Diary of Writing Italy’s Sorrow

April 3, 2007
It’s the Tuesday before Good Friday and I’ve written the last word, and printed it all off.  215,000 words, though, which comes in at a little over 500 pages.  I have a theory that books should not be more than 500 pages when they hit the shelves, but perhaps breaking that rule a little bit will be no great disaster.  To be honest, I can’t see the wood from the trees, so I certainly don’t know where anything could be cut.  Ah well, I’ll let the editor make that call.

Now comes the next process: going through the manuscript with a red pen, then marking up the corrections on the PC.  Then I have to get copies out to all those I have written about in the book who are still alive.  They then have to look through the relevant parts and make any suggestions, or let me know if I’ve got anything relating to their experiences wrong. 

And I’ve also got to write up the Sources and do the Acknowledgements.  So in fact, although I felt very relieved to have finished, there’s actually still quite a long way to go.  For some reason I always seem to forget this.

2 replies

    Having read both your works of fiction (which I enjoyed) and your book on the 1940-43 Siege of Malta, I am very eager to read your upcoming work on the War in Italy.

    As I mentioned in another of your blogs, I am the nephew of an officer of the 370th Regimental Combat Team, U.S. 92nd Infantry Division, who fought in Italy in 1944 and 1945. So I am all the more keen on seeing your book when it appears on the bookshelves (in softcover).

  2. John Grimsley
    John Grimsley says:


    Having just finished A Pair of Silver Wings I wait with great anticipation for italy’s Sorrow.

    I have studied World War two but knew little about the awful happenings of late 1944/45. You brought it to life in a brilliant ,personal and moving story.

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