Diary of Writing Italy’s Sorrow

March 24, 2006
I’ve been working on a fairly extensive outline of the book for the Italians – Patrick, my agent, thinks it needs to be fairly comprehensive for them to bite.  I’m keen for it to find a publisher in Italy for obvious reasons but it is always tough selling books in the country you are writing about if you are not from that country yourself.  After all, imagine an Italian writing about the Battle of Britain.  Still, it’s been a very useful exercise if nothing else, because it’s forced me to think about structure and balance as well as themes.  I’m determined that the finished book should not be any longer than my Malta one, ie, around 165,000 words, which equates to 400-420 pages.  This, I think, is about right as it means it is a good, substantial length, without being too weighty.  I know already that lots of lots of my good research will never make the cut; also that a number of the people I have interviewed will never get a mention.  Deciding what and who to put in and leave out is a tricky task, but I’ve got to be very strict with myself.

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