- Special Sections
- Public Notices
History buff, story performer and local author Joan Leotta is proud of her latest book, “Giulia Goes to War.”
Leotta’s historic novel is the first one of four she’s contracted to write for a “Legacy of Honor” series by Desert Breeze Publishing, an e-book publisher.
The novel deals with the coming-of-age of Giulia, a young Italian-American girl who leaves home to work in the war effort in the Wilmington shipyards. While on the job, Giulia falls in love with a man who is not Italian-American and whom her parents do not like.
Along the way, Giulia uncovers a plot to blow up the shipyard. “Defusing the efforts of the German spy machine proves easier than convincing her parents to let her marry someone who is not an Italian-American,” reads a press release about the book.
The story detailing “life on the home front” during World War II is suitable for young adults and adult readers, Leotta says.
The Brunswick Plantation resident says “Giulia” was originally a short story, inspired by a friend named Julia—with a “J.”
“The scene where [Giulia is] met on the train and [her love] whirls her around as he takes her off the train—that really happened to [Julia] post World War II,” says Leotta, herself an Italian-American and Pittsburgh native who is married to a real-life Italian-American, her husband Joe.
The fictional part of the novel comes in when Leotta put her character into the context of the shipyard.
For her expanded novel series, Leotta brought in Giulia’s little sister, who will have connections to the Korean War for the second e-book she’s working on now.
“Their child could come into Vietnam, and their grandchildren into Desert Storm, so I proposed a four-book series,” she said.
Leotta writes what’s called “sweet romance” novels—“nothing more than a chaste-kiss book,” she says. “That’s an actual category in romance.”
All of her books in the series will fit that category, she says, “because that’s just me. I’m not interested in writing or reading about anything more than that.”
Leotta loves to do research for her chosen genre of novels that draw from history but take literary license as well. And she provides notes in the book for every section where she departed from fact and embellished history.
Research, she says, is “easier than writing.”
“Giulia Goes to War” is available on Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble’s website or from www.desertbreezepublishing.com.
The novel is available in different formats, including PDF file for readers who want to print it out instead of onto an e-reader.
Follow Leotta’s blog at www.joanleotta.wordpress.com.
Leotta says she worked hard to make the characters in her book likable.
You can also “like” Leotta on Facebook at “Joan Leotta, author and performer.”
If people like her, “That helps me,” she says.
Leotta also offered another tidbit and hint about her books:
“I love happy endings,” she says.
Laura Lewisis a staff writer at the Beacon. Reach her at 754-6890 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.