The Old Olive Tree is the first thing I see when I wake up and look out of my bedroom window in my Abruzzo, Italy mountaintop village. The locals tell me that the tree is over a hundred years old. I imagine she has seen many wonders and keeps many secrets of the people and creatures that have come her way. She stands across from the magnificent sight of the Calanchi cliffside, a unique feature of this region. Above the Calanchi and all around me, farmers make a hard-won living on the steep slopes of their land, plowing their fields for crops, minding their olive orchards and vineyards and cultivating their walnut and almond groves. Not far from me, a new venture began in 2015 with the planting of thousands of oak trees primed to produce truffles. It is this setting that inspires me to write my novels.
Research and Writing
My books are based on my intensive research over twenty years and stories my family and friends told me. They are written within the context of actual places and historical events. They investigate my premise: War is not over when the fighting ends. It continues in the hearts and minds of the people who are touched by it and the aftereffects are passed on to the next generation and generations to come.