Well the big night is fast approaching because in less than a week I’m hosting my book launch party at the Drake Hotel Café (1150 Queen Street West).  It’s almost surreal that its all come together so nicely, albeit taken longer than expected – it always does!  🙂

If you haven’t gotten your tickets yet click here to secure your spot – already 75% sold out – space is limited!

Once I’d made the decision to create this new expression of my love for Italy then the real work began.  As an author the path to being published by one of the mainstream publishing houses is virtually non existent, so the only real option was to self publish.  Like my first book, the creation of this book was more about fulfilling a personal goal than expecting to make money, but given that it was going to be a large color format it wasn’t going to come cheap – not by any means!

For me the most difficult part of creating this book which encapsulates my love of all things Italian, was the curation of my photo archive from all of the trips I’ve made to Italy.  After having made more than 20 trips over the past 30 years I had collected a large, yes and I mean large number of photos.  Let’s just round it to 30,000.

Do you know how wonderful it was to go through each photo and remember where and when I took each specific shot?  It was an incredible journey down memory lane, but then the reality hit!

Not only did I have to look at each photo, but I had to categorize them and then begin the arduous and very difficult task of paring them down to a number that I could use for the book.   I could only use 180 photos…   Yep, you heard it right!

I had compare and contrast by category (in this case province) which photos I thought best represented the Italy I love so much down from 30,000 to 180…

It took me five months of continuous, and yes, I mean continuous scrutiny to slowly get it down to the last 180 shots.  Arguably I have another 1800 photos that are just as good that for some reason I chose to go with the ones in the book.

I had a very specific look and feel that I was going for as well, and after much research came up with the one that now showcases my book perfectly.  Feels sort of dreamy and luxurious…(my words clearly) and perfect for any coffee table.  Well, that’s the look I was going for anyway.  Lol!

When you’re a self published author all the costs are yours…the publishing costs, printing costs, shipping costs, party costs…  In total it will end up at about a $25,000 investment – now some might say that that is a ridiculous amount to spend on something that is purely personal and ego driven.  They may be right!

However, to me its neither here nor there…  I’ve always had a creative bent and so this is just another way of expressing my creativity and to show case my commitment to the life I’ve created.  Not only saying it, but actually forging ahead to see it come to fruition has been a big motivation for me and totally in line with everything I stand for.

You know how much I love bringing my personal objectives to life!   Check and checkty, check!

There is no question that its been a labour of love, which sort of fits with the theme of my book Una storia d’amore (My love story!)

Having never written before beginning my blog back in August 2011 its been an incredible journey of personal discovery in that I didn’t realize how much I enjoyed writing and indeed the written word until I tentatively started putting pen to paper so to speak.  This gift has helped me immeasurably in many of aspects of my life, not only for helping me express my personal journey with Zach and Sam, but also my travels and the new life I’ve been able to create.  Something from nothing if you will.

I’m such a visual person, and for my regular readers you’ll know exactly what I mean when I say that I use a combination of both my writing and photography as a canvas for my work.  This then spills over into my speaking engagements as I can now create a picture in the audiences mind through my story telling, which is a combination of all of these talents.

My book is just another way of telling a story…

The added bonus is that my love story with Italy doesn’t end with this book, but merely helps frame the beauty and timelessness of the subject matter.  For more than 2000 years Italy has been at the crossroads of the world in various forms, and my book is just another of the many renderings of its charm and allure.

I suppose my hope is that it will become the focal point from which many conversation will begin, as the reader picks it up and flips through the pages, becoming more engrossed with each flip stirring their personal memories of Italy or their longing to visit.

This is the intent of this book – encouraging conversations!

If I can help create a picture in the readers mind, by triggering their senses and drawing them into the charms of the possible then this book already will have been a huge success.  Just that alone!

I’m hoping that you’ll consider coming to my launch on April 19th (6:30 – 10:00 pm) at the Drake Café.

In addition, I have two upcoming book signings at the Chapters store in Woodbridge already booked – Saturday May 12th (the day before Mothers Day – it would make an incredible gift…just sayin!) from 11:00 – 2:00 pm, and Saturday June 2nd (Italy’s Festa della Repubblica – National Day) from 11:00 – 2:00 pm.  🙂

Ideally I’d also have a book signing or two in Italy….food for thought to all my Italian friends?!   When could we do it – I’m in!!

See you on April 19th at the Drake.