Name Adriana Girolami
Actually at birth I was called Adriana Flora Dunia. My father liked the name Dunia, but my mother didn’t. They finally decided on Adriana since they were opera buffs and named me after the Opera “Adriana Lecouvreur.” Dunia was relegated to a third name to please my father. In the USA I only use the name Adriana.
It’s just a number and a state of mind
Where are you from
I was born in Rome, Italy were my artistic inclination and love of the written word was nurtured by the ancient beauty of my native country. As a child I was always encouraged by my parents to read, and books were always available in our home. My mother Lena was an avid reader who inspired me by her example. She favored distinguished historical authors such as Alessandro Manzoni, Sir Walter Scott, and my personal favorite, Alexander Dumas.
A little about your self `ie your education, Family life, etc..
Following my father’s untimely death I immigrated with my family to the United States, since my mother’s entire family was located here. Because of my artistic inclination I attended “The Art Students League” in N Y City and embarked on a career as a portrait artist and illustrator. I found my profession satisfying but still craved the freedom of the written word, remembering all those wonderful and exciting books that stimulated my imagination as a child. I studied archeology with an affinity toward Egyptology and attended many lectures at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC. Traveling is one of my passions and I have visited many different countries throughout Europe, the Americas, and Africa. I enjoy physical activities, such as jogging and playing racquet ball. I am also a Martial Arts enthusiast and have a black belt in Kenpo karate.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
I am happy to announce, that on December 18, 2015, MYSTERIOUS TEMPLAR The first book of my KNIGHT’S TEMPLAR trilogy will be published and available in kindle, book and audio format. Presently the kindle version is available for pre-orders. Soon to follow (book2) The Crimson Amulet and (book3) Templar’s Redemption.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I always loved to write even when I was a child. Since it was a natural ability I was unaware it was a special talent, and a wonderful gift. I wrote my first book Mysterious Templar in Italian for my personal enjoyment with no expectation of having it published. I later I translated the book in English.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
More than one author suggested that I should have my book published and to continue writing since they believed I had a talent for storytelling. It was truly unexpected and exciting when my agent informed me about a publisher from Japan who wished to publish my debut novel and translate it in Japanese. Oakla publishing is my publisher in Japan. Timber Creek Press will now publish my entire Knights Templar trilogy. I am very grateful for this, and now believe that I am truly an author.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
It’s an unusual story. I was given the gift of an art book about costumes through the ages. I was particularly attracted to the image of a Countess named Polyxena who lived in northern Europe during the fifteenth Century. Her unusual name triggered creative thoughts in my mind and the entire story of the Mysterious Templar suddenly unfolded. Since I am a visual artist it was almost like seeing images of a motion picture before my eyes.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
I believe all writers do. Since I have a very vivid imagination, a full storyline comes
to me with relative ease. All the characters are defined in a short time. I don’t believe in taking extensive notes since I find structure to be counterproductive to my creative style. I simply sit on the computer and write the story down to the best of my ability.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
Since I love mystery as much as history and my stories have mysterious components with surprising endings I thought Mysterious Templar would be a proper title.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
The ability of a young, beautiful woman to survive the European Middle Ages. It is a difficult era particularly unfriendly to women. On the positive side, there was a code of honor and chivalry that prevailed in those days. It is sadly missing in today’s world.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?
The end of the Middle-Ages is accurately depicted, but the storyline and the main characters are fictional.
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
No the story is purely fictional.
Fiona: What books have influenced your life most? a mentor?
The books of Alexander Dumas. He was a great visual writer with an amazing knowledge of history. His books are filled with adventure, mystery and are always unpredictable. They are very engaging. I have no mentor.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Two of my latest books are “Forever Amber” by Kathleen Winsor and “The Lonely Empress: Elizabeth of Austria” by Joan Haslip.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
I love to read the engaging (Bad Hair Day Mysteries) by the talented author Nancy Cohen.
Fiona: What are your current projects?
I am putting the finishing touches to book 3 of the Trilogy. Templar’s Redemption.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
My friend Dr. Michael Adamse, who is a very talented author, encouraged me to become a writer. He always believed in my abilities and talent in this creative area.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
I do since I truly love to write, and have the added opportunity as an artist of painting the covers for my books.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
No, I really like the book the way it is.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
It was always present through my poems and essays in school. I guess I was always a writer. I just didn’t know it in the beginning.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
This is an excerpt of Mysterious Templar.
By the time she and the escort party arrived at the banquet hall, the atmosphere was considerably more subdued than it had been before Lady Davina’s appearance. Most of the guests now found that their curiosity outweighed their need to misbehave and quietly waited for the arrival of the mysterious and elusive Polyxena. When she finally appeared on the central staircase, everyone in the room was dazzled by the vision she presented.
