Ms Lucy is one of my first and most friendly acquaintances in the blogoworld. She is of Italian origins but lives in Canada. And, surprisingly, we discovered how much we had in common reading and commenting  our blogs reciprocally. Her Enchanted by Josephine is an amazing site about historical fiction with hundreds of followers and enthusiastic readers. She also writes a blog about teaching  at  http://esl-ealandmore.blogspot.com/. She is so beautiful, I asked her if she has ever been an actress. No, never, she said. She is a super mum, instead: 5 children!
On occasion of our friendly chat, she has generously decided to give away two gently-used books by Jane Austen from her personal library :

1.  Pride and Prejudice

2. Northanger Abbey + Sanditon, The Watsons and Lady Susan

To get a chance to win the two books, read Ms Lucy's interview, comment and leave your e-mail address. The giveaway is open internationally and winner will be announced on Monday 22nd March.

1. So Lucy, welcome on Fly High! I’m so pleased you accepted my invitation. Please, tell us something about you just to have a start.

Thanks so much for having me, Maria Grazia. I love your blog and find the stuff you post is always so very interesting and well researched, and for a lover of all that is literature, it’s simply an honour for me to be a part of this! So here’s a bit about me...I was born in Montreal, Canada; raised in an Italian home. Both my parents are originally from the Veneto region of Italy (hence my passion for all that is Venetian) I studied Literature and Languages at the University level and specialized in both French and English. I also studied Human Relations (Commerce and Communications) and History. All this led me to a career in teaching and language consulting. On a more personal level, I’m happily married and the mother to five...very intense kids!

2. Five, astonishing! I can't imagine what it may be like! Two sons are already a huge load of work to me. And they are teenagers, already. Well, better not to start. Italian mothers can talk about their children for hours!
So, I remember you were one of my first supporters and you are still always so kind and appreciative of my efforts. I have to thank you for so many things! Let’s mention just two of them: you suggested me to take part in the Everything Austen Challenge last year and I won my first giveaway at your site. One of my best 2009 reads, Cleopatra’s Daughter by Michelle Moran. How did you find me and my blogs ? Can you remember?
Maria Grazia, I can’t remember exactly how we met, but I’m pretty sure it was through one of the Austen blogs. I think you commented, or, were somehow linked by another blogger. But the one thing that is certain is that I had to absolutely seek you out- and when I found your blog I was hooked immediately. I love the way you combine literature, love of reading, history and teaching all in one. Your reviews are fabulous and so in-depth. There’s tons of room for creativity and activities to help further elaborate a teaching theme. It’s wonderful!

3. Your blog, Enchanted by Josephine, is fabulous. How and when did you start blogging? What do you most appreciate of the blogoworld?

Thank you so much! I’ve basically been a reader all of my life- I actually used to write reviews for my students in order to entice them to read up on great books. One day, just like that, I decided to explore the online world to see what was out there in terms of history, literature and reviews. I was blown away with what I found. There is so much great material out there. So, I basically decided to start a blog to share my own passion for reading of history, and to share my finds. I can’t believe so much happened within one year.

4. Of course, you like reading a lot. What are your favourite authors, genres, books?
I love reading anything that has to do with history; both fiction and non-fiction. My all time favourite historical fiction author is Jean Plaidy. Although her books are classified as historical fiction, her work is incredibly accurate in terms of the history. I also love Jane Austen. Because of the quality of literature, wit and underlying wisdom between the lines, Austen is more than classic. As for a modern-day author of historical fiction, I would have to choose Sandra Gulland- her Josephine trilogy is superb. I also revel in reading real history and for that, there’s none other than historian-author, Vincent Cronin for me.

5. Apart from reading and blogging we share something else. Teaching?
Yes, we do! I specialize in teaching ESL and also train teachers in this area. Although I have moved onto doing more language consulting these days, where I create teaching manuals and language facilitation programs for companies and language institutions, I still take on a couple of classes a month. You know how it is...once a teacher, always a teacher.

6. Anything else I forgot? I mean, anything else we have in common…
Besides teaching, reading, blogging, Austen, love of the English language and literature...that’s quite a bit! I would have to add that our Italian roots are also another thing in common.

7. I’m fond of period drama and movies. What about you?

Oh, yes! That’s another one we have in common. I especially love historical movies- both at the theatre and on PBS or the History channel. I also make sure I get to watch every Austen movie. The ones that have played on television just recently, were pure delight for me.

8. Being of Italian origin, what do you think is typically Italian in you? (if you think you’ve got anything …)
For sure my love of family, the arts (in all forms), food and wine- striving for La Dolce Vita in general with a mix of being passionate to the extreme in all things I take on- I think is typically very Italian of me. Oh, and something else that you can’t see online: I talk with my hands (very practical when teaching a new language and need to be understood!) No, seriously, I’m very animated- I guess that falls into the Italian category as well  ; -)
I want to add a little anecdote if I may- without it being called stereotypical...cause this actually happened. I remember my mom always being the loudest when calling me from out to play- same was true for my aunt when calling in my cousins. Their voice carried through the streets of Montreal like sirens. Even kids 3 or 4 blocks away would know when we were being called in for lunch...so one day I said to my mom ‘people are always asking me why Italian Moms are so loud’—Her reply: ‘Maybe Italian Moms speak very loudly because their Italian children don’t listen very well!
Believe it or not, I now use the same line with my own children.

