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Advice from IR Approved Author Francesca Vespa: “Respect your audience. Respect. Your. Audience.”

Seven Perfect Days received a 4+ star review, making it an IndieReader Approved title.

Following find an interview with author Francesca Vespa.

What is the name of the book and when was it published?

Seven Perfect Days, published February 2024

What’s the book’s first line?

It was my cousin who did it.

What’s the book about? Give us the “pitch”.

A group of high school kids experience the horrific death of a close friend. As they transition into adulthood, their lives intersect in painful and sometimes violent ways. It’s a comedy.

What inspired you to write the book? A particular person? An event?

I wanted to express how life is so fleeting, and the idea of interconnectedness, and the influence we have on one another.

What’s the main reason someone should really read this book?

Reading it is an incredibly moving experience. I say that as a reader, not as the writer. The fact that I wrote it is absolutely bewildering. I’m sorry for making my readers cry, but it’s worth it in the end.

What’s the most distinctive thing about the main character? 

Maggie Lomax is often very passive. She is not driving the story. It’s a little infuriating and it is a very risky way to write a story and protagonist. It wouldn’t work in a typical three-act story, but this is a four-act structure, and it’s about people in the sweep of history, and I think that has enough implicit tension to drive the plot.

Who-real or fictional-would you say the character reminds you of?

Yossarian (from Catch 22)

When did you first decide to become an author?

A couple years ago when I moved out of home I worked as a cleaner, mopping floors. It’s such physical work. Each night after work I found myself wired, staring at the ceiling, so I would grab a pen and start writing. My partner really loved this particular book, so I finished it off put a copy on Kindle Unlimited and tried to get it out there. There’s no career plan; I’m just enjoying the ride.

Is this the first book you’ve written?

It’s not the first book I’ve ever written but it’s the first novel I have ever finished.

What do you do for work when you’re not writing?

I’m from the land Down Under, and I work in heavy industry for the resource sector. Well paid, but sometimes dangerous and dirty conditions. Lots of burley men in hard hats and neon orange. I often look like a traffic cone. We use vehicles that are bigger than my house. There are only a few women there, and I am deep in the Narnia closet, so some days are hard… I have a couple cousins who work with me too, looking out for me, so some days are really fun as well. It’s always interesting. I have a lot of hard skills. I take the good with the bad, because I am incredibly lucky to have such a good job. It means I can support my family, so I don’t take it for granted. My dad died in an accident years ago so I just try not to get squished because it would destroy my mother. Nobody knows I write except my partner and my best friend.

How much time do you generally spend on your writing?

Three hours every day. More if I have time.

What’s the best and the hardest part of being an indie?

The best part is showing people something that was 100 percent done without any help from anyone else. Although, that’s also the worst part too! Any mistakes are all my fault.

What’s a great piece of advice that you can share with fellow indie authors?

Respect your audience. Respect. Your. Audience.

Would you go traditional if a publisher came calling? If so, why?

Yes, definitely. It would be an honor. I would have people helping to promote my book and a physical copy I could hold in my hands… I would love that.

Is there something in particular that motivates you (fame? fortune?)

Nothing that lofty! I wrote the book for my girlfriend to read. She has now asked me to write a coming-of-age and a romance. I’m doing the coming-of-age right now. I just bought a new typewriter, so I’m going to livestream future typewriting sprints for my next novel on social media!

Which writer, living or dead, do you most admire?

There are too many; I could never choose. Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa.

Which book do you wish you could have written?

The Narrow Road to the Deep North.



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