Today is the big day. After months of hard work, the English edition of my novel "Parsley & Coriander" is finally out!
But why should you be interested in my novel? Who are the protagonists? What is the point?
There are so many books about expat life, accompanying spouses, experiences abroad: why should you bother to read another one?
Reading and enjoying a book is a very personal experience, I know. I can’t promise that you will adore “Parsley & coriander”: you might stay awake all night to devour it, or read a few pages, put it on your night table and never open it again.
What I can do, instead, is to introduce you to some of the characters, let them show you something more, let them make you feel the atmosphere, take your hand and captivate you.
So, characters of my book, who wants to talk first?
“Hi there! I’m Luisella!”
I knew you would have spoken first! What can you tell us about yourself?
“I’m a friendly, lively person. If I were to meet you in the street, and realize that you are a newly arrived expat in China, I would probably invite you for a coffee and make you feel at ease. This is who I am: I can’t help myself helping others - my husband always says I should mind my own business! I love China, I really do. At first, it wasn’t easy, but I learned to adapt to such an extent that I don’t want to leave anymore!”
Beautiful lady, your name is Emma, right? Would you like to tell us something about your story?
“What can I say? I wasn’t supposed to become an expat! My husband got a one-year contract only, and we planned I would stay in Italy. But… our marriage was falling apart and I decided to follow him. What happened next…. I would have never expected it! It was something I didn’t look for and that totally changed my life, or maybe I should say ‘someone’…”
Please, don’t reveal too much! I know you are a very passionate and romantic woman but, you know, if you let them know everything, they won’t buy the book!
And you, over there in the corner? Would you like to say something to your potential readers?
“Oh… uhm… that’s Astrid! I’m not good at talking… what should I say? I’m a mom of two, a wife, occasionally I remember I’m a person, as well. I’m trying to perk myself up after going through a difficult period. China? Oh, it’s very different from my expectations! My feelings? I’m always afraid of something… I don’t know why! I really hate myself for this! But I’m working on it, you know? I’m sure this experience abroad will help me change!”
I usually don’t like to speak about absent people, but can you briefly introduce some of your fellow characters? Is there anyone in particular you like/dislike?
L: “My best friend in the book is Dora. I love her! She’s bursting with energy, beautiful, passionate! I was desperate when she told me she wanted to leave China. But luckily something happened…”
A: “Camilla is maybe the most particular girl I bumped into. At the beginning I thought she was a weirdo, all obsessed about wanting to blend in with the Chinese world, but after a while, I actually got along with her, and she became a good friend…”
E: “Oh, my! Not Camilla, please! It really didn’t work between us!”
A: “So, you prefer Silvia, that snobby woman?”
Ok girls, that’s enough, thank you! I will let the readers discover it by themselves!
Actually, I have one last question: if I ask you to say one sentence, only one, which can give a hint to the readers of what happens to you in the story, what would you say?
L: “Find a role in life and fight for it.”
E: “Follow your heart, even if it may seem crazy!”
A: “Be strong and don’t be afraid of changes.”
So, thank you for…
“Excuse me, may I say something?”
Yes, please. What’s your name?
“I’m Genni. I’m not a main character in the book, but I think many ladies can relate to my story. I lived in China for a short time, I never really fit in and, I confess, I couldn’t wait to go back to Italy. But when I finally repatriated, unexpectedly, I missed my life in China. If any of you experienced this once you returned to your home country, you know perfectly well what I mean. So if you ever lived in China, this book will bring back the atmosphere of those days. It’s worth reading!”