If you go looking for a common theme in the personal story of Isabella Franconetti, the Roman writer hiding behind the pen name of Giulia Beyman, it would be an ink quill. Following a long and successful career as journalist and scriptwriter for TV, Giulia decided to begin a new professional chapter, writing mystery novels as independent author.
Giulia described her personal path as almost a compulsion: “Writing is often seen as passion, merely recreational. But if it does become something you cannot give up, then you need to take it to a professional level, otherwise it will take up your spare time. This was the case for me.”
“eBooks potentially have an eternal life, as the book is always available for all readers to look up”
Writing to its fullest
For 10 years, Giulia worked as freelance journalist for top newspapers like Italian daily Corriere della Sera before she specialized in scriptwriting. She spent about 10 more years working in television, writing for successful TV dramas in Italy.
This experience prepared Giulia for her debut as an author: “Journalism imposes a constant refinement of style, while scriptwriting is a synthetic and more technical kind of writing: it helps you understand how to structure a story and add a three-dimensional level to a character.” All this converged in the creation of her first novel: “It’s the kind of writing I prefer,” she says. “As a scriptwriter, I was missing the chance to create stories freely, without limitations and without asking for permission.”
And it’s from a script idea that Nora Cooper, the lead female character in Giulia’s fictional crime novels, was conceived. “I had a protagonist in mind, an idea that I wasn’t ready to dismiss. TV productions can move very slowly, and I didn’t want to wait.” In 2011, Giulia participated in the Women’s Fiction Festival in Matera: “I discovered the world of American independent authors and heard about Kindle Direct Publishing, the platform dedicated to independent publishing within Amazon, which back then was not available in Italy. I seized the opportunity,” she recalls.
“I plunged into this adventure with enthusiasm: in very little time, I wrote the story and uploaded it online.” Giulia collects information, tests, learns about text formats, blogging and social media and works on the second book in her series. The results are visible within a few months: Giulia’s first novel enters the best-seller chart on the Italian Kindle store and remains there for over 600 days. “This was revolutionary for me: in the world of traditional publishing, new entries that don’t sell enough are replaced very quickly. Instead, eBooks potentially have an eternal life, as the book is always available for all readers to look up.”
In two years, the sales of Giulia’s books on the Kindle store have increased dramatically. “I translated the first two novels into English: the first book was published by Amazon Crossing last July. In Italy, I have just launched the fourth book of the series, La mia ragazza torna in città (“My girlfriend is coming back to town”).”
Thanks to the success of her eBooks, Giulia has contributed with a romance novel to a collection of digital works launched by Italian publisher Rizzoli.
One of the aspects she appreciated the most about independent publishing is the cooperation: “I am constantly in touch with a group of colleagues, we share experiences, suggestions, mistakes. And then you have the readers, who reach out to you asking for information. It’s amazing how easy the relationship between readers and writers is, that’s what makes it more enjoyable.”
The pseudonym ‘Giulia Beyman’ was created at the start of her literary adventure: “I wanted it to be part of the imaginary world of my books. And now, after over three years, I feel part Giulia, part Isabella and even a bit like Nora, who’s in me and sometimes speaks up,” she adds with a smile.
“Nora says often: ‘Everything happens for a reason’,” Giulia says; and there is certainly a reason why her adventure with the ink quill has allowed her to become a successful author.