---o- Intervista in Inglese -o---
1 - Please, can you introduce at italian reader of the Bostonian Library your novel "The Fortune Hunter”?
The Fortune Hunter is the true story of Sisi, the Austrian Empress and her relationship with an english cavalry captain, Bay Middleton. She is married to Franz Joseph and he is engaged to Charlotte Baird an heiress. It is an impossible situation, but love has a way of behaving badly.
2 - The novel is grafted on events that actually happened or just possibly happened?
Well Sisi definitely came to England to hunt and she undoubtedly became very close to Bay Middleton. All the letters she wrote him were destroyed by Bay’s daughter, but I have seen a ring that Sisi gave Bay which had his name spelled out in diamonds. I think it is definitely a lover’s gift. the only liberty I have taken with the story is to compress the events into a tighter time scale.
3 - What was your purpose in telling this exciting story?
I wanted to write about a man who finds himself falling in love against his better judgement. Bay is a very flawed hero, but I think that is what makes him attractive ( to me at least).
4 - Why write precisely about Sisi? Is she a person you wanted to talk about for a long time, and you knew or was a choice to explore a character that you didn't know very well?
The more I read about Sisi, the more interesting I found her. I think she comes across in her biographies as a rather enigmatic character so it was a challenge to turn her into a real person. I imagined her being a little like a modern movie star who is getting to old for the parts she wants.
5 - What did you like more, writing the story of Sisi and Bay? A dialogue, a situation, their relationship, etc…?
I loved writing the dialogue between them. I liked the scene between them in the stable where she tempts Bay into kissing her.
6 - The passion, the love, the strength of a woman, her destiny, her desire for freedom on the one hand; an Empress, an ideal, a figure untouchable and innarivabile other. In this novel, seems that you want to show the existence of two Sisi. Its correct?
I feel a bit sorry for Sisi, she is an intelligent woman trapped by her role and by her own vanity. On the other hand she was very self centred . Victim of circumstance or narcissist? I wanted to show both sides of her character.
7 - You love - in your novels in generally - to come back, on the footsteps of history, and investigate in the lives of some very attractive women lives, trying to revive their passions, realize their lives. Where does came your passion?
I am fascinated by the way in which women’s lives have changed and yet remain the same.
8 - What means for you write a little bit of something that live in your mind? Share it with others people?
It is wonderful when people find pleasure in reading words you have written. I consider it a great honour if I can transport people with my story.
9 - There is a phrase or a couple of words (in "The Fortune Hunter") that came from deep inside of you, meanwhile you were writing the novel, and than still reminded in you, now?
I like the scene in the photographic exhibition where Queen Victoria defends Bay against the rudeness of Sisi’s son Rudolph. I thought that scene seemed to work.
10 - I like "The Fortune Hunter" very much, and hope to read others your books very soon. Do you have any projects for the future?
I an writing another novel set at the court of Queen Victoria.