Interview with Marianne Perry - Author of The Inheritance

Q and A with author Marianne Perry, author of The Inheritance

To read a review of her latest book - The Inheritance - and enter the author's giveaway click HERE!

PictureWhy did you write this story?

Family mysteries intrigue me. I wanted to understand why my paternal grandmother, Nana Caterina left Calabria, southern Italy in 1913 as a young woman; sailed on a steamship across the Atlantic Ocean; landed at Ellis Island, New York; settled in Canada and never returned to her homeland. Our large family knew scant about Nana’s early life so I started genealogical research to investigate her history. I eventually travelled to her ancestral village and The Inheritanceis a tale inspired by my discoveries. The protagonist is named “Caterina” in her honour.

The Inheritance is set from 1897 to 1913. How did you make this period come alive for readers?

Travelling through Calabria, southern Italy helped me pen descriptive passages. I’ve visited the region twice and Italy, seven times. I also studied the history and social customs of this era and scoured genealogical documents to select authentic character names such as Mafalda and Fortunata. The Villa San Michele is a real place and I stayed at the turn ofthe century villa when in Cetraro, Calabria.

Why is there a photo of a crumbling stone cottage on the book cover?

I snapped this photograph on a research trip to Calabria. The crumbling stone cottage was located in the mountains near my Nana Caterina’s ancestral village. It typified the poverty of my grandmother’s family and is intrinsic to Caterina’s life as a peasant in this novel. I value authenticity as a writer and felt a personal photograph would illustrate this to the reader.

The Inheritance by Marianne PerryTell me about the cameo brooch Caterina inherits.

My mother has long suffered from dementia and I cherish a cameo brooch that I inherited from her. It belonged to her Sicilian-born father but she knows nothing about its origin. The clasp is broken and the brooch, fragile. I have long been haunted by the milky carving of the elegant lady depicted and it seemed the perfect gift to symbolize the ailing Anna Marino’s quasi-maternal affection for Caterina.

What do you hope the reader will gain from reading The Inheritance?

Travel informs us about the world and I included a map of Calabria at the beginning of the book as a guide for readers.The region is less well known than Tuscany, for example, and I hoped my book might stimulate interest in exploring this part of Italy. Everyone has family mysteries and I included a genealogical resource section with practical information to help readers solve theirs.

Connect with the author:    Website   ~   Twitter   ~    Facebook
Buy the book:    Amazon  ~   Barnes & Noble   ~  Chapters/Indigo

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