International Women’s Day

Today is International Women’s Day, and we wanted to take a few minutes to celebrate by sharing a special Q&A session with WNBA-LA’s new president, Diana Giovinazzo!

Q: Tell us more about yourself and your upcoming book.

A: The Woman in Red is the inspiring story of Anita Garibaldi. She was the wife of Giuseppe Garibaldi who was one of the men who made Italy what it is today. Anita was a fierce woman. We start with her childhood as a gaucho in Brazil, she becomes a freedom fighter in Brazil and Uruguay. When unification starts to take shape in Italy she goes there and helps with the cause. Often times she fought while pregnant. She really is an unknown feminist icon. 

Q: As a writer, what are your major influences?

A: I love women’s history. There are so many stories of women who did amazing and at times outlandish things. Their stories inspire me and make me want to keep writing. 

I am also very inspired by my Italian heritage. A lot of the history that I look at comes from the simple question “Where did I come from?” And knowing these events are something that my ancestors lived through fascinates me.

Q: How did you discover historical fiction?

A: I have always been a fan of historical fiction. When the Other Boleyn Girl came out, I became obsessed with all of her books. But it really wasn’t until I started writing The Woman in Red that something clicked, and I found myself saying “This is the genre for me.”

Q: How did you come to be a part of WNBA?

A: I became a part of WNBA in 2017. Right before Natalie became president. There was a facebook ad for the short story contest. I submitted a story but didn’t win. Because of that I got curious and joined the board shortly thereafter.

Q: How has WNBA helped you in your writing journey?

A: Natalie organized a pitch and query workshop led by Marilyn Atlas when I was submitting the Woman in Red to various agents (and getting no where I might add). That night after the workshop I went home and reworked my query letter. Less than a month later I had my agent and a little over a month after that I signed my first contract with Grand Central Publishing. 

Q: What advice do you have for aspiring authors?

A: The first and most obvious one is READ. And when I say read, I mean read everything from the back of shampoo bottles to the classics. 

The other piece of advice that I don’t think gets talked about enough is find your tribe. Writing can be a solitary thing, we hide away at our desks or in bed and scribble out some sentences on a page. But having that tribe of friends that you can rely on is so vital to the writing process. You need people that will cheer you on when things get hard, who can mentor you and to even share books with you (bringing it full circle to my first point: read!)

Q: What are some authors that you can’t get enough of?

A: I am a proud member of the Elena Ferrante fan club. I find her books to be brilliant and beautifully poignant. I am also first in line to buy anything written by Gwendolyn Womack, Greer Macallister, Kate Quinn or Heather Webb.

Q: What are you currently reading?

A: I am currently reading The Borgias Confessions by Alyssa Palombo. She is another author that I just love. Her latest book is scandalous in all the right ways.

Q: Who inspires you?

A: In writing Anita Garibaldi she became my personal heroine. Who she was and what she did was so inspiring that I wanted to be like her in so many ways.

Q: What hobbies do you have outside of writing?

A: If I am not writing you can usually find me at Disneyland to be quite honest. Though I have been known to go there with a book in hand, those lines get long! I’m also a knitter and an animal lover. 

Q: If you could go to any place in the world, where would you go and why?

A: This summer my husband and I are planning a trip to Rome. Anita Garibaldi is buried at the base of her statue. When I was writing this book, I made a promise that if I were to ever get it published I would go there to pay my respects. 

Preorder a copy of Diana’s book, The Woman in Red by clicking here.

Want to hear more great things from Diana?  Join us at the WNBA-LA Meet & Greet on March 21st at Toolbox LA, 1-3pm.

From Our President:

Dear Members,

As you probably know, I joined WNBA-L.A. in 2017 as the Communications Chair. My goal was to re-vamp the website and combine the Judy Lopez Awards site with the site and to produce welcome materials for new members. I was able to accomplish those goals but as incoming President, I wanted to do more.

As President, my goal was to roll out online programming for our chapter. As the saying goes Woman Plans and God laughs.

In my professional life, I  was hired to compose music for TV/Film projects which resulted in my signing an international recording contract. As my music business has grown, it has required a lot of travel and all of my focus. I have been busy in the recording studio writing and producing for other artists as well as for my own upcoming releases.

As a WNBA-LA volunteer, I  have not been able to launch new programs as much as I wanted, nor was I able to launch our online resources and online video courses.

