Ciao Lucy! Thank you so much for chatting with us. I have loved getting to know you through #DolceVitaBloggers, your blog, Instagram & Twitter. You and your twin sister, Kelly, are two of the sweetest girls! What are three things that people might not know about you from social media?
Thank you so much for your kind words. We love being a part of #DolceVitaBloggers and you are just wonderful and lovely, it’s been awesome getting to know you too.
- Talking on camera/Instagram stories scares me, I always feel awkward and insecure.
- My heart takes lead over my brain in pretty much every situation.
- I can get feisty/passionate/hot headed, fast, if I care/believe in something. (Thank you, Grandad, this was most definitely him.)
I love that your Italian heritage plays a huge role in both your social media and your book. Tell us a little about your Italian connection. What Italian traditions will you continue to pass on?
My Italian connection is on my Mum’s side. Mum was born in England to Italian parents. My Nanna and Grandad grew up in Praiano and Vettica, respectively, and moved to England just after they got married. My Nanna and Grandad are my world and the older I have gotten, the more I appreciate my heritage. I adore all things Italian and learning more about the culture. The food is a huge tradition that I will continue to pass on. Meal times around the table, cooking my Nanna and Grandad’s recipes and of course, all the special treats such as making Pastiera at Easter and indulging in Pandoro cakes at Christmas, is something I wish to share with my kids one day. I also, love celebrating many of the Saints days, as that has always been very important to my Nanna and Grandad, so I would love to learn more about that and continue to celebrate those too.
Family is another theme that is really important in both your social media and your novel. Reading your book (and also listening to the Audible version) felt like a warm hug and a cozy mug of hot cocoa in front of the fireplace. I really felt a part of the family. I’ve always wondered what it would be like to have sisters, and I got a sense of that from your book. I think that we can all get inspired from you to cherish our family a little more. What are some lessons you’ve learned from your Nanna & Grandad about family? What are some daily practices that we can implement to stay connected to our beloved siblings, parents, grandparents, and extended family, especially when life gets busy?
Thank you so much for downloading my book, it means the world to me and I’m so happy it made you feel warm and cozy and got that sense of family love.
My Grandad always said, ‘The bigger the family, the richer you are.’ While of course, any size family still brings you riches, it’s what he meant by those words, that it’s not success, money or material things that make you rich, it’s family, and I believe my Grandad to be right. He bought us up to put family first, not just in what he said but in all his actions. He would get tears in his eyes when he spoke of his family and the love he gave me is incomparable. I carry that love with me every single day. He passed away last year, and I miss him something terrible, every minute of every day, but his lessons and his love guide me.
Honestly, I think it’s different for everyone, it can be difficult to find the balance if you get caught up with work or life stresses get in the way, but it is simply allowing yourself to take a step back sometimes and prioritize and realize what is important. I admit to days where I’m worried about promoting my book or chatting to people on Twitter that I’m not fully engaged in the moment, but being aware of that I now leave my phone in my bag when I go and see my family. It can be those simple, quite easy to do changes, that make all the difference. Again, when you get into bed at night, instead of scrolling through your phone or when you’ve finished that last chapter, make it routine to pick up the phone and check in with someone you love. Once you begin implementing these small changes, they will become part of your routine and second nature.
My sister and I lived in the USA for nearly 9 years, but we had Skype and Voxer and spoke to family nearly every day. Even if it was just a silly GIF for our sister to get when she woke up in the morning or sending her a picture of something we cooked to show Grandad, we kept in touch. I can’t tell you how much I treasure every Skype call and Voxer message. Our little sister sent us pictures of our Nanna and Grandad daily and my goodness, that’s a lot of pressure and a lot of prioritizing us each day that I am forever indebted to her for. My Grandad passed away while I was in America, 4 days before Kelly and I were due to visit home, we hadn’t seen him in person since Christmas, it absolutely shattered us. It’s moments like that you will be grateful for every time you picked up the phone, sent a letter, popped in to say hello, and put family first. I’d give anything to hug him again, but I will treasure all of the phone calls, pictures and Skype calls during those months for the rest of my life.
Writing and publishing a novel and blogging consistently is such an accomplishment! What is your writing routine like? Do you have any special rituals, snacks or drinks that get you in the writing zone? How do you deal with writer’s block & distractions?
When I first set about writing what would become ‘How to Bake a New Beginning’ my writing schedule was very much all over the place. I was working a full-time job and Kelly and I were working on building our blog, so I would shut myself away and write a little whenever I got chance, but it was a slow process. The more I spoke to authors and read of their schedules I knew I had to get serious. I began putting that time aside to put everything else on hold for a few hours and really focus on what I was doing. That meant completely re-working my schedule to make it happen. I love writing, but it was hard, I would find myself getting distracted and stressed with all the other things I needed to be doing that it wasn’t really until I had official deadlines with HTBANB, that I started to get into a good routine.
I am a morning person, so I must play to my strengths. When I get in from work at 6pm or 7pm, depending on swinging by my Nanna’s house or my Mum and Dad’s to say hello, it’s hard for me to focus on writing. So, these days I wake up at 5am to write before work. I keep the same routine over the weekend. Get up early and get straight to writing. I try and keep my phone switched off and disappear into my writing world. Once I’m there, I’m there and I don’t usually like coming out of it, unless I get stuck and find myself twirling around in my chair for an hour, then I might step out of it, make some more coffee and go right back to it.
I find that if I get a case of writer’s block that it’s important to stare at the screen for a little bit. That might sound crazy, but when I sit there I will write a word, maybe a sentence, get frustrated, delete it, do it again and then suddenly, click, the words will come to me and the writing will start flowing again. Some days I might need to move away from the computer and get a snack, make a coffee, or listen to Harry Styles for a minute to get inspiration back, but I try not to walk away for too long when I get stuck and I definitely try not leave it to the next day to figure it out, because then I’m a cranky person that will be away with the fairies thinking of nothing but the last sentence I wrote and what my characters are supposed to be doing that they are not doing, until I can sit at the computer again and write. That doesn’t make for a fun me to be around! :p
Ooh also, I keep a notebook on me at all times. Sometimes if I get stuck typing on the computer or I run out of time in the morning, I find that putting pen to paper helps the inspiration to come or I can actually write in the evening in my notebook. That might be strange, but it works.
Rather than asking about your favorite food & drink, I’d love to know what dishes represent your personality. What dishes do you consider your “soul food?”
Primo: Anti-pasti: I say this as you get a nice mix of everything and I’m quite random in all the things I love, and I have a lot of passions, tastes and interests.
Secondo: Lasagna: I feel that I have many different layers to my personality, compared to what people might perceive when they see us as The Blossom Twins.
Dolci: Tiramisu, it’s a healthy mix of sweet, but also packs a punch, if you make it like our Nanna, with the alcohol. I like that. I aspire to be kind to everyone and put nothing but love into the world, but I’m also learning to stand up for myself more these days and trying to be stronger.
Drink: Coffee: So, coffee gives people energy and a bit of a boost. I aspire to be like coffee; to make people happy and lift them up.
Where can others connect with you?
Novel: ‘How to Bake a New Beginning’ is available on Amazon, WHSmiths, Kobo, Waterstones.
Pinterest: Lucy and Kelly