Marci is available for interviews, book signings, blog tours, and public speaking. Media can contact her via web.
About Marci Diehl:
Short: While Marci Diehl is best known as an essayist, writer and editor for national, regional and local magazines, Diehl has written fiction since she was a child, and kept a “log” of her experiences as an 18 year old on an ill-fated bus tour of Europe. That log developed into her debut novel, What You Don’t Know Now. She lives in the Finger Lakes region of New York State.
Long: Marci Diehl has been writing since she was old enough to put sentences together and write letters. At ten she wrote and illustrated her first novel, twenty pages of notebook paper stapled together. She moved on to become the “geeky language nerd” in school, an inveterate note-passer (sometimes up to 6 pages long), comedy sketch writer, and winner of school awards for her editorials, short story and columns. She kept a “log” of her experiences as an 18 year old on an ill-fated bus tour of Europe, which developed decades later into her debut novel, What You Don’t Know Now. Diehl spent half her adult life traversing the nation as a PGA Tour Wife and traveling mother of four sons, writing for national, regional and local magazines on lifestyle, golf, travel, and humor. She’s also a multi-media writer for business when she isn’t walking her dog, Sugar. She lives in the Finger Lakes region of New York State.
What You Don’t Know Now:
About the Book:
It’s the summer of 1967, and 18-year-old American Bridey McKenna is in Europe for the first time. It’s supposed to be the ultimate mother-daughter vacation, but nothing about it is working out that way. Chances for adventure, romance and enlightenment look slim-to-none until Bridey arrives in Umbria and meets Alessandro — someone who could change everything about her future. Alessandro is no ordinary singing waiter, and he’s the last person on earth Bridey’s mother wants in her daughter’s life. Bridey’s only hope is to connect in Rome with her worldly aunt and uncle — a man who holds a position at the British embassy in Jordan that no one ever quite defines. When an emergency takes Bridey off the tour, on to Athens and further into her aunt and uncle’s world than Bridey ever dreamed, the complex terrain of family, love and womanhood holds a surprising itinerary. Read Sample Chapters
“Against the backdrop of Germany, Italy, and Greece, Bridey McKenna’s summer adventure plays out in ways she could have never imagined. Marci Diehl’s magical storytelling invites us to smell the sea, bask in the Mediterranean sunshine and join Bridey on an emotional journey that is an intricate blend of intrigue, sexual awakening, romance, and self-discovery.” -Kathy Johncox, author of What a Kiss Can Do
“This is a more complex book than a simple review can cover. It’s about the joys and trials of travel, the intensity of family relationships, issues of trust and acceptance, and love found and love deferred. It even touches on issues of class and ethnic bigotry. How will it all end? Ms. Diehl provides a satisfying ending that leaves us on just the right note of hope, wonder and anticipation.”
~ Carol White Llewellyn, Conversations With Creatives
“Reawaken your sense of adventure! Have you ever read a book that gave you the feeling of packing your bags and just going where your feet will take you? What You Don’t Know Now is definitely a book to read this summer.” -GoodReads review by Scribes23
Sample Interview Questions and Answers:
Give us a quick sentence (elevator pitch) of your book?
An 18-year-old American girl travels in Europe on a 7-country, 21-day bus tour during the tumultuous summer of 1967, to find fate has a surprising, unusual itinerary in store for her in family, love and womanhood. In the summer before college, it’s the education of a lifetime.
What genre is your book?
What You Don’t Know Now is a coming-of-age novel. This is women’s fiction (a commercial novel with a female on the brink of life change and personal growth, and includes a hopeful/upbeat ending to her romantic relationship). It also crosses into a new genre – New Adult (a genre of fiction with protagonists in the 18-25 age bracket, with a focus on issues such as leaving home, developing sexuality, and negotiating education and career choices).
Describe the main character?
Overprotected, raised to follow the rules and longing for even a hint of adventure to experience, Bridey McKenna is an 18-year-old American touring Europe in the summer of 1967 with her mother, aunt and 14 year old cousin on a 21-day, 7-country bus tour. The tour is loaded with nuns, widows, a priest and an elderly man, and worse, is inauspiciously named the Summer Vacation Pilgrimage. Smart, flippant, and self-absorbed, Bridey is a ‘60s girl with her long hair, mini dresses, and Twiggy eye makeup but she’s no hippie. She’s just graduated from an all-girls school, college-bound for Georgetown University. “She wasn’t about to follow some priest around all day. She planned on finding enlightenment in other ways.”
Bridey comes from a small town in western New York State where her father is a carpenter and her mother stays at home, raising Bridey and her two brothers. But Bridey has an aunt and uncle who have lived most of her life in Pakistan, Lebanon and Jordan. Bridey idolizes her glamorous, worldly Aunt Maura while feeling intimidated by her mysterious and distant Uncle Hugh, who has a job with the British government no one talks about. Bridey’s journey causes her to question old rules and roles, and stirs her rebellion, her blossoming sexuality, and her awakened sense of miraculous possibility in life and the world around her.
What made you write this story?
When I was 18, I took a similar trip in Europe and kept a travel journal. Turning 18 is a threshold for girls – a step into early womanhood, and most 18-year-olds think they know all they need to at that stage. I think I certainly felt that way. The tour I took was so terrible I knew it would make a great (possibly funny) book someday. It wasn’t until I was grown and re-read the journal that I saw myself as an 18-year-old complaining endlessly about the misadventures of the tour, not appreciating what was before me. I did see how much I loved my family for keeping their sense of humor and bond despite separation.
I imagined a different story unfolding. It was a story about the love between mothers and daughters, aunts who were like “second mothers,” and the bond of sisters. I also wanted to write about the idea of the lightning-strike of love during a summer holiday, and the question of whether you fall in love with someone because of his charisma and talent. The push-pull of love.
Our trip also included dumping that tour and heading to Athens, where my aunt, uncle and cousins were staying after being evacuated out of Jordan during wartime. The uncle character in the novel is based upon my own uncle, who was a spy for the U.S. – but I had no idea as a teen that he was an important intelligence officer. I thought the idea of writing about the “normal” side of a spy’s family life was intriguing and lent an unusual element to Bridey’s story.
Who should read your book?
It’s definitely for adults at least over 18, due to the sexual content of a couple of scenes. Who should read it? Mothers, daughters, sisters, aunts, cousins, grandmothers, nieces; women who lived through the 1960’s; anyone who took a trip to Italy or Europe and found a romance (there are more women out there that did than you may imagine!). People who are interested in history, travel, operatic tenors and their incubation, Italy, the Vietnam War era, life in the 1960’s, or Greece. Or anyone who has faced the choice of giving up what you most want to keep.
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