My review of Gemini Moon was seen yesterday--today we all get a glimpse of how this story originated. Thank you Maria Grazia Swan for so graciously allowing us to know the background-it is interesting!
And now for the Guest Post by Maria Grazia Swan, author of Gemini Moon
This is how Lella’s story started.
It was a cold, foggy spring morning up in the Cuyamaca Mountains, East of San Diego, and I sat and listened intensely to Jan Burke’s workshop on how to make our fiction feel more real. All this happened at one of the Bare Bones Conference, organized by the San Diego chapter of Sisters in Crime, and, yes, it was a long time ago, and the location was a vacant summer camp for girls just outside Julian. We slept on bunk beds and ate macaroni and cheese and entertained ourselves with games we played sitting around tables by a large roaring fireplace. Now you understand the "Bare Bones" name, right? One of the highlights of those games was one night when I was partnered with J.A. Jance—the woman is a riot! But back to writing.
Jan’s suggestion was to build your fictional story around bits of truth. I’m not going to bore you with details, however, that workshop left such an impression on me that I have been applying that principle to all my works of fiction, and I will explain how I was able to blend truth and fiction for all of my Lella York’s mysteries, starting with the first chapter of Gemini Moon
This is how the story begins, and how we meet Lella.
It’s late evening and she is strolling on Ponte Vecchio (Florence, Italy) where she meets a strange astrologer… Ok, my name is not Lella York, however, the late night stroll on Ponte Vecchio and the bizarre encounter with the astrologer? All true. And actually the Hotel Lungarno is also a real place and, yes, for years it was my favorite hotel to stay, and yes, I watched the
cook trying to reel in a fish… As for the astrologer, the red velvet table cover, and the candle in "Gemini Moon?" True. Was the man a real astrologer or not? I can’t tell for sure, but he was from Spain, and I have the feeling he was an art student trying to make extra money. Of course I’m not sure. Here is what really happened: I accidentally gave him the wrong birthdate…subsequently the whole chart was messed up, we ended up arguing, but we parted on good terms. And he did keep my money. But the little incident got me thinking—what if? And there you have it, my first chapter, inspired by a real encounter.
About the Author: (from Amazon)
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National Bestselling author Maria Grazia Swan was born in Italy, but this rolling stone has definitely gathered no moss. She lived in Belgium, France, Germany, in beautiful Orange County, California where she raised her family, and is currently at home in Phoenix, Arizona--but stay tuned for weekly updates of Where in the World is Maria Grazia Swan?
As a young girl, her vivid imagination predestined her to be a writer. She won her first literary award at the age of fourteen while living in Belgium. As a young woman Maria returned to Italy to design for--ooh-la-la--haute couture. Once in the U.S. and after years of concentrating on family, she tackled real estate. These days her time is devoted to her deepest passions: writing and helping people find happiness.
Maria loves travel, opera, good books, hiking, and intelligent movies (if she can find one, that is). When asked about her idea of a perfect evening, she favors stimulating conversation, Northern Italian food and perfectly chilled Prosecco--but then, who doesn't?
Maria has written short stories for anthologies, articles for high profile magazines and numerous blogs tackling love and life.
Contact Maria: email@example.com
-or- touch base with her on Facebook.
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