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A Story of Tuscany Love By Brewster Author

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Brewster resident Tom Bisogno wrote his first novel, “Siena My Love,” based on a real-life experience.
By Mia Levine

Brewster resident and author Tom Bisogno may have started writing his novel “Siena My Love” in 2020, but the story had been brewing in Bisogno’s consciousness for three-quarters of a century.

The story follows American teen singing sensation Michael Ventura, whose life has been a rollercoaster, but when his grandfather needed him, he returned to help at his family’s vineyard near Siena, Italy. As a 10-year-old he had met feisty Sophia. The two would become fast friends during his summer visits until an awkward adolescent moment during the Palio di Siena.

Readers experience Michael and Sophia’s lives through hardships and successes. They are on two different relationship paths until Michael is called back to Tuscany.

Bisogno, 86, a longtime Brewster resident, grew up in Brooklyn and loved listening to the old standards genre, similar to what Ventura’s character sings. He spent several summers near Siena, and grew to love Tuscany.

And, of course, he loved writing. Seemingly never timid about taking on a personal and professional challenge, Bisogno wrote his first book, “Leave Six Inches, a self-published work about growing up in Brooklyn.

Additionally, he and his wife, Louisa, were professionally accredited with a movie on the Lifetime starring Marlee Matlin called “Bridge to Silence.”

But it was reaching back to his 10-year-old self that helped him write “Siena My Love.”

“Everyone, including young people, should shift gears and start in a new direction,” Bisogno said. “If they do not like the path they are on, people should find challenges and not steer away from them.”

Bisogno certainly has followed his own advice. After earning a bachelor’s degree in English from St. John’s University and an MBA in marketing from Pace, a 25-year-old Bisogno oversaw more than 40 employees at a large corporation’s accounting department, managing about $2.5 billion.

His next position was in the company’s marketing group product management and development, which required extensive traveling. He resigned when the organization wanted him to transfer to Chicago for a second time.

Because his wife was teaching at Brewster High School and his five children were happy in Putnam County, he became a real estate broker and taught communication and life skills at Western Connecticut State University, Iona, Marist and Dominican colleges.

“I went into local real estate with partners, and we founded Spectra Realty and had our office on Route 22 in Southeast,” recalled Bisogno who then turned to teaching.

Bisogno has been an active community member, having served on the Brewster Board of Education and as president of the Southeast Museum. He has also been on various civic groups from the late 1960s to the early 1990s.

In 1993, Bisogno helped Southeast acquire its town park. After serving on the school board, he became a speaker at the National Science Foundation hearings on toxic sludge, publishing magazine articles, coordinating public relations, researching material and acting as a media spokesman.

By the end of 2020, Bisogno decided to leave teaching during the pandemic. He had thought about writing a novel for a while.

Bisogno’s affection for Tuscany and love songs helped him come up with the idea for “Siena My Love.”

The first draft of the novel was done in three months. The hard part came after the novel’s manuscript was finished – finding a publisher. He was able to hook up with Atmosphere Press, a collaborative publisher. Edits and marketing took several months and is now available on Amazon.

Accompanying the book is a playlist on YouTube Bisogno compiled to be listened while reading the book.

“(I) wanted to have actual lyrics because the main character is a singer, and it is his dialogue when he sings to his fans and in his romantic relationship,” Bisogno said. “However, the copyright laws and securing permission became impossible within a reasonable time frame to publish. The songs came out of both the story requirements and my personal preferences for the singer, and a YouTube playlist was my way of getting the experience to my readers under the circumstances.”

He is still writing and transitioning a screenplay for the book.

“Siena My Love” is available on Amazon in either paperback or Kindle version.

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