In the beginning was the Word, wrote John. All of us who cherish language and stories and words can surely agree, whatever our religious inclinations. The beautiful page at left also starts with these three words. “In the beginning.” It’s the opening of Genesis, in the mighty Biblia latina finished in Gutenberg’s workshop in autumn 1454. I find it a fitting illustration for my own beginning–for today marks the official publication date of “Gutenberg’s Apprentice” around the world!
O happy day! My debut novel appeared magically on Kindles in England while it was still yesterday in the United States. Now the spheres are aligned, and it’s September 23rd, 2014 everywhere. I feel very much as I imagined Peter Schoeffer, the hero of my novel, to feel on the day they started printing the Bible. This is how the chapter titled “Impressorium” starts: “The days of the saints are lettered in red. It has always seemed to Peter Schoeffer that this day should be remembered the same way.”
A red-letter day it is indeed. I hope to see many of you at 7 pm tonight at Book Passage in Corte Madera, or at any of my other events in San Francisco, Portland, Seattle, the eastern seaboard and Great Britain. They’re listed here under “Events”. I set out now upon my “Wander Years,” a journeyman carrying my tools out in the world. In the nicest twist of fate, the time it took for this book to appear today was seven years–the exact length of an apprenticeship in a medieval guild.