Morning morning!! How are we all today? I’ve thrilled to welcome Stefania Hartley to Meet the Author. We’re chatting about why she didn’t want to be a writer when she was a kid, what she can’t live without, what she enjoys reading, her new book due out in January, Plenty of Fish in the Sicilian Sea, and more…..
Tell us a bit about yourself:
I was born and grew up in Italy. One day I took part in an exchange programme to improve my English, and fell in love with an Englishman. We got married very young, and I moved to the UK. It’s taken me many years to get to grips with English to a level I’m happy with. I never imagined that one day I would be writing books!
How many books have you written and published?
I started with short stories, and last year I published three collections. Last July, Totally Bound published my debut romance, Sun, Stars and Limoncello. My second romance, Plenty of Fish in the Sicilian Sea, has just become available for pre-order.
So far, all my stories are set in Sicily.
Which book, out of all the books you have written, is your favourite and why?
My favourite so far is Plenty of Fish in the Sicilian Sea, because it’s set in the places where I grew up and it’s inspired by the people I knew. Also, I’m desperately in love with the Mediterranean Sea and I’m partial to a hero who plays the classic guitar.
As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
I wanted to work in humanitarian projects in faraway countries, making a difference to other people’s lives. When teachers and family told me that I wrote well and that I should be a writer, I scoffed. It was a job for old women! Love got in the way of my humanitarian plans, and I think that it was for the better: I don’t think that I would have lasted a week in a tough humanitarian posting.
What other jobs have you done other than being an author?
I’ve been a chambermaid in a hotel, a voice for Italian electronic toys, a science teacher and a communications officer. Most of my time, though, I’ve been a stay-at-home mum and a trailing spouse.
What is something you can’t live without?
Bread. I have lived in countries where bread wasn’t part of everyday diet, and I craved it more than cake. Rice, potatoes or noodle, will never replace a crusty Italian bread loaf. I remember my grandfather being obsessed with having fresh bread for the table every day. He had been through the war and running out of bread was something he didn’t want to experience ever again.
What is your favourite genre to read and why?
Romance is my favourite genre to read, but I also enjoy anything with a strong element of humour. I’ve read with great pleasure the diaries for Adrian Mole, for example, and The Curious Incident of the Dog In The Night-time.
What is your favourite time to write, and why?
I seem to write very well after supper. I think that there two reasons for it:
one is that I have a full belly. I’m hopeless when I’m hungry.
The other reason is that the end of the day gives me the urgency of a deadline. It’s my last chance to do anything useful in that day.
What is your favourite word and why?
Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, because it’s the same in Italian!
Have you ever thought of writing in Italian instead of English?
Yes, I did wonder for a while, but I soon realised that my Italian was too rusty, after living away from Italy for more then twenty years. I still do some retellings of fairy tales for children for an Italian publisher, but that’s all.
And finally, tell us about your most recent book and where we can find it?
Sicilian marine biologist Serena Ingotta has never understood men, but when she uncovers a mafia factory polluting the sea, it only adds to the things that confuse her.
Twenty-four-year-old Sicilian scientist Serena Ingotta has always misunderstood men, from her workaholic anti-mafia judge father to the Catholic seminarian she’s hopelessly in love with. Interning in a marine biology lab alongside her irritating colleague Enrico, she discovers an illegal polluting factory that is possibly connected with the mafia.
When it turns out that their boss is going to cover up the story, she publicly denounces him at a science conference and gets expelled from the lab. Alone and ostracized, Serena’s attempts to find love and expose the factory seem to be failing epically until she finally realizes that everything she has been searching for was just under her nose.
Reader advisory: This book contains instances of minors with firearms.
Pre-order Date: 8th December 2020
General Release Date: 19th January 2021
Sun, Stars and Limoncello
Sonia believes that men equal heartache and disaster. Brad has sworn never to love a woman again. It’s a pity they’re so irresistibly attracted to one another.
After her traumatic teenage years, Sonia’s teaching job would be the best thing that has happened to her if it weren’t for Brad Wilson. Her arrogant, standoffish colleague never fails to rub her the wrong way. But when she’s faced with the choice between canceling the school trip to Sicily or accepting his ungraceful help, she swallows her pride and resigns herself to spending an entire week in close quarters with him. Little does she know just how close.
A tragedy from his past still haunts Brad, and he’s sworn never to let his heart be shredded by grief again. Loving another woman is not in the cards. That’s why his petite olive-skinned colleague is so very dangerous.
What could possibly go wrong when their mutual destination is one of the most romantic places in the world?
Buy from Amazon
Thank you stefania for coming and chatting with us! Your books sound fab – i’ll definitely be checking them out!
Make sure you get in touch if you have any questions or comments for Stefania my lovelies!
Have a wonderful day