June 8 2017 

Last few days busy with travel, three days in Napoli, return to Roma, and off to Milano today!  I've contacted friends, researchers, translator to resume work and stroll around Parco Sempione, Arca della Pace, near my apartment where I've stayed since my first research trip in October 2012.  Also looking forward to seeing Barbara and Stefano, my hostess and host.  Busy week ahead! 

May 30 2017 

I arrived in Roma this morning, took train from Fiumicino Airport to Termini train station and met by my hostess Anna.  I'll take a couple days to revisit familiar locations, then take the bullet train to Napoli for research into Book III of my Milan thriller series.  Hot, muggy, brilliant sunshine, quite different from Monterey weather where early summers tend to be cool, a bit foggy, rarely more than 75 F until September.  Great to be back in Italia and speaking a bit of Italian!    

May 18 2017 

I received my first copies of No One Sleeps this morning!  Exciting to finally hold a book that I've been working on since 2014. It looks great, a stunning, glossy cover in bright colors, a professional and readable font, copyright page, list of books I've published, bibliography of books I researched, and acknowledgements for the people who helped me along the way.  I hope you'll share the experience, order a copy and share with me your impressions.      

May 15 2017 

No One Sleeps is a day or two away from being published as a paperback.  The cover and interior designers have finished, I've approved the files, and they've been uploaded to Amazon and Ingram.  Once I approve, they will be available as paperbacks. Amazon and Ingram print POD (print on demand) copies when a reader orders them from a web page or a book store.  Ingram principally produces paperbacks for book stores when readers orders them.  The process if efficient and fast, about four days from ordering until books are delivered to the reader or to the book store.   

April 15 2017 

My book designer, 1066 Design, is formatting and proofreading the paperback of No One Sleeps.  My cover designer is working on the back cover.  This is an exciting part of publishing, being involved at each step along the way to produce a physical copy you can hold, leaf through the pages. The process takes a couple weeks, approving the font, headers and footers, front and back matter, reading proofreader's comments and making modest revisions or corrections.  Much more complicated than producing an ebook which is one long Word doc.   

March 10 2017

I've booked my next flight to Italy where I'll spend about six weeks researching and writing the next Milan DIGOS thriller.  I'll spend 3 or 4 days in Rome, 5 or 6 in Naples, then on to Milan for about a month.  If you'd like to get occasional updates from Italy, please toggle to my contact page and sign up to my Mail Chimp service.   

February 8 2017

My book designer is working on formatting and interior design for the No One Sleeps paperback.  I'll be reviewing proofreader's comments and making minor changes along the way.  The design process takes about two months which includes designing the back cover, spine, copyright pages, headers and footers. The paperback will be about 323 pages, almost identical to Thirteen Days in Milan.  

When the designer has a final proof, I'll review and approve uploading to Ingram Spark and Create Space at Amazon.  Readers can order the paperback at any bookstore.  The book will be printed on demand (POD), an efficient and timely way to print books when they're ordered and shipped to book stores.  It usually takes only 3 or 4 days, the same as what traditional publishers provide.

I'll post when proofs of the POD are approved and you can order the paperback online at digital book sites or at any book store.  Copies can also be ordered in Europe from Ingram.  

December 6 2016 

Tomorrow is launch day for No One Sleeps, the sequel to Thirteen Days in Milan.  You can find it on all ebook sites, available at a discount price of $3.99 until January.  Please stop by, read the blurb and sample a few pages.  I hope you'll consider buying it and writing a review.

You can read the opening chapter on my novel page and the prologue on my blog.  The prologue tells a true story about CIA agents kidnapping a Muslim Iman off the streets of Milan in 2003 and flying him in a chartered Lear Jet to Cairo where he was imprisoned, tortured, and kept in isolation for nearly two years.  The kidnapping became a scandal, covered extensively by the Italian and international media.  Twenty three CIA agents were tried in absentia and convicted.  If any of them return to Europe, they will be arrested and extradited to Italy where they face prison sentences. Read the details at ericksongypsycaravan.wordpress.com.  

September 2016 

No One Sleeps is now available on Amazon; they have a shorter window to post pre-sales, 90 days. I posted the pre-sale on our travel blog, "A Year and a Day" which you can find on this site.  I'll be posting key scenes from the book on future blogs, sign up for my newsletter or follow on the blog to read them.

Enough about books --- let me share a few thoughts about Italian food!  For several years I've been buying Italian cook books, the first more than 15 years ago before we honeymooned in Italy in 2001.  We visited the typical first tourist sites, Rome, Florence, Venice, with side trips to  Murano, San Gimignano, and Cinque Terre.  On a second trip in 2004, we started in Rome and headed south -- Naples, Pompei, Sorrento, Positano, and a week in Sicily.  

I bought a Sicilian cookbook in Palermo and when we returned, I noticed that almost all recipes were for seafood. I've tried a few with shrimp, anchovies, but haven't cooked a meal with tuna yet.   

