Featured in ‘Londra Sera’, THE paper for the discerning Italian community in London.
I have started receiving some very heart-warming emails, mostly from people who know me a little, some from people who do not know me at all. They are complimentary about the novel, which is reassuring. Once a book is out in the public dominion, it is only people’s reactions and comments which make the entire experience real enough to believe it.
I had never received an email from anybody BEFORE they actually read the book… until two days ago.
6pm arrive home
6.05 open package from Amazon – book by famous Italian novelist Angie Voluti inside
6.10 tell my mum who is visiting that i know you and this is why i bought the book
6.20 mum tells me she has read first few pages and knows the poem at the start. She says ‘it is really good’
8.05 parents leave to go back to Cheshire…..with my (your) book..’i’ll give it you back…’
It must be good!
No book for me ;(
Motor Sport also arrived though
This made me laugh.
Brooklands was a relatively sombre affair, as the weather was quite inclement. As I stood next to the Wellington plane in the hangar in my WAAF uniform, a gentleman passed by and pinched my arm.
‘Ouch,’ I said. ‘What did you do that for?’
‘Oh, I just wanted to check you were real,’ he replied.
I guess I am lucky it was my arm that got pinched.
One of the characters in my novel is a Cypriot pilot. Considering the theme at Brooklands, Women In Aviation, this weekend, I thought I’d be in tune with the event and the atmosphere. So I have hired an RAF uniform (or rather, a WAF uniform).
It makes sense: I am talking about WWII, the book is about flying, war, and the Allies. I shall be surrounded by the memories of women who flew, loved and dared passionately.
I’ll add period pencil-line tights. But will not give up my high heels.
Brooklands in Weybridge is hosting a Women in Aviation weekend (19/20 August). It’s a celebration of women’s contribution to the war, and their pursuit of speed, performance and victory. Brooklands is quite a suitable place for such celebrations, being also focused on motorsport and the history of engines/motor cars. I am close to that world, as I work in the automotive industry.
I shall be sitting at my table, in the Bluebird Room at Brooklands, talking about an old story told within the pages of new books in their shiny covers. The Cypriot pilot described in the story lived and died during the war. In fact, he is buried in Italy. I have even used the real details of his squadron. I have pictures of him looking pensive and young, unshaven and yet mature enough to go to war.
Cyprus’s contribution to the war was substantial. The country lost more lives than any of the UK’s allies. The island shares much of its culture and history with Sicily. Different sides, of course.
It will be my first public engagement not as a PR pro, but as a writer.
I am almost apprehensive.
I have had my first review. It feels like the school’s first report, but it’s infinitely more satisfying. I have, in truth, wondered what people may think of my novel. The publisher, clearly, liked it. My friends, close friends and relatives all thought it was marvellous. In the same way, perhaps, as Mummy Cockroach thinks her babies are cute.
This one, though, is my first review, on Amazon, from someone who has purchased my novel and read it, knowing nothing of the research, heartache, love and dedication which has gone into it.
“I couldn’t put this book down. The descriptions of people, places, emotions, scents – all bringing war-torn Sicily and its long past to mind. The characters are very well-drawn, and this in itself helps the astonishing ending in the last few pages come to a threatening and ultimately eye-widening denouement. I just wanted it to go on and on. As good as any best-selling thriller you can name – let’s hope it gets to that well-deserved status.”