‘The title is such an integral part of any novel that I write. It’s the cornerstone, essentially. From the title flows the work. Thus, the title fits…’
‘Reading is a passport to distant lands. From the comfort of your armchair – or your bed, or your window seat, or your garden bench – you can visit the Himalayas or the Grand Canyon or the Pyramids…’
‘There are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in our philosophy… Is the shore at Lake Como haunted, and if so, by whom? And why: what tragic secret has been buried there?’
‘Two cafés with long and prominent histories, Café de Flore and Les Deux Magots in Paris: inspirational, fascinating and a chance to brush shoulders with the ghosts of the greats…’
‘Studies have shown that bibliotherapy is especially powerful for alleviating anxiety and depression, which makes reading so important for us all right now as we are trapped in a bubble of worry, fear and isolation. Reading is an act of self-love; it is a way to make yourself feel better…’
‘The best romances offer an opportunity for readers to learn about something new, such as an interesting occupation or a place. In my own romances, I take readers to fascinating locations around the world, like Lake Como and Venice and Cadiz, so that my books are like a passport to travel from the comfort of your own home…’
‘In these difficult times, the act of reading can transport us away from a world that feels dark and threatening and grant us a reprieve from our worries. When we read we connect to people. We are not alone…’
‘This is a setting to inspire the artistic soul. Here, at the Villa Melzi d’Eril in Bellagio, Liszt would walk for hours in the surrounding parkland, breathing in the atmosphere, letting his muse take in the stunning views and hear the music in the air…’
Have you heard of the term duende? The Oxford English Dictionary defines duende as ‘a quality of passion and inspiration’. The word is used to describe a state of heightened emotion, authenticity and expression, and it is commonly associated with flamenco. The soul in the singer’s cry, the feeling etched into the dancer’s face, the power in the guitarist’s playing – that is duende.
The most romantic day of the year is tomorrow. What have you got planned?
For me, editing an upcoming novel means spending many hours in my office: door closed, lamps lit, music playing. The latter is always carefully selected to match the mood of the book I am editing, and while editing Concerto one composer in particular featured prominently in my playlist, Frédéric Chopin.
Happy New Year! To all of my readers, I wish you a fulfilling, joyful and peaceful year.