The Painter of Time
Author: Matthew O'Connell
Genre: Historical Mystery
Published: December 19th, 2015
Contemporary/Historical Suspense set amid the art world of modern day NYC and the dawn of the Renaissance in Italy Bronx born and bred, Mackenzie Ferrara is both nervous and excited to begin her career as a restorer of fine art at the prestigious Cloisters in New York City. The star of the restoration team is a handsome and reserved Italian, Anthony Bataglia. On loan from the Ufizzi, he is renowned for his ability to bring pre-Renaissance treasures back to life. Despite a rocky start, the two form a close working relationship, which Mackenzie hopes will blossom into something more. But as she works with him she begins to notice peculiar patterns and unexplainable similarities in all of his restorations. Something is clearly not what it seems to be with the dashing Mr. Bataglia. Mackenzie -- with help from her father, a retired detective -- is determined to uncover the truth, regardless of the consequences.
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I'm not exactly sure when I decided to become a novelist, but I have always loved fiction. I read it slowly, a plodder in fact as I delve into the dialogue, the descriptions, the scene, and setting. While my tastes are pretty eclectic, I am definitely drawn to books that push the limits of reality. I recently sold the company, Select International, that I co-founded in 1993. We started the company in Guadalajara, Mexico where my wife Mari and I lived and worked for a little over two years with a wonderful group of employees. It was a phenomenal experience; we both learned not only to speak the language but also to embrace the Mexican culture and people. In the past twenty years, I've written over a hundred white papers, journal articles, book chapters, and even a book, Hiring Great People. But writing technical papers is far removed from writing fiction. There are more constraints -- the need to back up your text with results or references and the format is usually clearly outlined, and frankly, somewhat rigid. Fiction, though, is truly a blank page, which is both liberating and terrifying. Almost ten years ago I got the idea for The Painter of Time, my debut novel. Then, of course, it was just a concept that needed a lot of fleshing out. It meant a lot of research on art history and art restoration, neither of which I had any formal training or experience. But I love doing research and learning new things so it was a natural fit. What I didn't realize is how hard it is to actually write a good novel. There's much more involved in the actual craft of writing than I ever expected. I recently finished my second novel, Spirit of the Fox, which takes place in Japan. It is now available on Amazon! Mari and I split our time between Incline Village, NV (essentially Lake Tahoe) and San Diego, CA, both of which are phenomenal locations, both beautiful in their own way. We share our lives with our two dogs, and two cats.