Monday, August 3, 2015

Blog Tour: No Steps on the Snow by Daniela Alibrandi

National Literary Award Circe 2013 Winner
Release Date: JUNE 27TH 2015
Francesco, a brilliant middle-aged oncologist signs in a social network while surfing the Internet. He bumps into the profile of the girl he was desperately in love with during High School ‘68, when a horrible homicide happened and the guilty was never to be found. His destiny intertwines in an unpredictable way with that of the girl, now a mature woman. Desperate passions and deep loves of a generation belonging to the past. A thriller that leads to a stunning end.

"This was a wonderful collaboration with you and thank you for letting me help you achieve your goal of publishing the English edition of this unique story. Set in the context of the turbulent times we grew up in and then forward to present day, those of us who remember how it was then and the different paths we took to where are now can relate to the complexities of choices and decisions your characters faced in those difficult years." Allison Whitmore

When did I become a writer? 

The answer is that I’ve always been an author, without realizing it. But a woman’s life is full of things and I am a mother of two children, with a family and a work and I couldn’t dedicate time to my passion. Until an accident occurred to me and, motionless for two months, I could finally write. I knew what an inspiration is, hearing in my mind the first words of my book. I started to put it down, not knowing what the story would have been and, without an outline, I went on writing. That’s how No Steps on the Snow came out, intertwining memories of High School time, dreams of that generation and imagination. The main character of the story, Francesco, is a middle-aged oncologist that, surfing in the Internet and signing in a social network, stumbles in the profile of the girl, now a mature woman, he loved desperately during High School time, in 1968. Those were the years of the students’ rebellion, of Woodstock and the free love, the time of desperate passions. What comes out, page by page, is that Francesco feels a great remorse toward Milena. But that’s not all, in fact through Francesco’s memories the reader discovers that a terrible homicide had happened at that time. The guilty was never to be found and the murder had been registered as a political crime, one of the many that occurred in those years. Francesco’s actual high bourgeois life, comfortable and safe with four children and a wife, that he occasionally betrays, gets completely upset. The inner journey that starts in his mind, full of memories and nostalgia, leads him to get in touch with Milena. From then on, the suspense grows line after line to a stunning end.

I used a particular literary technique writing the book, that is speaking in the first person. So the reader looks through Francesco’s eyes and thinks with his mind. And another thing that surprised me is that I thought and described even intimate moments as if I were a man. I enjoyed it so much to enter in a man’s shoes that when the book was ended I really felt I had lost something. The publisher thought that there was a mistake on my name as an author, because only a man could have written so well about man!

In the book, I describe some beautiful Italian places. First of all Rome, with its mystique and charm, as it was then and now, as well as Santa Severa with its ancient castle on the sea or Monte Argentario, a mountain in the sea, bound to the land by a narrow street. And I remind many songs of  the ‘60s, like Don’t Let Me Down and Get Back by the Beatles, If Paradise Is Half As Nice, by the Amen Corner and Eleonor, by the Turtles, that became great successes also in Italian editions. A soundtrack that takes the reader through the whole story.

One of the best memories about this book, besides the great satisfaction of the national awards I won in its Italian edition, was a meeting I had with my readers. A middle-aged woman came near me and asked me if she could read to me a sentence of my book that had particularly touched her. And she pronounced intensely these few lines of No Steps on the Snow  “…the doors left locked inside our soul can open again when they want to, even if we delude ourselves into thinking we have thrown away the key.” I felt moved and we looked at each other’s eyes wet of emotion.

"As I wrote No Steps on the Snow with my left hand, when an accident occurred to me and I was motionless for a couple of months, Italian literary critics use to say that this book was written with the left hand, the hand of the heart."

I was born in Rome, where I lived during my childhood. Then I moved to United States of America where I lived a significant period of my adolescence, attending St. Francis School in Manchester, New Hampshire. Then I came back to Italy, Rome, where I finished my classical studies. Even in the professional life I have lived experiences in different contexts, which have enriched my "baggage". Working in the public sector I have dealt, inter alia, with the International Relations and Cultural Exchanges with Foreign Countries. In the private life, I'm married with two children. I was always inclined towards writing and this passion has led me to take part in various literary competitions, winning many important national awards. I wrote the following books: 

NO STEPS ON THE SNOW (English Edition published in June 2015)The Italian edition was published in 2010 and the book has been a cultural event for the city of Rome in summer 2012. It won the National Literary Award Circe 2013. It has been presented in the most important Italian Book Fair Piùlibripiùliberi. 

A SHADOW ON MERRIMACK RIVER My first English Edition published in 2013 available in USA and worldwide, has had four/five stars review from American literary blogs and readers. It's Italian Version “UN’OMBRA SUL FIUME MERRIMACK” is an Amazon Bestselling in the genders of historical fiction and thrillers and noir. 

RACHEL’S CHILD (Italian Edition) My second thriller published in 2012 and presented successfully at the Lamezia Terme Book Fair. 

THE FOUNTAIN OF THE FROGS (Italian Edition) It was published in June 2015. The thriller is set in the ancient and magic centre of Rome. It won the National Literary Award Perseide 2014. 

DEWDROPS SHORT NOVELS (Italian Edition) is a collection of my short novels, that investigate the intimate sphere of human feelings, and have won national literary awards. 

My Italian editions will soon be translated in English. To a journalist who asked me what is writing for me, I answered: “Writing is my haven, my everything.” 

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