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Christine Simon Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Patron Saint of Second Chances (2022)Description / Buy at Amazon

Christine Simon
Author Christine Simon grew up in a very loud and large Italian family, where it was considered a major milestone among her countless cousins and siblings to surpass their nonna’s four-foot, ten inches tall.

She lives with her husband and four kids, who are also incredibly loud, and the crowning achievements of her life are learning to read knitting patterns and teaching her otherwise unscrupulous miniature schnauzer to ring his bell whenever he wants to go outside.

Christine knew that she wanted to be an author when she was fifth grade and her teacher assigned her class this round robin story game. It was a dark and stormy night, it started. They had to write for five minutes, then switch papers with somebody else and pick up where the other person left off.

They broke for lunch, and a classmate stopped and told young Christine that her stories were very good, and whether or not she was going to be a writer when she grew up. It was quite a stunning question. Even though she always loved reading, it never occurred to her that some real person put the words down on paper. And that was that, one single, electrifying moment.

For first drafts, she writes them in pencil and then does her edits on the computer. When she’s working on a first draft, she aims for 1,500 words each day, so she must count along as she goes.

If she weren’t an author she would be a teacher, since she taught both second grade and high school English before her kids were born.

She is drawn to the ridiculous, as well as the triumphant ending. She prefers stories that feature ordinary, as opposed to glamorous, characters, and she always roots for the underdog. She specifically dislikes cynicism, she is sure there’s a place for it, however it’s not to her tastes at all. She enjoys stories about basically good and well meaning folks that are just fumbling their way through, and occasionally inspired to do something extraordinary.

The biggest lesson that she learned is that you must always write for yourself: write the novel you’d like to read. Many times, for example, certainly while writing Smilzo’s scene with the goat, or the mail order meat scene, she thought she’d gone too far that no one would like it. But she herself liked it, so she just held her breath and kept faith that there would be at least somebody that’d like it also.

When she was planning “The Patron Saint of Second Chances”, movies like “The Full Monty”, “Big Night”, and “The Waking of Ned Devine” were each like mentor texts. They are each “Golden Fleece” stories, as outlined in Blake Snyder’s “Save the Cat Goes to the Movies”, a screenwriting book. A Golden Fleece is where the main character or characters are in quest for some sort of prize. To her total delight, when she was outlining these movies, she found (exactly as Snyder promised) that their structures were the exact same. It was intoxicating to her when she realized she could apply this same structure to her novel.

Thinking in a film structure was helpful in maintaining her pace, you could sit around in a book without much happening for fifty or so pages, but you couldn’t ever get away with something like that in a movie.

“The Patron Saint of Second Chances” is the first stand alone novel and was released in 2022. A self-appointed mayor of this tiny little Italian village is determined to save his hometown no matter what the cost in this hilarious, charming, and heartwarming debut.

Signor Speranza (vacuum repairman and self-appointed mayor of Prometto, Italy, population 212) has got a problem: unless he is able to cough up 70,000 euros to fix the town’s pipes, the water commission is going to shut off the water to the village and all of its residents will be forced to just disperse. So in this bid to boost tourism, and its revenue, he spreads this harmless rumor about Dante Rinaldi, a movie star, will be filming his next project close by.

But unfortunately, his plan works just a little too well, and before long everybody in town wants to be a part of this fictional film. Speranza’s wistfully adrift daughter reveals this unexpected interest in stage makeup. The village butcher will hand over some money if Speranza can give his fifteen enormous sons each a part. And Smilzo, his hapless assistant, volunteers this screenplay which is not secretly based off his undying love for the leading lady of the picture. Much to his surprise, as well as his considerable consternation, Speranza realizes that the one and only way to keep up this ruse is to actually make the movie for real.

While the entire town gets involved (including the village priest invests his money) Signor Speranza begins thinking that he may just be able to pull this all off. However what happens when Dante never shows up? Or even worse: what if he does?

This is a hilarious, charming, and original novel that some have read in quite awhile. Readers laughed out loud on just about every single page of the book. She is a master of creating quirky, lovable, and relatable characters that feel a lot like your best friends. Fans of the book very much so want their vacuum’s fixed at Signor’s shop and they’re desperate to be in the movie, whether Dante’s in it or not. It’s a special novel, and everybody with a sense of humor should pick it up immediately.

This is a warm hearted, fast paced, and charming farce. It’s escapist, upbeat, and a ton of fun to read. This is a rare treasure, since it’s both beautifully written and hilariously funny. Fans found themselves sad to evenn say goodbye to such large hearted and delightful characters when they had reached the last page.

It’s a glorious romp of a novel with this cast of characters easy to fall in love with. Gorgeous and brimming in joy, making Christine’s writing such a delight.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Christine Simon

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