Fresh pasta, red wine, fine art… and love? Find enchantment this year in the magical city of Florence
When Debbie Waterson’s bicycle crashes into handsome doctor Pierluigi, she wonders if her luck has changed. Determinedly single after ending a long relationship, at last, a man worth bumping into!
Inspired to visit Florence, she soon runs headlong into that old foe: reality. But is Pierluigi the man of her dreams? Then there’s her booze obsessed boss, his forbidding secretary and her noisy inconsiderate neighbours. But could her luck be about to change? Will she find love after all?
Warm-hearted and unputdownable, Dreaming of Florence is the perfect escape for readers of Holly Martin, Tilly Tennant and Jenny Oliver
Title: Dreaming of Florence
Author Name: T.A. Williams
Publication Date: 8th January 2018
Published By: Canelo
Author Q & A
Today we are delighted to have the very lovely T.A Williams join us here at Sincerely Book Angels to tell us a little about himself and his new book Dreaming of Florence.
1. What was the inspiration behind choosing Florence with this novel?
I lived and worked there for four years when I was a good bit younger. I love the city and I knew I wanted to write about it. After all, they say you should write about what you know…
2. You often choose destinations for your books, which is your favourite and why?
Um, tricky one, this. I suppose the answer has to be Tuscany – not just Florence, but the countryside of Tuscany. That iconic image of a hilltop with a cluster of umbrella pines and cypresses is very close to my heart.
3. You always include a Labrador in your books. Are they based on anyone special? Mine is a black one and he's nearly fourteen years old.
Fourteen is good going! Yes, the inclusion of a black Lab in all my books is my homage to Merlin, our wonderful – now sadly departed – black Lab. He was without doubt the reincarnation of somebody really, really nice.
4. Did you always want to be a writer?
Yes – and I have all 44 handwritten (in pencil) pages of The Lake Dwellers here to prove it. This shameless ripoff of Swallows and Amazons was written when I was age 13.
5. What other jobs have you had?
After university (languages) I went to Italy as a teacher of English. I worked my way up until I was running three schools (one in Florence) and then came back across to the UK and carried on running a language school right up until I retired a few years ago.
6. How did it feel when your first novel was published?
Absolutely amazing! It’s a fabulous sensation when something you have created appears out there in the big wide world for people to read. It was a very special day. Dreaming of Florence will be my 13th book and I still celebrate every one.
7. Can you please tell us a little about your publishing story.
As already established, I have been writing all my life, but for many years I couldn’t find a publisher or a literary agent interested in my work. I used to write in the evenings after work as relaxation. I wrote a series of “serious” historical novels to no avail so, finally, after more than 30 years of rejections, I changed to romantic comedy and this was the book that was picked up by Carina (now HQ digital). So when I hear people moaning that they haven’t been able to find a publisher and they have started collecting rejections, I feel tempted to tell them not to worry. I have enough rejection letters (remember paper?) to wallpaper my study.
8. What other books have you written?
In chronological order: a thriller set in Italy, a thriller set in the world of windsurfing, three historical novels set in the Middle Ages, a timeslip novel, 13 romantic comedies (14 if you include Dreaming of St-Tropez that is coming out in May).
9. Have you ever had writer's block? If so how did you overcome it?
Very much the opposite. This writing business is a drug and it has taken me over. I wrote three of my books in less than a month each. When I get going, it’s unstoppable. I get up at seven o'clock and spend so much time at the computer, I get backache.
10. What motivates you to keep writing?
I really don’t know. To me, it’s right up there alongside breathing as something I’ve just got to do.
11. Where is your favourite place to write? ( can we please have a picture)
I always write in the same place – my study. It’s quiet, it’s comfortable and I’ve got all my reference material here.
12. Do your characters’ moods ever affect your mood and vice versa?
I don’t think moods affect me, but weather, for example definitely does. Writing about a hot, sunny day in Italy when it’s grey and cold here in England (as it is as I write this) definitely cheers me.
13. What three pieces of advice would you give to an aspiring writer?
1)Write what you want to write, not what you think you should be writing. 2)Don’t think for a moment that writing “The End” on the last page of an 80,000 word book is the end of the process. You will have to go back over it time and time again before it’s ready to go. 3)Develop a thick skin for when the first reviews start coming in. There are some cruel people out there.
14. Which authors inspire you?
All manner of writers. I grew up on Hemingway and Evelyn Waugh. I love thriller writers like John LeCarré and the comic genius of JP Donleavy. My favourite book at the moment has to be Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall.
15. What are you reading at the moment?
I read a lot of non-fiction. At present I am immersed in The White War by Mark Thompson, all about the First World War in Italy.
16. If your book was made into a film what song would you choose for the opening credits?
You have to bear in mind that I am very old, so my choice reflects that. How about Gloria Gaynor’s I will Survive?
17. Who would you choose to play your favourite character in the film of your book?
My favourite character has to be Byron the black Labrador and so, if your Lab is unavailable, I would have to bring Merlin back from beyond the grave to take his place. - My lab would love to star in the film thanks. BA
18. What is your next book about?
Dreaming of St-Tropez is about a girl who gets the job of delivering a flatulent Labrador from London to St-Tropez on the Côte d’Azur. When she gets there, she finds herself confronted by two very seriously depressed men. The trouble is – she finds herself falling in love with one of them.
Thanks a lot for asking me some questions that really had me scratching my (bald) head. Thanks for your support. I really appreciate it.
You're more than welcome, it's been absolute pleasure, good luck with the book.
About the Author
T.A. Williams lives in Devon with his Italian wife. He was born in England of a Scottish mother and Welsh father. After a degree in modern languages at Nottingham University, he lived and worked in Switzerland, France and Italy, before returning to run one of the best-known language schools in the UK. He’s taught Arab princes, Brazilian beauty queens and Italian billionaires. He speaks a number of languages and has travelled extensively. He has eaten snake, still-alive fish, and alligator. A Spanish dog, a Russian bug and a Korean parasite have done their best to eat him in return. His hobby is long-distance cycling, but his passion is writing.