Interview with Novelist Laura T. Emery (What Remains of the Fair Simonetta)

Laura T. Emery has lived most of her life in Los Angeles, California, but spent most of her time and energy the past few years perusing the streets of Florence through literature, art, and Google Maps. She made several research trips to Florence in order to become fully immersed in the history and culture, hoping to one day retire with her husband in the Tuscany region of Italy.

Amazon link to What Remains of the Fair Simonetta:

Matthew Toffolo: What is the general theme and tone of your novels?

Laura T. Emery: I am working on the third book in a trilogy with the same protagonist, who is telling her stories from her urn. Despite this, my books have a romantic, lighthearted tone.

MT: Why should people buy your novels?

LTE: My novels are fast-paced, easy to read stories that will give you some interesting facts along the way.

MT: How would you describe your novels in just two words?

LTE: Lighthearted fun!

MT: What movie have you seen the most in your life?

LTE: I think that would be a tie between Point Break (the original) and Ever After. Yes, two totally different genres! I really liked the action and anti-conformist philosophy of Point Break, and of course it didn’t hurt that Keanu Reeves was in it! Ever After was a really smart romance with a great story in a historical setting.

MT: Was being a novel writer something you’ve always dreamed of doing?

LTE: No, in my youth I wanted to be a bunny rabbit (when my parents asked what I wanted to be) and later a professional singer. I didn’t start writing until I was older, but its been like a drug I can’t quit ever since.

MT: Do you have an all-time favorite novel? Have you read a novel more than once?

LTE: I read The Island Stallion multiple times as a youth. I loved all the Black Stallion books, but the Island Stallion was my favorite. Now, I can get into almost any genre, but love a good Dan Brown thriller, or the beautiful writing of Khaled Hosseini.

MT: What motivates you to write?

LTE: Almost anything, but usually at inconvenient times! A dream I awaken from, something that someone says, or just spacing out on a long drive I come up with ideas that I write on receipts, dictate into my phone, or jot into a journal conventionality located on my nightstand. If I experience writers block, I just fast forward to a pivotal scene (usually involving sex!) then go back and fill in the rest later.

MT: What artist would you love to have dinner with?

LTE: Botticelli! Assuming that is an “alive or dead” question! My latest novel, What Remains of the Fair Simonetta, is set in the Florentine Renaissance with Sandro Botticelli as a main character. Sigh.

MT: Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

LTE: I love Renaissance art history and really anything Italy: Art, food, culture, history. My husband and I are planning to retire there.

MT: Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?

LTE: So many! Find a writer’s group or other writers to exchange ideas with. Never send your work out into the world without having lots of other eyes look at it first. Write every day, even if its just a paragraph. Even if its a really crappy paragraph. It keeps you in the flow of writing. Mostly enjoy the process and don’t get too bogged down by the “rules.” Be creative! We’re in an anything goes time for writers. Take advantage!


Interviewer Matthew Toffolo is currently the CEO of the WILDsound FEEDBACK Film & Writing Festival. The festival that showcases 10-20 screenplay and story readings performed by professional actors every month. And the FEEDBACK Monthly Festival held in downtown Toronto on the last Thursday of every single month. Go to for more information and to submit your work to the festival.