effort to
learn to cook Italian-style. In between, they attended weddings, enjoyed
a close-up with the pope, tried their hands at grape harvesting, and
savored country weekends where the ancient Etruscans still seemed to be
lurking. Along the way they made many unforgettable friends including
the countess with a butt-reducing machine and a count who served as a
model for naked statues of horsemen in his youth.

But not everything was wine and wonders. Dogs in the doctor’s exam room,
neighbors in the apartment in the middle of the night, an auto accident
with the military police, a dangerous fall in the subway, too many
interactions with an excitable landlord, snakes and unexploded bombs on a
golf course, and a sinking sailboat, all added more seasoning to the
spaghetti sauce of their life.

Their story begins with a month trying to sleep on a cold marble floor
wondering why they came to Rome. It ends with a hopeful toss of coins in
the Trevi Fountain to ensure their return to the Eternal City for
visits. Ten years of pasta, vino, and the sweet life weren’t enough.

Part memoir, part travelogue, Coins in the Fountain will amuse and intrigue
you with the stories of food, friends, and the adventures of a couple
who ran away to join the circus (the Circus Maximus, that is).

Buy the book:   Amazon   Barnes & Noble   iTunes   Amazon.UK

Author's Bio:

Life was routine until the author decided to get a law degree. Then a chance
meeting led her to run away to the Circus (Maximus) – actually to the
United Nations office next door – where she worked as an attorney in the
HR department and entered the world of expat life in Rome.

Her publishing credits include a memoir about ten years in Italy titled
Coins in the Fountain, a novel about expats in Rome, City of Illusions,
and flash fiction in literary magazines. She continues to travel in her
spare time, having fitted in over 100 countries. And when she is in
Rome, she always tosses a coin in the Trevi Fountain to ensure another


1. When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I wrote all though my own career, but the writing was administrative or legal in nature and not meant to be creative. Facts and arguments are the rule. But when I left that world I realized that I had words I wanted to write for pleasure, my own and for readers who might be interested. I joined literary groups and book clubs and began to take an interest in the creative side of writing. It was definitely a steep learning curve but I persisted. 
2. How long did it take you to write your memoir?
It took about two years to research and write. I have drawers of developed photos and many others on Picasa, and piles of hotel brochures, menus, itineraries that they saved me from too many errors in remembering settings, but of course it’s the personal events that count in a memoir. After the first draft I worked with a writer’s group who were excellent at critique. My editor was wonderful when she posed questions and offered suggestions to make sure the manuscript was ready for publication. All this takes time and there is no use attempting to skip steps.
3. What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?
I’m an early riser, so I’m usually in front of my desktop around 6:30 a.m. and write for several hours. After that, I join in my other activities (and sometimes do some housework).
4. What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I read, usually two books at a time – one fiction, and one nonfiction. Right now I’m reading The Expatriates by Janice Y. K. Lee and Cheryl Strayed’s memoir, Wild. And I love to travel whether it’s near to home or on a trip to the Baltic my husband and I plan for later this summer. I also belong to several writers groups and on the steering committee for a writer’s conference. Otherwise, I write!
5. What does your family think of your writing?
I think the best word to describe their reaction is “bemused,” because neither my daughter nor my husband expected me to start a new career. But they both had a lot of fun chiming in when I was working on the memoir – “it happened this way,” or “no, it happened that way.” At least I got to be the decider.
6. What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your book?
All the memories that flooded back into my mind, all the wonderful food, all the weekends out in the country, and all the interesting people we knew.
7. How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
I’ve written two, the memoir, and a novel, City of Illusion, that takes place in Rome. It portrays more of the downside of expat life and has a plot involving antiquity theft, a huge problem in Italy. Of the two, I like the memoir best because it is so personal and describes the best time in my life. I’m now ready to send a second novel to my editor.
8. Do you have any suggestions to help me become a better writer?

As the old joke goes about getting to Carnegie Hall – practice, practice, practice! I think a writer should write every day if possible even if it’s for only a few minutes. Secondly, learn to willingly accept critique. It’s not necessary to use all the comments but they should spark reflection about your work and what improvements it might need. Of course, if you are only writing for your own personal use you may not want to filter your work through other minds. But for anyone who wants to get “out there,” critique is vital.

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  1. No. I have never been there but my mom has and she loved it.

  2. No I have never left the country but this is a place that I would love to go.