From the Author
The initial trigger was an intense personal experience. At the end of 2005, I lost my mother and found myself to be the sole survivor of our immediate family in Switzerland, my only sister and my father having died earlier. Death and its impact--the pain of loss and loneliness--play an important in the life of the main character in the novel.
During that time, I spent several months in Switzerland, cleaning out our family home, getting it ready to be renovated. I came across my father's early paintings--he was an artist as a young man. I talked to a stonemason and sculptor about the tombstone on my parent's grave. That gave me the idea for my main characters and their professions. I spent time with my relatives in the Ticino, the Italian canton of Switzerland, so the Vallemaggia became the central location. My trips to Peru and Italy also found their way into the novel.
The final product was a completely fictional story. While writing Love of a Stonemason, I was rarely conscious of any one particular person, incidence or experience which influenced me. Some of it came to me much later. I had many "aha"-moments half-way into the novel or even after it was finished. One of the most fascinating aspects of the creative process is the way consciousness and the unconscious work together to produce something unique and new.