How did you come up with the idea for your book?
The idea came from a true story about an 18th century Italian adventurer. As the story goes, Count Morelli was a talented violinist summoned by Prince Potemkin to play for Catherine the Great. The prince’s envoy found Morelli unwilling to go on the voyage, so he instead chose a poor but gifted violinist to go in the count’s place. This ‘Morelli’ later went on to have a brilliant military career and earned himself the rank of colonel.
Do you have a favorite character?
One of my favorite characters is Lorenzo, Count Morelli’s servant. He’s half Chinese half Italian, knows Kung-Fu, and also happens to be a kleptomaniac. I was told that the existence of such a character is not historically accurate because China was very closed off from the rest of the world in that period, but Lorenzo just appeared in a moment of inspiration and I couldn’t very well throw him out of the book.
How old were you when you started writing?
I was 12 when I consciously decided to sit down and write a novel, though I seem to recall making some sporadic literary efforts even earlier.
I have a lot of work from when I was a teen, do you have anything like that? What feelings do you have when you reread it?
I do, and I love rereading that stuff, first of all because it’s so bad it’s funny. But there are also parts of it that are excellent. When you’re younger you write without being aware too much of your style and without consciously trying to imitate others’ style, so you end up with something very unique. Writers are so easily influenced by other writers and editors, so I think I should actually go back to those writings more often just to learn how to write more like me again.
Is there any certain message you want readers to take from reading your book?
I want to leave it open for readers to interpret the message (or messages), but it’s basically a story of redemption.
When is the release date? Where can we buy it at?
I’m still doing revisions, but it should be out probably by September or October.
Do you incorporate any of your favorite things, places, hobbies, into your books?
Of course: I love Italy, fencing, and music. I also acquired a new hobby as a result of working on this book. I was trying to figure out how sail ships work (because there are some naval battles in the story) and it was impossible to understand just from reading books and looking at diagrams, so I signed up for sailing lessons and got some hands-on experience.
Who are some of your favorite authors?
I really enjoy classic adventure authors like Alexandre Dumas and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. When it comes to modern writers, I like the funny ones like Terry Pratchett and David Sedaris.
The Last Unicorn, Good Omens, The Three Musketeers, The Princess Bride, Eat, Pray, Love
What are you currently working on? Can we have a sample of it?
I’m working on a fantasy/time travel book featuring dryads and pirates. I don’t have a sample yet because it’s in its first draft. I do, however, have a sample of Count Morelli:
If you could ask your favorite author anything, what would it be? Answer it for us, please.
I would probably ask my favourite author about something completely unrelated to writing, like “What’s your favourite food?” and he would likely reply, “Crumpets and tea, dear.”
If you could tell your readers anything, what would it be?
I’m a new author, so thanks for taking a chance on me… and please write me some good reviews!
Thank you Sonya! I enjoyed reading your answers :)