So my copy of my first novel, So Faithful a Heart, arrived in the mail yesterday afternoon. (And yes, I'm still pinching myself!) When I opened the box and held it in my hands for the first time, I almost cried. I really did it! I really wrote and published a book! There were a few small issues with it (miscalculation on the spine so the wording was off-center and the font on the chapter heading in chapter seven didn't imbed for some reason), but those issues have been corrected so anyone who orders a copy at this point won't see them.
This novel was inspired by my master's research thesis on the life and career of Mozart's original Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro), Anna "Nancy" Storace. After I wrote my thesis, I realized that this story was so interesting, so exciting, and so beautiful that I couldn't believe that no one had told it. It took me nine additional years of background research on the lives of Mozart and Nancy as well as 18th century Europe, 18th century England and Catholic Europe, the French Revolution, and anything else on the 18th century I could find and read. Finally, on a cold day last January I decided to quit putting it off and I just started writing. I never dreamed that less than a year later I would be holding it as a book in my hands.
Last night I told Steph that I've finally rescued Nancy Storace out of the cobwebs of Mozart history, vindicated her, and given her the rightful place that I feel she deserves in the Mozart story. She had gotten lost, and it was shame because her/their story is incredible and adds an important perspective to Mozart's life that authors and historians have missed througout the last two centuries. (I have my theories as to why they were missed, and I explore that in the Afterword in my book.)
So many thanks go to so many people for this, but none so much as go to my beloved Steph, who without her novel, Night Music, and without her knowledge and expertise in so many areas, as well as her assistance in so many of the technical aspects of this project, this book would never have happened. I kept telling her that her name deserved to be on the cover of this every bit as much as mine, but she refused to accept that place, giving it to me alone. But that's how she is, and is only one of the many reasons why I love her so much.
And so here I am. I've accomplished something that only a few can say that they've accomplished: I'm an author!