9. Which is the best thing / which, instead, the worst thing of living in Italy (for what you know or experience of it)
The best thing of living in Italy...I can only speak of my childhood summers spent in what I believe is Europe’s garden... I think Italy is the most breathtakingly beautiful country I’ve ever seen. I love the warmth of the people and the country and am always blown away by the art and the history. I particularly love the way Italians keep abreast of the times. Not only are they constantly innovating and creating, they are trend setters by nature.

10. With Antonella-lunarossa we played the game of “the one weakness”in her interview. I want to change it a bit … what do you think is your strength?
I would have to say that my greatest strength has got to be my capacity to take on various projects at a time. You can say that I work quite well under stress! This is partiularly useful when taking on new research involving reading and writing projects, course loads, mandates- But, most especially in my number one job of being a Mom.

Maria Grazia, I loved your questions...the only thing missing was the two of us sipping a delicious capuccino together.

I love cappuccino and black coffee, too. But very long coffee…this is not very Italian, I know. Hope to meet you in Italy and to have the chance to chat at a table sipping our cappuccino together, Lucy. Thank you so much for being my guest!


Christy B said...

No need to enter me; I already own the books.

I just wanted to say how jealous I am, Lucy, of you getting to go to Italy. I'm Italian American, myself, and have never been out of the country. I'd love to visit it one day.

Great interview, Maria!

Lucy said...

Maria Grazia- I love the way you posted this (especially with the photo of Venice!) Again, Thanks so much:)

Hey Christy- So nice to see you here! You have to make it a point to visit Italy-it really is breathtaking. You won't be disappointed, I promise:)

Mel u said...

Great interview-I am in her French reading challenge and have two reviews for that linked on her great blog-

please enter me in the great giveaway contest

readinglives (at) gmail (dot)com


Margay Leah Justice said...

I love period dramas, too, especially Jane Austen adaptations!

Roberta said...

OMG..."I love Lucy" as well...and am a fellow blogger and friend. But for some reason I did not know that she had Italian origins...guess I assumed she was french because of her blog...lol It's such a small world...because my "baby" (now 24) was born in Vicenza, Italy and I so want to go back some day and visit. This was such a great post and truly enjoyed learning more about my amazing blog friend! Fondly, Roberta

Anonymous said...

What a nice interview. I have been following Enchanted By Josephine for several months now. Now I know who is behind it.
With Fly High and Maria, I now have another one to check in on. I look forward to following both your blogs and exploring history with you.
I already have Pride and Prejudice.

librarypat AT comcast DOT net

Mystica said...

I loved the interview and am so glad that I was linked to the blog because thru it I came to know this one as well.

Would like to be counted in for this giveaway


Kirsten Steen said...

Great interview, but then of course, I adore Ms. Lucy! And I learned so much more about her today. I had no idea she had 5 children, or was from an Italian family. Maybe I haven't been following closely enough but absolutely loved learning all these wonderful things about this most magnificent woman!!
And you can sign me up because I am in need of reading more Austen!
Thanks for this interview and You Go, Lucy!

buddyt said...

Ms. Lucy seems eminently qualified to comment on historical novels with her background, so I shall have to pay close attention to her reviews.

I just wonder what her opinion is on all the Jane Austen "mash-ups" as they are called that have been appearing lately, e.g. Pride & Prejudice and Sea Monsters and so on.

Carol T

buddytho {at} gmail DOT com

Lucy said...

Hi Mel! I loved both your reviews!

Nice to see you here Margay:)

Roberta! I thought you knew my parents are both from Vicenza!! I think I may have mentioned it in my Verona post...but you- a baby born in Vicena? You've got to go back for avisit!

Thanks LibraryPat- it's wonderful to see you here! You will love this blog for sure:)

Hi Mystica:) This blog is wonderful and you'll love her reviews as well:)

Kirsten- you know I love you too ma belle!

Hello buddyt:) I haven't read any of the P & P monsters, or vampires...maybe they make for interesting reads, but for me, it's only Austen Classics, and some of the spin-off continuations (such as The Darcy Brothers). But when it comes to the sci-fi, or horror..not for me!

Unknown said...

Thanks Ms. Lucy for your great interview. I'm new to the historical fiction books or can it also be call gothic romance. I'm not sure.

I've started a collection and as a beginner in searching for great historical fiction books I'm glad you named a few such as Jean Plaidy, Sandra Gulland, and Vincent Cronin. I will be on a look out.

Alexa Adams said...

I've seen Ms. Lucy in comments before but I had never previously visited Enchanted by Josephine. I just got back and am now following. I don't read many contemporary books (except the Austen inspired) but my mother recommended the Josephine trilogy, which was wonderful.

lunarossa said...

Thanks for introducing Ms Lucy, MG. Her blog is sooo interesting! And yes, she's as beautiful as an actress and lives in one of my favourite countries, Canada. So lovely to meet all these new exciting ladies! Do you think we can find a man somewhere too? Ciao. A.

bianca_riot said...

Thanks Ms Lucy for a great interview!!, Im becoming captivated in the world of historical fiction, ill definitly check out Jean Plaidy, Sandra Gulland, and Vincent Cronin.


Michelle Stockard Miller said...

I had to stop by and show my support for my blogger friend Lucy! Great interview. Lucy truly is a wonderful blogger and so knowledgeable about history and historical fiction. An asset to the blogging world.

I am not entering the giveaway, as I already own both books. Thanks!

Miss Haley said...

Awesome interview. I'm a new fan of Austen! I'd love to be entered. haleymathiot@yahoo.com

Merrie L. said...

Love it! Thanks for the chance at this AWESOME giveaway! lockwoodmerrie@yahoo.com

Steffanie said...

Very nice interview, it would be great to win these books. steffanie771 at hotmail dot com