Juliet Giglio of the SUNY Oswego English and creative writing faculty and her husband Keith recently released their second novel, titled “The Trouble with Tinsel,” and will have a talk and book-signing at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 10, at the River’s End Bookstore.

The Giglios are a husband-wife screenwriting duo, with credits such as Disney’s “Tarzan,” “A Cinderella Story,” “Return to Halloweentown,” “Dear Christmas” and “Christmas in Tune.” Their first novel, “The Summer of Christmas,” was published in 2022.  

“The inspiration for this book came from our experiences of living in LA at Christmas time and working in the film business,” Giglio said, adding they drew on memories from their years at New York University. 

The plot follows a former couple and writing duo, Jon and Kerri, who get the chance to create a script they wrote together. Circumstances lead to finding themselves forced to play the role of a couple in love. As the story unfolds, the plot asks whether this could be the Christmas they finally get their own happy ending.  

Juliet and Keith –- who teaches at Syracuse University –- have a lot of experience with screenplays including creating annual star-studded Christmas specials for the Lifetime Network. But they quickly learned how different writing novels can be.

“Before we wrote our first novel, we assumed that novel writing and screenwriting would be very similar. We couldn’t have been more wrong,” Giglio said.

“Novel writing offers the writer both the luxury and the challenge of going into much more detail than can be done in a screenplay,” Giglio noted. “In a screenplay, we don't go into great detail about how a character feels because that's shown in the acting.  We can give a brief character description and then describe what a character is doing but we can only show what's seen on the screen.”  

Writing a novel, on the other hand, involves going deeper into what characters are thinking and feeling. 

“Novel writing also requires a great depth of world-building,” Giglio explained. “We can spend many pages on providing the details of how a scene looks so the reader can visualize it.  In contrast, when we watch a movie we can already see it.  True, we do need to create some details about the world of the scene in a screenplay, but we don't go into the same detail that we do in a novel.”

Actively taking part in the writing process helps as a teacher and role model, Giglio said.

“When I'm teaching screenwriting, it helps my students to know that just like them, I'm also a writer,” Giglio said. “I think it's also helpful for them to know that they can write both screenplays and novels. When I'm giving students deadlines for their writing assignments, it helps them to know that I am also writing and that I also have deadlines.”

The event at the River’s End Bookstore, 19 West Bridge St. in downtown Oswego, at 5 p.m. Oct. 10 is free and open to the public. SUNY Oswego student teaching assistants Zion Figueroa and Arlene Mercedes de la Cruz will moderate a Q&A, followed by the book signing and some holiday treats.