Under the Light of the Italian Moon

Under the Light of the Italian Moon

1. I have a mission to elevate women: in my writing, in my business career, in my friendships and as I raise a daughter. If I die knowing that I have done my part to push the world towards equality, I will have had a worthwhile life.

2. My birth was covered in a full-page feature celebrating Mother’s Day. When I was born, my 19-year-old mother and I were the subjects of a local newspaper article highlighting the modern hospital experience of 1977 vs. the birth experience in early 1900s Italy, where my great-great grandmother was a midwife. Little did I know I would write a novel about her and the Italian women she helped years later.

3. I’m originally from Chicago (Joliet) but moved to Milan in 2012 to focus on an international business career, be closer to where my family was from, and continue to research my novel. I later moved to London and live in South Kensington. It took fourteen years to complete the manuscript across living in three countries, but it’s done!

4. I was pregnant when I started researching Under the Light of the Italian Moon. After having my daughter via an emergency caesarean, I went into heart failure with an unusual post-natal heart condition. When I recuperated, my grandmother died. I watched my mother try to hold everyone together in tragic and joyous chaos. I think people take too much for granted when it comes to childbirth. We must reform policies around the world to take better care of women. At the same time, women need to embrace their power and strength; we are the ones, after all, that give birth to humanity.

5. I didn’t take my husband’s last name and I do everything I can to reject deep-rooted expectations of women. I believe now is the time we must challenge every societal norm that has been attached to women in the past. The significant amount of emotional labour women do in the workforce and home limits us from achieving our potential. We must say no. We must expect more of men. This year’s theme for International Women’s Day is #choosetochallenge. It’s time to stop swallowing the old “normal” and shove back. Nothing will change for our daughters until we do.

6. My favourite thing to do when I’m not working or writing is to dance. I’ve danced since I was a little girl and taken classes around the world. I really miss the theatre and going out dancing and singing karaoke with friends. That will be the first thing I do on my post-covid night out!

7. Growing up, Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell changed my life. At ten years old, I read the book and Scarlett’s resilience made me believe in my own. I hope Under the Light of the Italian Moon does the same for some readers. I hope they see, in the challenges Nina faces under Mussolini and Nazi occupation, a strength and resilience that we need as much today as she did then. The strength of the world is in its women. It all begins with us.

RELATED: Seven things I'd like my readers to know about me by Ericka Waller

I have rheumatoid arthritis. I spend a lot of time in bed and have a legitimate reason for not being able to wear a bra (can’t do it up, too tricky). I live on a crazy cocktail of immune suppressant drugs and steroids and can sleep anywhere. You wouldn’t know it to look at me, but I often end up crawling up the stairs at night. I like to pretend there is nothing wrong with me.. to read more click HERE