Wartime Liverpool, with a twist.
The twist is Little Italy. An area of the city occupied at the time by Italian immigrants and their families.
When the May blitz of 1941 attacks Liverpool, 10 year-old Joseph Ventre is separated from his mother during a night time bomb raid. He has to overcome all his fears as he fights to avoid his worst nightmare coming true, losing his mother. He has already lost his father and does not want to be left alone in the world. He clings on to a glimmer of faith after hearing and believing in the story of the great Liver Birds.
Starting from Lionel Street onto Scotland Road and down onto the Pier Head, we will scour the streets of Liverpool with him in search of his mother. The strong Italian community, the spirit of the city will not let Joseph down and help him on his journey through war and devastation.
Click here to read an extract from Chapter Two, and get to know the characters.
How’s it coming along?
It’s progressing. That’s the best way to describe the writing process at the moment. Sometimes slowly, sometimes not. I work full time alongside writing Cormorano so the majority of you will know, it’s not easy. Self-motivation and dedication balanced with the requirements and demands of every day life.
As a mention, I have a lot to be thankful for in terms of the writing of this novel so far. My writing circle. The powerful ladies, my fellow writers, who keep me going when I could’ve quite easily let life get in the way. They’re the kindling to the Cormorano fire.
So, progress? I’m nearing the end of the first draft and very much focussing on the friendship between the protagonist, Joseph, and his best friend, young Bella Moretta. Writing this friendship has been the most enjoyable part for me… two young people helping each other through a war-torn city, in a time of great turmoil, relevant then just as it is today.
The themes of family, friendship, humanity, and sense of spirit is important message to come from this piece. Yes, capturing the grittiness of WW2 and how difficult life was during this time, both vital to convey. But, if my reader feels compassion and warmth as they turn the pages of the novel then I’ll feel, not tiredness or frustration, but joy.
Courage. Kindness. Friendship. Character.
These are the qualities that define us
as human beings, and propel us,
on occasion, to greatness.
R.J. Palacio, Wonder.
Nicola Copeland – August 2016