In July, 1992, when I was in Milan, I saw a poster of two men in friendly consultation. The slogan beneath the portrait said: “Non li avete uccisi, le loro idee camminano sulle nostre gambe!” “You did not kill them: their ideas walk on our legs.” Those two men were Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino, who had been assassinated months apart for their work against organized crime. These two men were iconic figures in Italy for their creative legislation and clever prosecutorial strategies. That poster and its poetic and angry slogan had inspired me.
I began Threading the Needle on January 20, 2012 and completed it February 13, 2012. The novel is shy of 90,000 words. The math works out to 25 days of writing, on average of 3,600 words per day and, with standard formatting of one-inch margins all around, double-spaced with Times New Roman 12-point font, that is approximately 250 words per page, about 14 pages a day. While this is all matter-of-fact computation, the reality is that some days I wrote more and other days, less. The point is I sat down every day and I wrote, committed to the story inside my head. Pure persistence. The hard work of editing and revising came later.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Gabriel Valjan’s short stories and some of his poetry continue to appear in literary journals and online magazines. Ronan Bennett short-listed Gabriel for the 2010 Fish Prize. Gabriel won first prize in ZOUCH Magazine’s inaugural Lit Bits Contest. Winter Goose Publishing publishes his Roma Series: Roma, Underground(February 2012), Wasp’s Nest (November 2012) and Threading the Needle (October 2013). Gabriel lives in New England. Visit his website.