A House Near Luccoli: Getting Closer to Publication

My novel, A House Near Luccoli, soon to be published by All Things That Matter Press, focuses on chance encounters, beautiful music, and the paradox of genius through an imagined intimacy with one of the most legendary and undervalued figures of Italian Baroque Music.

In 2002, while driving to work, I was fortunate to be near enough to the Canadian border to listen to CBC Radio 2, specifically a program called In the Shadows. The show highlighted the lives and works of artists—mainly musical—who for a variety of reasons had been largely ignored or forgotten.

Cover Artwork by DM Denton
Copyright 2012

One morning a 17th Century Italian composer, whom I and obviously many others had never heard of, was featured. His music was stunning: fluid and melodic, with clear expressive vocals and distinct instrumentations. His story was replete with romance and intrigue, triumphs and tragedy, like an opera drawing on the divinity and failings of gods and men.

By the time I pulled into the parking lot at work, I knew why I was listening. I “knew” Alessandro Stradella. I recognized his distinct voice, his swaying form, his infectious smile, and his wandering heart. I had witnessed the rise and fall of his talents, how his music had showered him with forgiveness if not fortune. I spent the rest of that morning and many hours more in pursuit of him, my writer’s urge “to do something with him” easier stirred than accomplished. He was so little on the pages of Google searches and music histories; a desire to create something significant out of my interest in him was soon frustrated and abandoned.

It wasn’t until 2005 that I returned to Stradella as the novel subject I was looking for. The timing must have been right, for “suddenly” resources, although still not in abundance, were easier to find. As I read my costly used copy of Alessandro Stradella, the Man and his Music by musicologist Carolyn Gianturco, I found an opportunity for imagining my way into his story, focusing on his last fateful days in Genoa–not to change history but quietly humanize it, not merely to appreciate a great musician but personalize him, to reveal the ordinary in the extraordinary and the significance of the insignificant. Equipped with specifics and speculation, a growing CD library of his music, and a fictional female protagonist stepping out of my own hopes and disappointments, I was ready to begin.

Stradella (1639 – 1682) was cultivated but also something of a vagabond. His life seemed to be a struggle between the discipline of his work and the restlessness of his behavior. Throughout his career, Stradella’s output was versatile and copious, including operas, oratorios, serenatas, madrigals, and incidental music. He worked royally and nobly for the theater and the church, for grand and domestic occasions, celebrating life and love, using allegory and heart and humor, challenging singers and instrumentalists and the inventiveness of himself. Whether acting on a patron’s whim or his own impulse, uncertainty and risk were inevitable for Stradella. It was his nature to embrace them, indulging in possibilities, captivating men and women known and unknown, seducing posterity with his reputation for making messes but also masterpieces.

Please click here to read a short excerpt from A House Near Luccoli.

Visit my website to read more about the novel, and contact me if you would like to be notified of its release date.

Also, I would appreciate a few more LIKES on my Facebook Author Page.

This is an exciting time for me (my first published novel) and I sincerely thank you, dear friends, for letting me share it with you!

©Artwork and writing, unless otherwise indicated, are the property of Diane M Denton. Please request permission to reproduce or post elsewhere with a link back to bardessdmdenton.

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23 thoughts on “A House Near Luccoli: Getting Closer to Publication

  1. What a fascinating beginning to your ‘romance’ with Stradella! I am so very looking forward to reading your book once it is published!! So excited for you. Love & blessings! Angela

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    • Right now I am going through what is called the galley–my publisher has put it in book format and I am just proofing for any “oops” errors. It really looks like a “proper” book now, and that is a little surreal … but wonderful! It’s almost like I’m reading a novel by someone else. Thanks so much for your love and support, Angela. It means so much to me! Never give up on your dreams! Blessings, Diane♥

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  2. I echo AngelaMarie’s word “fascinating”–sounds like it was all divinely ordained, doesn’t it. Praying that your book is a huge success in every way–you deserve it, Diane!! And also, I just noticed the statement at the top of your blog–quite intriguing. God bless you abundantly–love, Caddo

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  3. Diane, all the very best for yoru first book. I love the way this came about and yes, it was universally timed and ‘meant to be’. J xxx

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  4. Pingback: A House Near Luccoli: Getting Closer to Publication « Monicambrinkman's Blog

  5. Hi Diane
    this is going to be great! The book sounds exactly like the kind I love to read, and now I want to know more about this composer as well, I am really looking forward to reading the book! Good luck and enjoy all the excitement! xx

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  6. Hi Diane!

    Just checking in and visiting a few favourite blogs.

    I can’t wait for your book and many, many congratulations, what a wonderful achievement!!:)

    It’s good to be here again and I hope to post again fairly soon though my comments may be minimal because of my hand which, unfortunately, is no better despite two injections.

    Love and (((HUGS)))

    Christine xx

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