'MY FAMILY SIZED PIZZA'
Why I wrote the book
The original version of My Family Sized Pizza was titled Wogaluccis and published 2002 in Australia only. This version has been rewritten to today's audience and has been made more international. My parents migrated from Italy in the early 60's therefore I grew up with not only coal dust and drizzly days but with a strong Italian community who had settled together in Australia.
Although famous for my salami, melenzane and stinky cheese sandwiches at primary school, they didn't particularly make me a social hit! This upbringing brought fodder to the story of Angela and her family.
My Family Sized Pizza is semi-autobiographical - a lot of the school, wedding and restaurant scenes actually happened. The characters are a mix of my mother, sister, neice, myself as a teen and sprinkled with elements of my Italian ex mother-in-law! The angst and dramas suffered by main character, Angela were real and there was many a day when writing the book that Angela and I commiserated together!
I like to tell a story but with humour, thus the true, gritty, racial, and emotional moments told through comedic moments.
Angela lives with her grandparents who run a restaurant, Fioruccis, rechristened Hoochies by the mega cool Rachael Blake and her wannabe groupies. How can Angela discover herself when she feels as if she's smothered in spaghetti sauce and drowning in olive oil? Add two scheming Italians with a grand matchmaking plan, Simon who wants to be more than friends, a controlling Nonna who won't let her wear jeans and Angela's sheer Italianicity- all getting in the way of her search for independence.
I got home from school one afternoon and there were heaps of cars parked outside Nonno and Nonna’s place. Something was wrong. Nonno hadn’t been feeling so good that morning.
I could hear moaning. Did I really want to go inside? I walked down the side to the backyard and found Nonno asleep on the garden chair. He was under his olive tree with a big bottle of vino on his lap. Phew! He was OK.
The moaning from inside sounded like chanting. Had Nonna joined a cult or something? I went in and found the house full of Italian women. They were on their knees praying …to a huge statue of Mary! Mumbling and fiddling with their rosary beads, but at the same time checking me out. Multi-talented women!
Oh no! It was Nonna’s monthly rosary meeting. But this time it was at our place. If I’d known I’d have gone to the library with Sarina.
“Angelina! Mamma Mia how you have grown!” Signora Romanelli was looking straight at my boobs.
“Oh, you look just like Elena, you mudder,” Signora Vesta did the sign of the cross and looked at me sadly. It’s not me that’s dead, you idiot.
“Madonna, is dis little Angelina? She’s a big gal!” Signora Della Something was looking at my bum. I needed a quick escape, but the statue blocked the way to my bedroom. There it was – halfway up the stairs.
“Angelina, vieni qua,” Nonna called. “Come on”. She had her arm around one of her friends.
“Dis is Signora Bertolini.” This lady I’d never met before grabs me by the cheeks with her fingers and thumbs.
“Quanda si bella!” She was shaking my face but half of my face was still in her hands. Yes. I’m beautiful, but I’m going to need plastic surgery if you don’t cut it out!
“You know who dis is?” Nonna asked. “Signora Bertolini. The Nonna of dat boy I tell you about.” She winked.
Ohhhh! Dat boy! The one you want me to marry.
Nonna and Mrs. Bertolini knelt at the bottom of the stairs and looked up at the statue. I looked at the statue of Mary, I looked down at Nonna and Signora Bertolini – two interfering grandmothers. What if the statue lost balance? The very heavy statue would topple down and … that would be the end of the matchmaking!
eBook can be purchased at Solstice or Amazon
print copies will be available later this year
Who is Josie Montano?
Josie is an award-winning author of over 40 books. She has been internationally published and writes fiction under the name of MONTANO and non-fiction resources on Asperger Syndrome under the pseudonym of SANTOMAURO.
From age nine Josie annoyed her librarian by shelving her self-published books for borrowing and being the most diligent library monitor there was! She then went on to receive her first rejection letter from Golden Books at age thirteen. But that didn't stop her, decades later - finally she has 'real' published books on those shelves!
Josie draws on her varied life experiences to help her with her writing, interesting experiences such as being involved in a bank robbery, working within the primary school environment, surviving cancer, growing up within an Italian community, winning the major prize on ‘Wheel of Fortune’ and as a volunteer member of the State Emergency Services.
She loves coffee, chocolate, amateur theatre, going to the movies, and being silly, witty and humorous.
My website is www.booksbyjosie.com.au
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