1) Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get into writing?
Three fortunate circumstances helped me develop into a writer.
The first influential factor in my life was the privilege of being born in New York City and being exposed to rich cultural experiences as a child. For example, my relatives took me to the American Museum of Natural History, the Hayden Planetarium, Museum of Modern Art, Carnegie Hall, and Broadway shows. By age six, after the theatre, I started buying a copy of the drama or musical we’d just enjoyed at a wonderful place in Times Square, The Drama Bookshop. I wanted to be better equipped during dinner table discussions of the play. These formative experiences, rooted in The Big Apple’s vibrant cultural milieu, played a pivotal role in shaping my intellectual curiosity and nurturing my appetite for the arts.
The second factor was growing up without a television but with easy access to a library.
The third factor was being surrounded by adults – with limited access to children my own age unless I was in a classroom. Since my parents could not afford to finance a mortgage right away, we lived in a large house with my maternal grandparents and unmarried aunts until I was 4 ½. This household served as a hub for buying and receiving numerous birthday and holiday cards, providing me with ample exposure to bad poetry. Even as a child, I was critical about awkward rhymes in Hallmark cards, so at age three and a half I launched my own greeting card line. I wrote the verses and one of my aunts illustrated each card. Lots of praise (by our relatives) launched a young formalist.
By age four I was being taken to numerous Broadway matinees. This made an impact. By age nine, I had my first one-act play onstage with a cast of five actresses (recruited from my Girl Scouts chapter); it ran for several months in NYC. Also at age nine, my first poem (“The Tiger”) was published in a school magazine. At age 15, a short story (“No Way Out”) that I had written for my high school magazine won a gold medal for literary achievement. There has never been a time when I did not think of myself as “a serious writer.”
2) What inspired you to write your book?
Pure serendipity. At the time, I had been circulating a 29-poem manuscript, “Women Who Were Warned.” But Beacon Books’ poetry imprint UniVerse Press does not let a poet upload a full manuscript. Instead they want a proposal with a writing sample. As I awaited a response, “Women Who Were Warned” found acceptance from Cerasus Poetry in London, rendering it unavailable for publication anywhere else. Moreover, UniVerse Press wanted a full-length collection – and by October 1, 2022. Opportunity and a deadline blew the whistle.
3) What theme or message do you hope readers will take away from your book?
“Apprenticed to the Night” weaves together the tapestry of everyday encounters with the extraordinary. Until the pandemic, I had deliberately omitted revealing my supernatural experiences in my writing. I’m hoping that readers will be open-minded.
4) What drew you into this particular genre?
Since childhood, I’ve been aware of metrical verse and memorized a lot of poems. Writing formal verse comes naturally to me.
5) What social media site has been the most helpful in developing your readership?
Twitter has a thriving literary community with hashtags such as #amwriting, #poetrycommunity, and #bookbloggers. I’d love to connect with more reviewers on TikTok a.k.a. #BookTok.
6) What advice would you give to aspiring or just starting authors out there?
Read widely and immoderately. Be on the alert for online writing workshops, especially the no-fee options. For example, Sundress Academy’s Poetry Xfit meets from 2-4PM EST on the third Sunday of every month. All events are free and hosted via Zoom, which can be accessed at tiny.utk.edu/sundress.
7) What does the future hold in store for you? Any new books/projects on the horizon?
My eerie fully illustrated Samhain-themed collection “Always Haunted: Hallowe’en Poems” is with a publisher who requested it. (Fingers crossed.) While I am polishing a full-length poetry collection on ghosts, “Dark and Airy Spirits,” I’m finishing up two other chapbooks. One is devoted to suicide poems and the other is inspired by the poignant journey I took with my terminally ill mother when I was her sole caretaker.
About the Author
Native New Yorker LindaAnn LoSchiavo, a four time nominee for The Pushcart Prize, has also been nominated for Best of the Net, the Rhysling Award, and Dwarf Stars. She is a member of SFPA, The British Fantasy Society, and The Dramatists Guild.
Elgin Award winner “A Route Obscure and Lonely” (US: Wapshott Press, 2019), “Women Who Were Warned” (UK: Cerasus Poetry, 2022), Firecracker Award, Balcones Poetry Prize, Quill and Ink, Paterson Poetry Prize, and IPPY Award nominee “Messengers of the Macabre” [co-written with David Davies] (US: Audience Askew, 2022), “Apprenticed to the Night” (UK: UniVerse Press, 2023), and “Felones de Se: Poems about Suicide” (Canada: Ukiyoto Publishing, 2023) are her latest poetry titles.
In 2023, her poetry placed as a finalist in Thirty West Publishing’s “Fresh Start Contest” and in the 8th annual Stephen DiBiase contest.
LoSchiavo is a Prohibition Era historian and her Texas Guinan film won “Best Feature Documentary” at N.Y. Women’s Film Fest (Dec. 2021).
― ― links ― ―