I’ve put an immense amount of thought into this (and frankly, have been postponing this decision).


The time has come for me to step down as WNBA-LA Chapter President.

What does that mean?

Fortunately, we have an awesome Vice-President who will be taking over as President. Diana Giovinazzo is strong, capable, accessible and witty. As a published author she will be a great leader and teacher. Her debut novel will be out this summer and I for one cannot wait.

We also have an amazing incoming VP who is a highly regarded literary influencer. Jennifer Holmes has been hosting literary events for years and is a go-to person for most of the big publishing companies. When they want to get a book out to the masses, Jennifer is their go-to girl. She is deeply connected in the literary community and if you mention her name to most book publicists and publishers they will happily sing her praises.

As an all-volunteer organization, WNBA-LA relies on woman-power to produce our programming. If you have any interest in joining the board, there are several open positions that you could assist WNBA-LA in deepening the literary mission.

Thanks again for your great support. It’s been one fun journey, and I hope to see you backstage someday.

With Love,

Time to Par-Tea!

There is something magical about a hot cup of tea and a good book. The way the tea comforts your body while the book tends to your soul. We thought we would put together a few tea recommendations to go with the books that will be featured at our Fall Literary Tea, this Saturday at the Chado Tea House.

Starting off with Gwendolyn Womack’s book, The Time Collector, we’ll suggest a nice Oolong tea. In The Time Collector, Roan West can see the history of any object that he touches. Given that Oolong has a long rich history in China we think that Roan would be all about the artisanal blends with notes of orange or passion fruit.

Moving on to The Marriage Clock, we suggest a Chai. This book is a heartwarming story that will have you swooning and Leila, our main character is a sweet (yet spicy) girl who isn’t afraid to speak her mind in order to discover her own truth. That’s why we suggest a good chai. It will warm your heart and leave you with a sweet after taste.

Finally, we look at The Last year of The War, and with this novel, we suggest a Blue Flower Earl Grey. Not to be confused with English Breakfast. An earl grey with its smooth bergamot flavor would be a lovely accompaniment to this heartfelt story of friendship and loss. We specifically suggest the blue flower earl grey because the blue cornflower buds add lovely citrus notes so that you too can remember that important childhood friendship.

Purchase tickets here, and get ready to Par-Tea!

Drinks with Janna King!


If you are looking for a fun and relaxing way to network within the book world, then make sure to at the Tonga Hut Tiki Lounge this Friday (11/8).  Join WNBA-LA board members and author Janna King for cocktails, conversation, and networking.

Janna King, author, screenwriter, playwright and director, is a LA local and is ready to meet and greet fans and booklovers over a few drinks.  Make sure to stop by for a not to be missed networking experience.

Visit the facebook event page for more info or stop by the Tonga Hut Tiki Lounge(12808 Victory Blvd, North Hollywood, California 91606) Friday at 7pm.

Let’s Get Ready to Write!

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is only days away.  Are you ready?  Here are a few tips to help you prepare to write 50,000 words by the end of the month:

      1.  Write a synopsis. Take a few minutes to jot down the main points of your novel before NaNoWriMo kicks off.  Not quite ready to flesh it out?  That’s okay!  Start by jotting down some plot or character details and maybe they will find their way into your writing.
      2. Make a playlist. Seasoned NaNoWriMo winners suggest making an inspirational playlist that gets your writing juices flowing.  Find those jams that make you feel great and get your playlist ready.
      3. Create a writing space. Having a designated space to write can make it easier and more comfortable for daily writing.  You don’t need a lot of space, just a cozy corner or a spot at the dining room table.  Find a place where you can set up to get those daily words on paper.
      4.  Schedule time to write. One of the hardest parts of NaNoWriMo is finding time to write your daily word average.  If you miss several days, it can feel intimidating to get back on track.  Schedule time each day to sit down and write and stick to it.  The words will add up before you know it!
      5. Find your support network.  Writing 50,000 words in a month takes time and dedication.  Find a support network to keep you moving towards your goal.  There are several options for creating a supportive writing community.  NaNoWriMo offers weekly write-ins for regional groups all over the US.  Another great option for WNBA-LA members is Incite to Write, a new facebook  group to help keep you motivated and writing and take your writing all the way  Not a member, don’t miss out on all the fun.  Join Today!