Here’s the latest in my Where the Heck series of guest blog posts and this week I’m delighted to welcome crime writer Gabriel Valjan, who writes an interesting ‘take’ on Brit-grit from an American’s point of view!
Over to you, Gabriel, and thanks for taking part.
Book title: Corporate Citizen
Author: Gabriel Valjan
Setting: Rome, Italy
My latest novel, Corporate Citizen, is the fifth book in the Roma Series with my publisher, Winter Goose Publishing. The series is about a headstrong, extremely intelligent and mistrustful forensic accountant, Alabaster Black, who flees the United States after she realizes that her employer, Rendition, is taking extrajudicial action against people she has investigated. Alabaster assumes another identity, Bianca Nerini, in Italy, where she develops a close circle of friends. Without mentioning any spoilers, I’ll say that the Corporate Citizen is a two-part farewell to the English-speaking world for Bianca. Book Six, Crunch City, which will take place in London, introduces her to Surveillance State, and a tacit agreement between the US and the UK.
Although two books in the Roma Series take place in the US and include Bianca’s Italian team, I chose to anchor the Series in Italy because I’ve enjoyed Italian culture for decades, and it is fun and challenging to write about a foreign culture. Italian culture and language is extraordinarily diverse. I also choose Italy for another reason: the country was one of the last of the European countries with a viable socialist and communist platform. Italians, whether northern or southern (and there is a contrast), have a unique perspective on government, society, and family that is, at times, contrary to the American mindset.
I’ve discussed the challenges inherent in writing about a foreign culture at Writer Unboxed. Most writers ‘research’ their own feelings about the themes they explore, fact-check (I hope) the objective items during editing, and I think all of that is fun. Whatever we read and whenever we are pressed to ask ourselves what we think and feel about the human condition, we grow as a person. I find there is an exhilaration in creating a narrative from blank pages. You never where the journey will take you. I’m fortunate to have met or exchanged emails with readers and writers around the world. The writer’s life, the good life.
Gabriel Valjan is the author of the Roma Series from Winter Goose Publishing as well as numerous short stories. He lives in Boston, Massachusetts, where he enjoys the local restaurants, and his two cats, Squeak and Squawk, keep him honest to the story on the screen.
You can buy Corporate Citizen here:
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2fcJ61l
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2erR7y1