As an author of historical fiction, I am thrilled when life imitates art. In my 2013 novel, Missing in Machu Picchu, I wrote a chilling, cautionary tale about a treacherous hike on a fictional trail parallel to the famous Inca Trail near Machu Picchu. Later that same year, archaeologists uncovered a real-life trail, eerily parallel to this famous trail—and to the one in my novel. In this instance, life most definitely imitated art (my novel).
Now, I’m experiencing a bombardment of instances of serendipity that proves that art imitates life—even if it’s life from centuries ago. A few months back, I began writing a biblio novel with all the elements we bibliophiles adore. It has the dark elements of bibliomania, the intrigue of biblio larceny, and a scholarly tribute to a specific element of the printing history of Venice. Like all writers, I dug deep into this subject to make sure my topic’s originality and intrigue would appeal to my readers. For years, I researched my upcoming biblio novel, traveling from Venice to the cities of its ancient empire along the Dalmatian Coast, as well as Greece, Istanbul, and the Black Sea.
I’ve had nothing but the world of books on my mind for the past year. As I wrote about bibliomania in sixteenth-century Venice, I was barraged with current news items about bibliomania. Last week, I was writing about biblio larceny back in history when I stumbled upon The Guardian headline “Thieves steal £2m of rare books by abseiling into warehouse” (https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/feb/12/thieves-steal-2m-of-rare-books-by-abseiling-into-warehouse). I can’t wait to see what modern-day examples of serendipity come my way as I continue writing my sixteenth-century biblio novel, Blessings from the Edge (Publish Date December 2017).