Please welcome Mark Giglio to the blog as he talks about his book Alchemist Gift.
Time Travel to the Age of Alchemy. Alchemist Gift is an historical novel set in the present day and Renaissance Italy and Bavaria. The story is one of lost love, self-realization and redemption told through the relationships of five different love stories as the book unfolds. There is an element of spiritual fantasy in the novel, grounded in, let’s just say miraculous occurrences along with a light peppering of just good old unexplainable magic.
Mark Giglio Interview
1) Where is your home town?
I was born in Troy, New York .I have been a California resident since 1959.
2) Tell us what genres Alchemist Gift fits into, I believe it is adult rated too?
The genres would include Historical Fiction, Magical Realism, Spirituality, Elements of Romance, a bit of Renaissance style Sci-Fi, and a touch of time travel.
3) How long did it take you to write?
A little over three years to complete the novel. It started out as a screen play that evolved into the novel.
4) What was the one idea which sparked off the book?
I was inspired by a piece of art furniture I made, the Alchemist Cabinet, that you can see at www.alchemistgift.com
5) Introduce us to some of the characters in your stories.
Roland Hughes is the hapless protagonist and a noncommittal grad student in his late twenties . Rene Hermes is a court physician in hiding and an alchemist. Sofia is Rene’s foundling daughter and Roland’s unrequited love interest. Lady Rosanera, is a fem fatale and tragic figure and the other leg of the Roland-Rosanera-Sofia love triangle. Cesare Lippo master furniture maker and philosopher (could that be me?) along with Marcella Andano are the father and mother of Sofia. There are many more colorful characters who populate the Italian and Bavarian countryside.
6) Which story is your favourite and why?
I think my most favorite section of the book to write was the engagement feast scene at Casa Bella Villa. It is quite a gastronomic extravaganza, along with pomp and circumstance and a coming of age for Rosalba, Rosanera’s mother.
7) Tell us about your favourite part of the research for this book.
I have always had a love of nature and often wondered about the birds and plants that appear in Medieval and Renaissance paintings. It was satisfying to study the medieval and Renaissance symbolism concerning the natural world, such as birds, trees, and flowers and find out what they mean.
8) Have you written any other books?
I’ve written a few children’s books pretty much for my kids and their families. Also a few abandoned novels from the distant pass that shall remain in their dusty little realms. (thank God I knew when to jump ship). I am working on the next installment of the Alchemist series called “Curious Journey.” Some of the same characters make appearances. The new novel deals with a spiritual journey, redemption and personal peace.
9) Tell us about your book launch party that you are holding today.
The party was fun. Family, friends and well wishers joined us for a great feast. We are planning another party on December 20, 2014 (a Winter Solstice Weekend). We’ll have more food, fun, art, and readings from Alchemist Gift and other poets who will attend. We will be able to communicate with our viewers via the internet during the party. Be on the lookout for more details and join us.