Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Interview with Emilia I. Rutigliano, author of the Layers of Veronica series

Emilia I. Rutigliano scored fiftieth percentile on her SATs... and on her LSATs... and on her BAR...Sigh...

But she nevertheless survived, and seems to be doing OK. She practices Law read lore) in Brooklyn, New York (read Nu Yawk). She was born in the former Soviet Union, and emigrated in 1979. She is happily married to the same crazy Italian she's been with since college, who suffers from a severe addition to travel (still in acute form). Together they are doing a somewhat passable job with their three precious darlings (who are now teenagers, thus elaboration is not necessary).
Which is why Emilia writes about Veronica. Veronica, though... is interesting. And Emilia knows interesting.

So she weaved the tale about the interesting characters, places and events from her own life. It is remarkable how if you choose to view a subject objectively, it becomes downright artistically gorgeous. So Emilia views and shows Brooklyn Russians as gorgeous, and the Barese intricacies as gorgeous, and she even tolerates Paris, Singapore, Vietnam and Malaysia for the reader's interests.
Thank you, dear reader, for tolerating these scenes....


Her first book in the Layers of Veronica series is Napoleon.

Visit Emilia Rutigliano’s website at

Can you tell us what your book is about? 

Layers of Veronica is a book series about a 35-year-old divorcee who begins a new chapter in her life without attempting to get back to the tried-and-true.  Along the way she meets people who introduce her to the very many layers of life, love, experience, wealth, travel and parenthood.  The irony is that the more Veronica gets away from the traditional, the more it is enveloping and welcoming her.

Why did you write your book?

It started out as a dare from a friend who challenged me to write a book.  But I wrote what I would have liked to read.  The more I thought about it, the more the characters wanted to get out of my head and onto the screen.

Can you tell us a little about your main and supporting characters?

Veronica, the main character is your everyday, typical girl who tries to make it from day-to-day without smooth sailings.  She is strong, smart and flawed.  Throughout the series, she meets many lovers, friends, counselors and allies – each of whom is someone you would want to meet and know.  There are no slackers.  Each of the lovers is someone you would want to know and be with for the rest of your life.  Each of the women is someone you want to emulate.  There are no wilting flowers in the series, regardless of education, career or net worth.

Do you tend to base your characters on real people or are they totally from your imagination?

With the exception of the “lovers” in the series, all of the characters are based on people I know.  In each case permission was sought and names were chosen by the featured characters.  The main character, Veronica, has my background.  I did that for several reasons.  My main reason was that I sometimes have difficulty believing a character can say or do something without having it in their background.  I wanted Veronica to have my experiences to rely on… both good and bad.

Are you consciously aware of the plot before you begin a novel or do you discover it as you write?

Both, actually.  I know certain “things” that need to happen to the character, because it begs the question I want answered (psychological or philosophical), but often, the characters react differently than I thought… which makes me change the plot and the theory.

Your book is set in New York City.  Can you tell us why you chose this city in particular?

It’s my City.  I grew up in New York, it’s in my soul.  I also truly believe that it has the opportunity for everyone.  There is no path that is closed to you if you partake in the gifts New York City has to offer. 

Does the setting play a major part in the development of your story?

Absolutely.  I love the globalist mentality, which is a major theme in the book series. You are a product of where you are raised… what you do with it, and where you go from there, however, can change anyway you wish for it.  There are no deterrents – not wealth, nor family, nor education.  It may not be a straight line, but if you persevere, I truly believe in success… take power in the location you are in.  J

Which holiday is your favorite and why?

Thanksgiving.  We sit down for maybe half an hour at dinner… but all the preparation before, cooking, decorating, shopping and all of the after-dinner cleanup and more eating that lasts all weekend with the family is something that we can’t seem to replicate any other time of year.

If we were to meet for lunch to talk books, where would we go?

There are a lot of great places nearby.  They are all ethnic.  You could sit for as long as you want and order tapas and drinks (alcoholic or not).  The concept of appetizers, tapas or hors d’oeuvre will keep you going through dinner.

Can you tell us about your family?

My parents passed, and I have no siblings.  My husband (of twenty years) is a crazy Brooklyn Italian who suffers from travelitis (very severe form).  So we travel a lot.  We have three kids, all of whom are precautious, busy and have very interesting perception of life.  The kids travel with us all the time.  We also have a lot of true friends whom we consider ‘family’.  We are very fortunate.

What kind of advice would you give other fiction authors?

Believe in yourself, it isn’t an overnight success.  Regardless of how brilliant your idea, plot and writing are, and as fabulous as your cover is… the book is not going to be a bestseller the day you publish, or the week after.  But it will happen – you just can’t plan when.  The major part of this process is actually writing the book, editing it and publishing it.  Once one person reads it and enjoys it – the rest is all gravy.  J

About the Book:

They say that when a student is ready, a teacher appears.

What they don’t say is where to register, and how to matriculate in that teacher’s class.
That is a divine gift.

Veronica had it all:  the looks; the brains; the personality; and the wardrobe.  Not to mention a perfect husband, a fabulous career and two adorable children, until the perfect husband leaves her for another woman.

Thus begin the daily routines of a typical New York City immigrant with ambition whose teachers keep appearing, and for whom divine interventions keep affording new opportunities. 

Though it starts like ordinary connections going through the tried and true, each relationship continues to delve into parts of her own universe that Veronica didn’t know existed.  A universe that is suddenly open to her.

This is a different kind of heroine…

Welcome to the New American Dream, Dare to Dream…

Purchase your copy at AMAZON


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