Author Interview (and a Giveaway!): Chiara Talluto & She Made It Matter

Posted November 12, 2020 by meezcarrie in Author Interview, Chiara Talluto, Christian, contemporary, giveaway / 18 Comments


Please join me in welcoming Chiara Talluto to the blog to chat about her new book She Made It Matter!

“I’m not a bestselling author, I’m just a ‘nobody’ who uses storytelling to encourage others to find their purpose and save their souls.”

Hello, my name is Chiara Talluto. I’m a wife, busy mom, author, and a woman after God’s heart. As I ponder this declaration, I find it more appropriate to claim that I am a woman after God’s heart first. He has given me a gift of writing, and I honor Him through my written works.

People often ask what kind of writing I do. I tell them… I write Inspirational/Christian drama empowering women to discover their faith, use perseverance to overcome adversity, and become heroes of their own destinies. I also write middle-grade fantasy-fairy tales encouraging girls in developing strong morals and values, and to always stand up for what is right.

My family often tells me that I am the Master Storyteller in our household because I have a passion for writing about people who struggle with decisions and conflicts that arise in their lives.

In the last six years, I’ve been blessed to have published four books:  A Christian Romance, Love’s Perfect Surrender, two middle-grade fantasy-fairy tales: Petrella, the Gillian Princess and A Tribute to Tulipia, and an Inspirational fiction, She Made It Matter.

All of my writings contain an element of Christianity and faith. I never set out to be a writer, or a Christian writer for that matter, it just happened. It’s who I am and who I was meant to be. Writing is my outlet, a spilling of emotions, random thoughts, and imaginary characters that consume my mind twenty-four hours a day. I need to write, just like I need to eat, exercise, and breathe.

My latest release, She Made It Matter is now available in print and electronic editions everywhere books are sold.  More information on the author and all her writings can be found at www.chiaratalluto.com.


SHE MADE IT MATTER
GENRE: Inspirational Contemporary Fiction
PUBLISHER: Chiara Talluto
RELEASE DATE: October 27, 2020
PAGES: 251

Don’t turn back. Begin anew.

Thirty-six-year-old Amanda Reynolds has it all. She has a loving, successful husband, two beautiful daughters and a perfect, manicured home in a quaint suburb of Chicago.

But demons hide where no one looks and Amanda’s past is full of them—she’s addicted to alcohol. The reasons for her addiction have been buried for years.

One horrifying day, suppressed memories resurface and Amanda drinks herself into a stupor in front of her daughters. Waking up in the hospital, the realization is clear: get clean or lose everything.

Amanda sets off on a daring journey taking her across the US in an attempt to vanquish the demons that have plagued her life.

Will Amanda defeat her alcohol addiction?

Will her family forgive her?

Can she break away from her past, find her self-worth, and restart again?

 

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Hi Chiara! Welcome to the blog!

Chiara: I prefer summer. I enjoy the full sun, the heat, and in my home city, Chicago, the still air and humidity. I associate summer to agility, freedom, and high energy. I can’t stand the cold, nor do I like being cooped up inside the house. It’s almost like summer is the extrovert-side of me, and during the cold winter days, I turn inward for reflection.

Carrie: I am exactly the opposite – one of the few people who get S.A.D.D. in the summer lol

Chiara: Music for sure. A melody, a tune, or hearing song lyrics at just the right moment can change one’s mood, it does mine. Music is therapeutic for me and it lifts my spirit, and it’s the inspiration for all four of my published books. I actually have a theme song for each of my novels. I’m thankful for the instruments that make the awesome sounds and those talented singers with their beautiful voices. I’m not an audiobook type of person. I actually prefer reading words on a page rather than listening to someone reading them for me. But, as I get older that statement might change, these eyes could get a bit tired, or, I may not see as clearly as I once did, until then, it’s still music.

Carrie: I feel the same way!

Chiara: I prefer soups over sandwiches any day. I especially enjoy those brothy-type vegetable soups, if “brothy” is such a word, where one can actually get a facial at the same time. Hehe. There is something peaceful with sipping or slurping that is comforting to me. Sandwiches, eh…unless it’s a specialty sandwich like an Italian sub made with loads of Mortadella and all the cured Italian meats, or corn beef piled high on rye bread sandwich made in a New York deli, then we’re talking. Turkey or ham, it’s all the same for me. Give me a bowl of something hot and soothing, and I’ll be at your table.

