Unpublished novelist? Take heart in this:


My book club tonight is going to discuss Jacqueline Park’s The Secret Book of Grazia Dei Rossi, a historical fiction (that’s utterly fascinating) based on two letters Ms. Park found about a woman named Pacienza Pontremoli and her love for a Catholic man.

Ms. Park was 72 when she published this book, her debut.

I’m not 72 yet. Many of you aspiring authors, like myself, who read this blog aren’t 72 yet.

There’s still time for us.

(an interesting aside — in reading Naomi Ragen’s The Ghost of Hannah Mendes, we came across a character named Grazia Dei Rossi. I haven’t had time to reasearch this, but was there an actual Grazia? What’s going on, that two fictional women who are very different bear the same name?)



  1. cheesygiraffe

    October 20, 2006 11:28 am

    So there is hope for everyone. Keep typing away people. That is a definite inspiration. :)BR/I couldn’t find a real person named Grazi Dei Rozzi. Only connection I could find is that the books are both about Spanish Jews. Am I correct in that statement?

  2. booklogged

    October 20, 2006 4:09 pm

    Wow, that is such a big coincidence to be introduced to Dei Rossie for the first time in 2 different incidences within such a short period. I love coincidences. Now my interest is peaked and I’m going to have to look into these 2 books. Fun.

  3. Susan Helene Gottfried

    October 20, 2006 4:27 pm

    Well, cheeze, one was Spanish (Ragen’s Dei Rossi) and one was Italian (Park’s). So I have no idea; maybe one borrowed the name from the other? BR/BR/Welcome, Booklogged! Hope you’ll hang out here some more!

  4. Penina

    October 20, 2006 11:00 pm

    She must have immigrated 😀

  5. Susan Helene Gottfried

    October 21, 2006 8:16 am

    Or maybe she was cloned?

  6. karen!

    October 23, 2006 4:20 pm

    How did the discussion go?BR/Did the people in your group like the book?

  7. Susan Helene Gottfried

    October 23, 2006 4:30 pm

    Yes, we all liked the book VERY much, although it was funny. As we talked, we found weaknesses with it and we sort of ended things feeling like maybe it wasn’t as good as it had been enjoyable. BR/BR/Now, I’m not sure what to do with my copy. Think someone’ll start a historical swap over at Bookswaplive.com????

  8. karen!

    October 24, 2006 10:27 am

    yes, I think we’re definitely due for a historical fiction swap over on BSL. :DBR/BR/We should think about trying to schedule one after the site is back up.

  9. Susan Helene Gottfried

    October 24, 2006 11:30 am

    I’ll let you set up the swap and hostess it, then. I have enough responsibility right now as it is!!! (too much, actually)BR/BR/What’s with the site? Why’s it down?

  10. salomedesade

    October 25, 2006 3:29 pm

    That’s good to know. And to think, here I am worrying, at 24, that I’ll never be published.

  11. Susan Helene Gottfried

    October 25, 2006 3:36 pm

    With POD what it is today, I think it’s safe to say we’ll get published SOMEhow. I haven’t ruled out starting my own publishing imprint when my daughter’s in first grade!BR/BR/It’d still be nice to do it the traditional way, with someone else footing the bill and throwing in a publicity budget as well, but … all I can do is my best writing and self-promotion. BR/BR/We just have to have faith that it’s meant to be. And keep on writing better, too. But that one’s a given. *wink*

  12. Andrew

    October 25, 2006 7:12 pm

    Phew! So there is time left for 17-year olds like me. *Laughs halfheartedly* I feel tiny.BR/BR/But even with POD, the difference is between getting published (your books are available) and being Published (you’re being advertized). And unless a book gets into some sort of top ten list, getting noticed with POD is probably going to be difficult. But blogs are one good way to get “out there”, I think.

  13. Susan Helene Gottfried

    October 25, 2006 8:05 pm

    Hey, stalkee!! :DBR/BR/Yeah, unless you can sell 5,000-10,000 copies of your book, ANY sort of self-publishing can be the kiss of death. And remember, the AVERAGE POD sales are somewhere around 1.7, I think it is. That means that some people have NO sales!! Not even to themselves!BR/BR/That’s why, if I go that route, I’m going to start my own imprint. I mean, if I’ve got to pay for publication, I may as well have ALL the control, ya know? Merch, books, publicity… the whole shebang.BR/BR/I mean, why NOT make ShapeShifter t-shirts? They’re a band, right? So what if they aren’t real. Neither is, I’d like to point out, Spinal Tap. *wink*

  14. Lswriter

    October 27, 2006 6:53 pm

    72?! I don’t want to wait that long!BR/BR/It’s good that a 72 year old got published though. I would have thought that publishers would shy away from someone who, realistically, might die soon. I thought they were always looking for people they could continue to get books from for a long time?

  15. Susan Helene Gottfried

    October 27, 2006 7:24 pm

    Me, either. Heck, waiting THIS long has been murder, although I can truthfully say I’ve improved with age. Or… my writing has.BR/BR/I’m not sure about the longevity thing; I’ve heard the same thing as you (we’re probably both hanging with Snark or something!), but maybe this was such an exceptional book — and it WAS very good and DID deserve to be published — that they were willing to make an exception.BR/BR/And if she can write for another ten years and put out a book a year… that’s a nice career these days, especially if you can make your sales. Too bad she so far hasn’t put out another.

  16. Marilyn

    November 1, 2006 9:05 am

    Wow, I’m in my 30’s and I actually think I’ve started late! Now I can see that there’s hope out there. Never give up on your dreams!

  17. Susan Helene Gottfried

    November 1, 2006 9:06 am

    Oh, there’s always HOPE. The better question is if there’s a market!

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