Although I love books more than handbags, I buy them large enough to carry my book-on-the-go, as well as notebooks. I jot down ideas wherever and whenever in the hope that, one day, my jumbles of words might produce a gem.
I’ve always written, but once our three children flew the nest, I began to take my pastime more seriously. 2008 was a good year. I won the Ip-Art Short Story prize, judged by Bloomsbury author, Alison MacLeod, and was runner-up and shortlisted several times in Writing Magazine competitions. It gave me confidence to write my first novel, “Tuscan Roots”.
In Italy, where I am lucky to live and work six summer months of the year, I have plenty of inspiration and time to devote to writing. Maurice and I live in a converted stable near our restored watermill, which we let to holiday guests. The area is unspoilt and tranquil, but in the Second World War, partisans and SS were active in the hills. I speak fluent Italian, so was able to research this period and interview elderly Italian friends. Coupled with my own Italian mother-in-law’s experiences as a war bride, I came up with the factual-fiction that is “Tuscan Roots”.
The sequel, “Now and Then in Tuscany” will launch April 2017. It continues the story of the Starnucci family and weaves between present day and the early 1900’s. The background to this family saga is the “transhumance” – the drovers’ annual trek from the freezing Apennines to better pastures along the Tuscan Maremma coast.
My next WIP is something completely different: a gently humorous tale of Mavis and Dot – two ladies of “a certain age” who retire to the Sussex coast – not without mishap. Watch this space!
Tuscan Roots is available on Amazon (in Kindle and Paperback) along with the sequel, Now and Then in Tuscany:
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