Thank you for inviting me, Diana. There is a two-part answer to this. I have read historical fiction for a number of years so writing it seemed the way forward when I took up writing full time. As for the fifteenth century, well, it is such an important century, marking the beginning of modern history.
Your current novel is set in Italy. Is it an area of Europe you have a particular interest in?
In the main, Murder in Mind is set in Florence, for which city I have a grand passion.
The danger of historical fiction is lapsing into 21st century speak whereas your writing style is formal and eloquent – totally appropriate for the genre. Did you find it difficult to adopt this style and can you give writers any tips on how you achieved such consistency?
Italians use the formal inflexion of their language much more than non-speakers of it appreciate. An Italian would only say ‘arrivaderci’ to a relative or intimate friend. For others he would use ‘arrivaderla’, the formal ending of the greeting. I have had this in mind while writing. Some of the formality in my writing may have a further root in my former career as a lawyer. I shun ambiguity. Apart from these influences, my writing voice comes naturally so consistency is assured. I would urge writers to develop their own unique writing voice to ensure consistency in their work.
That’s fascinating. I certainly agree with your advice to authors. I know it’s an impossible question to ask but can you tell a bit about your current novel, Murder in Mind, in less than 30 words?
Death stalks Florentine streets. An assassin is at large. With colourful panache, a lady Angevin spy, a young man-about-town, and the Security Service’s chief officer ally to thwart him.
Hey ,well done. I couldn’t have done that! Murder in Mind is historical fiction – murder mystery – spy novel. I am a fan of novels that do not fit into one genre. Life is like that If you had to pigeon hole your novel into one genre what would it be?
I refer to it as an historical thriller. That seems the best in the circumstances but I take your point about work that traverses more than one genre. That was one the the aspects about your novel, Murder Now and Then that I enjoyed.
What are you currently reading for leisure, Amelia, and what do you think of it?
The book on my bedside cabinet is ‘Grave Concerns’ by Rebecca Tope. It is lighter in tone than my normal leisure reading but none the worse for that. The protagonist is a funeral director which gives it an unusual but appealing aspect. My next read will be ‘The White Queen’ by Philippa Gregory.
Oh that’s a novel on my list too. Finally, have you any projects in progress which readers can look forward to in the future?
I am working on a second Florentine novel involving the same trio as in Murder in Mind. It begins on Christmas Day 1497 and ends on the first Saturday of Lent 1498, with action aplenty between those dates – and one or two surprises.
We’ll look forward to that. Many thanks for joining us today, Amelia. I wish you every success with your writing.
It was my pleasure, Diana.
Murder in Mind is available on Amazon