The Heroine’s Journey of Rita Massaro

What is the best thing that I love about my work?

The thing I love the most about my job is the chance of living all the lives from the stories that I read and write. I love to enter an imaginary world in which the characters that I read and write about come to life and move as they really exist. It’s all very exciting and makes you understand that life itself can be as much thrilling as a novel or a film. 

What is my idea of happiness?

To me happiness is living intensely each and every day with the people I love; looking in the mirror and being satisfied with myself, being proud of what I have done; being able to use my mistakes as opportunities. A good challenge!

What is my greatest fear?

My biggest fear is to separate myself from the people I love.

What is the trait that I most deplore in myself?

I have a hard time admitting to myself that I made a mistake.

Which living persons in my profession do i most admire?

Those writers who have been able to tell reality, leaving a mark and making us reflect on the time we live in (Dacia Maraini, Elif Shafak, Isabel Allende and many others).

What is my greatest extravagance?

On my Facebook profile there is a highlighted group: “I’ll spend all my money on travels”! I don’t know if it’s an extravagance, but for me there is no competition between a jewel or a luxury item and a journey.

On what occasion would I lie?

I am a loyal and sincere woman, I’m unable to lie. But I always try to find the right words if I have to tell some hurting truths.

What is the thing that I dislike the most in my work?

The risk that many talents remain unknown, because nobody wants to publish them.

When and where was I the happiest, in my work?

During book presentations, when a nice dialogue rises between authors and readers.

If I could, what would I change about myself?

I would like to be more flexible in being able to change direction, when needed.

What is my greatest achievement in work?

When someone tells me that something I wrote was useful to them.

Where would I most like to live?

I would like to live in New York or in the English countryside, but only for a while. Then, I would like to come back home.

What is my most treasured possession?

My family.

What is my most marked characteristic?

I love travelling in every way: discovering new places, physically, or through books, cinema, theater and everything makes my mind travel.

What is my most inspirational location, in my city?

Palermo is a city full of history, where many different cultures have met. The Cassaro and via Maqueda, the central streets inspire me a lot.

What is my favorite place to eat and drink, in my city?

The Pelle D’Oca restaurant, in Piazza Marina. They make great roast chicken. Cheppalle, in via Maqueda for street food, arancine in particular (typical food of my land).

What books influenced my life and how?

Many classics I read during my adolescence influenced my emotional and thinking growth. Just a few examples: Giorgio Bassani’s “The Garden of the Finzi-Continis” made me feel the thrills of adolescence at the racial laws times, “1984” by George Orwell taught me to observe and analyze reality in spite of appearances and showed me the importance of freedom. “The Leopard” by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa clarified me a lot about the history of my land, Sicily, demonstrating how the comprehension of our present can be improved by knowing the past. “To Each His Own” by Leonardo Sciascia was the novel that “explained” me what the mafia was. And I could go on endlessly.

You Only Die Once. What music would I listen on my last day?

“The Sound of Silence”, by Simon & Garfunkel.

Who is my hero or heroine in fiction?

Elizabeth Bennet, she is smart and ironic. Ulysses, cunning and hungry for knowledge.

Who are my heroes and heroines in real life?

Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino, heroes of our times killed by the mafia. People like Gino Strada, who founded Emergency, a humanitarian association, to take care of the weakest ones and provide medical assistance in territories torn by wars and other calamities. But, in general, all those who fight for the good of humanity, often risking their own lives.

Which movie would i recommend to see once in a lifetime?

“I cento passi” (“One Hundred Steps”), the story of Peppino Impastato, one of the many victims of the mafia.

What role play stories in my life and work?

Stories are everything in my work. I tell stories or I read or work on stories written by others. And, even in life, I love hearing other people’s stories. I think that every lived life has something interesting, worthy of being told.

What do the words ‘You are the storyteller of your own life’ to me?

They tell me that each of us is the architect of his own destiny and his own history. We are the ones who decide whether to be protagonists or mere spectators of our life.

Who is my greatest fan, sponsor, partner in crime?

The writer Monica Spatola, with whom we created a perfect alchemy in our work but also a great friendship in life. Together we founded the publishing services agency “Il Velo Dipinto – Agenzia di servizi editoriali e ghostwriting”.

Which people or companies would I like to work with in 2021?

The desire of every writer is to be published by great publishing houses, to be sold in all bookstores and to be translated into other languages is like a dream come true. I really would like one day to be published by Sellerio (whose manager is Antonio Sellerio), not only a great publisher, but also a historical brand in my city, Palermo. In addition to this, other great Italian publishers such as Feltrinelli, Mondadori, Garzanti, Rizzoli, Giunti, Longanesi, Baldini & Castoldi, Edizioni E/O, Newton Compton, etc.

Which people in my profession who can make a real difference in my creative career would i love to meet in 2021?

Great writers, who I admire a lot, like Dacia Maraini and Simonetta Agnello Hornby, or good literary agents like Silvia Meucci, Rita Vivian or Vicki Satlow.

What project, in 2021, am I looking forward to work on?

At the national finale of the cultural event Biennale MArteLive, to be held in December 2021 in Rome. Monica Spatola and I are part of the jury for the literature section for our agency Il Velo Dipinto

Where can you see me or my work in 2021?

You can find my books on Amazon or other online platforms. You can find all the projects, works and events I participate on the website and on the social pages of Il Velo Dipinto – Agenzia di servizi editoriali e ghostwriting.

What do the words “Passion Never Retires” mean to me?

Passion is the salt of life and it has no age limit, it keeps us young forever. You get older when you are no longer able to develop a passion for something.

Which creative heroines should Peter invite to tell their story?

Monica Spatola, writer.

Giusi Pulvirenti, travel agent.

As a hero: Massimo Arciresi, film critic

How can you contact me?

You can contact me at all my social media profiles or at the pages or e-mail of the editing services agency Il Velo Dipinto – Agenzia di servizi editoriali e ghostwriting

This is the link to my author page on Amazon:

Here are the links to the most recent books:

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