Choosing a location for a new book is a strange and serious business. As my current series of escapist romantic suspense is the ‘Riviera’ series I do have some parameters to work on – although they can be stretched, as you will find when the current WIP hits the bookshelves. But that is another story – literally. I have plenty of scope to choose from when sticking to the more orthodox interpretation, given that ‘Riviera’ can be French or Italian and that there are a number of spectacular locations to explore. I will admit Portofino was not high on the radar when I began playing with an idea for an abandoned villa, an overgrown garden and an unexpected inheritance.
The place is gorgeous, no question. I say that on the basis of a brief visit off a cruise ship many years ago. The memory stayed with me – and yes, there is a reference in the book to a similar visit. This book has quite a lot of me in it. It would still not have occurred to me as a location, except that as part of an on-line festival that my publisher organised I did a fun twitter poll to let readers chose a possible location for the new book. I threw in Portofino on the basis of that memory and because I wanted a location on the Italian side of the border. I was confidently expecting Cannes or Monte Carlo to be the winner, but guess what?
At this point author sits down and thinks. The result – yes, why not? And I have to say I have greatly enjoyed it. Research visits were out of the question, but very strong memories and some really helpful video on YouTube made it come alive. I hope readers will enjoy it as much as I did.