Category Archives: Trieste

Test Reader Feedback: Taking the Risk Out of New Fiction

Making new fiction successful in the marketplace is probably the highest risk enterprise ever invented.  So I can’t help but try to mitigate that risk, and one way is to get feedback on my novel In the Mouth of the Wolf from a test panel of regular readers.  These are not writers or aspiring writers, […]

Rewrite complete

Thanks to excellent coaching from staff and agents at the San Francisco Write to Market Conference (backed up by my own independent research) I’ve rewritten and retitled the novel formerly known as Amedeo.  It’s now just half as long, at about 85,000 words, and has a new name:  In the Mouth of the Wolf.  I’m […]

Thank you, Robert!

A spec cover design by my Vashon Island friend Robert Leung, based on reading my first two chapters.  Looks like a thriller!  Guess I’d better MAKE it a thriller…  


  Celebrating the completion of the manuscript for “Amedeo.”  Many thanks again to all the fellow writers, friends and family who have supported me and given me helpful feedback throughout this process.  I couldn’t have done it without you.  Next week, I’ll go back to researching novel number two, “Lidija,” and start the search for […]

It’s Lidija, not Lidja

  (Veda l’italiano qui) I note with humility the observations of my Triestino friend Nereo Castelli on the challenges I’m taking on with my second Trieste-based novel.  He has already given me invaluable feedback and corrections of historical fact as well as, in the most recent case, spelling.  My working title for the second book […]

Slovenian Cooking

  Research isn’t just about reading or going on location.  It’s also about eating and, even better, cooking.  My second book revolves around a Slovenian woman, so last night I made a five-course Slovenian dinner for a handful of friends.  Because of its location at the confluence of Latin, Germanic and Slavic cultures, Slovenia has […]

First draft of novel #2: Lidija

Wrapping up NaNoWriMo in July today. I’ve created a very rough draft of my second novel, titled Lidija, of just over 40,000 words. I’m short of my goal of 50,000, but I found myself needing to do more research and so have read several books in the past 10 days. Here’s a cover of one, […]

Progress Report

One week into NNWMIJ (NaNoWriMoInJuly) and I’ve written almost 12,000 words of this first draft of Book 2, just ahead of goal.  38,000 to go.  My protagonist seems real to me now and I see a basic story arc developing.  It’s still early, everything could change, but it feels good, and I’m having fun.

Mille Grazie

  Sono appena tornato da Trieste e mi sento impaziente di tornare all’ lavoro di rivedere mio manoscritto, pero prima di tutto vorrei ringraziare tutti che mi hanno aiutato a realizzare le indagini di storia di Trieste e della mia famiglia:  Elisabetta de Dominis e Uberto Fortuna Drossi; Nereo Castelli e Roberto Vicic; Edda Vidiz; […]

Maria Cescutti Nassutti

I’d imagined it, I’d stood on the street and looked up at the multi-story apartment building that replaced it, I’d found pictures of similar buildings, but this is it:  Where my great-grandmother Maria Cescutti Nassutti died in Trieste on October 23, 1944, victim of an Allied aerial bombing attack, a bomb that overshot the intended […]