I have been looking forward to this evening for weeks because tonight I am welcoming to the blog for Friday Night Drinks my fellow RNA NWS member, very good IRL friend and soon to be debut author (which I am SO excited about)…..Giulia Skye.
Giulia, it is so lovely to have you here! Thank you for joining me for drinks this evening. I hope you are feeling better after our aborted lunch date back in November. First things first, what are you drinking?
Thanks for inviting me! I’m drinking a crisp Pinot Grigio mixed with sparkling water and ice, and it’s so cold condensation is forming on the glass. (Although in reality, it’s more likely to be a cup of tea once the kids are in bed).
If we weren’t here in my virtual bar tonight, but were meeting in real life, where would you be taking me for a night out?
To a restaurant serving a variety of lush dishes from around the world. I love food and I love travelling, so it would be a “tour the world in one evening” restaurant, giving us a taste of different specialties.
Sounds fabulous, we should do that one night! If you could invite two famous people, one male and one female, alive or dead, along on our night out, who would we be drinking with?
Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert, the stars of one of my favourite films, It Happened One Night (Capra, 1934). This film was the initial inspiration for my first book, When Adam Met Evie. I’m a sucker for a road trip romance. I’d love to cut through the myths and get to know what these two great stars of classic cinema were like in real life. Having spent the past two decades working in the TV industry, I’ve worked with celebrities – some match their on screen persona and some don’t, but at the end of the day, they’re just people earning a living. I wonder if the same was true about these two legends? And was Claudette Colbert’s skin always sheer perfection?
So, now we’re settled, tell me what you are up to at the moment. What have you got going on? How and why did you start it and where do you want it to go?
I’m frantically gearing up for the release of When Adam Met Evie, and also frantically trying to finish the first draft of my second novel, The Summer of Sebastian, which I’ve scheduled to release in August/September 2020. I decided to become an indie author after realising that producing a book wasn’t that much different to producing a TV show. Although the amounts of money involve differ greatly! I gave the traditional publishing route a try, and was even lucky enough to get an agent but it didn’t work out, the reason being that I wanted to retain all the control. Since then, I’ve become very passionate about self-publishing. I love it and it’s been very rewarding already even though I’m only just starting out on the “selling books” bit. I have plans to write more and more books which I’m very excited about. I wish I could write them all in a day because I can’t wait for them to be out in the world.
I am so excited to finally read When Adam Met Evie! What has been your proudest moment since you started writing and what has been your biggest challenge?
The moment I finished the first “proper” draft of When Adam Met Evie!! For days, I wandered around the house muttering to myself, “I’ve finished. I’ve finished.” There were so many, many times when I truly believed I would never ever finish writing a book and so THAT moment will always be my proudest. I succeeded in achieving a huge personal goal. Everything else that has come from that moment since has been a bonus.
And my biggest challenge? Deciding to become an Indie Author. It’s funny to think now that it was such a big challenge because I feel so at home with it now but back then, I didn’t think “someone like me” could do it. What a load of old bobbins to think that way! That said, I’m constantly encountering big challenges. Self-publishing is full of them. So much so that I don’t consider them challenges at all – they’re just a way of life!!
What is the one big thing you’d like to achieve in your chosen arena? Be as ambitious as you like, its just us talking after all!
Like most (if not all) writers, I’d love to appear on a best seller list. But honestly, I’m not after world domination with my novels. At the heart of my writing motivation is to give people pleasure when they read my stories, just like I’ve had great pleasure in reading my favourite books. I’d love a stranger to come up to me and say, “I stayed up all night reading your book”! How amazing would that be?
What are you currently working on that you are really excited about?
My next book is called The Summer of Sebastian but unlike my first book, which is mainly set in the Australian tropics, this book is set in Somerset and Bristol, a city very close to my heart as I had the best time working there in my twenties. I’m excited about it as it’s been an idea I’ve been tinkering with for so many years and it’s great to see if finally taking shape. I love travelling to exotic places but I also absolutely love the English countryside. It’s stunning on a perfect summer’s day and I’m really excited about writing it into this novel. I hope I can do it justice and bring my love of it alive on the page as I did with Australia in my first book.
I love to travel, and I’m currently drawing up a bucket list of things I’d like to do in the future. Where is your favourite place that you’ve been and what do you have at the top of your bucket list?