Carrie: yummm – yes! that makes me want a nice bowl of potato soup on a cool day like today!

Chiara: Let’s shake down house with a few games of Black Jack, and you bring me to the sights and sounds of Las Vegas – the city of lights. If you want to light the fireplace, bring out the Monopoly board game and let’s roll some dice. I have no problem pretending to have lots of money in both cases, and enjoying some real estate transactions, even if it is make-believe. 

Carrie: haha love it!

Q: Around here I like to say that reading is my superpower. If YOU had a superpower, what would it be?

Chiara: I’d want to be a “Chore Stomper”. Yep, that’s the kind of super power I’d love to have, zipping around and cleaning the house and washing clothes at a snap of a finger. This super power would cut my time tremendously which would leave me with tons and tons of hours enjoying what I love most… reading and writing.

Carrie: oh yes please!

Q: Who is your favorite book character from childhood?

Chiara: My love for reading was sparked by the Nancy Drew Mystery stories and Hardy Boys series. I especially admired Nancy Drew with her keenness, tact, and super-duper mind to solve any and all mysteries thrown her way, or in some cases, stumbled upon. My favorite book of all, which I currently have on my bookshelf, is “The Clue in the Diary” number seven in the series. Nancy was always very brave and smart, traits I longed to have during my childhood.

Carrie: Nancy Drew is my girl! But i always thought Frank Hardy made a better boyfriend than Ned Nickerson 😉

Q: Writing spaces are as diverse as authors and books. Where is your favorite space to write?

Chiara: My go-to area is the kitchen table looking out the sliding door to my backyard. It’s relaxing and I’m close to the fridge so I can refill my hydro flask with water. Yes, I’m a big water drinker. The best euphoric writing I’ve ever done was soaking in my tub and handwriting about ten-to-fifteen pages. It took me less than twenty-minutes to write all that, and more than an hour to decipher what I wrote later on as I transcribed it all on my laptop. But hey, it was worth it even though my skin looked like an overheated prune. I was after all, in a zone with an incredible surge of inspiration. I also use sticky notes, I talk into my phone, I write on my hand, and I always have a pad of paper in my overstuffed little purse. You never know when ideas will hit you.

Carrie: haha!

Q: Were there any songs that inspired you as you wrote She Made It Matter?

Chiara: I love music so much, especially Christian music, I find my inspiration from songs. She Made It Matter is my fourth published novel, a story about one woman’s fight to regain sobriety, find salvation, and earn forgiveness after years of guilt from being abandoned by her mother and then losing her brother to cancer, a struggle to vanquish the demons of her past and make her life right again.

It is divided into three sections. Sections you ask? Yes, well, if Shakespeare can have acts, I can have sections. Like a screen play each section is its own story. However, they cannot stand alone because the sections build upon one another to make up the whole of the tale being told. And, I’ve included the song influence titles and the artist’s names for each section. Here, let me list them:

A. THAT WAS THEN – GOING HOME

Home” by Daughtry

It’s Your Life” by Francesca Battistelli

B. THIS IS NOW – LIFELINE

Lifeline” by Mandisa

C. WHERE TO FROM HERE – THE SUN IS RISING

The Sun is Rising” by Britt Nicole

Coming Up to Breathe” by MercyMe

The main theme song for She Made It Matter is by a Christian band called For King & Country, and the song is titled: “Burn the Ships”. The gist of the song is this: Step into a new day. We can rise up from the dust and walk away. Leave the past. And don’t look back.

Carrie: i love all of those songs!

Q: Did you have the whole plot outlined before you started writing, or did you let the characters dictate what came next?

Chiara: It depends. Sometimes, I have the character names, like in “A Tribute to Tulipia” and other times, I have the storyline in my head, like “Love’s Perfect Surrender”. For my latest novel, “She Made It Matter,” it was a bit of both. I had the ideas and protagonist name when I started writing this new tale in a notebook back in 2007. At that time, I decided to title it: “Make It Right; Make It Matter”. The novel tackles the difficult subjects of family abandonment, alcohol abuse, and food dependencies; compulsions and addictions caused by the trauma of one’s past.

