Sneak Peek: Our Grandparents

If you are partly "Italian-American" (as I am), and that ancestry stems from you being a product of immigrants who arrived in the U.S. between about 1870-1914 (as I am), it's likely you grew up with a complicated relationship with Italy. My maternal great-grandparents were all Italian immigrants. My grandparents were born in the U.S. …

Sneak Peek: The Beginning (Warning: Contains Spoiler)

As we know, Amazon makes the first 10 percent of a Kindle book, as well as the first pages of a print version (although not nearly so many pages as for the Kindle), available for free reading online. I suspect that is gradually altering writing; I know it's impacting mine. For given that potential readers …

“It is America. Everyone goes to university!”

The first two novels laid the groundwork. As they are an ongoing tale (although could be read as stand alone books) with most of the same characters, writing them I'm naturally with them for years - literally - watching them change. And I've said before that, given their ages, that some of them even feel …

Sneak Peek: Relaxing (Too Much?) Over Beers

"James" had not been a international traveller. He had never been to Europe until he visited France for the first time at age 29. Subsequently, he would find himself in various encounters with other Americans in Europe. One example was a retired soldier who truly inspired him: “I parachuted near here on D-Day,” he announced. …

Sneak Peek: The Khoury Sisters

I hadn't "planned" it this way, but as I began to write Passports, I found myself drawn to exploring those who don't really have "intimate" sibling relationships. My younger main characters tend to be "only children," have much older siblings, or are essentially estranged from them. In many ways, their friends come to serve as …

Sneak Peek: Marathon Man

I am dreading this "writing streak" drying up. I had another "productive" day yesterday, when I finished a draft chapter. It features "James," "Isabelle" and "Béatrice" in something of a light-hearted situation. It also includes an unexpected reference to "Uncle Bill." After all, when you are connected personally to someone "famous," well, you never know …

Because We Love Italy

In the first two volumes, I concentrated (unsurprisingly, I suppose) on three countries: the U.S., France, and Britain. However, I also made scattered references to Italy. I included the likes of "James" having an Italian aunt, "Isabelle" having been to a language school in Rome, "Giorgio" debating Italian girls with "Isabelle," English "Natalie's" younger cousin …

Sneak Peek: “Are you a Parisian?”

Happy Friday! Good Morning!: I've been writing lots in recent days. There are just those times it "flows" and you find you just keep "going with it." It's sorta like being on a "winning streak" in sports. (Thus decidedly unlike England's current World Cup cricket team's experience.) When you find yourself "in the zone" you …

A Glimpse Into The Novel-In-Progress

Having been making references to the sequel, I thought I should finally share an excerpt from the "rough copy" of the manuscript. This bit is from a "Valérie in New York" chapter. I looked at it again before I posted it here, and thought, "Oh, I hate that sentence." Or, "That doesn't work." Or, "That's …

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