Welcome to my stop on the Errors of Evaluation Blog Tour written by Paola Pica and hosted by Authoright. I’m very pleased to be taking part and hope you enjoy my guest post from the author.
Francesca’s presence pervades the lives of those she meets. She leaves an indelible mark, the true nature of her personality revealed through other people’s encounters with her. Her boldness as a spoilt child. Her temporary (and just) suffering as the victim of a shrink – an ambiguous and even more unscrupulous person than her in grasping anything graspable. And the more than explicit revelation of her blind ego centrism, because of which she ignores the one person who has tried tirelessly to help her.
Three very different characters tell the same story about the enigmatic woman who has entered the lives, each one illuminating who Francesca really is, from their own point of view. Each character has made an error of evaluation which they realise has prejudiced their lives and their relationships. An omniscient narrator will have the final say.
This is the first version in English of Errors of Evaluation by the Italian writer Paola Pica.
The Inspiration Behind My Book a Guest Post by Paolo Pica
As for all my books, the inspiration for ERRORS OF EVALUATION came to my mind all at once, some days after I had had lunch at the house of some friends of mine together with three people whom I had never met before. One of them was a psychiatrist; which I gathered from the interesting conversation which started towards the end of the meal. In fact, he had been introduced to me by my friend the host as Doctor such and such, without any more details. He and other two of the eight people sitting around the table had become more and more busy speaking about “the girl”, and the two were looking at him as if they were expecting some important information from HIM.
After some minutes, I remember, all the table was interested in their topic and HE was even leading their asking. I couldn’t help noticing it, just as anybody else couldn’t have helped, I am thinking now. The lunch had become the desk from where someone, HE, was giving a conference or, better to say, answering the questions from the audience at the end of one. Apparently, the couple were the parents of “the girl”, not present among the guests, and were letting him catch up with the last news about her, who had been a patient of his. I could understand that the girl in question kept “ falling in love with the wrong men” as disastrously as ever. As that was not a matter of physical injury or disease, he must be a shrink, I gathered. The conversation-conference came to an end and someone asked the doctor about “the group”, which I soon realized to be a therapy group. How interesting, I thought, and wanted to know more.
To make a long story short, I ended up asking him if there was an opportunity for me to join the group, because that was something I had always wanted to do. He didn’t even ask me why nor gave me any more information about the group activity: telling me the cost of the sessions was all he did in that respect. I didn’t like it but also thought that perhaps it was me who should have asked questions before such a request. Anyway, after one week I was sitting in his sitting-room-study, after having been introduced by him to a group of seven people who, as I realized during that very first session, were slaves to his will and only spoke about what he wanted them to and shut their mouths at a blinking of his eyes.
I immediately felt that was what I wanted to write about and decided that, even if I was not in the least interested in interacting with the group of “slaves”, I had been given a great opportunity for “doing some research” for a story that I wanted to create. Which I did, as my ERRORS demonstrates, during the about six months of my attending the sessions and taking notes soon after being out of that house. Many details about that part of my novel have been added by my imagination, of course, but that was the way all that happened to start in my mind. All at once, as I said, after having been seated for not more than half an hour in one of his armchairs, surrounded by his mental “slaves”, who literally worshipped and flattered him in such a way I had only seen before in films about some American religious sect. I remember having even thought that the young woman, who at a certain point had started telling the others about her threading on burning coals THANKS TO HIM, would sexually offer herself to him in a minute or two, in front of the admiring audience.
That was the inspiration about ERRORS OF EVALUATION which came to my mind one day and around which I worked, creating all the other characters and situations. Even the fact that HE had never graduated as a doctor, not to speak of any specialization as a psychiatrist, is true and came out through a friend of mine, a lawyer, to whom I happened to tell the whole story about the meal and the first therapy session. As this friend of mine had also been invited to that lunch and hadn’t shown up, after just a last minute notice to my host friend, I had called him, one or two days later, to ask if he had had any trouble. He told me that he had known, last minute, about one of the guests and it wouldn’t have been professionally good for him to meet him at table. He added that the all story about “that” shrink had come out in newspapers some years before and that was the only reason because he could speak freely about it.
What amazed me at the moment was the fact that apparently the other guests hadn’t been affected by HIS bad reputation…but they probably didn’t know; because such odd characters usually know how to hide or even cancel their mischief.
Title: Errors of Evaluation
Author: Paola Pica
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Publisher: Clink Street Publishing
Publication Date: 26 July 2016
Review Format: N/A
Other Formats: Paperback
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