One day, twenty-five years ago during my first trip to my maternal grandmother’s hometown of Bronte, resisting (with great difficulty) the town's outrageous pistachio-inspired pasta and dessert dishes, I hopped into cousins Alfredo and Patrizia's car and headed to Nelson’s Castle where I first discovered Bronte’s unique link to Admiral Horatio Nelson. I knew some day I would write about the town, but life always pulled me in other directions (teaching, care giving, reflexology, aromatherapy, etc. etc.). However, when I decided to write the story, I committed my heart and my soul to the undertaking. And, so, five years and twenty-two revisions later, I am sending Nelson's Castle: A Bronte Fairy Tale out into the world. Writing my first novel was such an extraordinary experience that I truly look forward to writing my second novel, The Dowry: A Sant'Angelo dei Lombardi Fairy Tale, and, especially, look forward to all the local reseach that a girl's got to do, this time in my paternal grandmother’s hometown in the Avellino province of southern Italy.
A word about the photo: Both grandmothers attended my kindergarten graduation. It was the one and only time either of these remarkable women ever saw me walk across a stage to receive a diploma.