So my editing team, Megan, Maya and Jemima, have provided me with some very valuable feedback recently. They are the first to see the entire first draft of Mandorlinfiore, and they have consistently picked out the missing connectives, improper punctuation and all of the other things you miss in four years of writing up a creative project!
I am very grateful for their enthusiasm for the story too, along with their honesty. It is well worth waiting for good, straightforward criticism. I have had to go back and iron out anomalies that I had not been aware of (it seems that Hector the Cat should be more selective in who he talks to!).
I have started writing up notes on the text too, which has been fun. I am aware that some readers might like to know more about the folk tales I have drawn upon, the landscape my characters inhabit and the ancient customs and beliefs that are still prevalent on the Island of Corsica.
But as Corsica is a French Department, should these folk tales be classed as French or Italian, or perhaps Mediterranean? Gufi is known in Italian as Giufa and has further international roots. He is the overwhelmingly good natured fool who will always come good, no matter what the odds are. He usually helps to convey a moral or code of behaviour, and it is the actions of those with whom he interacts that are judged as wanting, rather than his own outrageous antics. He is the star of many Sicilian Italian folk tales, and may be one of the etymological roots of the terms to goof, to be goofy, goofiness etc. Giufa’s own roots are said to be from the Turkish Islamic tradition of Nasruddin, which came to the island of Sicily when it was under Islamic rule (965-1091AD).
It seems that the stories I have drawn upon are descended from some of the oldest folktales found in Southern Europe outside of the so-called Greco-Roman tradition?
But, more importantly, when did cats start talking to people?