I’m excited to finally finish my book, Kissing the Kavalier. It’s based on the opera, Arabella, by composer Richard Strauss and his librettist, Hugo von Hoffmansthal. To some extent, this is the opera Strauss and Hoffmansthal originally had in mind. Arabella was the main character in the first draft of the libretto when, while dressing for the funeral of his son who had committed suicidce, Hoffmansthal died of a heart attack. Devastated, Strauss used the first draft of the opera and Arabella is the result. While a touching and moving opera, Zdenka proves the more interesting character. A young woman who bucks all social convention and dresses like a boy because of lack of funds, she falls in love, writes letters to her sister’s admirer and nearly destroys her sister’s impending marriage. In my book, I expand on Zdenka to make her even more impulsive, unpredictable, passionate and committed. Matteo comes out a lot better in my book too. He’s a man beset by guilt over his perceived cowardice and he commits to making this wrong right. I’m currently shopping this MS around so if you have any ideas, leave me a comment. I’d love to hear your thoughts.