Thursday, October 2, 2008
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Receiving letters from readers is one of the joys of being a published writer, and often, the letters are ones we wish we could share. I usually don't, but this one came today and it really moved me, imagining the life of the person who wrote it -- a female U.S. Army Sargeant -- and the difficult place from which she is writing: Afghanistan. She gave me permission to post part of her letter here.
Mrs. Romano-Lax, I just finished reading your amazing novel. It is easy to forget how wonderful our liberties are in America. I have been in Afghanistan nearly a year now and have had many new experiences.
I bought this book at the PX, picking it from among a bunch of romance novels. Apparently those are popular. It is difficult to find an interesting read unless you order online and then it becomes entirely too overwhelming with too much to choose from. After being here a while there is a lull in creative juices. I needed a recharge desperately and The Spanish Bow brought to life what was sleeping. You captured so many emotions.
You wrote from a man's perspective so well that I thought you were a man until I looked at your bio (I looked for the bio when I bought it, but the last page hid it). I was shocked and pleased. Thank you for stirring my emotions. There were parts of the book that I had to stop and ponder for a while. I wasn't sure what I was feeling but it deserved attention.
You asked the question "In difficult times, is art an indulgence or a necessity?" In my difficult time, away from my family with my life on hold, it is a necessity. Writing eases my troubles, and reading takes me away from them or helps me face them. We are all ordinary. We think we are alone in our struggles. Art reminds us that everyone laughs, cries, loves and all the emotions in between. Art brings people together even when they are alone.
Very sincerely, SGT Tessa Burns US Army
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
At Book Sandwich, Jen and I talk about the music featured in the novel, research, and more.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Monday, September 8, 2008
Amanda at L&ToMNNY mentioned my book again (and visited my blog, where she told me she has a sister in Anchorage -- small world). I also noticed that elsewhere in her blog she mentions THE LAST QUEEN by C. W. Gortner, a historical novel about Juana "La Loca" of Castile. He also writes a Historical Boys blog (in defense of his notion that men write historical fiction, too).
I also noted that Gortner's name seemed oddly familiar. Turns out he wrote a nice review of my book for Historical Novels Review. I hadn't realized he was born in Malaga and shared my passion for Spanish history. A quick visit to his blog, a comment, his email in response, and now we're in touch.
The same day I also happen to make an online connection, via an amazon discussion, with Stephanie Cowell, author of MARRYING MOZART, an intriguing novel about the lives of the maestro's relationship with the four Weber sisters.
Friday, September 5, 2008
Thursday, September 4, 2008
Guanaco was nice enough to call attention to my book when it was in hardcover, and on 9/4 he mentioned it again, in relation to another novel called THE CELLIST OF SARAJEVO by Steven Galloway. (I haven't read it but it looks good -- there's the first book to be added to my virtual suitcase, below.) Guanaco writes:
This book calls to mind another recent novel about a fictionalized
historical cellist, "The Spanish Bow", by Andromeda Romano-Lax. Andromeda (I love that name), who herself is a cellist, presents an enthralling story about a cellist, loosely based on the life and times of Pablo Casals. Unlike the cellist in Galloway's book who is not really the main character in the story, the cellist in "The Spanish Bow" is the focus of the novel, and we read about his life from the time as a young child he receives "the bow" from his absent father until he ultimately becomes one of the most celebrated cellists of his time.It seems, as I watch way too much television for my own good, that more and more often one of the guest characters in the various series (frequently a child) is studying the cello. It seems to be a fad these days. A few recent movies present cellists as a main character [including "The Soloist", based on the book by Steve Lopez, which hasn't yet been released]. The depictions on TV are fleeting, almost superfluous. The movies are a little more engrossing, but I tend to get distracted watching the actor's simulated playing.I much prefer to read about cellists. So from this fan: thank you, Andromeda Romano-Lax...