The following is an interview with the author of The Memoirs of ‘I’, Yolanda De Iuliis. You can find my review of the book here.
Ms. Yolanda where do you live?
I live in a small town outside of Glasgow in Scotland.
You’ve mentioned in The Memoirs of ‘I’ that you’ve never felt at home in your homeland. If you had to pick a place, where do you feel the most at home? Or are you still searching for the land that calls to you and the wind that sings you welcome?
I still search for my true home but I believe wherever I find love then I find my home therefore home is not a fixed place for me. It changes through time and with certain people I surround myself with.
Are you a full time author? Or do you have another job between writing? When did you start writing professionally?
I started writing professionally very recently, around the beginning of 2014. I am not a full time author as I am also a student. I am currently studying Classical Studies at University.
When did you start writing, not for money but for fun? How old were you, and not just when you started writing for school?
I do not remember an exact age of when I started writing but it I must have been around 8 or 9. As I wrote, it took me away from the life I was living at that time and was a child’s escape which lead to a real love in my life.
Can you recall your first time writing for yourself, not just for school, but because you absolutely wanted to? If so, could you describe it to us?
Yes, I remember!:) I used to play in my local street with my neighbours, whilst always carrying paper and pencil. This one day I sat near the curb area by myself and started to write a song, I don’t remember why I chose to do that but I used to love singing even though I couldn’t sing which led me trying to write lyrics and songs.
What format did you start out with?
I began with writing lyrics, poetry, songs and this lead to my personal thoughts, memoirs, diaries. All my writings helped me at different stages of my life. Writing for me is therapeutic and gets me through the tuff times therefore my own thoughts became my best friend.
In The Memoirs of ‘I’ I noticed that you sometimes wrote poetry, which I adored, and that you mentioned writing song lyrics. Which do prefer: poetry, lyrics, or normal writing?
I like writing both, it depends of what I want to get out of the words on that day. My state of mind whilst writing and what will develop from it but I do adore writing poetry.
What do you do with your song lyrics? Do you share them or keep them mostly to yourself? What instruments do you normally use when constructing songs?
I play guitar but only moderately and compose them through this means but I don’t show people my songs as I do it only for me, to relax and unwind.
Where do you normally write? When do you find that you are the most creative?
I can write anywhere, I don’t need a specific place. I just have to be in a certain state of mind. I am most creative when I think of certain subjects or have specific and intense emotions due to an event in my life.
When did you become published? And were you self published or did someone publish for you? What was your first published work?
I am a self published author and always wanted to keep control of this aspect of my writing. My first published work was my autobiographical poetry collection ‘Underneath my Soul’ released in 2015.
What gave you the idea to write The Memoirs of ‘I’?
The Memoirs of ‘I’ came to me very naturally and at first it was for my own personal thoughts but I began to write very differently, as if I was speaking to someone. I wanted to help myself through a difficult time in my life. Then to learn and help another in some way. It was all a very natural process.
How long did it take you to write the book? Did you run into any problems while writing/publishing?
It took one year to write the book as it was a one year project and the only problem which occurred was at the beginning. Writing daily is difficult and it took some time to get used to and then to look at myself and thoughts in a certain way but I learned when to switch myself on and off.
What was your favourite part in the book or while writing the book? Any fun memories to share?
I love writing when I was traveling. I enjoyed my own days and was excited to share my memories with readers. I could also write on the beach everyday which was different for me.
What was the hardest part about writing The Memoirs of ‘I’? Or just writing in general?
It was very hard to self reflect everyday. I faced many demons head on and this was on purpose. I had to challenge myself and learn from my own self in the most honest way possible. Everyday I had questions to answer and I struggled to answer them at times because my questions only led to even more difficult questions, It was an annoying process whenI couldn’t find the answers to my own mind.
While reading your book, I noticed that you mentioned often your love of travel. When did you realize that traveling was one of your passions?
Yes, traveling is the love of my life!:) I left Scotland at the age of 20 and ever since then, I have been traveling, exploring, learning and exploring the world. Each new place in which I discover only leads me to want to discover more. Traveling gives me something that no materialistic thing or person can ever present to me
How many places have you travelled to? Would you mind naming them all or just a few?
Wow, that would be a long list:) I travelled Australia for one year (working & traveling), I then moved to Brazil for 2 years which led me to travel many parts of South America such as Peru, Argentina, Chile, Easter Island & of course Brazil. Then I did the west coast of America and onto Vancouver, Toronto & Niagara Falls in Canada. For one month I travelled around Europe with the Eurorail. I also took 3 weeks out to travel Northern Africa & some parts of the middle east. Lastly, 3 months in China, Hong Kong, Thailand, Cambodia & Japan.
While travelling did you ever find something that struck your imagination, that acted as a muse? If so, what was it?
When traveling you meet all sorts of life with different souls and learn how others live. This is inspirational, not only for writing but in general on how to live, be a better person and live more humble. Your imagination grows in ways that I cannot explain to you until you find an adventure for yourself as it is different for every traveller.
If you had any advice about writing, what would it be?
Write from your heart, with passion and write with your gut.
Are you working on any other pieces at the moment, or are you taking a break?
Currently I am not working on anything at the moment as I am still promoting The Memoirs of ‘I’ but once my studies and travels have settled then I am sure I will work on something new when the time is right:)
One last question. In your novel, you mentioned how much studying helped your mental well being, I find myself to be the same way. What are you currently studying in university and do you think you’ll continue studying the subject, or would you hop around some more before your brain is truly satisfied?
I am currently Classical Studies, Modern Greek & Dutch and I believe I will continue with these subjects as I have always loved the history of Greek & Roman worlds. I believe I can learn a lot from past cultures and histories which will teach me in turn about our modern world. Studying gives me a sense of worth, a meaning to live. Far more than working and earning money for a large company which makes me feel worthless therefore one day I wish to pass my degree and become a lecturer or find work that is giving to others. A mind of a thinker is never truly satisfied therefore that is hard to answer, we always strive to think outside of the box and learn more.
Official Website: http://www.yolandadeiuliis.com/