Marina Di Guardo, words can change your life

Marina Di Guardo has been into writing since she was a child. A hidden talent, a smoldering fire that flamed up in adulthood, when she found the words to write her first novel in 2010.

Marina, a talent revealed in several diverse works, a maturity in style that clearly emerges from her novels, and that now seems to have found its true nature.

Writing is extremely important to me. Eternally insecure, I used to think that I would have never made it, although my girls’ support has never wavered, and they have always encouraged me.

I sent my first novel, a relational drama, to many minor and major publishers, and I made sure that it was considered for its quality and value. Five months later, a very professional publishing house, Nulla Die, replied, and in 2012 my words were finally published in my novel L’inganno della Seduzione.

A crucial challenge for your self-confidence?

Indeed! I really needed to hear a professional opinion, and the success of my novel empowered me to pursue my writing career.

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Let’s say your style matured as you grew conscious of your skills, and today, all your works receive excellent reviews, and are greatly appreciated by readers.

I started from the relational dramas that characterize my first two novels. Non mi spezzi le ali met great success, and had an almost noir end. A surprising, unexpected end, and with support and guidance from my dear friend Sergio Altieri, who gave my artistic career a boost, this has become a peculiar trait of my work, taking me to noir thrillers.

Did “Bambole gemelle” result from this change in style?

Definitely. I grew more self-confident, and started believing more in my skills as I wrote a dark novel, even claustrophobic at times, which was published by Feltrinelli and featured in a digital series including authors like Erri De Luca, Banana Yoshimoto, Stefano Benni… it was a great honor for me to be part of this collection.

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Your novel “Frozen Body” seems to have anticipated what would happen to the world with the Coronavirus pandemic…

Not exactly. It is true that in my book, which is set in the future, I wrote about a disease that turns anyone it hits into a zombie. The dystopian novel concept is so intriguing, it narrates horrible, disturbing societies that often exaggerate the reality we are living.

How have you lived this time of isolation and social distancing?

As I think most of the people in the past few months, I was anguished, scared and astonished.

Not being able to see my family and friends – especially my daughters, whom I have a deep, special bond with – and being limited in my freedom really frightened me.

Covid truly caused panic. When I listened to and watched news on TV, I could feel the reporters’ and journalists’ distress and astonishment as they looked for a way to tell what was going on, while being scared themselves.

We have often heard of absurd epidemics – I am thinking of Ebola or Sars – but somehow they felt so far away from us that we had no fear.

So many people lost their lives here, it is impossible not to feel sad.

Marina, you are really committed to speaking up about violence against women. How did you teach your girls to look after themselves?

It is an issue that concerns me deeply, and that I especially explored in my book Come è giusto che sia.

I always told my girls, Valentina, Chiara and Francesca, that they should never accept anything but real love, and that respect is absolutely essential. This is something we should teach our children every day.

Who are your favorite writers?

I really like Sergio Altieri, I owe him so much.

His advice, his ability to understand what I intended to express enabled me to write, and this is why I dedicated my latest two books to him.

I also love Oscar Wilde, Pirandello, Edgar Allan Poe…

Marina, what are your projects for the future?

My future is writing, but I am really happy with two new projects that came of my work as a writer.

My book Come è giusto che sia is going to become a TV series, and a movie based on La memoria dei corpi  is now being made by a US production company. When I write, I develop the plot like a movie. I can see my characters acting, I describe them visually, although not going too much into detail, in order to stir my readers’ imagination.

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I am glad that these characteristics of my writing style are brought to life as movies, cinema is a form of art that I especially like.

Emanuela Zini
My professional life has been marked by several big changes that made me grow as a person and as a leader, develop new skills and mental flexibility, which in turn allows me to face challenges from a different, unique perspective. To me, writing represent a way to communicate with myself and with others. Telling stories and engaging my readers are the challenges that I am currently facing within a wider editorial project.

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