Dreaming in Italian by Maria Graza Swan

I always wanted to be a writer. When I was a little girl, I lived with my grandparents in a 3 story house my grandfather built. One rainy day I went up into the attic to look for something, not sure what. Keep in mind that was before phones, before TVs’ and certainly before computers. I found a wooden crate full of old books. Gialli that’s what mysteries are called in Italy. The books had been left there by my uncle Agostino who migrated to Canada. From then on I spent my week ends in the attic, reading. Agatha Christie, Rex Stout…I loved them all. In school, my best grades were in Literature. My teachers liked my writing, often would read it out loud. Then my parents moved to Belgium and I said goodbye to my grandparents, the attic and the books.

            In Belgium I had to learn French, and I did. Soon my teachers liked my French essays. I still dreamed of becoming a professional writer. By the time I was fourteen, not today’s fourteen, mind you, I entered a short story contest, and won! A French newspaper published my story. Pretty good I guess, except, my parents didn’t read French, neither did my grandparents back in Italy. Still, I felt proud. It was a good start.

            Life has a way of playing tricks on our carefully planned tomorrows. So I met an American boy, fell in love, married and moved to the United States. I had to learn English. And I did. Didn’t have much time to write with kids, a career, Great Danes and a philandering husband. I managed to survive without writing.

            Then came the divorce, the kids moved out, the Great Danes went to dogs’ heaven and I went back to write, in English of course.

            I paid my dues, learned my craft and won an award, a national award! All right! By then my grandparents were dead, too late to make them proud,  but they always believed in me and that made it okay.

In 2001 my first book was released, a mystery, in English. Love Thy Sister was a late homage to the 3 story house, my Italian heritage and my newly found American life. By then my parents were dead, but somehow I felt they always knew I would be a published writer.

            I wrote more stories, more columns, more blogs, more books. All in English. But when I dream, I dream in Italian.

            2010 was a very bad year for me. In too many ways to even try to list them. I had to get back to writing, my true passion.

             That’s when a miracle happened, via Twitter. I swear, even as a writer, I can’t make this stuff up. I received an e-mail from an Italian publisher interested in the Italian rights of Love Thy Sister, my out of print mystery. I owned all the rights, the book was no longer available. Of course I said yes! The book was be released in Italy, October 2012. I saved my pennies to make it there for the launching! The 3 story house my grandfather built was sold after my mother died, but I still had 2 sisters and plenty of nieces and nephews and good friends to celebrate with me! And even a growing number of Italian followers, how cool was that?

             October 2012 came, no book. Instead, a sad letter from the publisher, due to the bad economy they were closing the doors, the Italian rights reversed to me and I could keep the advance. I won’t bore you with the disappointment and the heartbreak. However, I will share with you happy news. Love Thy Sister and the other 5 books in the Mina’s Adventures series are all available on Amazon.com. ebook or paperback, and yes, I’m still praying for a new Italian publisher. What can I say? Hope never dies! Ciao.


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.



Maria G. Swan said…
Thank you so much for hosting me and my cats and my dreams...

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