Tag Archives: Italy

Maybe it was Umberto Eco’s The Name of the Rose. Maybe it was David Seltzer’s The Omen. All I know I had to have my own monastery. So I created one.
The small scene in Incognito took me quite a while to construct. I was not only writing the story, I was playing medieval architect.
Photo shows the Monte Cassino monastery in Italy. Reminds you of one of those virtual combat games like Counter Strike and Assassin’s Creed and whatever else that I am too old fashion to know.
Many of you know this, but I’ll just mention it anyway.They didn’t built monasteries thousands of feet above ground not for mystical reasons or in their attempt to reach God.  They built them high to protect monks from marauders.

Saint Peter’s Square: Reworking it from the Author’s Eye

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Saint Peter’s square, Vatican City. Almost every religious thriller novel and movie about the Vatican will have an image of it. It has become the standard.

In fact, authors have covered almost every inch of the Vatican that’s its really tough to produce original scenes and ideas.

But I had a good creative director when I used to work a short while at an ad agency. I noticed how he saw things differently even if something had been overused. It took me a while to see how he sees things, and then an idea hit me.

I saw something at the square that jumped out at me. I realized how this could work for INCOGNITO. As with my first novel, Smokescreen, expect the unexpected.

The Italian “Al” and the Arabs

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Ever wondered why many Italians have “Al” in their surnames?

That’s because of Arab influence. In medieval times, an Emirate was established in Sicily, southern Italy with Palermo as its capital. This took place between the 9th and 10th century. Monumental remnants can still be found in the region.

The word “Al” in Arabic means “The” like Allah, which literally means The God. “Ilah” in Arabic is “God” and “Al” is “The.”