Mary's musings

Mary Hoffman, author of over 90 children's books, including the Stravaganza series and Amazing Grace, has begun a web journal which will be updated roughly once a week. You can read more on

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Tomorrow is another day

These are the closing words of Antonio Tabucchi's latest novel, "Tristano Muore" (Tristan dies), about which I have just finished writing an essay. And of course of "Gone with the Wind," and, banal as they are, have made me return to the blog, after the sadness of the last entry. It does look as if relief is getting through.

I have been away myself, for a long weekend in Florence with Jessica. City of Flowers is dedicated to her and she loves the place as much as I do. Now she tells me which are the best restaurants and there was a certain amount of handbag-buying. And WALKING! I bought a pedometer after Christmas and struggle to reach 5,000 in my sedentary writing life but in Florence - !5, 13, 12 thousand steps on those three days. Just as well, considering the food and wine. There seems to be a new Duccio in the Nargello, which I must show to Stevie when we go back in April.

Only six weeks till publication now and many signings, conferences and book festivals are being planned both for Bravo, Grace! and City of Flowers. (details will be posted on both websites). I shall have to go to Edinburgh twice for appearances a week apart in August. Still, a train journey with a table and power-point might lead to lots of writing.

I've seen the Producers (brilliant) and Head/Case (Soho Theatre - brilliantly acted) but don't know how many more things I shall get to - so many dates taken up by book promotion.

I've also been to my first management committee meeting at the Societry of Authors and sat between Tracy Chevalier and Philippa Gregory, across from Jacky Wilson. Jacky and I walked back to the station together afterwards and she waxed lyrical on the subject of NOT having e-mail or the Internet. How different that must be! She loves it but I would hate it.

In Florence we had lunch with my dear friend Carla Poesio, who runs the Press Office at the Bologna Book Fair. I asked if her e-mail was working properly now. "Oh yes," she said "and I check it at least three times a week." I do that more than three times a day! But I swear I'll scream if another fan says "Have you ever thought of making a film out of the Stravaganza books?" ! One even added "Think about it," as if I am somehow failing to make it happen.

I can do only the bit I do and I have sent a proposal and two chapters to Bloomsbury for the next, non-Stravaganza book. More here when I have heard from them but my agent loves it and that is always a good start.

Went to the Marsh award for children's books in transl;ation and it was full of friends, including Lene Kaberbol, whom I met in Reykjavik. But the winner was Sarah Adams for Daniel Pennac's The Eye of the Wolf. Aidan Chambers made a passionate plea for more translated books, which gave me AN IDEA!