I love travelling too! My husband and I (before the children came!) took a year off work to backpack across a few countries. I have a lot of favourite places! But the one that is part of my very fibre is the little village in the mountains just outside of Rome, where my father is from. We spent so much time here as children but I rarely get to go there these days. The views are stunning and I often crave to go back there and hear the tall pine trees sway in the wind. As for a bucket list, I don’t actually have one but if I did, at the top would be to have a spotlessly clean house – like, showroom standard – and to keep it that way for more than a few hours.
I love Italy, that looks gorgeous. Tell me one interesting/surprising/secret fact about yourself that people might not know about you.
This virtual wine’s gone to my head so I’ll spill the beans on a secret. I am in love with… waterproof over-trousers!! They are the best thing EVER. I keep chickens and have an allotment so I spend a lot of time getting very mucky and these totally unattractive garments have changed my life.
Okay, I think you win the award for ‘weirdest secret fact’ we’ve had on this feature so far! Books are my big passion and central to my blog and I’m always looking for recommendations. What one book would you give me and recommend as a ‘must-read’?
Only one? Okay, I’m going with Rachel Gibson’s I’m in No Mood for Love. I’m not a fan of the title but I love the story. It’s so simple and exactly the character driven romance I love. I read it about 10 years ago and I still have the hots for the hero, Sebastian Vaughan.
What is Clare Wingate doing? One minute she’s suffering in the bridesmaid dress from hell, and the next…she’s waking up beside Sebastian Vaughan, her girlhood crush turned sexy, globe-hopping journalist. Somewhere between the toast and the toss of the bouquet she’d got herself into a whole lot of trouble. But then how else are you supposed to deal with finding your fiancé in a compromising position with the washing machine repair man?
Right now Clare’s in no mood for love – not even for lust – and wants to forget about Sebastian ASAP. But he isn’t in the mood to go away, and his kiss is impossible to forget…
Not an author I have come across before, I will have to check it out. So, we’ve been drinking all evening. What is your failsafe plan to avoid a hangover and your go-to cure if you do end up with one?
The only cure for a hangover is sensible drinking the night before!! Sorry, it’s a really annoying thing to say but it’s the only thing that works for me, although I’d never say it in front of a hungover person. That will guarantee getting a shoe thrown at my head!
Very wise, no one likes to hear an ‘I told you so!’ After our fabulous night out, what would be your ideal way to spend the rest of a perfect weekend?
At the allotment (wearing my over-trousers), tending to my plants, then picking the veg and cooking them up for dinner. Then a family bike ride along the river near our house. We’re very lucky to live on the edge of town along a gorgeous stretch of the river which leads out into the countryside.
That sounds very idyllic and ‘Good Life’ (showing my age now!) I shall forever think of you as Felicity Kendal.
Giulia, as always it has been a huge joy to spend time with you, so thank you so much for joining me this evening. I am so looking forward to reading your book and I wish you huge luck with it.
Giulia’s debut novel, When Adam Met Evie, will be published as an ebook on 7 February 2020 and you can get your copy here. I will be reviewing Giulia’s book on its publication day, so check back on the blog on 7 February to see what I thought of it.
When former Olympic Swimmer, Michael Adams—now reluctantly Canada’s hottest reality TV star— insults his fake showbiz wife on social media, he escapes the ensuing scandal and jumps on the first flight to Australia. Desperate to experience ordinary life again—if only for a few weeks—he becomes “Adam”, just another tourist traveling through the Outback. But with a reward out for his safe return and his fame’s nasty habit of catching up with him when he least expects, he needs a disguise… and he’s just found it.
Sweet and scruffy British backpacker, Evie Blake, is taking a year out of her busy London life. Tired of lies and liars, she’s looking for adventure to heal her broken heart. So when the hot Canadian she meets at the campground offers to be her travel partner through Western Australia’s wild Kimberley region, she grabs the chance, unaware he’s got the world out looking for him.
He’s just a down-on-his-luck traveler, right?
Italian-born Giulia Skye spent her childhood watching classic Hollywood films and thinking up her own romantic stories. After two decades working in TV production, she knew turning those stories into novels would be much more enjoyable – and far cheaper – than turning them into films. She still keeps her hand in TV production but is at her happiest being a stay-at-home mum, spending time with her family, growing her own vegetables, and conjuring up sizzling stories about sexy heroes meeting feisty heroines who aren’t always as they at first appear. When Adam Met Evie is her first novel, Book 1 of her “Take a Holiday” series.
You can find out more about Giulia and her writing on her website, and by following her on Twitter.
Next week, I hope you will come back and join me when I will be having Friday Night Drinks with book blogger and author, Bernadette Maycock.