Inspiration for Made Man Dante – A Mafia Romance
The paperback of Made Man Dante (the boxed set of my Made Man trilogy) is now available. The ebook is available everywhere.
The other day I was on Facebook when I noticed an invitation for some kind of reunion in my hometown in NJ. I clicked on it just to see if I recognized any of the names going, and instead had my attention pulled to the location. The reunion was taking place at Gambino’s Inn.
If you’ve read my Made Man trilogy (Soldier, Capo, and Boss, or the boxed set Made Man Dante), you’re probably familiar with the family name Gambino…and of course you might be familiar with it for other reasons too. I’ve had several people say “I can’t believe you used the name Gambino” and they always lower their voice when they speak that name which I find pretty funny.
I used the name because when I was growing up, the Gambino name was everywhere. My family were friends with Gambinos, as were many other families in the community. Everyone knew each other. There were obviously rumors and stories, but nothing *ahem* concrete. So when I decided to write my own Mafia story, I felt I needed to use that name as a wink to the area I grew up in.
I’ve always loved Mafia stories, both fact and fiction, and one of my favorite movies is The Godfather. In the back of my mind I always had this desire to dip a toe into that world and create my own stories. Dante had been living in my head for a while, brooding like he does, but it took me a while to find the right woman for him. I mean really, who falls in love with a killer?
It seems crazy to me that its been so long, but about a year ago I was listening to Classic Rewind on SiriusXM (which I listen to all the time) and the Billy Joel song “Only the Good Die Young” came on. The song is full of Catholic imagery which I can relate to, having been raised Catholic, but what it’s really about (in my opinion) is this guy trying to get into Virginia’s pants (“sooner or later it comes down to fate, I might as well be the one…only the good die young”).
Anyway, as I was singing along, I started thinking about the lyrics and my time in Catholic school when the next thing I knew, Gianna Carlisi, or Gia was born. (FYI–if you’ve read Made Man Dante or Capo, you might remember Ron and I can definitely see him singing that song to Gia.)
If you’re not familiar with the song, or if you just want to listen to a good, upbeat song here’s Billy Joel singing it years ago at one of his concerts:
So that in a nutshell, is how Made Man Dante came about. If you haven’t read it yet, the links are at the top of this page. If you want to dip your toe in, grab the first part of Made Man Dante for FREE in Soldier – A Mafia Romance (Amazon, Apple, B&N, Kobo, ARe).
Sonny: I killed her fiancé, but I’ll do anything to make her fall in love with me.
Harper: He’s the last person I should be thinking about, but why can’t I get him out of my mind?
This coming year I’ll be writing novels for most of the Gambino family. After Made Man Sonny, will be Made Man Toni (available Spring 2015) where we’ll see how Vic Capuzzo comes back into the Gambinos’ lives and makes it his mission to win over Toni Gambino.
Hope you had a great weekend! If you want more up to date information on what I’m up to, visit my website or Facebook page. If you want to get even closer to me and hear the inside scoop behind my books and early excerpts, join my Facebook reader group.
Take care! <3