Today, I find myself in writer-bliss — thrilled to be writing a new novel. There’s the phase of editing a book (tough fun) and the phase of marketing it (tough and not so fun), and the best phase, starting one. It’s summer, and ideas are blooming in my head as wildly as the roses I tend in 12 pots are putting out buds and opening red, pink, gold, and white. New story ideas opened up buds too. A lemon grove. A new heroine who’s fleeing a catastrophe in her life to run away to Florence, Italy. More
Love stories — three reasons we adore them: 1) love is essential to wellbeing, 2) stories are essential maneuvering through life, and 3) every love is unique. Are our brains hardwired for stories? Story Genius author and master story coach Lisa Cron thinks humans evolved by learning how to solve problems through hearing stories. More
If you could choose any one season and time-travel again and again to that, which one would you choose? For me, every season has been a choice at one time or another in my life. Read my blog post at Fiery Seas Publishing, during my favorite month, May. More
I’m delighted to have a new interview up at Authors18 — a group of this year’s debut authors, of which I’m a proud member. Among the questions asked: “If you could spend a day with anyone in history, who would it be?” See my answer in today’s interview (hint: I’d travel to Renaissance Italy). Here’s a link to the interview.
The month-long blog tour arranged by my publisher, Fiery Seas, has yielded a wonderful, thoughtful review of my novel The Renaissance Club. I’m very pleased at today’s review on the book blog, What Cathy Read Next. This sensitive reviewer has visited some of the places in the book — Rome and Venice — and seen some of Bernini’s art. One of my favorite paragraphs in the review connects my writing as a poet with descriptions of the carnival of beauty that is Italian Renaissance art.
Having a book out in the world isn’t a new experience for me. With three poetry books out in the world, I’ve experienced the elation, stage fright, happy overwhelm, and sheer joy in completing a book and giving it an audience. But to have a novel published is in another sphere. It’s a goal I’ve had since I was a child. And yesterday, I achieve it, with the release of The Renaissance Club from Fiery Seas Publishing.
I’ve partied, celebrated, and emailed and passed out bookmarks to spread the word. Right now, I’m happy to share an excerpt, published at Escape Into Life. Thanks to the editors there, you can read the cute-meet of my two main characters, one who lives in the 21st century, and the other who lives in the 17th, but who find a fold in time that allows them to be in the same moment.
If you suddenly found you could time travel, what good could you hope to do by traveling into the past? Could you time travel to prevent a war or a plague? Would you want to ensure that friendly, intelligent aliens landing on our planet weren’t obliterated by weed-killer? Would you want to change your own history to become richer, more successful, or healthier? Would you try to spare someone close to you a catastrophe?
Some of those things are the goal of my main character, May Gold, in The Renaissance Club (now available for pre-order on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple Books, and Kobo). Time travel has been a philosophical problem ever since someone devised it. It’s the problem I asked myself as I sent May back to the 17th century.
And it’s a question I kept pondering as I thought about George St. James, the club’s guide to Renaissance Italy, and for a few the guide to time traveling.
Why did George have this gift? How did he decide to use it only to aid others? In George’s case, time travel appears to be genetic. His grandmother had the ability, though neither of his parents did. But I’m getting ahead of myself, because that’s not in the prologue of The Renaissance Club. It will appear in my third novel, Time’s Wily Thief, which features George St. James.
In The Renaissance Club, art historian May Gold time travels with George’s aid, and she finds herself face-to-face with her hero, 17th century Italian sculptor Gianlorenzo Bernini. As she goes back and forth into his timeline, she starts trying to change things in his life, to prevent disasters that impeded his art.
Would you give up everything, even the time in which you live, to be with your soul mate?
That’s the question my main character, May Gold, has to ask herself when her adventures in Italy in The Renaissance Club bring her face-to-face with her idol, 17th century genius sculptor Gianlorenzo Bernini. She has always admired — maybe more than admired — the fiery, expressive artist who could make marble come alive. What would you do if you could meet the historical person you most admire?
Click the link below to get a preview:
I’m thrilled to share that you can pre-order it, in either ebook or paperback, on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and iBooks. Delivery date will be the official release: January 23. If you grab a copy now, you’ll do a sort of time-traveling yourself, having it in your hands in January, when it releases. You can congratulate your past self for giving you a New Year’s present! Perfect for a cozy read during winter nights.
In case you haven’t read about this already, I’m giving away a free chapter of The Renaissance Club, due to be published by Fiery Seas Publishing in January 2018. You can claim one from Instafreebie here, or simply by going to my website.
Would you give up everything, even the time in which you live, to be with your soul mate? May Gold, a college adjunct teacher, often dreams about the subject of her master’s thesis – Gianlorenzo Bernini. In her fantasies she’s in his arms, the wildly adored partner of the man who invented the Baroque.
But in reality, May has just landed in Rome with her teaching colleagues and older boyfriend. She considers herself a precocious failure and yearns to unleash her passion and creative spirit. Over the course of the tour, she realizes she has to choose — stay in a safe but stagnant existence, or take a risk. Will May’s adventure in time ruin her life or lead to a magical new one? The Renaissance Club is forthcoming from from Fiery Seas Publishing in 2018.
These aren’t the actual covers, but I had fun playing around with images! If you want to comment, please do.
What’s so great about Italy, and why did I spend many years of my life writing about it, culiminating in my novel The Renaissance Club, which features Italian sculptor Gianlorenzo Bernini?
Good questions. What I keep coming up with is that Italy is Bernini, and Bernini, Italy. I mean the place is full of gorgeous, sumptuous, emotionally moving art. It’s a place so full of art you start to take it for granted that you’ll turn a corner and see some gorgeous sculptural fountain or fantastically beautiful church.
And Italian Renaissance and Baroque art packs a wallop that can stop you in your tracks. Below are some of the reasons to visit Italy — five fantastic, life-size Bernini sculptures. You can only get a small idea seeing a photo, because these life-size, or even bigger, statues are like people who walk into the room, naked physically and emotionally.
This one, for example, is life size, and not much elevated above the viewer’s plane. It’s in the Villa Borghese in Rome.
A really startling thing about this one, is it is like meeting Bernini–he used his own face for the David. Probably the expression he often wore while chiseling on marble!
This contr-apposto pose, with the body twisting on itself, is something Bernini pushed to the limits. His figures move like actors on a stage. It was something really new, probably shocking, and certainly moves us looking at them.
This is one of the dynamic statues that made me want to write a novel about Bernini! To read a free preview chapter, head over to my website:
And here’s Bernini again, wearing a somewhat different expression in this bust of A Damned Soul.
The sculptures are very much in motion, with lots of curving planes and lines. Italy is so full of these curvilinear forms, in buildings, fountains, sculptures everywhere, and choice of subjects of art, that you begin to feel like you’re in a boat, riding somewhere, bouncing up and down, side to side, on the waves.
When I came home to my Northern California suburb, I really missed the waves, the romance, and of course Bernini. His massive scultpures don’t travel. Bernini everywhere in Rome,gave me such depth of feeling and passion as I’ve rarely seen in art. Ecstasy and torment—rarely anything blandly inbetween. So of course, I had to write a time-travel novel about him! I’d like to time travel and really meet this amazing genius.
For 10 unforgettable reasons to visit Italy, click Lifehack’s list here. Really Venice and Bernini are enough reasons.