In order to immerse myself in this story, I thought about my own idols and addiction and how I could break them. I thought about how a person with a perfect life is able to throw it all away over something that constantly consumes their mind and body. I thought about a person who cannot move forward because of horrible past experiences. I thought about abuse that is prevalent in homes and the amount of abuse and abandonment of children. Most importantly, I thought about the human condition, and the temptations that can lure one in the wrong direction. And I just kept writing and outlining. I also interviewed recovered alcoholics in my research.

This story took over nine years in the making and I merged all of those ideas together. It was completed in the Fall of 2014. That winter, I had it professionally edited to be published in 2015. About to publish it, I scrapped it. It wasn’t ready. It was my sophomore “grown up” book and I think I rushed through it. You see, there’s this stigma out there that as soon as you’re done with your first book, or as you’re finishing your first book, you should be already be writing your second book or, be finished with it.

Not me! I put it away for another two years until Summer of 2017 when I had a friend of mine read it. I had already had the story beta-read by several folks, but this one friend, she cut it to shreds and challenged me to enhance the storyline. And so, three years later, after 27 revisions and 25 title changes, I completed it, got it professionally edited twice, and renamed it to “She Made It Matter”.

Carrie: i think it’s important to listen to God & wait for His timing! Sounds like you’ve done that 🙂

Q: What is one of your favorite quotes from She Made It Matter & why do you love it?

Chiara: This passage is in Chapter 28 and it is spoken by my character, Mr. Harvey Huckfinn, who is a part-time pastor, and egg farmer, and counselor for troubled teens. Here he is discussing the importance of forgiveness…

“I know what I told you. It was a lie. I’m sorry. As a pastor I am expected to be a righteous man. Jesus was, after all. His shoes are hard to fill, but I know I must try every single day. I am more broken than that piece of splintered wood lying on the ground over yonder and I was an a****** to her. It took years for my ex-wife to forgive me. She finally did, I’m thankful for that. I wouldn’t be where I am today, serving others especially those kids, if it wasn’t for her.” Harvey paused, puffing out a ringlet of smoke. “I’m happy she remarried and adopted two children from China years ago. She fulfilled her dream. But most importantly, Amanda, we all need forgiveness, each one of us. I’m sorry for not being honest with you. I often forget I’m human and have my share of failures, many that I hate to dredge up, if you know what I mean?”

Carrie: I think all of us can relate to that!

Thank you so much for taking time to talk with me! 🙂 Before we say goodbye for today, tell us what‘s coming up next for you.

Chiara: I’m currently helping my 12-year-old daughter finalize her very first fantasy-fairy tale, “The Magic Inside,” in hopes of publishing it. She is almost done with the sequel and has four other stories in various written stages. There is no greater joy for me as a parent and writer in encouraging my daughter to make her dreams of authorship come to fruition.

Carrie: how fun! I love that!


Chiara Talluto is offering a signed print copy of She Made It Matter to one of my readers! (US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.) This giveaway is subject to Reading Is My SuperPower’s giveaway policies which can be found here. Enter via the Rafflecopter form below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

What about you? What makes you want to read She Made It Matter by Chiara Talluto?

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18 responses to “Author Interview (and a Giveaway!): Chiara Talluto & She Made It Matter

  1. Sonnetta Jones

    I love the song selections for the different parts of the story. Sometimes we work so hard to forget the past that it can derail our present and future.

  2. Lynn Brown

    I like the cover. The book sounds good. I like that it is about addiction and second chances at forgiveness. Thanks for the chance.

  3. Roxanne C.

    I respect Chiara for all the time and work she put into this book. This is a lady who desires to do her very best.

    • A good point, Jcp. Alcohol addiction is a temptation. And we all know temptations could lead to disasters. I took a chance with this story in dealing with this issue. Bottom line, broken as we, we can make the changes and forgive our past to move forward.

    • Hi Sarah,

      I hope you pick it up. I’d love an honest review. Yes, I love the cover too. I wanted something that would the make the reader think and refer to the cover as they are reading.

  4. Only ONE day left to enter the Giveaway. I hope you enter and best of luck to you all. I am not one to boast, the only thing I boast about ‘are the things which concern my infirmity’ because I cannot do it without God. (2 Corinth 11:30).

    I do want to share a review I just received. I am humbled and honored to share it here. Thank you, Carrie again for all that you do for writers.

    http://windycityreviews.org/book-reviews/2020/11/17/book-review-she-made-it-matter.html#entry36326780

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