‘Magical moment’ for author as he sat next to stranger on plane reading his book

The award-winning poet Joseph Fasano described the interaction as a ‘pretty magical moment’.
The award-winning poet Joseph Fasano described the interaction as a ‘pretty magical moment’.

An author flying to Scotland to promote his latest novel enjoyed a “very funny moment” when he noticed the stranger sitting next to him on the flight was reading his new book.

Joseph Fasano, 40, from Goshen, New York, noticed the older lady sitting next to him was reading his new novel The Swallows Of Lunetto so he sneakily posted a picture to Twitter asking his followers: “Should I say anything?”

“I sat there for a while and thought, well what should I do? Should I give this person their privacy?” Mr Fasano told the PA news agency.

“I don’t want to get in the way of their reading of the book. I certainly don’t want them to feel obligated to have to talk to me.”

After receiving “amusing” suggestions from people on social media, the award-winning poet said: “There was a moment when organically it just happened, and I asked ‘are you enjoying the book?’

“She said, ‘I think so, have you read it?’ And I said ‘yes, I’ve read it about 100 times,’ then she looked at me like I was crazy.

“I said ‘well, I was just making sure everything was right’. Then she paused, and clearly a very intelligent person, knew I was talking about proofreading and editing, so we had a funny laugh at that moment and it was great.”

The reader introduced herself as ‘Jan’ and told Mr Fasano she was visiting family in Scotland.

Jan told Mr Fasano that a friend had suggested the book to her because it was a good love story.

The author signed her copy of the book, writing “To Jan, Thanks for taking me on your journey – your seat-mate” and told her she could write to him later to share her opinions.

The Swallows Of Lunetto is a novel about a young couple escaping from Italian fascism at the end of the Second World War.

Mr Fasano said: “We’re in a time now when we are very polarised as people, certainly that’s the case in the United States, and as I travel abroad, I encountered that as well.

“I wanted to address this issue in my fiction; it was not something I had done in my fiction before.”

Mr Fasano’s family is Italian, and with this novel, he also wanted to look back at his roots and connect with his heritage.

Meanwhile, his interaction with Jan kicked off his trip to the UK in “magical” style.

“It was a great way to just meet somebody and talk, and it’s funny because writing literature is an attempt to connect to other people, but you never expected it to be a real-life connection like that,” he said.

“So it was a pretty magical moment.”