Luna Marina and the McMachina

Luna-Marina-banner

Title: Luna Marina and the McMachina (The Adventures of Luna Marina Blue Book 1)
Author: G.A. Costa & A.R. Costa
Publisher: G.A. Costa & A.R. Costa
Pages: 485
Genre: Young Adult
Format: Paperback/Kindle

Fourteen-year-old Luna Marina Blue has the temper and disposition of a sailor (with the language and the manners to match)!

She’s mad at everyone and everything around her, but what has her maddest of all is that it’s the first day of school and summer vacation is over. Poor Little Luna has had it with all her shallow friends and the stupid grown-ups who make demands and refuse to listen to her. When one of her classmates recounts her ‘wonderful’ summer vacation on an Italian farm, an idyllic place right out of the 1950′s, where she told of hayrides, dances, parties and stolen kisses, Luna starts daydreaming about going back in time. She desperately wants to be in Old Italy during the 1950′s, and experience all that for herself.

Luna imagines how she would wow and impress all the poor ‘backward’ farm people with her beauty, modern look and ‘new-age’ style; she would be a little queen and the star of everyone’s attention, she just knew it! Later that day, after getting suspended from school and punished at home, Luna gets the chance to have her wish come true. Mad at everyone and convinced that no one cared for her or would even notice if she went missing, Luna accepts the offer, thus beginning her own Grand Odyssey.

Going back in time to the farming community in and around the Italian town of Pontecorvo during the 1950′s, Luna Marina Blue embarks on a journey of personal discovery and realizes that the so-called ‘backward’ farm people are just as educated, intelligent, and capable as she is (if not more so). She also learns some valuable life lessons and family secrets along the way.

Homesick and desperate to get back to her original family, whom she spurned so easily before, yet learning to love an entirely new family in Old Italy, Luna is torn between her old life in modern times, and the new one she found in the 1950’s.

Luna Marina Blue has a choice to make, one which will echo throughout her entire life and beyond …Will she stay? Will she go back? What a conundrum!

Teens from fourteen to ninety-four will enjoy taking this journey with Luna, watching her grow from an immature child to a thoughtful and intelligent young woman, all the while sharing the exciting adventures and wonderful surprises that lie ahead …

This is a wholesome, feel-good and heartwarming tale that the entire family can enjoy together! Not only will teens and preteens love this story, but adults will as well.

Luna Marina is available at Amazon.
Visit the book’s Facebook Page.

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ABOUT THE AUTHORS

G.A. Costa

G. A. Costa was born in Pawtucket, RI. He grew up in Seekonk, MA and now resides near Boston. He attended The Perkins School for the Blind until Junior High, where, as a child, he started learning how to sing and play the keyboard. After outgrowing Perkins, he attended Junior High in Watertown, MA. He then came home to Attend High School in Seekonk, MA, where he received High Honors and was inducted into The National Honor Society. While at Seekonk High, he joined ‘The Verdandi Male Choir for Swedish Singers’ with whom he traveled the country singing in concerts. After high school, he was accepted at SMU (now UMASS Dartmouth), and graduated with a B.S. in Computer Science and with a minor in Sociology. After graduation, he wrote for a computer magazine and designed computer games. Besides writing, he now plays various instruments, including the guitar and drums, while continuing to sing and write music. Other interests include any and all kinds of science and physics, reading, listening to music, and electric trains.

A.R. Costa

A. R. Costa was born in Milan, Italy, just before the Second World War, and was raised in Pontecorvo, Italy, in the Province of Frosinone. She obtained a teaching degree from ‘The Fancy School in Town’ when she was twenty, and soon after she was married in The San Bartholomew Cathedral, right across from her house. Since her mother was born in Fall River, Ma, and always talked about her life in America, Alessandra decided to ‘come home’ to the USA, and her entire family came with her and her husband. Now the author and her two children, her brother, sister, their children and grandchildren are all spread out very close to their roots, in and around Fall River, Massachusetts, in the Good, Old U.S. of A. Her parents, Nonno and Nonna, lie peacefully next to each other, near their family and together forever.

Their latest book is the young adult novel, Luna Marina and the McMachina. – See more at Amazon

INTERVIEW

Thanks for being here today. Tell our readers about you both. 
Alessandra – I’m a little Italian old lady, I’m old-fashioned and fussy; that is the way I was raised.  I love cooking for my family, I make everything from scratch and  I don’t believe in prepared food and eating out.  I believe in the old-fashioned values and I’m disappointed with today’s laissez-faire attitude, but I also believe that everyone has a right to live their life the way they want and I only try to influence people with niceness and by example.  What I am above everything else is a wife and mother.  My family and their welfare is my primary concern; I can stop doing everything I do but I can never stop taking care of my family.

Gino – I’m a computer programmer, singer / songwriter / musician and writer. I enjoy many activities including reading, writing, and learning new things. I have a lot of friends, and I have a wonderful relationship with my mother. Like my Mom, I’ve always believed in the family, and of keeping close to each other. But of course, that is our Italian heritage.

