Food Savoury and sweet
It’s such a pity crisps (or potato chips as I believe they are known across the Atlantic) are so full of evil things - fat, sugar and murky life-shortening chemicals. I love them, especially with a drink (see below)
As for sweet stuff, I’m lucky I don’t really have a very sweet tooth, but my all time favourite is what the French call Iles Flottantes - those amazing blobs of soft meringue floating in custard. Yum.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not an alcoholic, but I do like wine and beer. My favourite is probably a little known French white called Menetou Salon (a close neighbour of Sancerre). It’s crisp, dry and goes wonderfully with crisps (see above). It’s difficult to find so a good Chablis makes an excellent replacement.
I like lots of films but I suppose it has to be Casablanca – the all time best romance ever made. And if I’m in the mood for humour, Get Shorty with the wonderful Gene Hackman.
I have to confess to a deep and lasting love of the James Clavell sagas of the orient: Shogun, Tai Pan etc. These books have everything (mind you, they also manage to fill over a thousand pages each).
Difficult. There are so many. It probably has to be Hemingway. I think For Whom the Bell Tolls is amazing.
Thomas Cromwell in Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall. Strong, tough, bright and unexpectedly caring (unless you get on the wrong side of him).
These questions are getting harder and harder. But, seeing as I’m old, it has to be something ancient and a bit out of the ordinary, so I’m going to plump for Dire Straights, Private Investigations. I even wrote a thriller years ago whose title comes from a line in there – Race Between the Lights - and never published. Note to self – dig it out and take another look at it.
Long haul: definitely Japan. I used to go there every year on business and I love the place. Closer to home, rural inland southern Spain is terrific as well.
Black Labrador, no question. There’s one in almost all my books.
My wife, Mariangela. We’ve been together now for 41 years. Not bad, eh?
Place to write
My study only. I write on my desktop computer surrounded by scruffy bits of paper covered in scribbled notes.
Spring. I hate, loathe and detest the months of November and December, but from about mid January onwards I start brightening up and by Easter I’m a happy bunny once more.
This is a really difficult question to answer. There are so few traditions remaining intact these days. How about kissing under the mistletoe?
I’m not sure if it’s an attributable quote, but I like the sentiment: At the end of your life you regret the things you didn’t do more than the things you did.
Thing in the whole world
A black Labrador would have to be pretty high up on my list, but it has to be my daughter in the first thirty seconds of her life. She opened her eyes, checked us out, decided there was no point in crying so she closed her eyes and went to sleep. It’s an amazing thing to see something you’ve created come to life – a bit like getting a book published really…
A few lines about myself:
I am 68 years old and I live in a little Devon village with my Italian wife. I only got my first publishing deal when I was in my sixties. So the message I bring is to never give up. Keep on writing and you will achieve success. Writing to me is like a drug – I have to write and I get great pleasure from writing. If my books bring pleasure to my readers then that’s even better.
Thanks for joining us today on My Favourite Things
Book Angel x