Thank you for visiting my website. As you can see, I am very passionate about my Italian heritage. This passion has led me down a long road of discovery that has taught me to be a better human being.
I was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on April 19, 1949. In the mid-50s I was taken to Italy and Australia to meet relatives. My parents decided after that to restart their new life in Northern California. In 1958, we—along with the New York Giants baseball team—settled in San Francisco. In 1963, we moved across the Golden Gate Bridge to Mill Valley.
The best decision my parents made about my education was to transfer me
from a San Francisco public school to the care of the Daughters of Charity at St. Vincent de Paul Catholic grade school when I was 12. After graduating from St. Vincent’s in 1964, I spent four years with the Christian Brothers at Sacred Heart High School and four more years with the Jesuits at the University of San Francisco. I graduated from USF with a BA degree in history in 1972. Though I went on to own and operated Mill Valley Health Foods for 23 years, it was my Catholic school training that gave me the opportunity to become a writer and publisher. The focus for all my entrepreneurial energy was the enticing Italian culture.
My first project, in the 1980s, was to develop an Italian-themed board game patterned after the popular Trivial Pursuit, which you can view on this website. In the late ’90s, the board game morphed into two editions of trivia treasures. As a bonus, the second expanded Italian compendium was bilingual, enabling my book to become a language teaching tool.
The new millennium saw the addition of a bilingual Spanish/Hispanic cultural compendium. Also, in the semi-fictional/historical genre, I was inspired by my
Italian family genealogical research to write an epic, two-book novel, The Spear of
Lepanto, about the 1571 battle that involved nearly 500 ships and sent 50,000 men (mostly Ottoman Turks for a change) to the bottom of the sea in one afternoon. The novel spurred the creation of a six-minute music video trailer for the book. See the last paragraph for book trailer information. All my books are available as eBooks on my website, .
One of the most mentioned compliments I received concerning The Spear of
Lepanto was that it would make a smashing movie. Aha! A new challenge to conquer: write a screenplay adaptation of the novel. Within a year I finished the screenplay entitled, The Forgotten Adventures of Miguel de Cervantes. In case you don’t know, the legendary Cervantes—who wrote Don Quixote and was a major character in my novel and screenplay—lost the use of his left arm while a warrior in that prodigious battle.
Now here is a challenge for you. I have put together a bilingual ten question Italian Cultural IQ Quiz in English and Italian for your enrichment and entertainment. Click on the Italian IQ Quiz icon on the landing page of the website, and there it is. Buona Fortuna or in bocca al lupo.
For the last 15 years, I have created and supplied Italian, culturally-themed crossword puzzles for Ambassador Magazine. This noteworthy quarterly is published by Editor Don Oldenburg for The National Italian-American Foundation (NIAF), in Washington D.C. You can see it at .
I hope you take a moment to view The Spear of Lepanto music video book trailer and read the reviews of my epic adventure novel. A friend, Don Trotta, wrote the lyrics and music for The Ballad of the Spear, featured in the trailer. Don, with Chris Caselli, sang and performed the guitar background. All this was recorded at A Room with a View Studios, in Petaluma, CA. Check out link below
I would be remiss if I did not mention my copy editor, Necia Dixon Liles, whom I met and engaged in 1998. In the acknowledgement section of my novel, I rightfully described her as my rudder who keeps me on course while refining my thoughts and words. She has been and is now my presumptuous writing mentor.
Thanks again for visiting my book website and keep reading my Italian themed blogs. Ciao!