Thursday, December 28, 2006

Interview- Guilt trip

Author Patricia Harper has kindly agreed to answer a few questions about her latest book 'Guilt trip' and how Italy inspired her as a setting.

In “Guilt Trip” the main character, Susan Clayfield, goes on a trip to Italy with her new boss and tours Rome, Sorrento, Pompeii, and Mount Vesuvius. How did you research this book?

My research came from the University of Life, or to put it another way, happy memories of holidays spent in Italy with my husband Tony. We took a camcorder with us and recorded all the relevant events which came in very useful for my writing. I used the internet, various travel guides, brochures, maps, entrance tickets to sites etc to verify the facts. Most of it was just personal experience.

What made you pick Italy for the setting of the book?

Most of us put to our favourite charities according to our means and then move on, but Susan Clayfield in “Guilt Trip” couldn’t stop. She gave everything, until her job, her home and finally her health were at risk. Italy is a beautiful country, with warm, friendly people, a great place to recover from illness, to rest and recuperate, and a good one for me to use as I have a lot of recorded material from my visits which is very helpful. The first time we went to Italy we went by coach, which in itself was quite an experience as it took over thirty hours to get there, from Birmingham to Dover and through the channel tunnel, as we all travelled overnight, sleeping when we could, and arriving stiff and bleary eyed next day in Fiuggi, and in just four days managed to get round Sorrento, Pompeii, The Isle of Capri, Castel Gandolfo (the Pope’s summer residence), Frascati and Rome. Needless to say each trip was brief, but a wonderful experience.
On our next visit we flew from Birmingham in the UK to Naples, stayed for a couple of weeks, and managed to see everything in much greater detail. We actually managed to climb to the top of Vesuvius, something I had always wanted to do. We also went inside the Colosseum, the Vatican, Navona Square, the Catacombs of San Calisto and the Trevi fountain. We also spent much more time at Pompeii, so Italy as a setting for five or so chapters of “Guilt Trip” was a good choice.

Guilt trip is available to buy at www.lulu.com/patriciaharper
You can also find out more about the author at her blog http://patriciaharperbooks.blogspot.com


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