I am excited to announce my novel Dreaming Sophia has been born and is almost ready to be bundled up and made ready for her public debut. As with all new arrivals, new mamme are up until the wee morning hours taking care of their new borns. Now that labor and delivery are over, I am focusing on the remaining work of dotting “i’s” and crossing “t’s”! Mamma mia! Ci vuole un po’ di tempo per realizzare un romanzo! It takes a bit of time to realize one’s first novel – but what a labor of love it has been!!
Dreaming Sophia is a fictional story, but it is also a culmination of my own personal stories and insights that have resulted from my experiences traveling and living in Italy, as well as my involvement & familiarity with the Italian language, painting & Art History. Who would have ever imagined a girl from Iowa, the daughter of a college professor, (who studied German and Art History in College) would eventually become so enamored with Italy & the Italian language, as to feel its tug and pull on her heart strings every day?
As a student I studied painting and Art History in Florence, Italy. Being more fascinated by art & architecture & illustrative work, I learned just a smattering of the language at the time. Infact, when I came home I threw away my Italian dictionary, never thinking I’d need it again. I began a career as a designer and illustrator and started my own design firm. But, I soon came to realize something was still missing in my life. That “thing” was the connection I had made previously to Italy, the Italian people, the art, the architecture, the friends and the culture.
To reconnect with Italy, as if indeed possessed by a Tuscan muse – the very premise upon which Dreaming Sophia is based upon – on a whim I bought an Italian grammar book and ever since that fateful day I have dedicated my time to learning the language and sharing my stories and insights about Italy with others through the blog Studentessa Matta.com. Just like Sophia in the book, since then it seems I have been guided by Italian muses, who have accompanied me along my journey to learn the language and discover more about Italy and its culture.
I finished the manuscript for Dreaming Sophia last April. Since then it has gone through many, many, many, many, many, iterations! (Did I mention “many” revisions!?) In order to bring Sophia’s story to life in a vivid and fun way and to share all the wonderful information I have in my head about Italy, I continued working on this project on a daily basis for many months. Now the story is in the home stretch and I am teamed with an editor – the talented Michelle Fabio – to polish the final version of the manuscript for publication.
Like a proud mamma I can’t wait to introduce you to Dreaming Sophia and share my story with all those who dream of Italy!
Stay tuned for publishing details, as well as more stories about Italy on the Dreaming Sophia Blog Site. Ci sentiamo! A presto! Melissa