Saturday, April 28, 2012

Woman of secrets

I am a woman of secrets these days. Only of the literary kind, mind you, but secrets nonetheless. And they are making me feel rather mysterious. Adventurous. Glamorous. Maybe even a bit famous. Of the kind of anonymous fame that only novelists may be lucky enough to achieve.

But this is confession time, so I’ll reveal as much of my secrets to you as I legally can:

Secret #1: In lieu of reasonable payment for copyediting for a well-known Italian academic whom I dare not name, I have persuaded him that it is in his best interest to help me publish my own book.

Or I might just take the money instead. I dare say my indecision lends me even more mystique.

Secret #2: How can this Italian academic can help this to happen, without having any direct connections to either a literary agent or publisher of narrative in Italian, let alone in English?

Easy. What he must do is to plonk down a copy of my manuscript over a cup of coffee with his own editor, one of the largest and oldest academic publishing houses in the English-speaking world, who will remain anonymous. Then that editor, who has no interest in publishing memoirs, can hand it to his wife to read in bed at night. Having unwittingly become a ‘reader’ of the kind usually hired by agents and publishers to sift through the slush pile, she will in turn recommend my manuscript to her husband as a fantastic read that she couldn’t put down. The academic editor, as a seeker of good literature, will then feel obliged to pass it on to one or more of his friends who work in a non-academic publishing house. Where it will undoubtedly be picked up.

It’s foolproof.

Secret #3: But to cover my bases, I also could milk a connection I might have with a major Italian publishing house. The connection is through a friend of mine in the Naples area who has already published academic texts with this publisher, which of course can’t be named mainly for anti-jinx purposes.

Secret #4: I’m having my entire 470-page memoir – set in Naples – translated into Italian. The translator is too young and innocent to be exposed at this time. To protect her privacy and provide her with a work-conducive environment, she’s being held in a safe house in the U.K.. So please don’t try to investigate further. Carolina’s rather busy at the moment, and she’s mine.

Secret #5: I might take a pen name to protect my own identity once I become a world-famous author. I’m thinking H.R. Salami or Carmela Della Mela.

There are my secrets. You heard them first, at least in part. Sorry, I would tell you more, but if I did I’d have to kill you.


  1. What could be a wonderful and very discreet hint-nom de plume might be Pia-Nutella della Buonaricca (Pia because Pia Zadora, and don't question me, okay? there's a whole, mysterious hidden agenda there... Nutella because everybody loves Nutella, and Buonaricca – now, there, I wouldn't really know why, it just felt good and rich, lol ;-)) You see, my secrets are much easier to realize, in particular 1/ sleep with the 90+-year-old L'Oréal-owner, as we're virtually neighbours now, only separated by a 20 sq-km Parisian forest, then be declared her sole heir, and then just buy one of those major English publishers, and they will be forced to publish me, then buy the Nobel Prize, and they will be forced to give that Prize to me, won't they? And then buy the rest of the world in order to force and love my writings... Okay, only to think of the whole program leaves me exhausted. I think I'll start with a nap thus ;-))

    Best to you, kisses 'n' hugs from rainy Paris, D.

  2. How exciting! I really look forward to hear how this all turns out!

  3. Dear Dieter,
    Buonaricca, why didn't I think of that? The whole name is brilliant. You always manage to make me laugh, even in the worst of my (Cancerian) moods! Even for this alone, not to mention all your other very fine deeds, I do think you deserve the Nobel Prize. In fact, skip all the stuff in the middle and grab yourself that prize - because afterwards they'll publish absolutely everything you have to say!
    A big hug back to you in rainy Paris from chilly and sunny Auckland, in the grips of a cold 'southerly'

  4. Thanks for your enthusiasm, Gretchen...hopefully it will lead eventually to good news: something has just GOT to come out of all this frenzied activity :)

  5. Hehe! So glad to be part of your "secret" :)

  6. Ssssh, Carolina Franco, or they'll find you! Then they'll all be lining up for translations! ;)