Hello, all! Thank you so much for visiting the Tea House today. Please welcome special guest and DSP Publications author Eric Shaw Quinn who’s here to chat about Il David, and he’s brought a fantastic set of photos which you’ll find in the slideshow below. Eric is celebrating his new release The Prince’s Psalm.
A few years back, my best friend, Christopher Rice, took me to Italy for my birthday.
It’s an amazing place and I could easily go back and spend years exploring. So beautiful, so much history. And don’t get me started on the food — bellissimo!!
We spent time in Rome looking for the shrine of Santa Lucia so we could make an offering for my lousy eyesight. The shrine wasn’t really there anymore, so I just got stronger contacts when we got back home. Unfortunately my eyesight is still pretty lousy. Thanks a lot, Lucy.
We traveled on to Venice. When I was only a few months old, and my parents were just a young couple exploring Europe, we stayed at the Hotel Europa Britannica, and I wanted to get a look at the place now that I might be able to remember it. During that long ago stay, I apparently pulled a plate of pasta into my father’s lap while they were trying to figure out how to say “hot water” in Italian so they could warm my formula. Now the place is called the Europa & Regina and it was only a couple of gondola docks down the Grand Canal from the hotel where Christopher and I stayed.
Everything we did, everywhere we went, every bite we ate was amazing. I want to go again and again. But the one thing I wanted to see more than anything else was Michelangelo’s David. I had already written The Prince’s Psalm. In fact I’d written and re-written and had it rejected more than once. But the work and my research had inspired a deep love for David in me, and Michelangelo’s sculpture is what I think of when I think of David.
And so when we traveled next to Florence, the city that chooses Il David as their champion and standard bearer, a visit to David was at the top of my list.
We set aside an afternoon, we found the Galleria dell’Accademia di Firenze and we set out to see the the man himself. The city is filled with David. There is a full sized reproduction outside the Palazzo Vecchio where the original stood until the late 19th-century. Eventually, they moved it inside to protect it from the elements. There’s a bronze copy in the Piazzale Michelangelo that is quite a hike to see, but his view of the city is unequaled. There are even other Davids. One by Verrocchio and two by Donatello.
By the time we struck out for the Galleria, we had seen them all. Maybe that’s why I was unprepared for the emotional experience that awaited me. I’d seen a lot of Davids and now I was going to see the big kahuna.
We rounded the corner, and there he stood at end of a long gallery called the Hall of Prisoners, so named because it’s lined with the unfinished statues of prisoners that Michelanglo had originally intended for the tomb of Pope Julius. I was, in a word, awestruck.
I spent I don’t know how long, easily more than an hour, with the statue. Maybe longer, I’m not sure. I sat and stood and viewed him from every angle. When at last it was clearly time to leave, I cried again. I felt like I was abandoning him. I could not get him out of my mind.
And when I got home, well, let’s just say, there are a lot of Davids around here. But I know I will return to see him again. In the meantime, I have The Prince’s Psalm to remind me.
1 Samuel 18:1 & 3: “And it came to pass… that the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul. Then Jonathan and David made a covenant, because he loved him as his own soul.”
David not only slew Goliath, he won the heart of Prince Jonathan, heir to the throne of Israel. They were star-crossed warrior lovers whose passionate affair changed history and gave rise to the nation of Israel, a legacy that has endured for 3,000 years. Their epic love story stands at the center of a religious tradition that shaped the world.
But Jonathan and David were also two men torn between duty and tradition, driven by their undeniably passionate and physical love for one another. Who were they beyond the historical facts given in the Bible? What were they like—as men? This modern-day novel tells the story of Israel’s first king and the man who captured his heart.
ERIC SHAW QUINN, a New York Times bestselling author, wrote his debut novel, Say Uncle, during his spare time while working as the creative director for an advertising agency and an on-the-air arts and entertainment reporter for his local NBC affiliate. But Say Uncle, a comic and celebratory tale of an eccentric gay man who receives custody of his infant nephew after his sister is killed in a tragic accident, took ten years to find a publisher. The idea of a gay man raising a child was deemed so controversial at the time that one editor went so far as to reject the manuscript with the words “You and I just march to different drummers, Mr. Quinn.” Upon announcement of its publication, the film rights were snatched up almost immediately following a Hollywood bidding war, whereafter some of Hollywood’s brightest stars and legends spent another few years agonizing over whether or not American moviegoers were ready for such a groundbreaking look at love and family. Ultimately, a studio merger prevented the film from being made. As Quinn Brockton, he wrote two original novels (Never Tear Us Apart and Always Have, Always Will) based on characters from Showtime’s hit series Queer As Folk. Soon after, he partnered with megacelebrity Pamela Anderson to write two novels based on her wild life. While the initial plan was for Eric to be a ghostwriter on the project, Ms. Anderson outed him to the world as the author of the books during an interview with Jay Leno on NBC’s Tonight Show. The resulting media blitz took Eric around the world, landed him a spread in the National Enquirer, and earned him the title of Amazon’s #1 Chick-Lit Author of 2004. Eric has recently published his first murder mystery, Write Murder, volume one in a series inspired by his sojourn in the celebrity spotlight. When he’s not busy writing novels, he writes, produces, and hosts his comedy/variety podcast, blog, and YouTube channel, The Dinner Party Show with Christopher Rice & Eric Shaw Quinn (www.thedinnerpartyshow.com). You can also visit his personal blog at www.ericshawquinn.com.