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My First Letter To You
Oh gentle folks,
Let me start with a cherished memory: I published my first book back in 2004, in Italian. It was a popular history book on the relationship between communism and magic (not a conspiracy-theory laden one - mainstream history is strange enough without a need for embellishments).
Years passed, and books, and languages, and a lot of life, some of it good. It is now 2022, and my next novel, my second one in English, is out tomorrow. And here I am, admitting that I am a little anxious, for the first time, about a book of mine getting published. It used to be the case that once a book was ready, I almost forgot about it. I was always focused on the next story, the next project, the next slice of life. This is different: I feel as nervous today as someone pondering whether to go for their first kiss or leave it for another day.
Why? Your guess is as good as mine. It may have to do with me having turned forty last year, and realised there is not an endless amount of books I am going to write or read. It may have to do with how much I have loved spending time with Ada and Luca, and how hard writing their story has been (no novel ever required me the amount of research that went into this one). It may be because I tried something new - tell a story without ever using sight, through the other senses, four or more - and I hope I managed. It may be because I wanted to be respectful of the real-life difficulties of those going through sight loss. But I don’t know.
There is another thing I am nervous about - starting a newsletter and a blog again, untold years after I retired my old digital spaces. It is something I have been meaning to do for a while, and I always found perfectly good reasons to procrastinate. I wanted to have a chance to articulate some ideas better than I can on Twitter: I do not believe that brevity is always a virtue. I will do this in the form of letters, because although I embrace some of the new ways of the world, I am fond of some of the old ones too. Very fond, as you may find out.
Another thing I do not believe is that my ideas are necessarily mind-blowing; but you never know what happens when you start a conversation.
I would love to say these letters are going to be regular, that I will be working conscientiously on them. I aim at making them a weekly thing, but who am I kidding? Between writing, reading, and the toils of life, a week goes by in a day. I will try, this is all I can say: I will try. I will explore a few things that make my world - stories, magic, landscape, sensuous experiences, intellectual challenges, the stuff of life. If you do not hear from me, don’t worry, I’m probably good. But reach out if you want, and say hi.
Thank you for being here,