A Fantastic Realism novella set on Southern Italy, mixing gastronomy, self search, kidnapping, white slaves, witches and permaculture.
I just wrote my first book, Catching Red Herring, a Fantastic Realism novella set on Southern Italy, mixing gastronomy, self search, kidnapping, white slaves, witches and permaculture. Writing this was a delicious challenge, since I am a professional writer, but in another language. English being my Second Language, I desperately need the services of a copy editor for proofreading. I also would like to pay a graphic designer for a handsome cover art. I am looking into self publishing, first as an eBook, and later have a limited print edition that will feature the work of creatives from the San Francisco art community as illustrations. So this money would cover these expenses. Please help me reach my goal, since with Kickstarter I either get all or nothing...
Here is a taste of the book - the Prologue:
She doesn’t recognize me. I tap ever so lightly at the foggy window glass hoping that only she, and not the others, will hear me. But Rori is too drunk in lust to notice me. Her silky, shiny red hair is disheveled. She has bruises all over her so-white arms. I see some henna tattoos, too, over the tops of her hands and feet. The little bustier she is wearing, made out of some kind of copper thread adorned with studs and pearls, sparkles in the dim light. She twists her body in a rhythmic manner, I’m not sure if led by delight or pain. Could be both. A translucent fabric covers her navel; some bloody scars mar her naked bottom. Grime covers the bedsheets and pillows. Though she is looking in my direction as I stare at her, she doesn’t see me.
Standing outside in the damp moss that covers this part of the ground, buried deep in the thicker side of these woods, I am barefoot as I always am when I find myself here. Tonight is unusually cold. A gush of wind lifts my hair, making me shiver as it strikes a sweaty spot on my neck. I rub my arms slowly, afraid that my shivering will attract unwanted attention.
She closes her eyes slowly, opens her mouth, and starts drooling. Afraid of letting her go and still hopeful of some—any—communication, I reluctantly move my eyes away from her face and down to her feet. Now I see a hairy, dark, masculine arm tickling her legs with a huge peacock’s feather, moving up and down them, slowly and teasingly. He stops at her navel and strokes lightly around it. Ecstatic, she tries to grab the feather with no success. The dirty sheet slides and I can see why: he has handcuffed her wrists to the bed frame.
Yet I still feel that there is no true will in her body rhythm; I can tell at a glance that, like a puppet, she is not in charge here. But not long ago, I watched similar scenes in which she fought the strings of the puppeteer. Has she given up? I’m afraid that she’s even started to enjoy it. I feel powerless, and my spine tingles with a sense of urgency and failure. I’m running out of time."
If you want to continue reading more, go to thatbraziliangirl.com !
After writing the book, now I found a copy editor that is willing to work with me. My plan is to self publish, but the professional editor will cost quite a lot - but it is very much worth it. About half of the budget is to pay the actual editing, 10% goes to Kickstater and Amazon, and the rest left is for publishing expenses including marketing, promotion and developing the limited print edition. I really like the idea of having a crowd backing me. Makes me feel supported in my effort, not only financially but emotionally, energetically and spiritually. And helps me get a feel for the book's appeal.
So after my coming out due to my current fundraising efforts, now all my friends know that I write under a pen name. Some of them freaked out, what’s up with that etc, but hey, a pen name is a great tool for creative writing. As I assume a different persona when I sit down to write, I create this whole lot of possibilities (it might be easier since I am a Gemini…) So there is Juju and there is Isabel. They probably influence each other a lot, exchange fieldnotes, but they remain two distinct entities, each one with their own universe, goals and paths. Paths that may cross a lot, but different paths. That is one of the fun things about pseudonyms: authors feel like they can just come up with another human being, just like they can create characters. It’s just another layer of fiction: you fabricate this other person. It gives writers creative freedom and somehow protection. And lots of room to roam.
Isabel Bonfatti is an inside joke: bonfatti means well done in Italian, and it was a kind of sarcastic pat on my back given that English being my second language I’m often not using the bard’s language in the most proper way (like trying to come up with jokes that might not even make sense like I just did). But someone once told me “fake till you make it”, so I kept on it. So English became more and more comfortable to me, if not yet fluent, now I am ok about dabbing in imperfection. No Nabokov yet, but… Writing in a second language actually helps me follow the advice of a fiction craft teacher: focus on telling the story. At her creative writing class at the San Francisco Writer’s Grotto, some fellow attendees even said that mine was an interesting “writing with an accent” – oh, that inclusive-let’s-not-hurt-anyone’s-feelings West Coast vibe… how could I have ever survived in this country if I had kept my first plan (move to New York…?!)
If you want to read a longer article about pen names, go to
Yes, Carol Thoma, from A-1 Editing. Check her out!
Why don't you go the traditional route (find-an-agent-get-published-by-a-major-publishing-house-etc)?
I think with the trouble I would go to find an agent/publisher and convince them to print my book, I can go ahead and invest the time in online self-publishing. This is not my first book, is actually my second. For the first one (a children's book) I tried sending query letters, and I have a stack of rejection responses in my closet. Now I want to test the waters with just throwing my story out in the web and watching what happens. Gatekeepers are soooo last century anyways.
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I will travel anywhere within Northern California (or LA and/or NY), cook dinner for you and a friend of your choice, and during dessert will read aloud a couple of chapters of the book .Estimated delivery: Oct 2012