17 July 2012

Special Guest Post: Monica La Porta, author of 'The Priest' (The Ginecean Chronicles)

Va dove ti porta il cuore...

Follow your heart...

I’m visiting my parents in Umbria. Sitting under the shade of the porch, I look at the terracotta roofs ahead and my mind wanders. I close my eyes and breathe in the gentle breeze traveling from the Mediterranean Sea. I can hear the leaves of the two majestic mulberry trees swaying like waves crashing against the pebbled shores. I think about life and the twists and turns that sometimes take you faraway from where you started. Twelve years ago, I left Italy and moved to the USA with my barely intelligible British English and no idea of what I was going to find. Twelve years later, my accent is still thick and I have published two books in a language that is not my own. Maybe it’s because a teacher once told me that learning languages wasn’t my forte, maybe it’s just because I like challenges, but every single time I finish writing my daily quota of words I smile. I’m smiling right now. The peaceful, agrestic landscape of the Umbria’s rolling hills helps, of course. But I would be smiling in the midst of torrential rains. I would be smiling anywhere. I write, therefore I’m happy.
  Three full years ago, after the rather cliché enlightenment that life can be short, I decided I was old enough to find what gave meaning to my days. I’ve been voraciously reading since I was six, my genre of choice science fiction in every form and shape. I love any read that transports me into distant universes and other dimensions. I’ve been soiling the usual amount of paper napkins and loose blank pages with my thoughts ever since. Despite the truth was right before my eyes, it still took me several years before I realized typing words on a keyboard was my call. Since I started, a fatidic morning of 2009, I’ve never let a day pass without writing.
  Back at the university, I realized only too late I liked sociology and anthropology better than the classes I had chosen; in my twenties, I remember reading a book about a forgotten marine tribe with the same enthusiasm I had devoured Martian Chronicles by R. Bradbury at the tender age of ten; for me they were equally entertaining and exotic. I live in a reality I know all too well and that I often dislike, escaping it is all I ask to my reading material. As a natural progression, I love writing what if-stories, where starting from society as we know it I twist one or more established aspect and present it back from a different angle to ponder about. Building mirror-image worlds gives me great joy.
  My Ginecean Chronicles are set in an alternate Earth, a planet called Ginecea, where society has evolved in a different way from ours. Women rule over enslaved men and heterosexual love is taboo. My current work in progress is about a world where people live inside a cave in a state of perennial darkness and are scared of light. I like to play with reality, change one or two fundamental aspects and see what happens when right is left and up is down.
  A stronger gust of playful wind closes a window with a noisy thump. I open my eyes and I’m back to now, in Umbria. The sun is lower on the horizon, disappearing behind the roofs. My life too was thrown upside down twelve years ago, but I’ve travelled far from the person I was and I’m glad I challenged myself time and again. I’ve found a strength I didn’t think I had and with that a sense of accomplishment that makes me go to bed every night happy. It’s never too late to find your true call. Sometimes, you must wait for years and cross oceans to find it, but, if you look hard you’ll discover it was always there, in your heart.
  Thank you, Tony, for having me on your blog.


  If you’d like to know more about me, please visit my blog where I normally talk about my beagle, painting, sculpting, and sometimes even writing: http://monicalaporta.com/
  If you’d like to take a look at my books’ covers and read an excerpt from them, please visit their Amazon pages:
Finally, this is the link to The Ginecean Chronicles’ Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/#%21/ginecea

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