Growing up in the industrial north made me long for beautiful surroundings and when I finally left home I spent a year in Cambridge which helped to heal the architectural scars on my soul.
Between the ages of twenty three and twenty seven I married, had two children and was widowed. If I had been writing my life as a novel I would have given my heroine a little longer to adjust to these momentous events.
My husband died in Rome, he was only ill for a week. We had planned to visit Venice on the way home and the superstitious side of me whispered that perhaps I wasn't meant to see that amazing city.
It took many years for me to pluck up the courage to go back to Italy and when I did I fell completely in love. It was a great sadness that my husband wasn't with me when I made my first trip to Venice but I still found it a ravisihing city which didn't disappoint in any respect.
Perhaps it was inevitable that I should write a novel set in such a wonderful place and it was a liberating experience to let rip and allow my heroine to have such an amazing time.