midnight in the piazza
When I had been living in Rome for less than a year, I met an extraordinary thirteen-year-old American girl named India, who lived on the top floor of a building in Piazza Mattei and had a view of the Turtle Fountain out her bedroom window. Although India was not the direct inspiration for Beatrice, with that acquaintance, the seed of a story was planted. It wasn't until several years later that I picked up a pen (or, rather, a keyboard) and began to write this book. The idea came to me while I was browsing the shelves of the English section of my local bookstore. There were countless novels and memoirs about expats and their adventures living abroad—but the protagonists were all adults. Had no one ever thought to write an expat story from the point of view of a child? Apparently not. And so I set out to write one.
I had no idea where this story would lead. I only knew that my heroine would be a redhead named Beatrice, and that she would live in Piazza Mattei with a view of the Turtle Fountain out her bedroom window. As scenes turned into chapters, and chapters began to form a book, I realized I was writing a mystery. An art mystery. After many challenging years of writing, revising, (and revising and revising), querying, waiting, and revising again, Midnight in the Piazza will be published by HarperCollins Children's on March 6th, 2018.
Cover design by Jen Klonsky. Cover illustration by Becca Stadtlander.