Thursday, 27 April 2017

Guest Post - What is it about Venice? by T.A. Williams - Blog Tour

Trevor (TA) Williams talks about the setting of his latest romantic comedy, Dreaming of Venice

   A city without streets, a place without cars, a series of islands of incredible beauty, packed with historical gems, a household name whose history reaches right back to the Middle Ages. What’s not to like?

   Well, the first problem is that Venice is the victim of its own success. Ask anybody who has gone there in the summer, at Carnevale time, or in the school holidays. It’s positively claustrophobic. The charming, atmospheric little lanes become choked as crowds of tourists struggle for breathing space. Queues for museums, galleries and events are never-ending. And don’t think that, simply because there aren’t any cars, it’s wonderfully quiet. The hordes of boats of every shape and size chugging up and down the canals, combined with the voices of the hundreds of thousands of tourists, result in the place echoing with noise much of the time.

   The next problem is the fact that Venice is really, really expensive. Even just getting round in the famous waterbuses, the Vaporetti, costs as much as a taxi in other parts of the world. Hotel prices range from ouch to astronomical, and the restaurants charge the earth and are still packed.
   So why go there and why set a book there?

   First of all, the answer to the question of why go there, is that Venice is truly, marvellously, unique. What’s more, it’s a city with a sell-by date. Every high tide, every wave, every big cruise-liner that pushes its way into the lagoon removes a bit more of Venice’s foundations. And global warming is inexorably resulting in a rise in sea levels. Everywhere you go in Venice, you’ll see piles of what look like metal-framed tables. These are walkways for those days when huge chunks of the city are flooded. Venice is a bit like the rhino or the elephant; heading for extinction. But there won’t be any Venices in zoos to look at in years to come. 

   So, you have to go there, but how to do it? Well, it’s all a question of timing. I’ve been a few times, but the best was just before Christmas. According to the locals, the week before Christmas week is just about the quietest of times. When we were there then, it was wonderfully quiet. We managed to get a great hotel at an affordable price and suddenly, the city took on another aspect entirely. You could wander round without bumping into other people, you could really appreciate the sad magnificence of the place and you could find seats in restaurants. So, my advice would be to go in December.

   As for Dreaming of Venice, I’ve set it at that time of year and I hope I’ve managed to convey some of the sense of awe the city inspires every time I go there. My main protagonist, Penny, has spent her life dreaming of Venice (she’s an artist) and for her, this visit to the serene city, La Serenissima, is a dream come true. She wanders round the back lanes, crossing tiny bridges, alongside canals barely a couple of metres wide, past houses gradually crumbling under the effects of the water, and she loves it. It’s freezing cold there in December, but she wraps up well and immerses herself in the atmosphere and the unique feel of this most wonderful of cities. Hopefully, you’ll get a sense of how much I love the place and, maybe, if you have the chance, you’ll follow my footsteps and hers and visit Venice. You won’t regret it.    

Thanks Trevor for this great look at Venice. I spent an evening there last summer on a cruise and it was very hot and busy, but I still had a good time.

Dreaming of Venice
by T. A. Williams

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?

Information about the Book

Title: Dreaming of Venice
Author: T. A. Williams
Release Date: 24th April 2017
Genre: Romance
Publisher: Canelo
Format: Ebook

Author Information

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 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.

Tour Schedule

Monday 24th April

Tuesday 25th April

Wednesday 26th April

Thursday 27th April

Friday 28th April

Saturday 29th April

Sunday 30th April

Monday 1st May

Tuesday 2nd May

Wednesday 3rd May

Thursday 4th May

Friday 5th May

Saturday 6th May

Sunday 7th May

1 comment:

  1. I really enjoyed reading Dreaming of Venise. Great story with Penny. My favourite character is Jimmy who made me smile a few times while reading. Will definitely read another book of T.A Williamson.


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