One day a couple years ago while walking in Riverfront Park in Pittston with her son, Jack, then 10, Nina Cinti hit on the idea to write a series of novels set in the fictional town she named Hope Lake. Next Sunday, Cinti, who writes under the pseudonym Nina Bocci, will be at Barnes & Noble in Wilkes-Barre from 1 to 3 p.m. signing the first book of the series, “On the Corner of Love and Hate.” The official release date is Tuesday, Aug. 20.
“The books,” Cinti said, “are a homage to Pennsylvania, encompassing things I enjoy about living here.”
Though she lives in Plains Twp., where she grew up, Cinti is connected to Pittston through her mother, the former Gloria Fanti, a Pittston native. Her father is Ciro Cinti. Cinti said she likes Pittston and wrote several fictionalized Greater Pittston area references into the Hope Lake book series. There’s a brewery modeled after SBC, a Grablick’s-style ice cream parlor, a trail along an old railroad bed, a food festival, and repurposed vintage buildings hinting at the Lincoln School, Hitchner Bakery and Downtown Pittston.
The books are published by Simon & Schuster, a New York City publisher Cinti used to work for as a freelance editor. She also freelanced for other New York publishers including Penguin and Avon. During her freelance period, she went to New York City two or three times a month, and though she could probably live most anywhere, she lives in Plains Twp., where she was born raised. She graduated from Coughlin High School and King’s College.
“I love it here,” she said of NEPA.
Cinti describes her books as “Chick Lit” rather than traditional romance, with strong themes of family and place.
Working around her day job as a Wyoming Seminary kindergarten teacher, Cinti wrote the four books in a year and a half.
The official release date for the second book of the series “Meet Me on Love Lane” is Dec. 10. The third and fourth books are “The Ingredients of You and Me” and “From Hope Lake, With Love.”
Find her books at amazon.com or stop and see her next Sunday at Barnes & Noble. Visit ninabocci.com to learn more, including how her first book written when she was 8 got her in trouble at school for its anarchist themes.
Nina’s siblings are Ciro and Nino Cinti, football coaches for the new Wilkes-Barre Area Wolfpack, and Michelle Cinti-Waslasky, a Wilkes-Barre Area teacher.