Today is the official publication day of my 84th book for Mills & Boon, Finding Mr Right in Florence.
It all started because I love the TV series ‘Fake or Fortune’ – actually, I’ve wanted to do an art mystery book for years (that probably owes a bit to an episode of the TV drama ‘New Tricks’).
And if it’s art, it has to be Florence, right? So we ended up in Florence, researching the location. I rather fell in love with the Duomo (the best bits for me were climbing inside the Duomo, and seeing the amazing Roman mosaic peacock in the crypt – not to mention 13th-century tombs that still had their colour – have I mentioned before that I adore church architecture?). We also visited a lot of art galleries – the Uffizi made me cry (Botticelli), but I really loved the ‘modern’ art gallery. Now, my taste in art is very much 19th century (Burne-Jones in particular) or medieval (so Florence was right up my street), but ‘modern’ in Florence is 19th century. I loved the Macchiaioli paintings, so I borrowed some of them for my book – but my Florence painter is completely from my imagination.
I wanted this to be called ‘The Girl in the Window’ (after the painting in the book), but I never get to keep my titles. But I did get to enjoy Florence. And the poppy fields – this one wasn’t far from me.
If you’re wondering what happened to publication day for book 83 – I forgot to sort it out. Bad Author. Rubbish at pubicity! So I’ll leave you with a card from my publisher for book 84: Happy Book Birthday to me 🙂