I picked up more cookbooks at various places and started cooking recipies.  On a winter visit to Roma this winter, we had lunch after Italian class in trattorias near the school.  Almost every trattoria featured pasta e fagioli, with ditalini pasta, diced tomatoes, cannelloni beans, vegetable broth, and sauteed onions, carrots, and celery.  But each soup was different, a real treat, never the same.

For a recent dinner for friends, after aperitivo with salami, prosciutto, olives, cheeses, and capers, I served a mixed green salad, pasta e fagioli as the second course, and meatballs with hommade marinara for the third course. Bottles of wine on the table, gelato for dessert, lively conversation. I was channeling my internal Italian nonna! 

August 2016 

No One Sleeps has been posted as a pre-sale on all digital ebook sites except Amazon.  I'll post on Amazon next month. 

This sequel to Thirteen Days in Milan features the anti-terrorism DIGOS police in Milan searching for a clandestine cell of Muslin terrorists who have received a shipment of chemicals from Pakistan to make toxic sarin gas.  One cell member has access to Milan's centers of finance, technoolgy, finance, and entertainment -- all high profile targets with the potential of hundreds of casualties in a terrorist attack.  

You can pre-order No One Sleeps at a discount at Smashwords, Apple iBooks, Kobo, and Barnes and Nobles Nook. 

Please sign up for my email newsletter to receive more information about No One Sleeps and Book III in my Milan DIGOS Thriller series, Cadorna Station. Look for it in March 2017.  

July 2016 

We're in the final editing of No One Sleeps, the sequel to Thirteen Days in Milan.   Editing is a team effort, working with my Milan researcher and my editor in California. 

Indie authors are able to post a 'pre-sell' of forthcoming books on ebook sites with a cover and book description before the book is published. I'm planing a 'pre-sell' in August with a publication date in December.  This would give me time to promote on social media before the publication date.  Traditional publishers use this strategy to get advance orders from book stores and distributors before the printed book is available.  New titles are promoted on publishers Web pages, in catalogs, and through sales channels.  

Advance reading copies, ARCs, are sent to book reviewers so reviews appear on the publication date. I will publish an ARC of No One Sleeps in the spring of 2017 with a publication date for the paperback in June or July.  

Please let me know if you'd like to be a beta reader of the ebook or receive an ARC next year.  Sign up on the contact page to receive my email newsletter where I'll keep you posted on progress.     

April 2016

My wife and I were in Rome recently studying Italian and visiting historic sites.  I took time to research a book in my Milan thriller series that I will write in 2017. 

While in Rome, I posted on our travel blog, A Year and a Day, about a visit to Tarquinia in Tuscany to see 3,000 year old Etruscan tombs.   Check our blog to see photos and read about the Etrurian people who were the predominant civilization in central Italy before the Romans.  

Milan DIGOS Thriller Series

I am writing an international thriller series based in Milan featuring the anti-terrorism police, DIGOS, at Milan's Questura (police headquarters). Book I in the series is Thirteen Days in Milan featuring DIGOS capo Giorgio Lucchini and his deputy Antonella Amoruso who hunt down domestic terrorists who kidnapped an American single mother during the assassination of an Italian official in Berlusconi's cabinet at Milan's Stazione Centrale.  

In the sequel, No One Sleeps, Lucchini and Amoruso lead a team of DIGOS agents searching for a suspected cell of radical Muslims  planning an attack on an Italian cultural landmark and killing hundreds of innocent Italians.  No One Sleeps will be posted as a presale on digital sites soon with a publication date in December. The title in Italian is Nessun Dorma, a famous aria from Giacomo Puccini's opera Turandot.

The models for my Italian thrillers are Donna Leon's Commissario Brunetti series in Venice, Andrea Camilleri's Inspector Salvo Montalbano in Sicily, and Michael Dibdin's Aurelio Zen series from Rome. I have traveled throughout Italy for research and to enjoy many aspects of Italian contemporary life and culture. 

Italian Translations

Thirteen Days in Milan is available as an ebook in Italian, Tredici giorni a Milano.  My short mystery, The Stalker, is also available in Italian, Lo Stalker.   Please share with your Italian friends. 

Bloody Mary Confession

My most recent contemporary mystery is Bloody Mary Confession. It is about college sweethearts who marry and begin exciting careers.  Max Bauer is drafted by the Boston Red Sox and begins a stellar career that includes two All-Star game appearances and MVP awards.   His wife, Amanda Foxx, becomes a popular Hollywood actress.  

But the demands of dual careers and living apart on separate coasts are stressful on Max and Amanda's marriage.  They divorce and go their separate ways.  

Years later, the suspicious death of someone close to one of them reunites Max and Amanda at her California beach home.  Over bloody marys one morning, a confession reveals a dark secret.   

Bloody Mary Confession is available as an ebook; paperback, and hardback on Amazon and as an ebook on other sites. 

Email newsletter

I share news about books, travel, research, and Italy on my email newsletter.  You can sign up below or on my contact page.  Please email me if you have a question.  I enjoy hearing from readers.  

Jack 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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