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Interview: Barbara Conelli, Author of Chique Secrets of Dolce Vita

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An internationally published author and Chiquenist, Barbara Conelli is on the mission to bring Fantastic Fearless Feminine Fun into every woman’s life.  Ms. Conelli’s charming, delightful and wildly humorous Chique Books are filled with Italian passion.  In these books, Barbara Conelli invites women to explore Italy, from the comfort of their home, with elegance, grace and style, all the while encouraging them to live their own Dolce Vita, no matter where they are in the world. 

Barbara Conelli’s newest release, Chique Secrets of Dolce Vita, is described as a delightful “narrative travel nonfiction book full of charming, poetic, delightful and humorous travel and life stories about extraordinary Milanese women, men who have succumbed to their temptation and the art of living your own dolce vita no matter where in the world you are.”

Ms. Conelli lives between New York and Milan. Though, as a real globetrotter, she’s constantly on the move, accompanied by her adorable and incredibly spoiled beagle. For Barbara Conelli, writing is like breathing.

Readers can learn more about Ms. Conelli, as well as her works, by visiting her website, Twitter and Facebook.

Please tell us a bit about your book, Chique Secrets of Dolce Vita, and what you hope readers take away from reading it.

Chique Secrets of Dolce Vita is a magic carpet that takes you to Italy and back in the blink of an eye. Through the pages of the book, you can feel the real Italian zest and passion. In Chique Secrets of Dolce Vita, I take your hand and guide you through my personal, intimate encounters with Milan, so that you can experience what I have experienced, and live your own Dolce Vita without leaving the comfort of your home.

Who/what inspires you the most within your book?

Each time I flip through my book, it reminds me of all those magical moments I’ve spent in the city. It reminds me of the terrific Milanese women I know. It reminds me of the essence of Chique Dolce Vita. It reminds me of my Grandma Lily who was born in Milan, and of her unbelievable wisdom. It reminds me of my peaceful Milanese mornings and lively Milanese nights. Every word inspires me because this book is my life.

Do you have a favorite line or excerpt from your book?

“La vita e bella, life is beautiful, and the most amazing wonders of this world often hide in the simplest things.” I believe this is the message of Chique Secrets of Dolce Vita.

If your current release were to be turned into a movie, who would you love to see play what characters and why?

I envision those Italian short story movies from 1960’s with Sophia Loren and Marcello Mastroianni. I think my book would be a perfect fit thanks to its atmosphere and zest. Maybe I should have been a screenwriter and lived fifty years ago!

What are your favorite aspects of writing?

I love being in the creative flow when I can shut the world out and become one with my writing. It’s a very special personal space that every author knows. It feels like magic, and it’s the closest think to hypnosis or deep meditation I know. I love it!

Your least favorite aspects of writing?

There aren’t any! I love everything about writing, and I’m very grateful for being able to share this gift with the world. Writer’s life is a challenging rollercoaster of emotions but I love every second of it.

Who are some of your favorite authors/books?

Under the Duvet and Further under the Duvet by Marian Keyes, and Simona Sparaco’s books. Simona Sparaco is a wonderful young Italian novelist whose work I love and admire. Her Lovebook and Bastardi senza amore are the best books I’ve ever read.

What are you reading right now?

I’m reading This Charming Man by Marian Keyes and The Shadow Effect by Deepak Chopra, Debbie Ford and Marianne Williamson.

If you could have a dinner party and invite five authors — dead or alive — who would they be and what would you serve them?

My grandfather who was a writer. Oscar Wilde. Simona Sparaco. Marian Keyes. Wayne Dyer. I would make my Grandma Lily’s scrumptious cannelloni, pour them my favorite Gavi or Faivé, and we’d have an Italian feast on the terrace of my Milanese apartment, talking about life, laughing and sharing.

What is a book that you wish you could say that you had written and why?

Bastardi senza amore by Simona Sparaco. I admire her ability to write a very feminine book from a man’s perspective. Absolutely brilliant!

What is the greatest piece of advice (for writing and/or just living) that you have heard?

Eleanor Roosevelt said: “You must do the things you cannot do.” This has been my motto for years.

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