I’m delighted to be hosting T A Williams on tour who is chatting to us today about his April 2017 release, Dreaming of Venice.
Find out the inspiration behind Dreaming of Venice, the scene Trevor enjoyed writing the most plus much more.
My name is Trevor Williams. I write under the androgynous name T A Williams because 65% of books are read by women. In my first book, “Dirty Minds” one of the (female) characters suggests the imbalance is due to the fact that men spend too much time getting drunk and watching football. I couldn’t possibly comment. Ask my wife…
My background, before taking up writing full time, was in teaching and I was principal of a big English language school for many years. This involved me in travelling all over the world and my love of foreign parts is easy to find in my books. I speak a few languages and my Italian wife and I still speak Italian together.
I’ve written all sorts: thrillers, historical novels, short stories and now I’m enjoying myself hugely writing humour and romance. My most recent books are the What happens… series. What happens in Tuscany reached #1 in the Amazon.uk Romantic Comedy chart and What Happens on the Beach, the last in the series, came out in July. Chasing Shadows is still romance, but with the added spice of a liberal helping of medieval history, one of my pet hobbies. I do a lot of cycling and I rode all the way to Santiago de Compostela on a bike a few years back. This provided both the inspiration and the background research for Chasing Shadows.
I’m originally from Exeter, and I’ve lived all over Europe, but now I live in a little village in sleepy Devon, tucked away down here in south west England. I love the place.
Connect with T A Williams
Welcome to Jera’s Jamboree.
Please summarise Dreaming of Venice in 20 words or less.
Penny’s story as she heads for the wonderful city of Venice to find fulfilment and love.
What was the idea/inspiration for your novel?
As far as the location of the book is concerned, it was the result of a magical visit to Venice two years ago. This, like Penny’s visit there in the book, took place in deepest midwinter, at a time without crowds, and it gave me the opportunity to catch a glimpse of the real Venice, not submerged beneath the invasion of thousands upon thousands of tourists. As for the basic premise, of a character being persuaded to play the part of somebody else, the idea came to me as I was watching the terrific TV adaptation of John LeCarré’s “The Night Manager”.
If you could choose to be one of your characters Trevor, who would you be?
The handsome pirate character, of course. At the age of 68, it would be rather nice to be 30 again, to have a full head of hair, and a black, rather than a white, beard. It would also be rather nice to meet Penny. I really like her.
Please tell us about the characters in Dreaming of Venice.
Penny: aspiring artist, determined character and yet, underneath it all, definitely a romantic.
Jimmy: I really like him. He’s Penny’s best friend, fashion guru, shoulder to cry on and wise counsellor. He rather likes lime green suits and he thinks people in Venice paddle themselves about in gondolas.
Olivia: Not just a classic “poor little rich girl”. She has had a really tough time. Depression can be awful and she is struggling, with Penny’s help, to emerge from it.
Was there anything about your protagonist that surprised you?
As a man writing for women, I am constantly surprised by the things my female protagonists do. Right at the start, Penny leaps onto a railway line to save a baby. She later confronts a large rat without flinching and she has the courage to relinquish her own personal happiness because she has made a promise. She is beautiful, funny, clever and caring, but she’s also a toughie.
What scene did you enjoy writing the most Trevor?
I really enjoyed writing the scenes set in Venice. In particular, the exhibition scene at the end in the gallery overlooking the Grand Canal was a lot of fun. This involved not only the description of a phenomenal medieval palazzo, but it brought a lot of the hopes and fears of the main characters to a head.
Panster or a plotter?
By inclination, I am most definitely a writer who likes to “see where it leads me”. Unfortunately, with my books for my other publisher, they insist upon a detailed synopsis before I start to write. I find that really, really hard. There is a magical moment when writing, normally about halfway through, when the book starts writing itself and characters start doing the unexpected. I love that.
If your novel is part of a series, what is in the future?
Not really a series, although the titles will probably continue to be “Dreaming of…”. My books are all standalone books and always set somewhere rather special. The next one is most probably going to be “Dreaming of St-Tropez”. Who hasn’t?
What are you currently working on?
I’m currently finishing “To Provence, With Love” for HQ (Harper Collins). This is the story of a girl who finds herself chosen to write the biography of an old Hollywood film star who now lives in a chateau in Provence. There’s a hunky farmer, a loveable black Labrador and an amazing discovery awaiting her.
Are there any tips you could share with new writers Trevor that have worked well for you?
I can’t stress highly enough just how important the first few lines of a book can be. First impressions really do count and it is so important to make sure you grab the reader’s attention from line one. Another tip is to develop a thick skin. You can’t please all of the people all of the time and you never will. Some people will love your stuff, others won’t. That’s life.
Finally, what has been the best part of your writing journey so far?
Getting an email four years ago from a publisher telling me they loved my work and offering me a contract. I can’t even begin to tell you how amazing that felt. Bear in mind that I had been writing for over forty(!) years up to that point without success. Definitely right up there alongside the birth of my daughter!
Wishing you success on your tour and for all your writing projects Trevor.
Format: Kindle Edition
File Size: 1176 KB
Print Length: 236 pages
Publisher: Canelo (24 April 2017)
Find love, friendship and prosecco – in the magical city of Venice.
Life is tough for Penny. A dead end job in a London café, a boyfriend in Australia (what could go wrong?) and an art career going nowhere. But then Penny is approached with an extraordinary proposition.
It isn’t going to be easy but, if she can pull it off, she will turn her life around and at long last see the fulfilment of her dream – to visit Venice. And, just maybe, find true happiness with the handsome man of her dreams.
But can dreams come true?
Purchase links for Dreaming of Venice