The announcements are in the mail, the performers are rehearsing, and many of my colleagues have big grins on their faces as we reach the finish of the long waiting period for THE FOUR SEASONS to reach its publication date. Today two of my faculty friends involved with VIVA VIVALDI, the November 5 San Diego City College launch event, told me they had to order themselves to stop reading the book so they could get some sleep before an 8 AM class, or hop in the shower to get to work on time. “I want to finish it tonight,” one said. “I can’t wait to see what happens next.” “I love Chiaretta,” the other said. “I’m rooting for her to bust out and do something just for herself.” And then, after a moment she added, “Actually, I love them both equally, each in her own way.” One of the nice things about the book, she said, is that even in the constrained world my heroines Maddalena and Chiaretta inhabit, they do not seem like victims but empowered individuals who choose for themselves and thrive within their limited options. “Hooray,” I say to my friend. “Exactly my message.”
And something I’ve noticed consistently is that everyone who holds a copy of the book strokes the cover. THE FOUR SEASONS is truly a beautiful product, and though the words within it are mine (with some great editing by Sarah Landis and the copy editor), the way people will have their first tactile or visual encounter with it in bookstores is the work of others who might otherwise go unsung. I’d like to thank the art director of VOICE, Laura Klynstra, and Jessica Shatan Heslin, who designed a cover that is lovely beyond words, and a beautiful interior layout as well. Wow, wow, wow! And thanks from a debut novelist who could not have asked for a better team. This book radiates the love of many, and I hope readers will feel that warmth.
I’ll be at the Southern California Independent Booksellers Association’s “Authors Feast” and Book Expo this weekend. I’m taking it on faith that authors aren’t on the dinner menu! I’m looking forward to meeting more folks from Hyperion, other authors, and, most importantly, those wonderful folks who keep the tradition of independent booksellers alive in Southern California. Details next week!