Robbi Perna - Author and Lecturer
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Stories That Sweep You Away

The Story Behind the Story: What Hides Behind the Mask

This week I continue with my blog posts about the stories behind the stories.  The whole mystic surrounding masquerade has always fascinated me.  No where is it more evident than in Venice, the ancient Italian city famous for love and intrigue.  In writing the first book in my Venetian Masquerades series, WHAT HIDES BEHIND THE MASK, I wanted to combine my love of Venice, the fascination of masquerade, and a character inspired by my godmother, Dee.
 
Dee is my late mother’s first cousin and an active, vibrant, and very beautiful senior lady.  Even at this stage of her life, she still travels alone, and while she might not consider a solo trip to Italy, her personality provided the inspiration for my heroine’s grandmother, Francesca.  Doctor Chiara Mackenzie Davis and her stepbrother Chas Weston must travel to Italy and discover the reason why Francesca, Chiara's 84 year-old grandmother, travels to Venice—a place she has no reason to visit—without telling anyone.
 
The plot allowed me to combine my love of masquerade, a mysterious trip, and a spunky older woman in a story that explores the concept we all wear masks.  Until we know why we wear one, we never know ourselves or have the opportunity to know others, but  is left behind when a person discards the last mask?  Probably another mask...or perhaps, nothing.  Masks allow us to cope with our own insecurities while providing a way for us to understand others and the society in which we all live.
 
WHAT HIDES BEHIND THE MASK is an entertaining tale, however, not a social treatise. So, that said, go don your favorite Carnivale Mask and enjoy the read. Next week we’ll talk about the second book in the series, A Sign from Heaven Sent.

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