Be our Guest

I’m a guest at two separate sites in the blogosphere this week.

 

Illustration for Kindle Short Story: The Library Next Door

Illustration for Kindle Short Story: The Library Next Door

 

First is an interview I did with Marina Julia Neary, “America’s most Irish author to come out of Eastern Europe”. Certainly, and not surprisingly, her questions were out-of-the box and challenged me, so this interview is quite different from any I’ve done before. Here are Marina’s five questions:

What appeals to me about your work is your determination to draw attention to forgotten figures from the past. In his day, Alessandro Stradella, the heartthrob of your debut novel A House Near Luccoli, used to be something of a rock star in his day, a star that got prematurely extinguished.  How many people outside of the classical music circle know about him?

Let’s talk about the Anglo-Italian connections.  The English have always been fascinated by Italy.  Forester had set several of his novels in Italy – A Room with a View and Where Angels Fear to Tread. In your second novel, To a Strange Somewhere Fled, you actually have an Italian protagonist going to England.  On the surface it seems like the two cultures are diametrically opposite. When you think of England, you think of bland colorless boiled food and vitamin D deprived people.

Your maternal grandmother was a concert pianist in Chicago during the 1920s. What an exciting era to be in the performing arts, especially in a city like Chicago! Tell me a little bit about her repertoire. 1920s was a very turbulent time all over the world. Did the external environment affect your grandmother’s performance style?  

I am feeling uneasy about asking this question, but how much of yourself is there in Donatella?  I’m not implying that she is 100% autobiographical, but she is so well-rounded and so meticulously crafted, I sense she is your psychological child.  Perhaps, she’s not your spiritual twin, but rather a literary child.

You have a gift for illustration.  In fact, you’ve illustrated some of your own literary works.  Tell me how your brain processes the multi-media.  Do you envision an image first, and then describe it with words, or do you start off with words and then translate them into images?

To read my answers to the above
– I hope you do! –
CLICK HERE

CT Commie Tiger Blog Image-page0001 (2) resized

Also, this week and weekend I’m being hosted at Unusual Historicals: “a handful of historical authors (who) brave the wilds of unusual settings and times to create distinctive, exciting novels just outside of the mainstream.”

Here is a chance to win a copy of To A Strange Somewhere Fled.


To enter to win, you MUST comment
and leave your email address
on my ‘Excerpt Thursday’ post at Unusual Historicals
OR
on my interview this coming Sunday 6/21 at Unusual Historicals


Commenting on this bardessdmdenton post will not make you eligible,
BUT, of course, your thoughts are very welcome here
(in fact I’m feeling comment deprived of late)
 

For Except Thursday, featuring an excerpt from Chapter Three of To A Strange Somewhere Fled.

On Sunday, more details about the story behind the story will be offered in an interview.  Here are the questions I will be answering:

How would you describe your writing style?

Who designed the covers of your books?

Is there an underrepresented group or idea that is featured in your books?

How do you approach developing the world of a historical novel fully in your mind?

Did your research for both or either of your novels yield any surprises in terms of historical events or illuminate a character in a particular way?

Why did you decide to write a sequel to A House Near Luccoli, why did you set it in England, and does To A Strange Somewhere Fled end the ‘series’?

What writing projects are you presently working on?

Unusual Historicals Blog Image resized

 

Thank you to all who visit here

and support my efforts

at writing and illustrating!

 

 

Copyright 2015 by DM Denton & JM DiGiacomo

Copyright 2015 by DM Denton & JM DiGiacomo

Guest Post: Marina Julia Neary – Meet My Main Character Blog Tour

Marina Julia Neary was one of the authors I tagged for the “Meet My Main Character” blog tour I participated in last week. If you haven’t already, you can read my post here.

As Marina doesn’t have her own blog at this time, I’m happy to host her post on mine.

Purple2In breaking a little from the rules for this blog tour, Marina will be ‘talking’ about the main character of her recently released novel,  Never Be At Peace, published by Fireship Press. It is a companion piece to Martyrs and Traitors  published by All Things That Matter Press in  2011. You can read my review here. I’m certainly looking forward to reading her new one!

Here’s a synopsis:

Never Be At Peace by Marina Julia Neary

Never Be At Peace by Marina Julia Neary

A pugnacious orphan from a bleak Dublin suburb, Helena Molony dreams of liberating Ireland. Her fantasies take shape when the indomitable Maud Gonne informally adopts her and sets her on a path to theatrical stardom – and political martyrdom. Swept up in the Gaelic Revival, Helena succumbs to the romantic advances of Bulmer Hobson, an egotistical Fenian leader with a talent for turning friends into enemies. After their affair ends in a bitter ideological rift, she turns to Sean Connolly, a married fellow-actor from the Abbey Theatre, a man idolised in the nationalist circles. As Ireland prepares to strike against the British rule on Easter Monday, Helena and her comrades find themselves caught in a whirlwind of deceit, violence, broken alliances and questionable sacrifices. In the words of Patrick Pearse, “Ireland unfree shall never be at peace”. For the survivors of the Rising, the battle will continue for decades after the last shot had been fired.

Some early reviews:

“M. J. Neary’s Never Be at Peace is a gripping and intense tale of Ireland in the thick of revolution. Told from the perspectives of the brave and uncompromising men and women involved in the fight for independence, it will delight fans of women’s history and Irish history. Meticulously researched and boldly-written, Never Be at Peace is a masterful story that breathes life Edwardian Ireland and illuminates the hearts and minds of these unforgettable Irish patriots.” –Evangeline Holland, Edwardian Promenade

Sean Connolly's Death

© Drawing By Alissa Mendenhall

“Neary’s Helena Molony is a storm of a character who comes to life along with a cast of the giants of early 20th century Ireland. Helena’s story will stick with you long after you turn the last page.” –Meghan Walsh, The Recorder, The Journal of the American Irish Historical Society

And Marina’s answers to the questions about the novel’s main character.