What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Alessandra – My family’s needs, and this includes my cat, performing my duties, fulfilling my promises and finding time for my favorite activities; reading and writing.

Gino – My family and friends, getting back to work on my music and writing. Every new day brings challenges and opportunities, as well as new things to see and discover.

If you could hang out with one famous person for one day, who would it be and why?
Alessandra – Lucille Ball.  In Italy, in the 1950s almost no one had TV, but the Monsignor at the cathedral across from our house had one.  He invited his neighbors to come and watch TV every Saturday, and he lined up a lot of chairs in the rectory and put out a little table of goodies to eat while we watched mostly American shows dubbed in Italian; of course you had to kneel and thank God for this new and wonderful invention before you could sit down and watch TV, but no one minded.  I Love Lucy was everyone’s favorite, and we even forgot to eat the goodies when it came out.  I thought that she was the luckiest lady, and I wanted to be her, but when I came to America, in 1960, I realized how hard her life was.  At first she just seemed a funny lady, kind of ridiculous really, but later I saw how beautiful she was, and how strong to be able to make it in a men’s world and to run a major studio. I would have liked to spend a day with her to realize how she coped with the great stress connected to everything she achieved, and how she faced day to day work.  How did she find time to run a home and take care of her family sounds to me like an even bigger achievement than her artistic career.  How strong she had to be, and how much she had to endure while creating this wonderful word of carefree life that we all enjoyed in her shows!  I have always admired her, and I would really have liked to follow her around especially at home and learn from her what the secret of her endurance was.

Gino – Leonardo da Vinci. I’ve always had the utmost respect for him, not only because he was so well versed in so many completely different subjects, everything it seems, from music to geology, far more than just being a painter, which everyone knows about. He not only invented so many devices that we use today, but did so centuries ago, even including the helicopter! Because of my love of things such as science, music, art, writing, etc., it would be a wonderful experience, not only to talk to him and learn how he thinks, but to get his thoughts and opinions on how history has developed, as well as modern technology and cultural values. I would love to hang around with him all day, lying on my back and talking to him while he painted.

What’s the story behind your latest Book?
Alessandra – My son Gino and I were watching Star Trek TNG, an episode titled The Inner Light; it was about a race extinct for a thousand years.  Before their planet died, this race send out a probe.  After a thousand years of lonely travel, this probe found the Spaceship Enterprise and Capt. Picard.  In a few minutes it instilled in the Captain a life lived with the extinct race on their doomed planet.  After Capt. Picard woke up, the probe had a message.  This race did not want their life, hopes, dreams and accomplishments to be lost in the mists of time; they did not want to be forgotten.  They wanted someone to acknowledge their existence and to tell others about it.  I turned to my son and said that I wished I had a probe like that, as I didn’t want my life in the 1950s Italy to be forgotten.  My son told me that I did have a probe!  He said:  “Write a book about it, I’ll help you!”  At first I laughed, but eventually I realized that I wanted to do it.  Since no one would be interested in the memories of a little Italian old lady, Gino and I decided to make it the story of a young girl called Luna.

Tell us your writing process. 
Gino – I often change my writing process for different things. But usually, I get something in my head, which I can spend a long time thinking about before even starting to write. what will happen is I may look like I have nothing to show for my efforts, but in reality, it’s all in my head. After I get a good idea off what I want to develop, I’ll start writing, followed by trying out different things to see how they work. some things can come out correct the first time, whereas others might take many iterations to get right. My mother and I write our own thoughts then we compare and integrate what we have. Our writing is the result of trials and tribulations, even some arguments, but then everything comes out alright in the end.

When did you realized you wanted to be a writer?
Alessandra – When I was a young girl.  At around 15 years old, in Italy, I started to write articles for a teen magazine called Mimosa.  Those little articles were all about boys, clothes, makeup and hairdos.  At 17 I wrote articles for a local newspaper, and at 18 I wrote a short romantic novel for a steamy magazine called Grand Hotel. At first they loved it and accepted it, but later they rejected it when they found out how young I was.  At 19 I married, and soon after I came to the U.S. with my GI husband.  After I arrived in the U. S. all I cared about was my new home, my husband and my children.  I always loved reading, and found out , again, how much I love writing in my seventies.

Gino – When I was 14 years old, I wrote reviews for TV shows and movies for my school newspaper. I realized I enjoyed writing, as I went on to write articles for a computer club newsletter. I’ve written things here and there ever since, but this is my first novel.

Tell us about your main character
Gino – As the saying goes, Luna Marina Blue has the temper and disposition of a sailor, with the language and manners to match. There are many teens these days who think like Ms. Blue, who just want what they want – NOW – and who cares about the future. Luna Blue hasn’t thought or cared about her heritage, and has no reason to care, having lived in America all her life. Fortunately, however, Luna quickly learns the error of her ways when she sees things outside her previous experience. She desired to leave everyone and everything behind, but when she was given this wish, all she can think of is getting back home to everyone and everything she knows. Eventually, she has to prove to herself and everyone else that she’s mature enough to make her big choice in life.

