Thank You

Sofi Has Been Feted! Grazie.

I am grateful to so many people for hosting Lady in Ermine book events the past six months. Since this is my first book, I was uncertain how it would be received, but Sofonisba’s story spread from mouth to mouth and book talk to book group. I am happy to say the feedback has been entirely positive. Quite a few high school teachers and college professors have asked about teaching the novel for history and art history classes. Yes! There’s a page for ACADEMICS at SOFONISBA.NET. Lady in Ermine was published by the ACMRS, selected unanimously for its research and narrative. I’ve appreciated every moment of this book tour and the voice it helped give Sofonisba and her accomplishments.

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The Metropolitan Club of San Francisco

At the first launch party, Lorenzo Ortona, the San Francisco Italian Consul General, offered the first comment and said, “I don’t think you found Sofonisba so much as Sofonisba found you.” That comment really stuck with me and encouraged me in the mission to spread Sofonisba’s legacy, especially when I was stumped over how to crack the marketing of a book from a university press (which requires much more work for the author to promote the book).

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It was exciting to see Lady in Ermine on book shelves. The Book Passage has been an incredibly supportive local bookstore.

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My friend Jim Galluzzo joined me at my book party at the Book Passage.  
He’s an author about the life of Mary Magdalene and was the first test reader for Lady in Ermine when the manuscript was complete. Thank you, Jim.

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I am particularly grateful to the San Francisco Museo Italo Americano for hosting a standing room only launch event and supporting Lady in Ermine, days after the building suffered from a winter storm.

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… and at the San Diego Museum of Art, which has a spectacular portrait of a Spanish Prince by Sofonisba. I am grateful to Michael Brown, Curator of the European Collection, for the gracious invitation.

In San Diego, a reader asked how I determined the narrative voice. She thought it gave credibility to the story. I was touched by the feedback because this is a debut novel.

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Lisa Diaz Nash hosted a reading in honor of International Women’s Day and I was honored to present Sofonisba’s story for the occasion. It turned into quite a gathering.

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It felt like I introduced Sofonisba to 10,000 people at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books. USC hosted the event when they were in the middle of the admissions crisis, but I met so many smart USC students, like my assistant Jesse Valdez, a sophomore at the USC film school, already interning at a production company.

This smart couple was super into historical fiction. I was impressed with all the students I met at USC.

These sisters, one a writer, one a poet, were really happy to find the story of a girl who grows up to be successful artist. In fact, I originally expected mostly older readers but was excited to find how young readers gravitated to the story. (LA Times Festival of Books photos courtesy of J. Grace Lewis)

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Surprised how men’s groups enjoyed the story too.  Amici d’Oro in San Jose.

Italian groups loved the story of Sofonisba.

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Lady in Ermine started climbing up ratings, right next to Philippa Gregory and Hilary Mantel.

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Lady in Ermine shines at the Uffizi Gallery Book Store in Florence!

A reader Patricia Olsen told me she thought Lady in Ermine should be a mini series. So, I’m completing a spec script for the pilot now. Then she sent me this photo she took at the Uffizi Gallery Book Store in Florence. (Grazie, Manuela Scarlatti and Alessandro Salvatici). The Lady shines! A few weeks later, I learned Lady in Ermine is also available at the Prado Museum in Madrid in advance of the Fall, 2019 Prado exhibit of Sofonisba’s work. I’m going to be there on opening day of the exhibit October 22!

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Italian Club, San Jose.

Mostly, I enjoyed the homes that were opened and I’m grateful for the friends who supported the effort, and my family who were always there for me.  I want to give a special thank you to Jeannine Grace Lewis and Nancy Wong who walked the path with me, helping me understand social media and marketing—I had no idea how much that would be necessary to launch  the story of an historic woman! I am grateful and truly touched by all the encouragement and support I received along the way, in so many, many ways.

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Thank you, Marty Hearst, Computer Science professor at UC Berkeley.

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Thank you, Caryl Parker.

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At the Mercatino di Natale, Museo Italo Americano, Fort Mason, San Francisco

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Grazie, Silvia Hughes. (Silvia’s originally from Ferrara, not far from Sofi’s Cremona)

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Danielle Boutique on Union Street was elegant and gracious and what a lovely store!

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Thank you for an enthusiastic intimate reading event, Susan Saylor, Deputy Attorney General for Consumer Protection work, Author and Editor in Chief of the Manual on Fair Housing & Public Accomodation-I always knew she was the smartest in our law school class!

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Grazie Deborah Baldini & Biordi Fine arts for a lovely evening kick off to the North Beach Festival

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Lots of Fleece and down jackets in San Francisco in June for the North Beach Festival. Local color, artists, writers, readers, and caffe` afficionados abound. (North  Beach Festival photos courtesy of J. Grace Lewis)

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Most of all, Rick, Jeremy, Nolan, and Wesley, I love you. Thank you for all your support and encouragement over the years. Follow your dreams, boys.

Sofi has been feted! I pray I have done her legacy justice. Check back soon for A RENAISSANCE GIRL: THE STORY OF SOFONISBA ANGUISSOLA, a biography on the artist’s life, and the LADY IN ERMINE SERIES, upcoming novels about Queen Isabel de Valois, Catherine de Medici, and the Lady in Ermine herself, the Infanta Catalina Micaela.

June 2019.

Ciao, Bella