I’ve been in my favourite place – my writing cave – for quite a few months getting book 7 off the ground, but I’m about to send that off to my editor, so I can go back and wallow in the joy that is A Taste of Italian Sunshine!!
How much do I love this book?? It was such a passion project for me, combining a part of the world I’ve fallen in love with (Veneto) with its quirky humour and identity, gorgeous landscapes and beautiful way of life.
The book uses the classic ‘city-girl comes to the country’ trope as a starting point, but of course there is always more to it. The unfortunate female main character, Jenn, has lost her driver’s licence and is reliant on intermittent public transport and the help of others – and we all know how difficult it can be to ask for help! She also has a few secrets she’s hiding for the sake of her career. The farm boy love interest Tiziano has piercings and a wild sense of humour, but a heart of gold and the strength to convince Jenn she’s wonderful just the way she is.
These two are some of my favourite characters ever. Jenn has struggles she doesn’t want to share with anyone else, but she’s a strong character, loyal and hard-working. And Tiziano was just so much fun to write, from his big hands that pick grapes and hold babies, to his bizarre jokes and also the difficult past that only gradually comes to light as the story unfolds.
I just can’t wait to share their story with you! In the meantime, here’s a song to get you in the mood! I listened to a lot of Giorgio Gozzo while I was drafting this book and even managed to catch a concert live while I was in Veneto last year. I don’t understand all the words (and Google translate doesn’t have a ‘Veneto dialect’ option), but it’s called ‘When I’m Old’ and it’s about the passage of time, the past, present and future.