Author Margareth Stewart - Got her Ph.D. in Social Psychology. She is a professor, author, and tutor. Italian mom of three, she is an activist and feminist who loves jogging and traveling.
Q1. Tell me about your self?
A. I’m Mônica Mastrantonio, and I’m also author Margareth Stewart. I’m Italian, but I’ve grown and spent much of my life in South America. I’ve grown fascinated with books and always an avid reader since early times. So I guess reading and writing are parts of me, just like two and two are four. But I’ve never given too much attention to this skill. I keep saying to myself - “yes, I write” - and I do - from poems to short stories and novels and both in English and Portuguese. These are my mother tongues and I feel comfortable writing in both. Most of the time, I prefer to write fiction in English because that’s what I used to do when I was a teen so most locals could not read my diaries and I can say now that’s how it all started.
Q2.What are your favorite books to read?
A. Wow, that’s hard for me because I’m very eclectic. I can read Shakespeare, then Russian literature Chekov. Next morning, sweep to French literature Proust and have Bocage for desert. Of course, I can’t miss Dante and why not mention one of the greatest Brazilian songwriter - Antonio Carlos Jobim - who immortalized “it’s better to be joyful than sad; joy is the carol Amaral thing there is ...” And I also read everyday things - Jojo, and much of what there is in independent book shops! I like reading books from the last century, too - especially the ones I find in thrift shops and used book stores.
'Q3. When did you decide you were going to write a book?
A. 2015. During a November Writing Month contest. Although I could not reach the word count, I had set myself back then, I booked my next holiday at a writers‘ residency and I was finally able to finish it. That’s how it all began. I was in Wales for the first time, and it was cold and rainy, and I had no other distraction, but to write it. I got 50.000 words in twenty days. The rest was nothing compared to the courage of sitting and writing down what I had to say during that time.
Q4. How did you come up with the name of your book?
A. I didn’t struggle with its name too long. I had a very clear vision of a scene of the book in my mind - when the workers at the winery chanted in a chorus to Pierre for him to open the wine’s bottle “open, open, open.” And this is where I took it from. But “open” can be too vague. So, it became, “Open - Pierre’s journey after the war.” Then, it came Mademoiselle-sur-Seine, but that’s even a longer story.
Q5. What are you working on for 2021
A. A thriller - Zero Chance. This is a hybrid novel - it’s got fiction and non-fiction facts intertwined. I reckon it’s going to be available this year :) hopefully.
Q6. How long have you been writing?
A. That’s hard to tell, as I told you - This is an old habit. And, I shall continue it. I’ve even got the next draft ready in my mind. Most of the time, it’s all a matter of finding a proper break from students and classes to dedicate me to it.
Q7.What advice would you give other authors?
A. Only write if you’ve got something really important to say! I take writing very seriously - not only in terms of publishing a book but producing literature. There is a great difference between those two.
Q8. Where can people find you online?
A. You can find my books as author Margareth Stewart at Smashwords, Amazon, Lulu, Barnes and Nobles, Kobo. All you need to do is to text my name on those websites - Margareth Stewart. They are all available as e.books and in paperback.
You can also find the anthologies I have compiled and edited at lulu.com. I have done five of them in the past and they are pretty amazing!
Q9. What is your favorite coffee drink?
A. Oh, expresso - Nespresso. I love it like Italians do. I love it so much that in my home the coffee machine is in the bedroom, so once o wake up, I can inspire and breathe the smell of coffee - first thing in the morning.
Q10. What is your favorite coffee shop?
A. Hard to tell. But there are Whole Foods markets in the US, and they’ve got the best expresso and almond croissant of the universe. Whenever I see a branch, I stop to fetch myself.
Q11. Do you plan on making a new book in the future?
A.Oh, yes, two projects are waiting for me.
Q12. How many books have you written?
A.About a couple of them.
Q13. Did you go to college to be a writer?
A. No, but I studied Psychology and took Social Psychology for a long. This background indeed helped me a lot because there is one thing I can understand is Human beings - us!