Fiction versus reality.
I’m often asked where I get my ideas for the stories I write. What can I say? From everyday life. And not just ideas, objects and locations also.
Take my Lella York Mysteries series, let’s compare some of her everyday items with my own, past and present.
Her car; she drives a Mustang. For years I drove a silver Mustang with custom paint job on the hood. The young men at the car wash would argue for the fun of taking the car through the wash. It was that cool. Later on I traded it in for a 2 door black Infiniti, but that's another story...
Her townhouse. Yes, I'm describing the gated complex I lived at while in Dana Point. Common garage and even the views. Eventually I moved south.
Mission San Juan Capistrano. I was a volunteer there for a couple of years, and did everything Lella describes...including answering the phones on Swallows day.
Flash the cat? The name of my black cat was...Cat. RIP.
All the restaurants and places named in the book are real. Some are now gone, like the bar where Lella first met Ruby. Quiet cannon is now called Cannons, and my beloved Sarducci moved from across the Mission to the train depot.
But don’t take my word for it…read the books and then you’ll have a good reason to visit Orange County, the old Mission and the wonderful beaches from San Clemente to the South to Seal Beach to the North. Believe me, you’ll be happy you did.
Award winning author Maria Grazia Swan was born in Italy, but has also lived in Belgium, France, Germany, in beautiful Orange County, California where she raised her family. She is currently at home in Phoenix, Arizona.
As a young girl, her vivid imagination predestined her to be a bestselling author. She won her first literary award at the age of fourteen while living in Belgium. As a young woman Maria returned to Italy designing haute couture. Once in the U.S. and after years of concentrating on family, she tackled real estate. These days her time is devoted to her deepest passions: writing and helping people and pets find the perfect home.
Maria loves travel, opera, good books, hiking, and intelligent movies (if she can find one, that is). When asked about her idea of a perfect evening, she favors stimulating conversation, Northern Italian food and perfectly chilled Prosecco.