We had the good fortune of connecting with Denise Antonietti and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Denise, is there a quote or affirmation that’s meaningful to you?
My favorite quote by Agatha Christie is: “I changed from an amateur to a professional. I assumed the burden of a profession, which is to write even when you don’t want to, don’t much like what you are writing, and aren’t writing particularly well”.

It reminds me to pursue my objectives even when things get tough or are not going the way I hoped they would. It reminds me that writing, like any other job, is hard, and requires a lot of dedication – that is, if you don’t want it to be just a hobby.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I started writing as a child, and stories have always been a huge part of my life.

They were my safe place, the life jacket I could use when things didn’t go well.

And it is maybe for this latter reason that I have always tried to write happy things: I think it is important to have someone reminding us about all that’s good and fun when we go through some hard times. Was it easy? Well, I won a contest for young italian authors, and this is how my first book got published. It is never easy, though I was lucky enough to find a group of people who liked my stories and supported me.

I learned that writing and even being published is only the tip of the iceberg: one must be able to create a community, involve people, get to know others that work in the same environment. And, obviously, you never stop learning.

Even now, maybe more than ever, I am aware that I have loads of things to learn. I keep studying, attending courses and seminars whenever I get a chance to, and of course I read a lot. There is no book you cannot learn something from, even when it’s not a good one.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I live in Naples, Italy. I moved here almost 10 years ago, and I fell in love with the city because it is literally full of history and culture. To give a stranger a glimpse of the city I would first of all take them to the old town. The neighborhood is always incredibly busy, jammed with traffic. There are open air markets, narrow, maze-like alleys, and the people are just great. I live at a stone’s throw from the wonderful island of Capri (actually, I see it right from my window as I am writing), and then a bit further away there lies Sorrento, the Amalfi Coast, the ruins of Pompeii and Herculaneum. There is so much to do and see that a week wouldn’t be enough!

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I have several friends I must be thankful to. Just to name a few, Maria Elisa Aloisi, Claudia Cocuzza, Simona Soldano, Luca Debus. And then obviously my family.

Instagram: denise.racconta

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