[images: Akasha, except where noted]
I've had a writing breakthrough with what needs to happen.
Yes, I had to put this on pause for my #ShineThroughtheNoise #SparkCreativity release and helping with a family member's health. Now I'm writing and planning the #DavantiThriller release again!
U2360GRADI.IT, from headquarters in Rome, Italy
Q: We have the honour to meet Akasha Lin Garnier, a well-known author, filmmaker and a great fan of U2! She has some exciting news to share with us! Your last book is called Secrets to Shine Through the Noise, I believe?
Read the original interview in Italian.
Akasha: That’s right! I’m honoured to be here and to continue to share U2 stories with you!
Yes, Secrets to Shine Through the Noise is a journey story inspired by living in Hawaii, and travel during the iNNOCENCE + eXPERIENCE Tour. I was so excited to be invited to do a live chapter reading we did in Dublin, before the U2 show at “Croker” (the nickname my Irish friend Susan told me they use for Croke Park). Fortunately, the audience said they were really taken in. Have a listen!
“When it’s dark, look for stars”
I enjoyed several shows on the 2015 iNNOCENCE + eXPERIENCE Tour, like many avid U2 fans and friends. While in Los Angeles for the IE shows, I remember hearing that U2 tour manager Dennis Sheehan had passed away in West Hollywood the morning before U2's second night in a five-show run at the Forum in Los Angeles. The band issued a statement saying the concert would proceed with no delay.
I thought it was so amazing that they wanted to perform for us, their fans, and share the experience publically. My book title came to me then: Secrets to #ShineThroughtheNoise.
I also have a “side hustle” for freelance writing/branding projects to pay for travel, for book marketing and good U2 tickets. I was working full time when I wrote my first book…and knew I could do better with my writing. I have been inspired to write a travel thriller series in book and film form as well. When I lived Hawaii, I spent 3 months living in a castle, and surviving a tsunami, so there are certainly thriller elements from that adventure.
"and you can dream, so dream out loud"
So, I continue to dream out loud! I must also mention that I support Angelo’s request for U2 to play “Acrobat” on Experience + Innocence Tour!! 😊
U2360gradi: Thanks for your kind answers. We know that you will have a special character in your Davanti thriller. Please tell us, we are curious about it
Akasha: Sure! I have been even more inspired by my first trip to Ireland include U2 in my thriller series!! I had written them in for the opening scene last year (you can ask filmmaker/director Patrick Tutera from Last Hurrah Film on Twitter – we attended an Oscar soiree together in LA)! When I talked about the scene and described the yacht party with U2’s appearance, the room went quiet…and those around us leaned in to hear more. Well, that is always a good sign!
[Bono, The Edge in Cote d'Azur. I may write these ensembles into a scene. :)
I have polished those scenes so the band has more to do that just fly in and play a private yacht gig. Siena’s father is a music producer, so he has connections. We’ll find out what his motives are for flying the band in…
Shine the spotlight on Marina del Rey (California), our heroine "Siena", and Moonshadows, where she's ready for the birthday soiree and inheritance that secures she'll never have to work a day in her life.
Davanti: A Thriller in Golden Handcuffs
Suddenly, Siena’s limo changes course and takes her to a venue not listed on the invitation. Was this business as usual in the City of Angels? Would Siena have to tip toe away from some kind of Grisham exposé?
Davanti is a riches to rags to discovery story. Think “The Firm” set in a “Devil Wears Prada” world with yachts. A rising socialite loses her inheritance and is forced to take a day job where she discovers her mentor is involved in a security threat just before it goes global.
Siena Forse is American, but she can pass for Italian and French and speak both languages. "Forse" in Italian means "maybe", and she is definitely a woman on the brink...
Could this be a glimpse of Siena from the Cannes red carpet?
U2360gradi: Wait? Did we get it right?! Are you talking about having U2 in your thriller? Do you know that this would be a top-news?
Akasha: Yes, that’s correct!! How great would that be, right?! I have been having great fun with writing the scenes and look forward to sharing the, with readers and eventually as a film too.
I’d love to do a soundtrack. I have had some exciting meetings in the last few months.
And speaking of news…my chapter reading and support in Dublin has been so great that I have an announcement: I will be publishing the first novel of the series: Davanti: A Thriller in Golden Handcuffs with the host of my Dublin chapter reading, BooksGoSocial.com! They are Dubliners who have a valuable business and creative perspective. I had a lovely chat with Laurence O'Bryan, Books Go Social’s founder and thriller novelist. I want my first “Davanti” thriller novel to come out sooner rather than later. If I wait for a top 5 U.S. publisher contract it will be more than 1.5 years. The interest and excitement is here now! I’m very grateful! This also helps motivate me to get the screenplay in order as we start 2018.
I am doing cover art for “Davanti” this week, so I will find out about my release date and follow up!
U2360gradi: We really hope U2 will be part of your thriller "Davanti", even if already having them in your book is already marvelous. Can we ask, what are your feelings about U2, how long since you've been a fan of them?
Akasha: Thanks so much! Of course, I love talking about that with fans and friends. I started writing as a senior in high school and would always listen to “The Joshua Tree”. I’m from St. Paul, Minnesota (U.S.A.), and when we started taking road trips, we’d listen to and sing along with U2 while driving across the United States. It’s so poetic and cinematic, like the scenes the band used during the tour. “The Joshua Tree” tour was the first time I saw U2 live: my friends and I camped out overnight after seeing a David Bowie concert to get tickets. I started following the band to different cities for concerts when I moved to California in my 20s.
