Featured Interview With Marianne Sciucco
Tell us a little about yourself. Where were you raised? Where do you live now?
I’m not a nurse who writes but a writer who happens to be a nurse. A lover of words and books, I dreamed of becoming an author when I grew up but became a nurse to avoid poverty. I later brought my two passions together and write about the intricate lives of people struggling with health and family issues. I grew up near Boston and earned my Bachelor’s degree in English at the University of Massachusetts at Boston. I spend a lot of time on Cape Cod. I also survived nursing school and when not writing work as a campus nurse at a community college in New York’s Hudson Valley, where I live with my patient and reliable husband and beautiful, brainy daughter. We are ruled by Mr. Chance, a cat we rescued who thinks he rescued us. I’m currently working on a YA novel, “Swim Season,” about the new girl on the team who challenges a longstanding school record, to be released in 2015. A dedicated Swim Mom for ten years, you can find me during swim season at one of many Skyline Conference swim meets cheering for my daughter and her team. 25:00!
At what age did you realize your fascination with books? When did you start writing?
I’ve always written, and dreamed of becoming a professional writer as a child, when I would staple together pieces of notepaper and write stories. My goal in high school was to become a journalist, and in college I worked on the student newspaper, eventually becoming editor-in-chief. After graduation, my attempts to find work as a reporter failed, so I eventually went into nursing. I put away my typewriter and stifled my wild mind, which constantly fed me ideas for stories and articles I had no time to write. Years later a manager at the hospital I worked for started a newsletter for the nursing department. I volunteered my services and soon took over the whole project. This got me started writing articles for publication and soon I embarked on my first novel. I guess I’ve come full circle.
Who are your favorite authors to read? What is your favorite genre to read. Who Inspires you in your writings?
I’m an eclectic reader. I don’t stick to one genre. Here are some of the books and authors who inspire me:
Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen, because it’s the ultimate romance novel, timeless, and beautifully executed. Jane never goes out of style. If I could only keep one book on my shelf it would be my “Complete Novels of Jane Austen.”
Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant, by Anne Tyler, which I read during my first trip to California, and hooked me on Tyler, who is one of my favorite authors – I’ve read all of her books – and someone I actually had the privilege to meet.
True to Form, by Elizabeth Berg, another favorite author. I discovered this book while at the gym, flipping through a Good Housekeeping magazine as I took on the treadmill. I often read while exercising. The excerpt enthralled me so I went out and got the book, which not only inspired me to read everything she’s written but motivated me to start writing my own books. Thanks Elizabeth.
Gap Creek, by Robert Morgan. Oh, he gives me goose bumps, such a beautiful writer. He weaves a magical story and pulls you into his country so you feel like you were born there.
Angela’s Ashes, by Frank McCourt. Incredibly real and moving, dark and full of light at the same time.
Tell us a little about your latest book?
While at work as a nurse case manager in a rehabilitation unit, I met an elderly couple who inspired my characters Jack and Sara in my novel Blue Hydrangeas. She had Alzheimer’s and he was physically frail. The amazing thing about them was that they’d driven from Florida to New York by themselves without any incident. Unfortunately, once home, she fell and broke her pelvis and landed in the hospital. That’s where I came in, to assist with the discharge plan. She was supposed to go to a local nursing home for continued rehab and her son planned to drive her and her husband there on discharge day. I completed their plans and said goodbye, but couldn’t stop thinking about them, wondering what would happen if they somehow left the hospital without their son and did not go to the rehab. Where would they go? What would they do? My wild imagination took off, and the seeds for the novel took root. My hope is that those who are unfamiliar with this disease come away from this book with knowledge and understanding of what it does to those affected and their loved ones. For those who are familiar with this disease and live with it every day, I wish to give them hope, comfort, and the knowledge that they are not alone.
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