Un Terribile Amore in Verona

 In Diary, News

Verona, September 27th 2015.

What a great time we had at the launch of Spazio Vibrissae in Verona last night!

We had no idea what to expect – this new venture by Federica Sgaggio is an eclectic mix of vintage clothes, quirky accessories – and books.

By 18.30, this open and welcoming space in Vicolo Due Stelle was packed to the rafters.

There was great excitement, a warm welcome for everyone and a hugely enjoyable discussion about books, particularly about Un terribile amore (the original The Years That Followed will be published next March).

ItalishMagazine, under the expert guidance of Massimiliano Roveri, hosted an online book club over the last few weeks – our first experiment in engaging with readers who want to ask questions and have a chat about all sorts of book-related and writing-related topics.

And our first online Book Club proved to be a great success: more than twenty-five enthusiastic readers turned up yesterday evening for a lively and stimulating event.

We discussed the creative process, the art of translation, the power of fiction to entertain and provoke and the demands and challenges of the publishing industry today.

It is always such a pleasure for me to meet my readers. Writing is a very solitary occupation and it gives me great joy to see my books as ‘living things’ in the hands of readers.

When a novel leaves my desk, it is a piece of text, something that I have created, but it exists in a vacuum.

Once a reader engages with it, however, it becomes something different, something almost alive and responsive. In addition, each reader brings different expectations and different experiences to their reading of a novel – so in a sense, each reader reads a ‘different’ novel from the same text that I created.

In this way, all of these diverse experiences make for a great discussion. We could have gone on all evening – but we eventually had to stop, quite late in the evening.

Not before I had the pleasure, though, of talking to some aspiring writers.

And my advice is always the same: Turn up at the desk and write.

Inspiration happens when you’re working.

All writing is like a muscle: exercise it!


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