I’ve written a good few books set in Italy but always from a slight distance. While I spend a lot of time there I’ve never made the move. So I thought it would be interesting to talk to a couple of Brits who have made their home there — and written about it. If you’re a follower of novels set in Venice you’ll know the names. Gregory Dowling is the author of the Alvise Marangon mysteries set in the 18th century, while Philip Gwynne Jones writes the contemporary Nathan Sutherland series.
We met up for a chat at the lovely little Terminal bar near the San Basilio stop earlier this week. I plonked my little audio recorder on the table and we chatted for half an hour about books and writing the city the two of them now call home. They’re a fascinating pair and half an hour scarcely does them justice. I think you’ll find a few surprises in the stories they have to tell — and a couple of local tips that will help you see more of the real Venice than most visitors, focussed on San Marco and the Rialto, ever find.
Now I’m not a professional interviewer or sound recordist (I will protest it’s my first day on the job until the cows come home). While I’ve done my best to reduce some of the background noise — water taxis, people chatting as they wander past, the inevitable suitcase wheels and at one point a woman berating her husband over the phone — this is still a live recording outside on a hot August day by the lagoon.
I hope you enjoy it as much as you’ll enjoy Gregory and Philip’s books.
PS. In case I haven’t made this sufficiently clear in the audio above… I am in no way envious.
Not one little bit.