Person of the Week
For Geraldine Brown Giomblanco, It’s About the Journey
Geraldine Brown Giomblanco had been collecting a lifetime of stories in her head, but it was a chance meeting of her future husband at a marina that led to her authoring Geraldina & the Compass Rose: One Woman’s Faith-Filled Journey to Find Love. A Memoir. (Photo courtesy of Geraldine Brown Giomblanco )
Geraldine Brown Giomblanco may be a relatively new resident of Clinton, but pretty soon her story will be well known. Geraldine wrote an award-winning book published in 2019 that is in the process of being turned into a film by a production company.
The name of the book is Geraldina & the Compass Rose: One Woman’s Faith-Filled Journey to Find Love. A Memoir. The book tells the story of how she unexpectedly met her husband, Clinton resident Mark Giomblanco, on his boat in Montauk, New York. Since the book was released in 2019 it has won several awards for books in the romance and spiritual genres. The book is a true story of how Geraldine fell and love got married for the first time at age 50 while also detailing her spiritual journey and inner strength developed over her life time.
“It’s about a woman who never gives up and loses faith that she is going to get married one day,” Geraldine says, adding, “And never settles, too.”
In the book, Geraldine details stories of her life that touch on a spectrum of emotions from loss and tragedy to funny anecdotes. Geraldine says that readers can relate.
“It’ s a story of hope,” she says. “In some form or another, it has happened to them.”
Faith is a central tenet of Geraldine’s life and it is apparent in her book. Geraldine credits her grandmother with instilling the deep sense of faith in her.
When her grandmother immigrated to the United States from Italy she initially settled in Bridgeport and entered a convent. Eventually she left the convent and moved to New York where she started a family, but she never lost her faith.
Geraldine says she’s never been afraid to do something different and follow her intuition. That faith has helped Geraldine as she encourages others to “follow your gut and find a way to do something.”
Being careful not to give too much of her book away, Geraldine says that something so unbelievable happened as she got to know her husband, Mark, that they both said, “I have to write that book.” Geraldine initially called a longtime friend to get an opinion of her story.
“I called someone I knew that’s written for Hallmark and Lifetime movies and was advised to write a book first. It was the greatest advice ever,” recalls Geraldine.
When she was younger, Geraldine says she initially wanted to be a teacher when she grew up and would always volunteer to be the teacher when she and her friends would play school as children.
“I always knew I was creative and I always felt I was going to do something big,” Geraldine says.
Still, she never really saw herself as an author.
“In my faith, I always felt you get challenged where you struggle the most,” says Geraldine.
So she focused on her writing.
“I loved plotting the story out. I got to be myself and let my personality go,” says Geraldine. “It’s exciting but it’s a true story and it didn’t happen to someone else...it happened to me.”
Currently, Geraldine’s book is in preproduction to be turned into a movie by Jars Media CEO Rob Simmons, actress and director Diane Cossa, director David Platt, and writer Ante Novakovic. Noting it’s a long process that has been delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Geraldine says she’s unsure yet when the film will come out.
“I’m completely in love with the process. It’s very exciting for me, I can’t wait to see how it comes through on screen,” says Geraldine.
Prior to writing her book, Geraldine spent a long time as a corporate executive in New York.
“I was very, very fortunate,” Geraldine says of her former career.
Eventually, Geraldine says she wanted to find time for herself to pursue other interests so she left the cooperate world behind.
Geraldine met Mark in 2015 and one year later they were married and moved to Clinton. Geraldine says that Clinton held a special place in Mark’s heart from when he was young and would summer in the area. Geraldine credits Mark’s support with some of the recognition the book has received since he was the one who helped submit the book for award consideration.
“He’s really responsible for believing in me and helping out there,” says Geraldine.
In their spare time, Geraldine and Mark enjoy spending time on their boat, which they use frequently. In addition to the boat, Geraldine enjoys spending time doing art, spending time outdoors, and riding her bike around. In particular, Geraldine enjoys the scenic vistas and nature offered by time in Clinton.
“There’s so many beautiful places you can just plop,” says Geraldine.