Falling in love is wonderful at the best of times, but falling in love in another country with a reputation for romance?
Off the charts.
Read more about Annie and Scarlet’s Italian inspiration and writing journey…
We were asked to have our characters (Leon and Lizzy in my case) focus on one very complex medical procedure that, as you will no doubt see, involves a multiplicity of doctors and surgeons – ones at the top of their game flown in from around the world to secure the best possible result (no spoilers here!).
When Scarlet and I talked about it, we were already a few months into lockdown and definitely wanted to ‘travel.’ We have both been lucky enough to go to Rome and were desperate to go back. Since we couldn’t, we brought our characters there instead! Unsurprisingly, our characters end up eating out a lot. Sure. There’s the Parthenon, the Colosseum, and loads of other incredible sights, but the food!!! The food’s just so amazing. Pastas and pastries. Fruit and wine. GELATO.
There was one restaurant in particular that is now featured in the book. It was an incredibly unimpressive building. An uninspired post-war seventies cinderblock place stuffed into an alley off another alley. It had a queue around the corner and a three day waiting list! We had to go. And the wait was worth it. The atmosphere was pure joy. It was run by a family who, if they disagreed with your food choices, would bring you what they thought you should enjoy…and we did. Astonishingly, I didn’t return home the size of the house because…much like my characters, we cycled everywhere. At first I was terrified and then it was just fun. I highly recommend it.
It was such a pleasure to bring my characters round a place that had made me so happy, and an even greater pleasure to help them find the path to their happy ending.
Writing a duet with Annie was great fun. We emailed with questions and ideas, and talked lots and lots about Rome. My absolute favourite place in Rome was the Colosseum. From the moment that I entered that place, I could close my eyes and sense the atmosphere all around me. (Picture at very bottom).
I wanted my hero Giovanni to introduce my Scottish heroine, Autumn, to the beauty of Rome with all its well known attractions, and some others not so well known. Did you know that Rome has its very own Pyramid? No? Neither did my heroine. But my absolute favourite scene is in the pouring rain next to the Fontana del Tritone in the middle of the night. What a perfect place to create a happy ever after!
Including some of the sites in and around Rome was a great part of the story telling of this duet. We hope you all love it just as much as we did!