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Chatting with Liz Fielding about Flirting With Italian!


Yesterday I spent an hour talking to a reporter who is preparing a two-page Valentine’s Day spread for the women’s supplement of her newspaper. We ranged over my entire writing life (from the age of about ten!) to my latest romance for Harlequin Mills and Boon, Flirting With Italian.

Inevitably, she wanted to know how I started. Where did the idea come from, how did it grow into a book. This is always a difficult question. Books tend to grow organically, changing as I write, becoming something quite different from the initial spark that sent me on my journey. I had to think about it. Why did I write this book?

I sifted through the various stages of the book, the lunch with my editors (three of them in a gorgeous riverside restaurant in Richmond), discussing the idea with them. And then I remembered. There were two things driving that book. Rome and Ancestry.co.uk.

A place and the past.

I wanted to write a book set in Rome and the surrounding countryside. To use the warmth, the tastes, the vibrancy of Italy to set my story alight.

I’d been digging around in my family history on Ancestry.co.uk and wanted to write about heroine searching for someone who had changed the story of her family. Without whom she would never have been born.

The eds, fuelled by pink champagne, were enthusiastic, but said that my heroine needed to be doing something for herself as well. Bother. More work. But of course they were right. I had to give her two reasons for being in Rome. Give her a back story. It couldn’t be just a trip to Rome to find the past. She had to be there for some other reason. She couldn’t speak Italian so my options were limited. Nanny? No that would restrict her time and freedom. Teaching in an international school? Perfect.

Flirting With Italian was a joy to write. Rome, the surrounding countryside, the tastes and warmth of Italy, provided a wonderful frame for the story. The past gave me not just the connection between hero and heroine, but conflict, tension, emotional depth — never forgetting that this is a romance set in the present, between two wonderful characters and this was, above all, their story.

The setting was a frame, past loves gave me the inciting incident, but Sarah and Matteo brought the whole thing to life, knitting the two stories together, changing lives as they dealt with the past and turned to the a future that they would share.

Flirting With Italian is available in both paper and eBook formats.




  1. Oh wow. This was excellent. It got me to remembering how my stories have developed. Very interesting and this book sounds ultra-inviting to read. Flirting With Italian is on my TBR list, for sure. Thanks Nas! (((Hugs)))

  2. Sounds like a fabulous story! Thanks for the info - off to check it out :)

  3. Another Liz Fielding book I haven't read? I'm going broke, Nas! LOL

  4. Sounds like a fun and romantic read.

  5. I loved reading about the story behind the story. :)

    Great post!

  6. Hi Nas, hello Liz Fielding! What a wonderful history behind your novel!!

    Hooorah too for pink champagne!! All the best with your most scrummy book!

    Take care

  7. I love the title and the story line is intriguing. Congratulation, Liz and thanks for the great post, Nas.

  8. It's always fascinating learning how a writer gets their ideas and develops them. Thanks for sharing.

  9. Thanks so much, everyone! I think there's another trip to Italy in the offing. I had so much fun writing this book, that I want to do it again. :)

  10. That's a good point, Liz - I really like the idea of making sure the heroine has a motivation of her own, before she even meets the hero...

  11. I often can't actually remember the very, very first tiny idea that sparked an entire story. And, like Liz said, the story often changes as you go along, so that the initial idea is sometimes barely still there when you get to the end!

  12. I love reading about the process of your story and how it came about. It sounds like a wonderful book.

  13. It sounds wonderful. A book I could definitely curl up with.

  14. I got my copy last week and I'm just waiting for the moment when I can curl up with it. It didn't come out where I live, but luckily it was available online!

  15. Editors fuelled by pink champagne are the best! :) So are Italians!

    I love hearing the inspiration behind stories. Thanks, Liz.

  16. My stories change so much from that initial spark to how they end up, so does their inspiration. Great answer! (And I love the title.)

  17. I love the story behind the book as well as the description of Flirting with Italian.

  18. Hi friends!

    Thank you all for coming along to check out Liz Fielding's FLIRTING WITH ITALIAN!

    I just heard that this book is in the running for the RoNA ROSE AWARDS by the Romantic Novelists Association!

    Congrats to Liz and all the best!