Days of Lead: Author’s Note

I hope you have enjoyed Days of Lead, at least as much as I enjoyed writing it.

In addition to the usual reminders that all the characters are fictional and any resemblance to real persons is coincidental, I must point out that Days of Lead is not an historical novel. It is the fruit of my own imagination and my experiences growing up as a young translator in Rome.

About that time, Italy was rocked by extremist violence from both the right and the left, not to mention anarchists who hated both sides. By the 1970’s, these bloody years had acquired the moniker anni di piombo, Years of Lead, which inspired the title of this book. I have deliberately set the time of the story at a different point.

After I wrote the first draft, the Piano Solo papers were declassified. I was shocked to discover that my inspiration based only on rumors in the press and recollections of my teenage years had caused me to mirror many aspects of the real coup attempt in my story. I went back and changed characters and times drastically, lest you be misled into thinking that I was reporting on actual events.

Unlike Nancy, my mother was far from being a well-off executive in a multinational company, but she did make it possible for me to attend Notre Dame International School during the time in the book.

And, yes, I did buy myself a Vespa 50, after riding my bicycle in all kinds of weather for seven years.

=========== So what’s next? 

I am already working on the second book of the series, as well as the sequel to Emily & Hilda, which ran in this blog during 2018.

I write this blog for your enjoyment more than anything. The two serial novels seem to have been a hit, but I need your input about where to take this blog.
Please take a moment to complete this survey. Feel free to check all that apply, and to leave comments below. If you want to comment just to me, please use the contact form. Thank you!

Chapter 28: Later

“Hand me the scissors, would you please?” Nancy said, pointing to the other end of the coffee table.

Joe picked up the scissors and passed them to her. She snipped the bright red ribbon and placed Angela’s Christmas present on the floor near her chair. Outside, a cold rain beat hard against the windows. With the heavy curtains drawn, the room felt warm and cozy. Christmas carols floated through the house from the phonograph in the corner. Continue reading

Chapter 27: Dénouement

Joe looked around. The apartment was furnished with Renaissance chairs and tables. There was a sitting room, a bedroom and even a dining room. They made themselves comfortable in the sitting room as a slender, thirty-something blonde attendant came in and asked if they would like coffee, something else or perhaps lunch. They all asked for coffee, and Redwood suggested a tagliere of meat and cheese. Nancy had not had lunch. Continue reading

Chapter 25: Rome, Saturday

tram a RomaThe No. 8 trolley clanged its bell as it stopped outside. Something was different. Joe’s room on the Monte Mario was at the back of the building, where he could not hear the street. He opened his eyes, suddenly aware of and delighted by Sandra’s smooth skin neatly fitting into every bend in his own body. The sun was not yet up, but the pre-dawn light leaked through the slats of the shutters. Continue reading

Chapter 24: Cologne, Friday

Friday morning, Nancy woke up facing the sun coming around the drapes. She kept her eyes closed and was instantly aware of the hard, muscular body behind her. She luxuriated in the feel of Jack’s lungs slowly expanding and contracting against her back. She had been surprised at how smooth his skin was. His body hair was fine and soft. She liked it. She controlled her breathing, hoping not to wake him. Continue reading