She slowly descended the steps surrounded by the admiring glances of the crowd. The gleaming lights of the hall enhanced the splendor of her presence and sparkled on her beautiful, bejeweled gown. She held herself with dignity, regal in spite of the frightening moment. Her face flushed and she could feel her heart wildly beating, but she allowed nothing to betray her turmoil.
The Duke found himself shaken by the sight of her. Nothing in his expectations prepared him for this. He slowly stood, mouth open in surprise at the sight of this magnificent creature who walked toward him with such a graceful air. His eyes did nothing to conceal the desire already burning within him.
Meanwhile the Duke’s sudden fascination with his new guest did not escape Flavia’s jealous eyes. She felt herself filled with rage.
“My Lady!” the Duke greeted Polyxena, kissing her extended hand. “My heart bleeds for my cousin Arsenio, both for his premature death and for the loss of so magnificent a bride!”
Polyxena ignored him and responded coldly. “I am here at your command my lord, since apparently my presence is essential!”
“I beg pardon my lady, but I wanted the pleasure of your company to honor your dead spouse at this funerary banquet.”
Polyxena remained silent, aware that the Duke held all the power in that moment. But while she gazed across the drunken crowd surrounding her, she saw no respect for her departed husband. In spite of her youth and inexperience, she understood how dangerous her situation was, with her powerful father too far away to help her. At that moment, her only strength lay in her beauty and the lure it held over the Duke.
She instinctively knew that she needed to stall for time and try to gain his friendship and trust, so she decided to play a dangerous hand. Without further ado, she gave the Duke a seductive smile that hid her disgust even as it captivated him.
“I beg your indulgence, my Lord,” she began. “The difficult day has overwhelmed me, and I ask your kind permission to retire. I hope my request will not inconvenience you during my husband’s funerary banquet, since I know we have a great deal to talk about. Tomorrow, after a proper rest, I would be honored to meet with you in private at your earliest convenience.”
“Of course my lady!” the Duke cried loud enough for all to hear. Her appearance of receptiveness greatly pleased him and her beauty so excited him that he stood and he extended his arm to her. “It is my pleasure to escort you to your rooms.” He threw a wink at the crowd. “Tomorrow, we will have ample time to converse in a leisurely fashion.”
“I am very much honored!” She lied with a smile, placing her hand on the Duke’s arm. Without delay, the royal pair left the banquet hall with lewd salutations from the guests.
Flavia was left standing alone to watch them depart with no more regard for her than for a chambermaid. She felt publicly humiliated by the cruel and capricious Duke and fought back bitter tears. She knew in that instant that her fantasies of ascending to power in Lorengard-Lorraine had just been defeated.
But only for the moment, she assured herself. Only for the moment—
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Allocating enough time to write, while taking care of my family.
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Love all the books of Alexander Dumas, because they are filled with excitement, well defined characters and vast knowledge of French history. I love history in general…
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
I traveled throughout Europe, entered many medieval castles and splendid palaces. I wrote three historical novels, but the traveling is not a requisite since my imagination carries me in exciting places without having to leave home.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Since I am a professional artist I painted all the covers for my books. It’s a special joy to have my artwork on the covers of my novels.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
I guess translating it from the Italian into English, since it’s a laborious task with little creativity involved.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
It would be the validation of the great joy and satisfaction I find, when I enter my creative fantasy world.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
They should believe firmly in their own creativity, and let it to be the dominant factor in their writing. Aspiring authors should choose subject matters which resonate with them. They should also have some knowledge of these subjects. It is advisable to write something they would love to read.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
It would be my gratefulness that they took some of their valuable time to read my books. I also hope they have a pleasurable experience. A review of the novels would be greatly appreciated, and if they have any questions about it I would be glad to answer them..
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
It was during my preschool days. It was a fairy tale of the brothers Grimm and I loved it.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
The excitement of living. Being I am an emotional, sensitive person I feel joy and sadness to a greater degree.
Fiona: Is there one person past or present you would meet and why?
Since I can only choose one, it would be Leonardo Da Vinci. I greatly admire his genius and endless thirst for knowledge. It would be exciting to enter his mindset and see all the beauty he envisioned. I marvel at his amazing abilities to see the future and it’s technical advances that would become a reality centuries after his death.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why?
A caption on a head stone is not important to me. I rather be remembered by the people I love. I guess it could say, “She always pursued knowledge, new experiences and the joy of living until the very end…”
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies?
Not really, though I do enjoy physical activities since my work is sedentary.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
TCM is my favorite cable channel because I love the old movies. I also enjoy Jeopardy and keeping up with the news.
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
I favor a healthy diet with lots of fruits and vegetables. I love cherries! Blue is my favorite color because it’s soothing and calming It is also the color of a clear sky and the majestic oceans. For music it depends at my mood. I love classical, opera, pop, etc…
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
I guess my original profession as a portrait artist, or maybe even to be a detective. I do love to solve mysteries.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?