Meeting Ivanka di Felice, author of a Zany Slice of Italy

This week I’d like to welcome a woman with a wonderful name to the Thursday Throng. Ivanka lives in Italy and writes one of my favourite types of book – the alternative travel guide. Those who’ve been with me for a while know that I adore getting insights into culture and countries from the comfort of my own comfy chair.

The Ivanka di Felice Interview

ivanka di feliceWhat is one thing that no-one would usually know about you?

I have a phobia of fast driving. Most people don’t know this about me but as soon as we are on the highway they find out. Then they no doubt wonder how I stay married to a man with 100% Italian blood or how I manage to live in Italy!

What did the best review you ever had say about you and your work?

A reviewer called Whistlers mom made my day by writing “This is the true Italy and (as revealed in this author’s hilarious, sometimes appalling stories) it is completely fascinating. Trust me, no matter how much you’ve read about Italy and Italians, this will be a real eye-opener and you’ll have to stop so often to laugh that it will take you much longer to read than you anticipate. She may be a first-time author, but she writes with style and confidence.”

How did you choose a title for your book?

It was actually really difficult and I ended up changing it a few times. I wanted the word Italy in the title but did not want people to think it was another book about the wonderful food and the glorious sunflower fields. My editor came up with the word “zany” and said my book could live up to that word! Though zany was not a word I used very often the minute she suggested it I realized I had my title.

Are there any occupational hazards to being an author?

There would be if I ever published my book in Italian! Thus I am willing to possibly forfeit 60 million readers to ensure that no family member reads my book. While I love them all dearly they may just not have the same sense of humour that I do.

Do you have any hints or tips for aspiring writers?

Hire a good editor. I sent out a chapter entitled “Stranieri Giusti” (The Right Type of Foreigners) to five different editors and requested a sample edit.  One edited version stood out above the rest. This editor really got my sense of humour and enhanced the writing. So find an editor that fits your writing style – the investment will be worth it.

Have you had to learn new skills and tricks or attempted impossible feats in order to get a book finished?

I have had to abandon my deep affection for words ending in “ly.”  Stephen King says you must get rid of all of them but my editor benevolently allowed me to keep some.

Where do you find your inspiration?

Family and wacky situations continue to inspire me. While I am moved to write a few sentences when I behold Italy’s beauty, it is really the people I meet that inspire a whole story.

Tea, Coffee, Water, Juice, Wine or Beer … which do you prefer when writing?

I used to prefer wine but now I see the wisdom of having switched to coffee. As a bonus, by my fourth cup I type really, really fast!


A Zany Slice of ItalyWHERE CAN I FIND OUT MORE ABOUT ivanka and her BOOK?

You can find A Zany Slice of Italy in Kindle and format here:

and may be able to catch up with Ivanka on Facebook.



These posts are called The Thursday Throng in honour of the throng that waits eagerly outside the book store when a new author is doing a book signing event or appearance. On this website it takes the form of a ‘Meet the Author‘ online event with some information about our author’s latest book and an interview. If you would like to take part in the Thursday Throng then why not visit Thursday Throng Author Interview Guidelines to find out more.

If you would like to see all the Authors who have been featured on The Thursday Throng you can click here:

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  1. I go to Italy, Rome every February from cold Ontario, Canada.
    We stay with family.
    I am originally from London, England and my husband is from moline but his family live
    In Rome now.
    I know what you mean about Italians and sofas.
    They like chairs and benches no sofas.
    It is nice to see them but we miss our house in Canada and we like to cook so we
    Miss our kitchen and appliances.
    Of course, our furniture, shower, fireplace, gas of course,
    Italians are a race of their own.
    No cheese with fish and pasta, wine in little glasses.
    But I would not miss our yearly trip to Italy even though they don’t realize that 6 hours in time and 7 hours travelling does wear us out the first few days.
    Gino and judy

  2. It is truly a beautiful country and offers something for everyone. Enjoy the food, the sights and of course, the wine! Have a wonderful and safe trip. 😉

  3. I want to thank Linda for having me here and for her wonderful website. I also want to say “grazie mille” to family who continually provide inspiration for my writing. Without them, it would fail to capture the realities and true essence of life here in Italy. If you’ve never been – you must visit – it truly is a gorgeous country.
    Many warm greetings from Tuscany and I wish you all the very best of success (unless of course you have a novel in the Italian Travel genre! LOL.)