Gallery: Primavera

RELEASE DATE: Feb. 1, 2023 

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This book went through so many editions, I honestly have lost count. It's also one of those books that started out as a short story, and I worked my way backward to give the original scene or chapter a solid foundation of cause and effect. In this book's case, the epilogue was the first chapter written years ago. It was also originally written as a smutty vampire scene. This final edition of the book definitely has no vampires anywhere.

Paolo's backstory was the most recent addition in this final version of the book. Even before, I knew there needed to be space dedicated to his story and how it leads to Adam's modern world and struggles. When I began work on this book's final edition, I'd already gotten used to writing epistolary fiction with my Ghosts and Tea collection. So I figured, why not? Why not change things up a bit and make Paolo's half of the book an epistolary narrative, which then becomes even more private and personal? His history affects the future in some pretty heavy ways that I felt it was more effective to tell his story through journal entries and an occasional letter that would help readers fill in the blanks.

What worked to my benefit was the nature of epistolary fiction, which, as noted, forces readers to make mental connections. It also helped me end Paolo's story with hints of the events that would lead to the Virgin's intercession for the future. Ending Paolo's last chapter with his journal entry followed immediately by the governess's excited letter allowed me to underscore the emotional weight of Paolo's story and its echoes into the future through Adam's dreams.

The vanitas theme is a constant undercurrent in my books, especially when I began self-publishing. Whether or not it's a product of time's passage itself in that I'm growing more and more aware of my own mortality with age, I really don't know. I'd rather not psychoanalyze myself, but I strongly believe that an acceptance of death and its inevitability is healthy. Yes, even in what would be likened to Arcadia -- in the case of Paolo and Andrea's love story, for instance. Nothing lasts forever. Or does it?

Having grown up in a conservative Catholic environment, Catholicism heavily influences my writing, and I always make full use of Catholic iconography, traditions, etc. whenever I can. There's something gothic and compelling about the worship of saints and their relics, particularly the celebration of their martyrdom. For Primavera, the Marian worship is key to the unfolding of past events. I also like the idea of Christ's mother serving as intercessor for humanity, stepping in to grant impossible wishes for a grieving father reaching out through the centuries for his lost son.

And for music, classical piano music, particularly from the Baroque, inspired the story as well and helped me figure out the relationship between Paolo and Andrea. Paolo's a prodigy who was born to a poor family, so his education in music is almost haphazard and shaped mostly by charity and a tutor's sincere belief in his talent.

My musical inspiration ran the gamut, from Scarlatti to Couperin to Bach and even to Clementi, whose sonatinas were from a much later era. That said, it was still a great source of musical inspiration, particularly when describing Paolo's experiences tutoring his much younger pupils.

Primavera is a 50K-word long novella that's available in e-book for 99 cents and print for $9.00. You can go to my bookstore for different online stores to purchase a copy. It's a mix of standard narration and epistolary fiction via Paolo's journal entries in alternating chapters. There are one-and-a-half sex scenes that are explicit (one full chapter and a fraction of another chapter, I mean). Dark, gothic themes abound, as are second chances and a HEA ending.