I couldnít let Christmas pass without sending out a big mille grazie! to all of you who have taken the time to write to me this year!
As much as I would like to, itís hard to send a personal reply to each and every message, so I thought Iíd try in this post to respond, in a sort of random way, to some of your comments and questions that have come up over the pass several months. So here goes:
-First of all, yes, I am working, as always, on a new book. Itís still in the early going, but itís getting there. I have received a great many admonitions to please write faster, to which I can only say: Iím trying! Honest!
-My stories are not yet available as Audiobooks, but recently I have been looking into it. Iíll keep you posted on developments.
-When I write that a character is ďmaking buttonsĒ, that means that he or she is nervous or fretful. Iím not sure if that expression is indigenous to just Rhode Island, so Iíll have to research its etymology and report back at a later date.
-I apologize for not yet having any Polish characters in my stories, BUT ďFrancescaís KitchenĒ and ďItalian LessonsĒ have been translated into Polish and published in Poland this year! Check them out at www.wydawnictwoliterackie.pl/.
-Iím not quite sure of how to acquire reproductions of the beautiful cover illustrations that artist George Angelini has created for my books, but you might start by calling my publisher, Kensington Books, at 1-800-221-2647.
-Try as I might not to, I occasionally overlook a foreign language miscue when proofreading my manuscripts, so I truly appreciate readers pointing them out for me so that I can revise accordingly for future printings.
-Iím very glad to hear that readers enjoy my descriptions of food, and that my stories have inspired some of you to cook at home more oftenóbut Iím guessing that inspiration came to you more from Francesca or Teresa than me, if you know what I mean, so I really canít take credit!
-Itís a really nice feeling when I walk into a bookstore and find something I wrote for sale on the bookshelf, but I like it even better when I read that one of you discovered my books at your local library.
-I canít help but agree, as some of you say, that my books would make great movies. If any of you know people in Hollywood, by all means please call themóright now!
-Many of you say that after reading my books you like to pass them around to friends and family, that you enjoy discussing the stories and characters with your mother or father or daughter or son, and that it makes you feel closer to each other. I love hearing that so much. It means a lot to me to learn that my stories and Italian American characters resonate with you, that they remind you of people and places and things that are dear to you.
-Perhaps most touching to me have been the messages from readers who tell me that one of my stories brightened their day, or maybe gave them or someone close a little lift when they really needed it to get through a difficult time. It can be a tough old world out there sometimes, so Iím glad to channel out to it as many good feelings as I possibly can.
So, thatís all I have to tell you for now, except maybe to just say thank you all so much for your words of praise and encouragement, and especially for keeping me in your prayers. They mean more to me than you can imagine.
I hope you have been enjoying this season of Advent. Weíre in the home stretch now, so try not to get too stressed out. And donít despair if you donít find the true Spirit of Christmas in all the hustle and bustle and commercialism that often prevails at this time of year. All you have to do is give yourself a couple of quiet moments to relax and be still after the dust settles and all the gifts have been unwrapped, and just let It find you!
I wish all of you and your families a happy and blessed Christmas Season.