Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Interview with Emilia Rutigliano, author of 'Napoleon'

We're happy to have as our guest today, Emilia Rutigliano, author of the women's fiction Napoleon.


Thank you for this interview, Emilia. I’d like to know more about you as a person first.  What do you do when you’re not writing?

I’m always writing (though not physically…).  I’m happily married to the same crazy man for twenty-years and we have three precocious teenagers who keep me busy with important things like:  Why can’t I die my hair with kool-aid? Can I have twenty bucks?  Can I go out on Saturday to a club with people you’d never heard of?  Don’t get mad about the grade, she took off for spelling (on a spelling test).  I have been a trial attorney for the past 17 years.  We also travel, extensively, as a family enjoying swimming the natural springs in Hungary, bathing elephants in Malaysia and getting fish pedicures in Cambodia.

When did you start writing?

Last year, when I turned 40.  I was dared into it, so I sat down and wrote the five books in this series.  It took a little under a year.  It was one of those movies that played in my head and anywhere I could land with my AirBook, I just narrated the movie.

As a published author, what would you say was the most pivotal point of your writing life?

Finishing.  Writing isn’t the hard part.  The difficulty likes in moving the story to the point where you are finished.  It’s exhilarating.   You told a story from A to Z.

If you could go anywhere in the world to start writing your next book, where would that be and why?

London.  It irks me when authors create a character who is, presumably, from another country or with a foreign or higher education, but acts and speaks just like the local yok’l.  My new book series has a character from London.  I know that because he told me so, speaks with the Queens English and started with the word ‘shejual’.  But occasionally, he starts arguing and looks at me to put the right words in his mouth… and I can’t.  It’s very frustrating.  I need to get to London, sit in a lounge and listen to people talk.  That’s my research.  I’ve been to all the place I write about so I can describe the scene to make you feel like you are there… but I’m a Russian Jew from NYC.  If I don’t know who’s talking, they stand there silent until I can hear it in my head.

If you had 4 hours of extra time today, what would you do?

SLEEP!  Wait, is that an option?  Or at least lie in bed contemplating what I’m going to do next.  I’m big on the Napoleon Hill method of meditation.  I have conferences and fireside chats in my head.  Sometimes they are interviews, sometimes debates… but they are with fictional characters or historical figures I admire.  It’s very relaxing.

Where would you like to set a story that you haven’t done yet?

Hong Kong.  It’s the equivalent to my New York City but still in the Orient.  I want to feel it, otherwise I can’t write or set a scene there.  The third book in the series that I’m writing now takes place there.  So my husband is taking me there in the summer so that I can experience it for myself.

Back to your present book, Layers of Veronica Series, how did you publish it?

Kindle.  Self-published. It was the only path for me.  I wrote the books on a dare, for friends to read.  It got passed around as Word documents some chapters at a time until I got smacked in the head and introduced to Kindle Publishing.  Amazon is a divine gift.  Traditional publishers would not be thrilled with my heroine… she is a divorced, educated 35-year-old attorney who sleeps with married men, shuns traditional marriage for herself, raises her children and makes her way up to society – without a lottery win or a princely rescue.

In writing your book, did you travel anywhere for research?

Actually, it’s all part and parcel of the same thing.  We travel a lot, and it all went into the book.  Because we travel to learn and experience, those experiences change you as a whole.  And since Veronica had my history, she wound up with the same experiences.  So Paris, Italy, Mykonos, Singapore, Miami, San Francisco, Seattle, and Maui were all seen through my eyes in addition to my beloved New York.  You can’t just set the scene there.  You have to feel the air, hear the people and taste the food.  It’s what gives us the global experience.

Why was writing Layers of Veronica Series so important to you?

They say to write what you like to read.  I wanted a story about a woman who wasn’t relying on any man to make it up in the world.  I also believe marriage isn’t for everyone.  Not that it should be shunned, just that it isn’t the proper course for everyone, despite being in love.  I also believe a woman could be in love with more than one man at a time.  When these things are presented in literature, it is always on the dark side, or hidden, or a deep taboo secret.  Layers isn’t like that.  Veronica is open about her life.  Her children are aware of it, so is her family.  That isn’t to say that everyone thinks she’s normal, but many accept her.  We are too parochial as a society.  I wanted to give credence to Veronica’s World.

Where do you get your best ideas and why do you think that is?

LOL… Everything around me gives me ideas.  Every conversation with every acquaintance gives me a character study.  Ironically, it doesn’t come from movies or tv.  So I could watch a great movie or show, and nothing…. But my contractor stops at my apartment to show the work to a new client, and within half an hour I have a major character with a history, a look and an accent to emulate.  Layers of Veronica has character studies of many people in my life. 

Any final words?

This was so much fun!  Thank you.

About the Author:

Emilia I. Rutigliano scored fiftieth percentile on her SATs... and on her LSATs... and on her BAR...Sigh...

But she nevertheless survived, and seems to be doing OK. She practices Law read lore) in Brooklyn, New York (read Nu Yawk). She was born in the former Soviet Union, and emigrated in 1979. She is happily married to the same crazy Italian she's been with since college, who suffers from a severe addition to travel (still in acute form). Together they are doing a somewhat passable job with their three precious darlings (who are now teenagers, thus elaboration is not necessary).

Which is why Emilia writes about Veronica. Veronica, though... is interesting. And Emilia knows interesting.

So she weaved the tale about the interesting characters, places and events from her own life. It is remarkable how if you choose to view a subject objectively, it becomes downright artistically gorgeous. So Emilia views and shows Brooklyn Russians as gorgeous, and the Barese intricacies as gorgeous, and she even tolerates Paris, Singapore, Vietnam and Malaysia for the reader's interests.
Thank you, dear reader, for tolerating these scenes....


Her first book in the Layers of Veronica series is Napoleon.

Visit Emilia Rutigliano’s website at

Connect & Socialize!


About the Book:

They say that when a student is ready, a teacher appears.

What they don’t say is where to register, and how to matriculate in that teacher’s class.
That is a divine gift.

Veronica had it all:  the looks; the brains; the personality; and the wardrobe.  Not to mention a perfect husband, a fabulous career and two adorable children, until the perfect husband leaves her for another woman.

Thus begin the daily routines of a typical New York City immigrant with ambition whose teachers keep appearing, and for whom divine interventions keep affording new opportunities. 

Though it starts like ordinary connections going through the tried and true, each relationship continues to delve into parts of her own universe that Veronica didn’t know existed.  A universe that is suddenly open to her.

This is a different kind of heroine…

Welcome to the New American Dream, Dare to Dream…

Purchase your copy at AMAZON

Discuss this book in our PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads by clicking HERE.


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