About the Author
Rose Marie Calicchio Dunphy was born in the region of Puglia, Italy, in Castellaneta (the same town as silent film star Rudolph Valentino). She is one of only three women who immigrated to the U.S. from Italy and have written about their experience.
A New York State-licensed Science and English teacher (BA from St. Joseph’s College, MA from Stony Brook University), she is an author, editor, public speaker and excellent cook. She’s been interviewed by The Palm Beach Post, Channel 11 News in Phoenix and in a number of online sites in the U.S. and Italy. She is a winner of Dan’s Papers 2015 Literary Prize for Non-Fiction.
Her books include:
1-Orange Peels and Cobblestones, a novel based on a true experience.
2-Ciottoli e Bucce D’Arancia, the Italian translation of the novel.
3-That First Bite-Chance or Choice, a non-fiction book about eating disorders using the 12-Step Program of AA to deal with and heal from the disease.
4-The Scent of Italian Cooking, a book of recipes gleaned from generations of Italian women and men that delight everyone's nostrils and palates.
5-The Love of Your Life, a compilation of many of her essays and stories published in THE NEW YORK TIMES, NEWSDAY, THE CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR, THE EAST HAMPTON STAR and in numerous magazines across the country.
What does your writing process look like? What is your favorite genre to write?
I love to write essays and novels. And I love reading them.
What book do you wish you could have written?
I wish I had written “Little Women,” “East of Eden” and “The Help.” I love them.
Just as your books inspire authors, what authors have inspired you to write?
Obviously, Louisa May Alcott and Steinbeck
If you could cast your characters in the Hollywood adaptation of your book, who would play your characters?
I would love to see Isabella Rossellini play the character Stella. There would be many Italian songs played during the different scenes in the movie, most notably throughout, “A Time to Say Goodbye.”
How important are names to you in your books? Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning? Do you have any name choosing resources you recommend?
Yes, I chose names based on their meanings. Stella for the mother who’s head is in the stars, who dreams of stardom; Marietta, because it sounds like a marionette or puppet who is controlled by others.
What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?
Probably my novel, “Orange Peels and Cobblestones.” It’s based on a true event and it took years to write it.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Still writing, to have written one or two other novels, to have been published in literary magazines, and to have Orange Peels and Cobblestones been made into a movie.
Were you already a great writer? Have you always liked to write?
From my early years in school I always loved to write. My grades reflected it, too. Writing has been a source of meditation, therapy and consolation and pleasure for me.
What writing advice do you have for other aspiring authors?
Write every day and read every day. Your first draft should be from your heart and passion. Then once you have down what you want to say, you can let your head in to organize, revise, fix whatever needs fixing.
If you didn't like writing books, what would you do for a living?
I love teaching, which I did for a number of years. I also would love to be a news reporter or news castor or work as an editor or be a lawyer.
Do you read your reviews? Do you respond to them, good or bad? Do you have any advice on how to deal with the bad?
I read them, but I do not respond to them except to thank them. If and when you get negative reviews, it’s best to leave them alone. Positive or negative, it is still publicity.
What is your best marketing tip?
Tell as many people that you know about your books written and to come. Post on your social media. Hire a publicist, if you can afford it. The best is to try to make contacts in the publishing field.
What is your least favorite part of the publishing / writing process?
Marketing as the key is contacts and money for publicity.
Is there one subject you would never write about as an author? What is it?
I don’t think I would write about paranormal subjects. I like real life, human interactions, relationships.
Is there a certain type of scene that's harder for you to write than others? Love? Action? Racy?
Probably a sex scene. I’ve yet to write one that is explicit.
Is this your first book? How many books have you written prior (if any?)
I have written 5 books. Orange Peels and Cobblestones, a love story and coming-of-age novel that takes place in Italy, NY and CA, based on a true experience; Ciottoli e Bucce D’Arancia, the Italian translation of the novel; The Love of Your Life, a compilation of many of my published essays and shorter pieces; The Scent of Italian Cooking, a cookbook of Italian and Italian-American recipes handed down to me by many generations of fine Italian cooks; That First Bite Chance or Choice, a self-help book on food addictions which I co-wrote with an expert in the field.
What literary character is most like you?
No sole character, but parts of different characters. I’m a little bit like Jo and Beth in Little Women, Scooter in The Help. I’m traditional and yet a free spirit.
What is your biggest fear?
That I will never write all the things I want to write about.
What are you working on now? What is your next project?
I’m working on my second novel and trying to market a few essays that I have written recently.