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Plunge into the heart of Italy with The Diver in our interview with Veronica Carratello

 

The charming and colourful picture book The Diver is out now! Veronica Carratello is an illustrator and comic book artist who has worked with a number of clients including Netflix, Circle Dei Lettori, and has been a part of several exhibitions throughout Italy. We had a chat with Veronica and here she shares more about herself and her story…

1. Your book brings out essential topics that children and also adults deal with throughout their lives such as the self-confidence to believe in and achieve their own dreams. How did you come up with the idea of this beautiful story?

The idea came to me by chance. I could not sleep and I started thinking about how coins are flipped into fountains to make wishes, and I asked myself, what if the coin had a dream of its own? And then I started to develop the story.

At the beginning, Emma was a minor character. But after developing the story with the editor’s advice she became a main character alongside the coin, and the story shows their two lives happening side-by-side. Emma represents commitment to achieving a dream, and the coin represents strength of character. Both of them have moments of concern, as it usually happens in life.

2. Italy is well-known for its Trevi Fountain coin toss tradition and all the popular beliefs about it. Did you draw your inspiration from it to shape the personality of your main character?

Yes, I draw my inspiration from it and I’m fascinated by popular beliefs. If you toss a coin into Trevi Fountain, which I did, it means that you’ll return to Rome one day. But there is also a legend that if you flip a penny into a fountain and make a wish, it will come true.

I have to confess that before sending you the proposal of my book The Diver, I flipped a coin into a fountain too… and my wish came true!

3. Did you put yourself into your characters?

Like my characters, I believe in dreams, and my favourite quote is “If you can dream it, you can do it!” by Walt Disney. I like it because you can convince yourself that nothing is impossible, like the coin’s dream of being a diver, but I think that to achieve our goals, we also need to work hard and be determined, like Emma.

4. If you could have done something different as a child to achieve a dream as an adult, what would you do?

I would probably be a musician. I’ve always had a passion for music: a few years ago I wrote songs and played guitar in a band, I think it’s a nice way to tell a story too.

5. What is the main thing you want readers to learn from your book?

The main thing I want my readers to learn is that it doesn’t matter how small you are or how big your dream is, if you work hard and you really want it, your dream will come true!