First of all, my apologies for the radio silence. It has been, without question, the busiest six or seven months of my life. In addition to the publication of SETTING FREE THE KITES and the attendant tour, I also put on the second Unbound Book Festival in April which was an astronomical time suck (if also fabulous fun.) Add to that a very busy time in my law practice, and the last push to finish my next novel… well, you get the picture.
Anyway, I finished the first draft of the new book a couple of weeks ago, and it is now in the hands of four trusted readers. I am trying to preserve what’s left of my fingernails as I wait for their feedback. (There is always a point when you realize that you have absolutely no clue whether what you’ve written is any good or not, so you have to ask someone else.) This is my seventh novel, but this waiting stuff never gets any easier.
The provisional title of the novel is PARIS QUARTET. It’s set in Paris (surprise!) and takes place over the course of one day in June, 1927. The novel onsists of four interlocking stories, each of which features a different protagonist who is struggling to escape ghosts from their past: a destitute painter, a journalist (and novelist manqué), Proust’s maid Celeste Albaret, and an Armenian puppeteer. Many of the well-known inhabitants of the city make cameo appearances, including Gertrude Stein, Maurice Ravel, Josephine Baker, Sidney Bechet, Sylvia Beach, John Dos Passos, and (inevitably, I suppose) Ernest Hemingway. I had a lot of fun writing it.
While I’m waiting for the verdict, I’ve been thinking a lot about my next project. The problem (and I realize it’s a nice problem to have) is that I actually have too many ideas for the next book. I keep shuttling between the various different ideas, desperately trying to work out which one I should pick. It’s a scary decision, knowing whichever one I plump for I’ll be spending the next several years of my life in that world. All of which is to say: you don’t want to screw it up.
No pressure, right?
In other news, it was a very nice surprise to discover A GOOD AMERICAN listed in Book Riot’s list of 100 Must-Read Books of U.S. Historical Fiction. The book has received a nice bump in interest thanks to the publication of KITES and this was a very welcome piece of news on the back of all that. My deepest thanks to everyone who’s picked it up lately. It’s lovely to see it enjoy another spin around the proverbial block.