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February-March 2009
Dear Reader:
Much is happening. Not only am I launching into the world of children's literature with a series, I have at last put the finishing touches on my second novel, THE ITALIAN TRANSLATION. (Those of you who know me know what a perfectionist I can be and how little I like to let go of a project that I love.) Notwithstanding, my agent has it now and we are both very happy with how it has turned out. Look for more on THE ITALIAN TRANSLATION under the "Books" link.

If you have enjoyed THE POET OF LOCH NESS, please put THE ITALIAN TRANSLATION on your reading radar screens and encourage your friends and family to read it when it is released. As a new novelist, my success relies entirely upon your good opinion and recommendation to others. So, please do continue to spread the word about THE POET OF LOCH NESS as well as the upcoming ITALIAN TRANSLATION.

Your emails and letters are warmly welcomed, and I do enjoy hearing from you. If you are shy about writing, please don't be. Click the "write me" function on the main page, that is a link to my email, for I do enjoy corresponding.

I have just conducted several writing seminars and am making plans for the summer when I will be in London for several weeks before heading to Italy again.

Thank you to everyone who turned out to see me in the bookstores. It is a great pleasure for a professor of literature to find so many people who read for the sheer pleasure of reading.

This novel continues what I hope to be a four-book series exploring the seasons of love. THE POET OF LOCH NESS quite obviously explores summer. Its images of growth and ripening—both in the natural world and in the heart—are meant to explore not so much that time of the season or that time in our lives but rather that time in our journey through love—when we have passed our initial flirtation and adoration and are well and truly in that state of devotion that is love. THE ITALIAN TRANSLATION is set in the spring on the coast of Amalfi. It features a young widow, an American, learning to love once more.

These FOUR SEASONS books will also draw upon Shakespeare for inspiration. At the end of his career, he wrote four unimaginably beautiful romances. THE POET OF LOCH NESS is in part an homage to Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale, which also features a character named Perdita. THE ITALIAN TRANSLATION draws upon his Tempest and features as its main character a woman named Miranda. If you are familiar with the Shakespeare plays, you will not see too much direct correlation between his stories and mine. However, you might, if you looked deeply into it, see that the imagery and themes—at least some of the themes—have inspired these novels.

Finally, the FOUR SEASONS series will explore four different women in four different stages of the love realationship. THE POET OF LOCH NESS featured a married woman exploring married love. THE ITALIAN TRANSLATION features a widow. The third book will explore love after divorce, and, the fourth, a very special love.

In each book I will take you to another land—Scotland, Italy, England, and Ireland. These journeys of exploration are meant, of course, to be enjoyable travelogues. But they also reflect that undiscovered country of love, and these women (and the men they meet) are on a quest through the unfamiliar landscapes of the heart.

Here is wishing you good reading.

With love,