As well as being the home town of Tony Soprano, psychiatrist’s great grandfather, key parts of story of The Residium – Road to Rome take place in Melfi, Basilicata, Italy. Melfi is almost 1000 years old and the site of the first Norman castle in Italy. From Melfi, William I of Hauteville started his conquest of The South, leading to the creation of the Kingdom of Sicily.

This morning I had a pleasant meeting with Councillor Vincenzo Fundone- responsible for culture in the City of Melfi- and his interpreter.

I gave him a copy of The Residium – Road to Rome. He gave me Italian books on the history of Melfi in return- which will require me to upskill my Italian more than a notch – and gave me a private tour of the Museum.

He kindly offered Melfi Castle as the venue to launch the Italian language version of The Residium – Road to Rome, when it is ready. I now just need to find my Italian publisher!                                                                                                                                                                            JDImageImage 2.jpg

Southern Italian Odyssey (Odissea)

I have started a partial tracing of the steps of the main character of The Residium – Road to Rome– Staff Sgt. Jeb Montalto- in Southern Italy, as well as researching and writing the follow on book, The Residium – Sanctuary. There is probably a word for following in the footsteps of an imaginary character, but it’s not one I know, unless it’s insanity. Yesterday I visited Nocera Terinese, Calabria, Jeb’s ancestral town. Nocera Terinese adorns the rugged Calabrese mountain, much as I imagined it would.

I arrived at lunch time at the Municipio to give a copy of my book to the town. The mayor was not in (as is to be expected (and not unreasonably) when you arrive at lunch-time anywhere in Italy). However, the friendly ladies in the office were most welcoming and with the help of google they quickly understood and undertook to give the book to the mayor. English is not widely spoken down south, so he will likely need to wait for the Italian language version to read it. I am falling in love with Italy all over again.

JD IMG_2904IMG_2909IMG_2887IMG_2900IMG_2896


Abu Dhabi Writers, Critique Night, Cafe Arabia – 15 May 2016

I attended my first Abu Dhabi Writers Group,  critique night last night. My first chapter for The Residium – Sanctuary was at the mercy of the Group.

It was a great session and I urge anyone who is writing a book or seriously thinking about it to attend such a group. It’s encouraging to know now I’m not the only one in ‘my world’ crazy enough to commit to writing and publishing stories!

The feedback itself from the session was very, very useful and I will put it to immediate use. It’s great to know that other people like my words and story, and I’m on the right track.                                                                       JD