Today it's my pleasure to welcome author Hannah Fielding back to the blog on publication day of her latest book Concerto to talk about the settings for her novels.
My new novel, Concerto, takes the total number of novels I have published to seven. Like all of the novels, it is sensuous and romantic – and it is set in a beautiful part of the world.
Exotic settings are integral to my writing. Burning Embers is set in the unspoilt beauty of Kenya. The Echoes of Love is set in Venice, Italy, the city of love, and the stunning landscapes of Tuscany, birthplace of the Italian Renaissance. My Andalucían Nights trilogy is set beneath the scorching sun in the rugged countryside of Andalucía, Spain, and the city of light, Cádiz. Aphrodite’s Tears is set on an island in the Ionian Sea that is steeped in the traditions and mythology of the Ancient Greeks. And Concerto is set in the French Riviera, not far from my home there, and amid the bellisima scenery of Lake Como, Italy.
For me, the setting of my novel is all about inspiration.
First, I need to feel inspired to write about that setting. I often pick places that I have visited and loved – or places that I would like to visit (a research trip is the perfect excuse to travel!).
I also need to choose a location that will inspire my characters. My heroine in particular is on a journey of discovery in the story, and the setting can help to inspire her growth because it’s so new/different/fascinating/beautiful. And of course she is more open to falling in love when inspired by her surroundings.
Last, but by no means least, I must inspire my readers. I believe romance novels should take the reader away from the humdrum of daily life, offering a sublime escape. When I write, I try to transport my reader to another place. I don’t want to take my reader to someplace mundane and dreary; I want to give the reader a metaphorical plane ticket to a fabulous destination.
The good news for my writing is that beautiful settings abound! Where shall I visit in my next novel?
When Catriona Drouot, a young music therapist, honours an opera diva's dying request to help her son, Umberto Monteverdi, recover his musical gift, she knows it will be a difficult assignment. She had shared a night of passion with the once-celebrated composer ten years before, with unexpected consequences.
The extent of her challenge becomes apparent when she arrives at her client's estate on the glittering shores of Lake Como, Italy. Robbed of his sight by a nearfatal car accident, the man is arrogant, embittered and resistant to her every effort to help him. Still, Catriona sings a siren's call within him that he cannot ignore.
Caught up in the tempestuous intrigues at Umberto's Palladian mansion, Catriona discovers that her attraction to the blind musician is as powerful as ever. How can she share what she has hidden from him for the past decade? Soon she realises that hers is not the only secret that is rippling uneasily below the surface. Dark forces haunt the sightless composer, threatening his life - for the second time.
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