Warwick writer lands US book deal
A LONG struggle with depression and other issues left Frankie Lo Giudice searching for an outlet, and this year he found not one but two.
After a tough few years living and working in Toowoomba, Frankie came home to Warwick for a few days, before a planned move to the Gold Coast.
Months later he's still here and he's kicking goals.
This week Frankie announced he'd been signed to a book deal with a publisher in the US.
This comes less than six months after setting his heart on becoming a writer.
In that same time, he's turned his parent's overgrown Guy St backyard into a thriving market garden.
"A while back a friend gave me a book of poetry and inspirational thoughts by Australian writer, Beau Taplin,” Frankie said.
"I got hooked on it, I loved his deep thoughts and after a while I started to write things down, and it came easily.
"When you talking about hitting rock bottom, there are plenty of people out there who can relate to it.”
With an ever-growing following (it's currently up to 1100) on his @appetite_to_write Instagram account, Frankie started to write and intersperse his words with images snapped in his burgeoning garden.
Quickly the fans grew and people started to take notice.
"Everyday, someone would message me to chat, from India or the UK, everywhere,” Frankie said.
"One person told me about a competition a US publishing house was running. They were looking for five poets to publish, so I got in touch and things went from there.
"I sent them some of my work and they loved it, then they sent me a contract.”
Frankie said he had a few sets of eyes look over the contract.
"I signed it last week,” he said.
"Now I have to compile enough to fill a book - I send the work on to them, they take care of design and everything else.
"I'm hoping it'll be ready by early January.”
The as-yet-untitled book will be available on Amazon, and will be full of Frankie's short poems and clever thoughts, some inspirational, some dark and biting.
Frankie will earn royalties on copies sold, although he's not expecting to break the bank just yet.
The former chef, who has been living with his parents for a bit over six months, starts working again this week, having picked up a job at the soon-to-open Rose City Fruits.
Frankie's works have been featured on hugely popular Instragram page WordPorn six times and this week he also become a contributing editor to the new Instagram page, @untwineaustralia.
Frankie said any local poets or artists who would like to see their work featured should get in touch on Instagram or Facebook.
"It would be great to uncover a little local raw talent,” he said.
"The plan is to make a little money and work towards becoming self-published and then try to do for others what someone has done for me.
"I just try to get all my thoughts and ideas down before they disappear - it's funny what people find most appealing.
"I can write something all flowery and with big words, but it's the simple, heartfelt stuff people like.
"It's been a form of therapy for me - getting that stuff out.”
His other great passion of the moment is a beautiful garden, crafted from scratch.
Corn, herbs, rocket, zucchini, just about everything you can think of, including 25 different varieties of tomato.
"I've done it all mainly so I can photograph it,” he said.
"Lots of my Instagram followers care about my garden more than my words.”
About his sudden success Frankie said he wasn't letting anything go to his head.
"There are millions of writers out there just like me,” he said.
"An opportunity has presented itself and I'm running with it.
"I don't have a problem expressing how I feel and putting it out there for the world to see.
"Others may not, but they seem to appreciate and relate to my thoughts.”