I’m gradually getting into the rhythm of being a writer, promoting one book, while writing another and planning another. I’ve been putting some of my favourite quotes from Italy Ever After onto little graphics to share around and I’ll get some with review quotes from my publisher as the reviews trickle in. Everything’s crossed that Italy Ever After will get out there and make people happy.
But I’m not in Lake Garda with Lou and Nick anymore. I’ve settled down in Venice for a year or so in my writing research. It’s absolutely fascinating.
The decision to write about Venice started with a very small spark and it’s turned into a giant rabbit-hole. I’ve wanted for years to write a romance where the hero is a Murano glassmaker and, when I began to think of a book set in winter, it was a natural combination. I started with the glass rather than with Venice itself, but the setting is such an important ‘character’ in its own right in these books and what a character it is!
I love the endless dichotomies of Venice: the strain of tourism versus the necessity of tourism; the fairytale versus the reality; the unique culture and history of being a melting-pot of different cultures; the crowds of ambitious tourists and the slow enjoyment of a lazy Sunday afternoon for the locals. I’m having so much fun playing with the clichés, sometimes leaning into them and other times turning them on their heads.
The most fun has been creating two artist/craftsman heroes who are part of the fabric of Venice. Through these heroes, I’ve tried to capture the perspective of generations, the cutting humour, the wry patience and strong sense of hospitality of those lucky, quirky people who live on these islands. I can’t wait to introduce you to them.
Here’s a picture so you can all look forward to meeting the glassmaker hero in the first book, Piero:
The as-yet-untitled first Venice book will be out September/October this year!