The understanding of Italian life and culture Rosemary Dronchi brings to her
Rossini Trilogy is inborn. Both of her parents, Josephine and Louis Farinacci,
were born in Italy, and her mother worked hard to preserve the Italian tradition
in the family home. In addition, Josephine owned Ciro’s restaurant in Albany.
There, she cooked for governors, senators, and those of equal but less official
kinds of power. “Working night and day, my mother heard more than she wanted
to hear. A lot of schemes were hatched at those tables, but my mother was
innocent enough that she didn’t understand most of it,” Rosemary says, “or smart enough to forget what she heard.”Many of the Trilogy’s characters are inspired by those Rosemary knew in her youth. Rosemary’s grandfather, Agostino Belcastro, lived with the Farinaccis in his later years. Both his precise, traditional habits and his dealings with the many people who came to him supplicating his aid fascinated her. Two of his sons inspired elements of the Trilogy as well. Stories of their exploits as gamblers, whiskey-runners, and owners of an establishment called Club Havana helped provide some of the rich, colorful details Rosemary brings to her fiction. By day, Rosemary owns the Park Place Salon & Spa in Vero Beach, FL. Though managing a beauty salon and writing seem strikingly different, Rosemary says that her approach to each is the same. “I am a very determined person,” she says. “If I do anything—become a stylist, raise a family, open a business, write a book—I give it the best I can give.” She adds, “Early in my writing career, I’d get up at dawn and write until I had to go to work. On weekends, I’d write late into the night. I didn’t know if I had writing talent, but I loved doing it and I hoped that determination would pay off.”Editor and author Frances Travis, a client at Rosemary’s salon, was the first to suggest that Rosemary’s gift for storytelling might well be developed in writing. Writing classes with a variety of Florida authors including bestselling thriller author David Hagberg, along with much experimentation and revision, culminated in the publication of Rosemary’s first novel, Blood Feud, in 2012. Retribution, the second book in the Rossini Trilogy, was published in 2014.Rosemary is currently finishing the third installment of the Rossini Trilogy, which is slated for publication in late 2015. In addition to the Trilogy, her works include a number of short articles, the award-winning short story Play for Keeps, and the contemporary novel Of Body and Soul, published under the pen name L.J.Valentine. “Though Of Body and Soul and the Rossini Trilogy are very different in tone and timeframe, both share the same theme: the importance of family, and the impact of family secrets,” Rosemary notes.Both natives of Albany, NY, Rosemary and her husband of over fifty years, Tony, have lived in Vero Beach,FL since 1985. They have two grown children and three grandchildren. In the rare moments when Rosemary is not at her salon, writing, or with family, she enjoys reading, cooking and walking for exercise.