What does family have to do with writing my mysteries?
I was an only child but my mom had six brothers and sisters and my dad had nine. On weekends, my dad's family would gather at the family home, some driving to York, Pennsylvania, from Philadelphia, Lancaster and Harrisburg. Every Sunday we ate dinner at my maternal grandmother's house. Back then I didn't realize how those experiences would shape me. Aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents were part of growing up and my young adult life. Just his week I spoke with a cousin who came through a rough medical crisis and emailed with another who was a huge part of my childhood and adolescence. We share such varied and wonderful history...and memories.
I wanted to recreate that in my Caprice De Luca mystery series.
My sleuth's large Italian family and their problems, crises, joys and triumphs are a major part of my novels. Caprice's parents Fran and Nick De Luca are supportive and loving. Nana Celia, Caprice's paternal grandmother, is wise and honest. Caprice's sister Bella, a new mom and seamstress starting an online business, often has opinions contradictory to Caprice's. Nikki, a caterer on the other hand, is always a steady sisterly presence and helps Caprice make her unique house stagings a huge success. Caprice's brother Vince, a lawyer, tries to warn her away from trouble and murder investigations. But her whole family loves her and would do anything for her.
Writing Caprice's stories take me back to times I love to remember...to times when family meant everything.