INTRODUCTION TO TRANSYLVANIAN TRILOGY:A HYBRID FORM OF STORYTELLING
When I was a college student in France, my greatest pleasure was Wednesday evenings when the University of Nice turned out its lights and became a ciné club. From the projector’s magic lantern came images from filmmakers around the globe, and I was transposed to worlds far beyond my imagination. For the first time, my mind opened to unknown languages and various subjects in law, medicine, science, politics and so much more. I was excited to learn and travel far from my limits.
Upon returning to the United States, I promised myself that I would one day try to recreate the same experience for other students. For what better medium is there than film to teach visual learners about the world and human feelings?
That opportunity came to me strangely on the morning of 9/11 when I was starting a new job – teaching English to foreign diplomats at the United Nations. On that fateful day, I was traumatized but also determined to create a “Global Classroom” where students could ask questions about hotspots around the world. What could be a better classroom than the U.N. where Ambassadors could become professors and foreign film could become the catalyst?The goal was to offer a multi-faceted approach, a hybrid form of education to encourage analysis, synthesis and discussion.For a picture is worth a thousand words.As I was screening films for my students, I wondered if I could transpose what I was doing with film to the written word and create another hybrid form of storytelling. Could I make facts more exciting by mixing fictional elements? Could I make fiction more meaningful by blending historical events into the narrative?Inspired by my students, I went on to fuse politics and real people with fictitious characters. I blended facts with fiction and used storytelling techniques from journalism, drama, satire, thriller, history, and romance. I included maps and photos into the narrative to clarify up-to-date international intrigues. Under the guise of fiction, I tried to understand the whys and hows of politics and put the questions into my fictitious characters. My goal was to reveal truths by using poetic license – a deliberate ruse.
This hybrid approach offers a genre fluidity that moves and changes, leading you, the reader, from one chapter to the next as the narrative flows. I hope you travel along and become part of the story.
In TRANSYLVANIAN TRILOGY, I invite you into a kaleidoscope of exotic colors set in Romania, Turkey and Iran, where governmental intrigues are little known and are waiting to be discovered. All three books, Gift of Diamonds, Love Odyssey and Treasure Seekers, can be read independently or interchanged. The main characters are Mica, Anca, Marina and Cristina, four friends since their teenaged days in Transylvania, who were known as the Four Musketeers, Poets of their Lives. As they narrate their lives, their stories interweave with fact and fiction to reveal political truths that have never been exposed before, especially in a novel.
I hope you enjoy this different type of storytelling.