Greetings from the Matera Women’s Fiction Festival 2015!

When this post goes out, I’ll be happily on my annual hajj to Matera, the beautiful cave town in southern Italy. Each September, the town plays host to the Matera Women’s Fiction Festival, and I always enjoy my literary escape to this idyllic spot. Each year, I learn so much about the publishing industry, chat…

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Summer holidays in Mitteleuropa

I’ve long been a southern European, making my home in Rome, Italy, with its centuries of history, balmy weather, and proximity to the warm Mediterranean sea. But when I was younger, I used to live and work in landlocked European countries farther north. This summer holiday, my family and I drove up from Rome on…

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Authors – are you dedicated to content marketing?

Literary agent Rachelle Gardner had an excellent post on her blog entitled ‘What the heck is content marketing?’ Content marketing may sound like a confusing term, but it really means attracting loyal readers to the content on your blog and social media. Writers should find this easy, since they love to write for wide audiences.…

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More medieval Tuscany: Sarteano

Ah, more medieval Tuscany. I’ve already written to our visit to some of the small towns of Tuscany’s beuatiful Valdorcia. My son was at a track and field camp in pretty Abbadia di San Salvatore, which I’ve written about in an earlier post. But medieval towns are sprinkled all over this pretty region in the…

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A city for readers – Salzburg

Heaven, I’m in heaven, and my heart beats so that I can hardly speak… That’s how I felt one early morning in August as I stumbled upon Salzburg’s Mozartplatz, just as they were setting up the square for avid readers. The beautiful square, with its stunning views up to the castle and watched over by…

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Reason #5381 to love Rome: Snow in August

Snow is pretty rare in Rome. And even rarer in August. But every August, since Ancient Roman times, snow falls over at least one part of the city to reenact the Madonna della neve (Madonna of the snow) tradition. Each August – to be precise, the 5 August –  the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore…

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Robert Frost was a pantser, too?

I have never started a poem yet whose end I knew. Writing a poem is discovering. ~ Robert Frost Who knew – poet Robert Frost was a pantser (a.k.a. non-plotter), too? I’m always interested to read about techniques of various authors: some are meticulous plotters, while others are unabashed pantsers. It never fails to surprise…

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Alpine Tuscany: Monte Amiata

I’ve already written about my ‘find’ this summer when my son, an aspiring Usain Bolt, went to a track and field camp in the pretty Tuscan town of Abbadia di San Salvatore. The town is on the foothills of Monte Amiata, a volcanic cone that is 1730 meters from sea level. Luckily, this volcano has been dormant for…

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