Sardinian Skies

Several months have passed and I can assure you I am still enjoying the floating post book launch feeling. I attribute this to readers reaching out with their photos of Under a Sardinian Sky and their positive feedback about its heroine Carmela and the colourful crew of characters around her. I wanted to share some of my favourite pics so far and extend the invitation for more!

Next month I will be doing a signing in upstate New york where I am ensconced in the editing of the first draft of my next book. My days trickle around revisiting this next story, feeding a lot of extended family (food is the pumping heart of my day to day) and letting the chaos of school free kids ring around me - yes, I am working very hard at resisting the need to micro manage all those around me....!

Wishing you a beautiful summer wherever it takes you and looking forward to receiving more pics as and when the mood overtakes!

Under a Sardinian Sky under a Sardinian Sky!

Under a Sardinian Sky under a Sardinian Sky!

Under a Sardinian Sky upon the high seas

Under a Sardinian Sky upon the high seas

A bookclub from Hertfordshire, UK, taking Under a Sardinian Sky on their sunny European escape

A bookclub from Hertfordshire, UK, taking Under a Sardinian Sky on their sunny European escape

One month and counting...

One month to go before the UK release date and just a few days after that Under a Sardinian Sky will reach the American shelves too. Excitement is mounting in my household. In the meantime, reviews are beginning to surface and I'm glimpsing a slice of a brand new world. I come a little more prepared than the first time I was reviewed - as a performer. I remember making the foolish decision to glance at the message boards where mums lurked leaving their cyber whisperings upon the screen. As a new presenter it didn't take much for my fragile ego to quiver on reading that most of those mothers would love me not to sing, ever (in another life I had delusions of being an opera diva) and that they wondered whether I was pregnant (I was). It was hard to tell, they went on to type, because I was on the plump side to begin with.

I stopped reading reviews after that. Until this morning. I woke to a lovely mention:

“Alexander’s novel will leave readers riveted until the explosive conclusion.”

--Publishers Weekly

The surprise start to my day is a momentary tonic for my uncertain wading through the tricky mid point of my second novel. I've floated in the bath, I've jumped around to music, I've glared at the British grey outside, but my thoughts swim in concentric circles. These days are a regular occurrence. Today I embrace it. I let the lost float be. I lose myself in creating a feast. This is my most pleasurable sideways approach to writing. And it brings pleasure to those around me too. Nourishment is paramount. To all things. What better way to hone the backwaters of my subconscious than commune with my Sardinian spirits invoked by the heady smells of caramelising garlic, tossed through spaghetti and a fist of fresh parsley, a grated zucchini, a few slivers of smoked salmon, topped with a generous sprinkling of pecorino? Add a demure taste of wine. Finish with freshly ground coffee.

Then waft on, guiltless, satisfied, ready to float some more...

spaghetti

 

A Tribe of Aunts

The real Piera Chirigoni and a view of Ozieri - the town the fictional Simius is based on....

The real Piera Chirigoni and a view of Ozieri - the town the fictional Simius is based on....

The fictional town of Simius in Under a Sardinian Sky is based entirely on my mother’s home town of Ozieri, which lies toward the northern central area of Sardinia, in the province of Sassari. This is where I spent all my summers growing up, scuffing the dusty lanes with my cousins, arguing and falling in love with the neighbours, listening to the grown ups talk into the night, catching their murmured memories of bandits, witchcraft and magic. The smell of wild fennel, sun toasted pine and my grandmother's bottomless pots of pasta are never far from mind. I grew up in North London, but the island of Sardinia is my homeland.

I'll be writing regular posts here, with pics of the people who inspired my first novel and tit-bits of their closely guarded recipes....