Author Interview with Simon Gandossi/Cecilia House
Hello Everyone, Today’s guest is Simon Gandossi, the author of Cecilia House.
1. Please tell us about yourself?
I was born in Fremantle, Australia and my family heritage is Italian. I live on a small farm 10 minutes from the ocean. I collect antiques, I love to cook, play tennis and soccer, read, learn new languages and I am a huge fan of classical music and music from the 1950s and 1960s. I also love metal detecting and over the years have formed a large collections of artifacts.
2. Why did you choose to write?
Writing was something I was also doing in school. I have a very large box filled with short stories from my youth. A few of them made the final of the young writers of the year competition and from then then on I knew I wanted to make it my career.
3. What is the story behind Cecilia House? What made you write it?
I don’t limit myself to one area of history, I bring different aspects of it to life for my readers. The subject matter within Cecilia House is unfortunately still relevant today. I watched a documentary about these disturbing abuse cases and one thing was common amongst the interviews with the survivors. Not many people cared back then. I wrote it because in the 1930s many records were destroyed and the extent of the abuse is not known. I wanted to be their voice and when someone watches the news and sees yet another arrest being made, I hope they will think about my book and know I am a small part of a large group of people seeking justice for those harmed.
4. How can you say writing has changed you?
It has been and continues to be a large part of my life. My life changed when I first decided to become a fulltime writer. I invested so much time and money and had no social life. I lived on basics and a holiday was just a dream. It made me realize what other authors sacrificed and in turn I now take nothing for granted.
5. What can you say is the role of writers in today’s society?
In my opinion as a historical fiction author, my role is to educate and hopefully spark a further interest in history for my readers.
6. Which scene or chapter in your book is your favorite? Why?
The first chapter I created a scene with a treehouse where the main character and her friends spent their time alone. This treehouse as mundane as it sounds has such a strong meaning throughout the book especially at the end in the epilogue.
7. What is the worst writing/publishing advice anyone ever gave you?
Another author once told me don’t write what I am passionate about, write what is popular.
8. What book are you currently reading?
I am currently reading a non-fiction book called On Radji Beach. A true story about the Australia nurses captured by the Japanese after the fall of Singapore during WW2.
9. What writing resources are most useful to you?
Resources that allow me to interview survivors and or their family members either locally or around the world. Hearing the stories firsthand really helps my writing immensely.
10. What would you advise a young writer on a writing journey similar to yours?
I always tell those wanting to become writers there are 3 things they need to know. The first is be in it for the long haul, nothing happens overnight. The second is being able to take a certain amount of criticism. Third never let doubt enter your mind despite how hard things might be, it can affect your writing.
Thanks for reading. Much Love💜💜💜