A: It’s about a group of people sharing a holiday villa together and how all their lives change in subtle and different ways over the seven days they are together. The one thing they have in common is that they all know the host, Sam.
I can’t wait to read it! Did you have the plot entirely figured out when you started writing or did it develop before your eyes as the characters grew on the page?
A: I was interested in the idea of what goes on with people when the usual social veneer slips away, as it must do when people are thrown together. In Seven Days One Summer, old rivalries begin to emerge, relationships are questioned, and unrequited love is painfully brought to the surface. I started with that theme, and the plot and characters developed as I began to write.
Seven Days One Summer is set in Italy, which, incidentally, is where I come from! Why did you choose this country?
A: I have always loved Italy. I lived in Rome for a short period in my twenties, and it remains, to this day, my favourite city. I love the Italian language, which is sensual and lyrical to listen to. I also love Italian food, Italian cities, Italian countryside – everything about it.
Due to the popularity of social networking websites, interacting with readers – be it via a Twitter account, a Facebook page etc. – is becoming increasingly important. How do you cope with these new demands on authors and do you think that they somehow disrupt your writing schedule?
A: This is a good question. I found myself doing much of my own marketing on facebook and twitter when the book came out and was agitated that days were slipping away without me actually getting down to work. But authors have to play this game today. It is what is expected.
You used to write a marriage column for the Times and you have a blog. Do you think that diversifying your writing is the secret to keep your fictional works fresh and exciting?
A: I’m not sure that writing articles and blogs is the way to keep my writing fresh, but writing a column is a good discipline and I like having a break from the huge task of novel writing. The regular income helps too.
What is your one fundamental piece of advice for aspiring writers?
And lastly, is there anything that you would like to share that I haven’t asked?
A: I would just like to thank you for inviting me to answer these questions!
Thank you for your time!
And now, for a chance to win one copy of Seven Days One Summer, click here and complete the form. The competition is open to UK readers only and will close on the 9th January at 1pm.