In Venice, of course!
Yes, I hit the big time. I’ve done book promotion events in San Jose, Sacramento, San Francisco, and points in between. I’ve loved meeting people and telling stories and hearing stories. But it was something pretty special to have a book signing in Venice, home to my inspiration (and home to my publisher, Giovanni DiStefano of Supernova Edizioni). Here’s the window he set up to advertise the event, at the tourist office in Piazza San Marco where he runs the bookstore. Giovanni said that my guidebook is his best-selling title (though I won’t ruin it by telling you how many copies he sold last year!)
The event was actually held at Wellington Books, an English-language bookstore near Campo Sant’Angelo (just in front of the Cinema Rossini, a Casanova site!). It’s only been open since November. Owner Gaspare was quite gracious, kind, and enthusiastic. You’ll notice that Seductive Venice has a different title and cover in Italy; it’s part of a guidebook series, so Giovanni wanted to name is something compatible–Casanova’s Venice: A Walking Guide. It has the green cover, on the shelf by Gaspare’s hand.
I met some other great people, too, from expats to locals. Floria and Manuel are trying to convince the city of Venice to put more plaques around the city on sites where Casanova lived. Manuel owns a gallery on Giudecca and is planning an event on April 2 to celebrate Casanova’s birthday. They also have high hopes to erect a statue of Casanova in time for the 300 year anniversary of his birth in 2025.
I also had the added pleasure of meeting Gregory Dowling, a professor at the university in Venice. I had contacted him a couple years ago because I had enjoyed his walking guide to Byron’s Venice, and I had asked him about his publisher. It was Gregory who led me to Supernova, which ended up publishing my book. Gregory has since continued to be supportive by sharing his knowledge with me about various aspects of literature, history, and Venice. This was the first time we’ve met. We’re each holding our books.
I’m hoping that when I return to Venice in the summer, I’ll have more events. Gaspare and Giovanni are already planning ahead.