The Way of Beauty: Author Interview

THE WAY OF BEAUTY

By Camille Di Maio

Genre: Historical Fiction / 20th Century / Literary

Publisher: Lake Union Press

Date of Publication: May 1, 2018

Number of Pages: 384

  

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Hearts and dreams evolve in the shadow of the once-magnificent Penn Station.

Vera Keller, the daughter of German immigrants in turn-of-the-century New York City, finds her life upended when the man she loves becomes engaged to another woman. But Angelo Bellavia has also inadvertently opened up Vera’s life to unexpected possibilities. Angelo’s new wife, Pearl, the wealthy daughter of a clothing manufacturer, has defied her family’s expectations by devoting herself to the suffrage movement. In Pearl, Vera finds an unexpected dear friend…and a stirring new cause of her own. But when Pearl’s selfless work pulls her farther from Angelo and their son, the life Vera craved is suddenly within her reach—if her conscience will allow her to take it.

Her choice will define not only her future but also that of her daughter, Alice.

Vera and Alice—a generation and a world apart—are bound by the same passionate drive to fulfill their dreams. As first mother and then daughter come of age in a city that is changing as rapidly as its skyline, they’ll each discover that love is the only constant.

PRAISE FOR THE WAY OF BEAUTY:

The Way of Beauty is a thing of beauty. The writing is gorgeous, the story is engaging, the characters are amazing. The amount of research that goes into historical fiction just astounds me. Add this to your TBR!”

“If you want to be swept away by a love story set in a fascinating and meticulously researched past, Camille Di Maio is the author for you. Don’t miss this one.”

“A captivating story of love and family that spans several generations.”

“The writing transports you to the time, not so long ago when women had to choose between love and their rights. Camille Di Maio’s dialogue, descriptions, and relationships create a complete picture of the era and struggles. Great book club book.” 

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INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR CAMILLE DI MAIO

What was your favorite childhood book?

I love this book called The King Who Rained for Forty Years. It was written by Fred Gwynne (Mr. Munster!), and it illustrated the way we hear language versus the way we read it. It is so clever! It made me fall in love with words.

Do you Google yourself?

I have done this a few times – mostly because I want to stay on top of any articles or posts about my books so that I can thank the blogger.

How do you select the names of your characters?

Since I write historical fiction, choosing era-accurate names is especially important. I figure out which year my characters would have been born in, and then I search for the most popular baby names of that year – I think the furthest I’ve gone back is 1890! I love that some of the old names are coming back – Violet, Iris, Hazel, etc. Naming characters is one of my favorite parts of writing!

If you didn’t write, what work would you do?

I was a Realtor for many years, and although I was kept quite busy with it, it wasn’t my calling. If I wasn’t writing, though, and wanted to choose another career I loved, I would be a travel agent. I love love love the research that goes into planning a trip, getting good prices, finding great coffee shops. I have done this for friends several times, just for fun.

Do you believe in writer’s block?

Yes! It happens all the time! Actually, I’d say that about 90% of the time I sit down to my laptop, I don’t know what I’m going to write. The key is to just DO it. Just get words on the page (or screen!) and things will flow. You can’t wait around for inspiration to strike.

Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?

My first book, The Memory of Us, was inspired by the Beatles song, “Eleanor Rigby.” So, there are definitely some “Easter eggs” in there that only the most devoted Beatles fans would know. All of my books have details of something in my life. For example, there is a wedding ring in the book I’m writing now that is fashioned after the one my grandmother wore. And the house in that book is inspired by my other grandmother’s house. My family would be the only people who know these things!

What’s the best way to market your book?

I’m not terribly polished or technical, so I don’t have a newsletter or Pinterest account that I keep up with. But I love just being personal with my readers. I’m very active on Instagram and Facebook, getting to know my readers and letting them know me. I don’t know if that’s marketing, exactly, but it’s being a real person and forming connections.

How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?

Having that book professionally edited was the best writing education I could ever have gotten. Instead of working with concepts, the process of digging in to the intricacies of my writing helped me understand what works and what doesn’t, and I’ve definitely carried that over into my subsequent books.

Do you read your reviews? How do you feel about the good and bad ones?

Eek! Yes! I do read my Amazon reviews. Of course, all authors wish they had five stars across the board, but that’s not realistic. Not every book is going to speak to every person in the same way. I love fours and fives. I think threes are very reasonable – they are often well-thought-out, being honest about the things they didn’t connect with and supportive of the things they did. I somewhat discount the two and one-star reviews. Personally, if I’m reading a book that I would rate a one or two star, I’m not going to finish it in the first place, and I’m definitely not going to review it and hurt the author. But those reviews can sometimes be humorous, too. Sometimes, they’re for the totally wrong book. “There was too much sex in it!” (I have none in my books – I’m a close-the-door kind of writer.) Or one of my favorites – (I’m paraphrasing here) – “I liked the book until the main character drank chamomile tea. Only eccentric people drink chamomile tea. So I have to give it two stars.”)

~Romance Writers of America Honor Roll Inductee~

Camille recently left an award-winning real estate career in San Antonio to become a full-time writer. Along with her husband of 19 years, she enjoys raising their four children. She has a bucket list that is never-ending and uses her adventures to inspire her writing. She’s lived in Texas, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and California, and spends enough time in Hawai’i to feel like a local. She’s traveled to four continents (so far) and met Mother Teresa and Pope John Paul II. She just about fainted when she had a chance to meet her musical idol, 

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MAY 1-10, 2018

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