I was six years old when I knew writing books was what I wanted to do.
My first published novel, Port of No Return, was inspired by my father’s family who were forced to flee Fiume, Italy, at the end of World War II.
It was a fascinating, little-known part of history, and I wanted to capture it, to record it for all those Italians who also experienced this mass exodus from Italy’s north-east after their region was taken by the Yugoslav Army, under Tito.
The publishing offer from Odyssey Books, came on my father’s birthday.
About 70 people attended the official launch of Port of No Return, held on 10 February, 2016, at the Museo Italiano in Melbourne, Australia.
The sequel, Wanderers No More, continues to follow the family’s journey, beginning with their arrival in Australia in 1950. While there’s some fiction between the lines, it closely aligns with my father’s and his family’s experiences of Australian life in the 1950s through to the 1970s. Sadly, it ends with a true family tragedy, which also needed to be told and remembered.
My father and I have spoken on Italian radio about the novels, I’ve been a guest of QUT’s Author Showcase and both works have found their way into libraries across Australia and overseas.
The historical fiction novels aim to shed a light on the difficulties associated with migration brought on by wars that destroy homes. But mostly they’re about hope and inspiration, showing that with resettlement, dreams can still come true.
These same themes inspired my next work, The Hatch, a science fiction novel that includes paranormal activities such as astral travel, psychic abilities and telepathy; not to mention alien beings of higher intelligence. In such a futuristic setting, the migrant experience is even more dire, as people look to other planets to survive.