In 2012, I sat in my Irish friend Susan’s sunny office in the U.K, (check out Scala Advance!) We said, “Let’s have an adventure to see U2 in Dublin!” It took me 5 years…but we made it happen! Susan secured our U2 Dublin tickets. I wrote to several hotels in Cork, Galway and Dublin to offer to write about their space (I have an adventure blog, and I’m writing a travel thriller series, so many of them were interested. We had the most amazing hospitality experience with Ashford Castle and The Lodge at Ashford Castle in Cong, Ireland (about 3 hours outside of Dublin). They set up tours of the estate, the castle and nearby island. Of course, U2 stories popped up. Just after we had a lovely time foraging and visiting with Chef Jonathon of Wilde’s restaurant, we had the chance to experience an Island & Live Traditional Music Cruise.
This two-hour cruise brought us to Inchagoill Island, where we explored the lake’s most famous island set on 100 beautiful acres of state owned forest park. We were given a guided tour of St. Patrick's 5th Century Monastic site. Their resident musician (and actor in “The Piano Man” with John Wayne), entertains guests along the way with music, stories and song. Captain Patrick mentioned that he had taken U2 on a private tour of this same island before they recorded “The Joshua Tree”! Bono had his harmonica and a notebook and they sat among the same historical sites where we were to gather inspiration. Capt. Patrick mentioned something about Bono having his head in the clouds. Well, I would too with everything brimming before they had finished the album that would change their careers and make musical history!
Capt. Patrick on the island with the same Irish ruins U2 visited for inspiration. Image: Akasha
On another tour with the castle manager Christopher we were taken to other parts of the grounds and shown the general region where U2 has their lake homes. I’m a grand U2 fan, but I never want to stalk them, so I’ll have to wait for my invitation to find to more about that. A signed photo of Bono hangs on the Ashford Castle wall of fame. There were plenty of intriguing helicopter landings during our visit; I know I’d love to continue my thriller series and write about the castle grounds for its own book. (Thanks again to the Ashford Castle, Lodge and Red Carnation hospitality teams for these tours! There’s more on my blog about the gourmet tour and castle visit.)
Susan and I celebrated the success of my chapter reading with my first Guinness in Dublin…and a piano man was playing “Beautiful Day” as we sat down! It was so beautiful.
We went to the U2 Start fan party that night, the day before the only U2 show of the year in Dublin. The Zooropa U2 tribute band played the Button Factory, an amazing venue located between the Irish Rock and Roll Museum and the Wall of Fame, center Temple Bar, in the heart of Dublin with plenty of U2 landmarks within a 5-minute walk.
YES, the Dublin show was outstanding and well worth the trip! Susan and I sat by fans from London and Dublin and had met fans from Rome, so I could practice some of my Italian. Our seat mates could not believe that I had flown in from Chicago for the show. Of course, we know that many fans do such a thing.
I do wish I could have met the U2360gradi team in Dublin. I am so grateful to have an interview here.
I would be happy to host dinner and drinks at my Italian friends’ place Nando Milano in Chicago whenever you come here for a U2 show!
More U2 news and a prize for you:
I’m happy to announce that I have designed special jewelry with Jane of RockYourMessages.com, to share with U2 fans.
Here’s how to get yours:
So...U2 is playing your private super-yacht soiree. (Congrats!!)
What song would you like them to open the show with?
Submit answer and address for your gratis Davanti jewelry and your chance to win the grand prize: U2 "Songs of Experience" UK box set and the foodie prize: authentic Italian dinner at Nando Milano, Chicago!
ENTER CONTEST [Contest has now ended, thank you for a great success!]
U2360gradi: The last question. Have you ever been in Italy, what's your opinion about our country and our people?
A: I have been to the beautiful area of Siena/Tuscany after sailing The Med from Cannes, France my photo, just below). This is part of what inspired my thriller series, and using Italian names.
I’ve had some intriguing discussions about “Davanti” and “Avanti” in Italian with Angelo, and he’s encouraged me to share this interview with the team and our U2 friends. We’ll find out why the main character is named “Siena”.
I would certainly love to come to Rome and other areas of Italy. I love the Italian people: you are so warm, welcoming and genuine. I understand your pride in your history and food.
I work with good Italian friends from Sicily and help them with marketing for the restaurant they opened in Chicago: Nando Milano. Dario Vullo and Chef Alessio Vullo take pride in their grandmothers’ recipes and in making authentic Italian food by hand.
Thanks again @U2360gradi! I’d love to toast to stories, friends and dreaming out loud in person! Salute i miei amici!
Clues for the adventures ahead
I have laid of a few clues here about how U2 and their music history comes into play in my thriller. I’ve been having a lot of fun writing it!! I believe strong books sales will help me take time off from my office job to finish the screenplay; I’m working on securing travel thriller sponsors, and I was invited to be one of the first global brands to go PRO as a writer and influencer. I just won my 10th award for writing/marketing, which makes 10 years in a row…and sponsors seem to be responding to that.
It is my great pleasure to welcome friends and enthusiastic U2 fans U2360gradi to the A-List!
And if I win the U2 mini-golf prize from the RED Shopathon, I am inviting Angelo and Dani to come with me. 😊
Thank you for listening. The fan stories have been so inspiring from Pink Adam to Joshua the Bear. I believe that “Davanti” will find its way to U2 somehow. In the meantime, I am grateful to share backstory here with U2 friends.
I will follow up with more dates for release dates.
Check out our other partners and projects.
Keep dreaming out loud!
Read Akasha’s blog on U2: “The Art of Making an Entrance”
Read the Davanti interview in Irish.
Read the #Davanti interview in French from Cannes
Shared by our friend and A-List partner, M. Marcel, #DandyCannes. Merci bien Marcel for your support from Cannes, Italy and much of Côte d'Azur!
Akasha Lin Garnier
Author, Filmmaker, Producer
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