Next up is a new author to me, and one i hope to know more about! So what better chance than with a Q&A. So, lets start to learn more about Angela Petch
Firstly, thankyou for coming over to afternoonbookery for a valentines chat, tea or coffee?
Thanks for asking me over for afternoon tea...in a real pot and with tea leaves, not a tea bag.
Ohh such a good choice, i love loose leaf, especially Irish breakfast tea out of a teapot.
Tell us a bit about yourself?
What to tell you about myself?
I’m a mother of three gorgeous children – in their twenties and thirties. I say gorgeous because they are all kind and fun and beginning to help extend our family. I now have four grandchildren aged from 4 down to 18 months. I love to paint with these little people, tell stories, pretend to be an elephant, robot, cat , monster – whatever grabs them and me. I have plans to write them a story set in Tuscany, where we live for six months of the year. A story about a witch who lives in a mediaeval castle perched on a mountain. But that’s in the future.
I have a very supportive husband who has kindly proof read both my books and is very objective and honest. Which is what I need.
I’m retired now but I was a teacher of Italian. I lived in Italy as a child and my love affair with this beautiful country and its culture grows more with each passing year.
Oh how wonderful, sounds like a really interesting life you have had that is only getting more interesting.
So as a writer how are you planning on spending your valentines day?
Valentine’s Day plans. Would be wonderful to say I’d got a romantic dinner and a night of passion planned. Yes – even grannies do it, as well as educated fleas, you know. But my gorgeous hubbie is not very well at present. So, an early cuppa taken to him in bed, a card and a snuggle plus a quiet meal in the evening with a permitted amount of good red wine (that won’t mess up his medication) beside the wood burner will be the plan. We might manage a blustery walk along the sea too during the day. We live on the Sussex coast in England. (I noted that in our diary for February 14th he’s written “New tyres fitted”. Romantic or what?)
I love a seaside walk to blow to cobwebs away, especially when its colder - it just means you get to warm up together when you get back! Sounds perfect!
What reads really can get you in the loved up mood??
I love anything written by Lisa Jewell. She doesn’t write “50 shades of grey” type love scenes. But she can make me feel gooey inside in the way she can get to the heart of real people’s lives. So, she is also my goto author for romance. (Answering two questions at once). She writes beautifully crafted novels. She’s often put in the chick-lit category but she’s more than that. I like to learn from a book as well as being swept up by the story and all the books I’ve read by her leave me thinking and uplifted. (“The Girls”, “The third wife”, “The making of us”, “Before I met you”).
Other goto authors would be Amanda Hodgkinson who wrote an absolute favourite of mine: “22 Britannia Road”, the love story of two Polish immigrants in England, during and after world war 2. It’s harrowing and topical too because there are so many displaced people in this messy world of ours. It’s an uplifting story. I don’t like stories that are only full of doom and gloom. Julia Gregson and Dinah Jefferies are wonderful historical novelists and seem to have travelled a lot themselves so the worlds they describe are vivid and real, as well as their heroines.( Julia: “East of the Sun”, “Jasmine nights”, “Monsoon summer”, “The Water Horse”; Dinah: “The tea planter’s wife”.)
Some fantastic authors there!I have only ever heard wonderful things about Lisa Jewell infact i have the girls on my kindle ready to read.
When writing about romance do you find it comes easy or do you look for inspiration?
Inspiration for writing about romance: I’ve had a lot of love in my life and I can draw on many happy personal experiences to help me when I write romance. I met my own gorgeous man when I had run away to Sicily to escape from a two-timing boyfriend. In Sicily I was wined, dined and loved in the sunshine, being driven around in his Alfa Romeo Spyder...he even let me learn how to drive in it...but we also had just as much fun camping in a two man tent...and when we lived in Africa immediately after marrying, we camped in the Serengeti and cooked our romantic suppers over fires in the open air.
That doesn’t mean I can’t imagine new love scenes and I’m an incurable people watcher too, dreaming up romantic situations for couples.
Your man sounds like he has stepped right out of a romance novel! How wonderful for you to have that love of your own, no wonder you can draw on your own expereinces!
Tell us about your latest book
My first book “Tuscan Roots” is available on Amazon in paperback and kindle: mybook.to/TuscanRoots. That is based on a real life love story between my Italian mother-in-law and her English husband whom she met when he was fighting in the second world war in Italy. I combined their love story with real life accounts of partisans who fought in the mountains ,where we live in remote Tuscany during the summer months. Take a look at www.ilmulinorofelle.com to see how beautiful the area is. I write loads there – without the intrusion of television and (unfortunately for my social media input) internet. We run a holiday watermill while we are there. Perfect for romantic getaways. We have had a couple of young couples spend their honeymoons here.
The soon-to-be-published sequel “Now and then in Tuscany” will be out before the end of April. There are two love stories from the 1920’s and the present day that intertwine in this story. The main theme is of journeys- both through life and in actuality. I wanted to write about the transumanza which is an Italian word for transhumance – when shepherds and herdsmen drove sheep and cattle from the mountains down to the coast for better pastures. The men were away each year for five long months...so you can imagine the romantic homecomings when they got together again.
Lastly, any words of love you want to share?
Words of love to share: You don’t have to spend a fortune on Valentine’s Day to get over your message. Write a list of 12 things you will do for him or her throughout the coming year to show your love: for example you could promise to cook a favourite meal, book tickets for a film night together, plan a walk in a secluded spot in the summer with a picnic – there’s nothing like making love in the open air, book a surprise weekend away – or just one night away; ditto to a date night one month when you don’t reveal where you are going...could just be fish and chips...keep your love sparkly...not always easy when we lead such busy lives. Just try to make each other feel special – like you used to before children/mortgages/work problems/sickness came along to take away some of the shine.
Some beautiful words of love I recently read are in a little book of love letters: “Dispatches from the Heart” (Love letters from the front line, compiled by Max Arthur.) They’re poignant, written during the American Civil War, from Major Sullivan Ballou to his wife: “When my last breath escapes me on the battlefield, it will whisper your name.”
How wonderful to chat with you, and thankyou for stopping by! Its lovely to chat with someone new to me.