What are you working on next?
Alessandra and Gino – My son and I are working on a small book for children, because we want to submit it to the Newbery Medal Award before the end of the year.  After this is done, we will start the second installment to the Luna book series.

Do you have any special/extraordinary talents?
Alessandra – I don’t know if any of my talents are special or extraordinary, but I know I have intuition and deep feelings for anything or anyone of my own, not just my family, but my home, my things, my thoughts and even my little cat.  I at times have a sense of foreboding, feel that something is wrong, and sure enough it is, and at times I know someone close to me is in pain, and sure enough I find out it’s true, even though they try to hide it.  Some time I think about some upcoming event or other stuff and I see with clarity what is going to happen; it doesn’t work with lottery tickets, though.  I think it’s nothing other than acute intuition, sharpened by my need to watch out for my people, my home and my things.

Gino – Like my mother, I have intuition that lets me see things not readily apparent, including knowing what will happen next, and when. Also, I can see things in my head as if they’re right in front of me. For example, someone could verbally describe some strange device to me, and I can tell them exactly what it is and how it works. This helps me with many things, like science and music, and writing and composing. I’ve been asked am I scientific or creative, but to me, there’s little difference between them. I can do either equally well, and my imagination helps immensely. Along with that, I have Synesthesia, whereby I associate colors and sounds to words, numbers, even basic concepts.

Who are your favorite authors?
Alessandra – When I saw this question I was quite terrified.  My mind became a jumble of writer’s names and titles of books, and as much as I tried to stop myself and put some order into this, I was powerless to do it.  When I put pen to paper, the floodgates opened, and I had a tough time choosing my authors.  I tried to pare it down, and this is the best I could do:
From when I lived in Italy:

  • Honore’ De Balzac, favorite book Eugenie Grandet
  • James Hilton, favorite book Lost Horizon
  • Baroness Orczy, favorite book The Scarlet Pimpernel series
  • Dante Alighieri, favorite book The Divine Comedy
  • Niccolo’ Machiavelli, favorite book The Prince

Since I lived in the US:

  • Herman Melville, my favorite book Moby Dick
  • Kathleen Woodiwiss, favorite book The Flame and the Flower and everything else she wrote
  • Jane Austen, favorite book Pride and Prejudice
  • J D Salinger, favorite book The Catcher in the Rye
  • and, of course, J K Rowling, favorite book the whole Harry Potter series.

There are just too many to mention, and I’m not ashamed to say that I also have loved Harlequin books for years, and any other book that happens to come to my attention.  Sorry for the long, boring list, but you should know that I could have gone on for pages and pages.  Only my superhuman control and my desire not to bore you to tears stopped me from continuing.  I know that I never have had a favorite kind of subject or a favorite genre and that my reading is not organized or preplanned, but I’m proud to say that I have never met a book I didn’t like.

Gino – I don’t really have favorites, since each author has his or her own style and their writing is very different from each other. But I do have some I enjoy the most.

  • Edgar Allen Poe, poet
  • J K Rowling, wrote the Harry Potter books
  • Isaak Asimov,  science fiction author
  • Ben Bova,  science fiction author
  • Cynthia Sue Larson, science nonfiction author
  • Frank McCourt, autobiographical books

What do you like to do with your free time?
Alessandra – I love to read and write, go shopping, sit on the deck with my husband just to be alone together in the evenings, and talk on the phone with  my son John and my sister Adele.  I also love to cook and bake, and spend time on the internet looking at recipes from all over the world, and once in a while I love to go to the movies with Gino to buy an over sized, and refillable tub of popcorn and see a new Disney movie or a new Sci-Fi movie.

Gino – I love to do many things, including playing computer and video games, reading, especially science fiction, but any good book is enjoyable to me. I also enjoy scientific books and articles. I enjoy visiting my cousins and relatives or talking to them on the phone, and I enjoy performing,  recording and listening to all kinds of music.

Tell us about your plans for upcoming books.
Gino – We plan to write a sequel to Luna Marina, and we might do a cookbook that illustrates our Italian heritage through food. In addition, I have some ideas for books I want to write on my own.

Where can people find you on the web.
Gino – I can be found on social media sites like facebook and twitter, and I visit many various gaming, science, music, and other sites.
Facebook: Gino Costa
Twitter: @GiACosta

Any final thoughts?
Alessandra and Gino – We worked very hard to put our feelings and values into the story of Luna Marina Blue, and we truly hope that this can teach today’s children the values of the past in order to be good people for the future. In addition, adults can enjoy our stories as much as the kids. We could imagine our book being used in the classroom or during family reading nights.

Thank you both for being here today.

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Posted on July 21, 2015, in Guest Authors and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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