Monday, May 04, 2009

Meet Jo Linsdell

Today, I'm excited to be hosting my friend and fellow author Jo Linsdell as part of her blog tour promoting the release of her new book.

Italian For Tourists: Pocket Edition
By Jo Linsdell
ISBN: 978-1-4092-7826-9
Available at:

Jo, tell us why you wrote this book.
I came to Italy with the plan of staying for 3 days and figured I could get by for such a short stay using English. With this in mind, I hadn’t prepared for the fact that Italians might not speak English. In fact, a lot of them don’t, or if they do, it’s very limited. I felt rude not being able to thank or greet people in Italian, after all I was in Italy. If an Italian came to England not being able to speak English, how far would he get? I got myself a phrasebook to help me, but a lot of the information was irrelevant, and it took ages to find what I needed. I wrote this book bearing all this in mind. A tourist doesn’t need to know everything about Italian grammar and the ins and outs of renting an apartment. They want to have an easy-to-use reference book of the language they will need to use and understand during their stay.

Who is your intended readership?

I created this book for tourists. There are a lot of phrasebooks out there, but they all seem to want to give as much information as possible—a lot of it irrelevant to a tourist who just wants to get by for the couple of days or weeks that he's in Italy. This book is designed to be a basic guide to the Italian language, covering phrases and words most needed by tourists.

How did you research your book?
I’ve been living here for 7 years now and, from my own experience, I know the sorts of things that are useful to know when you first come here. I also worked in hostels and as a tour guide and know what information people used to ask me for.

What’s your personal background?
I came to Rome, Italy from the UK in June 2001. I originally came for 3 days but fell in love with the city and decided to stay. After all these years, I’m still here, married to an Italian (with whom I have a son) and have no plans to leave anytime soon.

Who was the first person who encouraged you to write?
Probably an English teacher I had at school, called Mrs Stevens. She always liked my creative writing and would often tell me that I should write out of class too.

Tell us about the first time you believed you could be published.
When I sent off my first article and they published it straight away as it was. It was the first draft and I sent it off as a query to The Florentine (an English language newspaper in Florence). It was the first time I'd ever done anything like it before and was surprised by the results. It made me realise I could do it.

Do you have a cure for writer’s block?
Taking a short break and doing something non-writing related. Life inspires :)

Do you complete a work before editing? What takes longer – writing the first draft or editing?
This is probably the biggest problem I have when writing. I always have the urge to edit even as I'm writing. I need to stop. This is number one on my list of reasons why it takes me so long to write. I really need to get better at getting a first draft completed before I start editing.

What do you like to read for pleasure?
I love Dean Koontz books. The guy is a genius! I like Sophie Kinsella but also enjoy reading classics like Jane Austen and Oscar Wilde. I'll give pretty much anything a go.

What was your favorite book in grade school? In high school? Now?
In school we studied Anne Frank's Diary and it had me hooked. So tragic yet so inspiring. When I was in college, I read Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt and it's been one of my favourites ever since. I even bought a copy of the film afterward, but the book is far better.

Do you have a website where our readers can go to find more information about your work?

Give us some details on your upcoming author appearances.
I'll be featured at the following sites this month:
5th (interview)
7th (review by Karen Cioffi)
8th and
9th and

I will also be featured at all month.

Saturday, 9th May, is PROMO DAY, an online event I organise dedicated to promoting, networking and learning. It takes place at and is FREE to attend. I'll be in the PROMO chatroom through out the day answering questions and giving information about my books and other services. I'm also going to be moderating some of the workshops.

Note from Author:

Thank you very much for having me. I'd just like to take this opportunity to let people know that everyone who buys a copy of Italian for Tourists Pocket Edition on Saturday, 9th May can get a free copy of an ebook of their choice, from my collection. All they have to do is e-mail proof of purchase to and let me know which ebook they would like.

~Stay true to yourself, and your dreams will come true!


  1. Hello Joyce, Thank you for posting, "Meet Jo Linsdell." I found it to be informative and inspiring. I'm delighted to read your blog. I'll be back.

    Linda Della Donna

  2. Thanks for having me here today Joyce.

    Thank you for your kind words Linda.


  3. Hi, Jo,

    I'm looking forward to having you as my guest on May 8th.

    You book is wonderful!

    Karen Cioffi

  4. Wonderful interview< Joyce. I always enjoy reading about Jo. I posted my review of this book a couple of days ago--it is definitely a good one!

  5. This sounds like a wonderful book! Hubby and I were talking about going to Venice for a weekend and we weren't sure about how much Italian we needed to know.

  6. Thank you all for your kind comments.

    Amber I hope you and hubby have a lovely time in Venice.