What is the name of your character? Is he/she fictional or a historic person?
Helena Molony, 1884-1967. She is very much a real historical person.

When and where is the story set?
Ireland, early 20th century.  The novel spans World War I, the Easter Rising of 1916, the War of Irish Independence, the subsequent Irish Civil War, and finally, World War II.  It’s heavy on military history, light on bodice-ripping.

What should we know about him/her?
She is a spunky dreamer from a bleak Dublin suburb.

What is the main conflict? What messes up his/her life?
There are several conflicts.  One is them is obvious, Anglo-Irish.  But I also wanted to focus on the conflict within the ranks of Irish revolutionaries.

What is the personal goal of the character?
Helena’s goal is to rebuild the romantic, heroic, liberated Ireland of her dreams.  The quest for independence goes horribly wrong, and the result is not quite what the heroine had envisioned. Heartbroken and disillusioned, she spirals into alcoholism and self-destruction.

What is the title of this novel, and can we read more about it?
The title is Never Be at Peace, and it’s inspired by Patrick Pearse’s graveside speech in 1915, “Ireland unfree shall never be at peace.”

When can we expect the book to be published? 
The novel was recently released through Fireship Press.

Here’s a wonderful interview with Marina about Never Be At Peace, which she did for the Historical Fiction Research Blogspot. You can find her on Facebook here.

Thank you, Marina, for participating in this blog tour.

And may I remind you:
I am offering a Giveway of my Kindle Short Stories
or an autographed copy of my novel, A House Near Luccoli.
You can read the details in my previous post of May 10th!

I’m living in hope of getting some takers! 🙂

 

Nerdy Girl and Rock Star – 17th Century Genoese Style

New Five Star Review of A House Near Luccoli

by Marina Julia Neary
A House Near Luccoli with G ClefImagine a nerdy cat lady and a rakish, self-destructive rock star. Now throw
this scenario back to 17th century Genoa, and you get “A House Near Luccoli”.
Music history is filled with stories of composers who were dismissed by their
contemporaries only to be rediscovered deified decades, sometimes centuries
later. Alessandro Stradella’s story is the opposite. He was quite an emblem in
his day and had since faded into relative obscurity. My mother is a classical
musician, and when I asked her about Stradella’s status in the musical pantheon,
she looked puzzled. “He doesn’t get played much these days”, she said. For this
very reason I applaud the author, DM Denton for pulling this composer from
obscurity. His personal life makes for a great plot for a picaresque novel. And
yet, “A House Near Luccoli” is not a traditional picaresque. It’s a
psychologically authentic study of ambition, polarization of gender roles in a
Catholic country, where men, especially those endowed with musical talent, were
excused from the conventions imposed upon women. It’s about the position of a
star in the society and the perilous liberties it implies.

 

I owe much to finally being a published author to Marina. She is an accomplished writer, exhibiting edgy wit, sublime intelligence, and an engaging sense of theater! You can check out her work here.
See my review of her novel, Martyrs and Traitors, A Tale of 1916 about another obscure figure in history, Bulmer Hopson, a misunderstood antihero involved in the ill-fated Irish Easter rebellion.
And more happy news: A House Near Luccoli is now in production to be an audio book which should be available mid-April. Thanks to Deb and Phil, my lovely publishers for believing in me and submitting to ACX (Audiobook Creation Exchange)! It will be available through amazon, audible.com, and iTunes.

                     


donatellasmallest©Artwork and writing, unless otherwise indicated, are the property of Diane M Denton. Please request permission to reproduce or post elsewhere with a link back to bardessdmdenton. Thank you.

Announcement Regarding my Novel, A House Near Luccoli

Last weekend I received great news! I was offered–and have now accepted–a contract for the publication of my novel, A House Near Luccoli (about the last months of the 17th century Italian Baroque composer Alessandro Stradella), with All Things That Matter Press! They are a small press based in Maine USA whose goal is to publish books that help authors share themselves, and are–as I can attest to–very willing to take on previously unpublished authors who reflect their leaning towards ‘spiritual, self-growth, personal transformation, fiction and non-fiction books with a strong message’. I’m optimistic that this is going to be a very good fit for me. When released the novel will be available in paperback and as an e-book.

Of course after many years of trying to get to this point, I’m very excited and even a little overwhelmed. It’s early days and I will keep my dear blogging family, old and new, updated as the process moves along.  Being a small publisher, a lot of the marketing is in my hands and so I will be on a constant lookout for appropriate sources of promotion, including pre-and-post publication reviews.

I owe so much appreciation to now fellow All Things That Matter Press author and Historical Novel Society member, Marina Julia Neary, for her belief in me and my writing when ‘out of the blue’ she contacted me and offered to introduce me to ATTMP. She has continued to be amazingly supportive as my journey towards publication begins, and I encourage my followers to check out her work (Marina Julia Neary is an award-winning historical essayist, multilingual arts & entertainment journalist, novelist, dramatist and poet. Her latest novel, Martyrs & Traitors, is garnering rave reviews from prominent authors, historians and critics.)   

I welcome you to read a short blurb and the opening chapter of A House Near Luccoli (originally posted in August 2011).

Thank you all for your continued interest and support!