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Point of View: The Italians Are Coming!

Bologna

Well, technically they’re already here.

Let me back up a bit.

I’ve been working (and writing) madly over the last three weeks. I had big plans to finish three or four writing projects before June 15th, when our Italian friends, Marco and Fabry, were due to arrive. I wanted to put The Great North to bed, complete my Oberon 3rd draft, extend The Boy in the Band, write the next three chapters of Marionettes in the Mist with Angel, and put together enough chapters of River City to get me through mid July.

In the end, I finished The Great North. Oh, and the Marionettes chapters. Such is the life of a part-time writer/

*sigh*

Now a new writing opportunity has presented itself. As some of you know, Diego and Matteo in River City are based, in large part, on our Italian friends Fabry (Fabrizio) and Marco. I had the idea last week to send one of the characters back to Italy for a visit, and with our friends here with us, I can collaborate with them to make sure I get all the details right.

Which is awesome, because I’m not likely to get much other writing work done in the meantime. But this – this I can do.

Marco and I have been to Bologna where the characters live, but I don’t *know* it like a local. It’s a beautiful city (most Italian cities are), but if you were to ask me where the locals hang out, or what the weather is like in October, or how to get there from Marco Polo Airport, I wouldn’t have the slightest idea.

Fortunately, I have not one, but two “inside men”.

So my question today for y’all – do you ever tap local “experts” for stories you are writing? And what kind of questions do you ask them to help make your story seem more “real”?