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Spanish Conspiracy Inspires Debut Novelist Christi Phillips

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With Christi Phillips

author of The Rossetti Letter

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An Authorlink Exclusive AUDIO Interview With Christi Phillips
Author of The Rossetti Letter (Pocket, March 2007)

May 2007

Pocket has introduced a captivating new voice in debut novelist Christi Phillips, author of THE ROSSETTI LETTER. The literary mystery seamlessly moves between 17th century Venice and the present day with the connected stories of two women–the mysterious courtesan Alessandra Rossetti and Harvard University Ph.D. candidate Claire Donovan, devoted to shedding new light on Rossetti's role in exposing the Spanish conspiracy to overthrow the Venetian Republic.

The story is based on a secret letter Alessandra wrote to the Great Council. Though the document is a historical fact, little is known about Alessandra. Claire believes that her heroine risked her life for her country.

Author Christi Phillips talks to Authorlink about what inspired the idea for The Rossetti Letter, reveals which characters are real and fictitious, and gives insights about her journey to publication. It takes a lot of work and a lot of luck, admits Christi. Here, she advises her fellow writers never to be afraid of failing. Only in writing and rewriting does one succeed. It took Christi years to finish the book. On submission, she was lucky to find an editor who connected right away with her story. Yet it took her another nine months of rewriting before Pocket made her an offer. Christi's years of writing revising, and researching have paid off in praise from fellow writers who are now calling her work a "satisfying feast" in literary mysteries.

—Doris Booth